What makes a good fashion investment? It's a question I'm constantly turning over in my mind, and to be honest, I'm still not entirely sure. While there are some staples that you can always rely on to form the solid groundwork of your wardrobe, more often than not, the true hero items are the purchases you least expect. For me, it was an H&M fringed jacket I bought for £40 in summer 2019.
With its Wild West–inspired fringing and cream colourway, this jacket is hardly a low-key look. However, over the last two years, it's become the piece I wear more than any other. There's something about the loose, boxy fit that means it can be thrown over everything from midi dresses and jeans to shorts and skirts. Meanwhile, the off-white hue looks just as good with neutrals as it does with bright colours. I've worn it on breezy beach walks, for Sunday brunch in the city and dressed up for attending London Fashion Week shows.
While I am a very vocal champion of vintage shopping, I also think it's so important to be mindful of, and to treasure, the pieces we do decide to buy new. I also acknowledge that for many people, high-priced sustainable brands aren't always an option, which is why I want to continue to highlight the high-street pieces that I have personally found to be invaluable within my wardrobe and that I hope I will continue to wear for many years to come. And you know what? It won't always be a basic, so keep your eyes peeled—you'll stumble across it when you least expect it. It's all about being in tune with your personal style and learning which items you'll love, regardless of whether they're "in style" or not.
Above, I've included a few snapshots of me wearing my fave jacket over the last couple of years, but I also wanted to show you how I'm wearing it for summer 2021 specifically. One jacket, five outfits—challenge accepted. From colourful jumpsuits to denim midi skirts, scroll down to see how I'm styling the best jacket I've ever bought on the high street. If this isn't proof of versatility, I don't know what is.
Style Notes: I always find it hard to know which jackets or coats to wear with jumpsuits, especially when the jumpsuit comes in a vibrant print or hue. But of course, my H&M jacket takes it in stride with its boxy silhouette and neutral colourway, which pairs beautifully with the emerald shade of this Cefinn one-piece.
Style Notes: You night think a fringed jacket would only work for more casual contexts, but I love mixing it up with tailored trousers and heeled boots, as seen here. For autumn, I might even swap out my white tee for a shirt for extra polish.
Style Notes: As a vintage lover, I had to take the opportunity to bring out the jacket's '70s undertones. This calf-grazing Whistles skirt and rented Maggie Marilyn shirt offer an unexpected yet undeniably cool counterbalance to the jacket's shirt-like proportions.
Style Notes: As we all know, the British summer can be extremely changeable, which is why I always have a jacket to hand. I find my H&M jacket particularly useful for adding an edge to my floral summer dresses (the few that I own).
Style Notes: I think the shorts set is probably one of my favourite trends of summer 2021, mostly because it's so easy to style. This set from Hush can run the risk of looking a bit like pyjamas, so I'll use my fringed jacket to add another dimension to the matchy-matchy pairing.