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Updated: May 10, 2021

I’m a huge fan of a solid foundation and by that I don’t mean the cross-your-heart-bras your Granny used to wear…

I mean basics. Basics shmasics.

They are boring to many, yes. But often times when I used to get up at 5.45am to travel 50 miles to work in Edinburgh, having a vast supply of decent plain white t-shirts to throw under a blazer for me was the difference between getting a seat on the 7:17am train or standing on the 7:38am train for an hour and 20 minutes covered in a fine layer or panic derived sweat…. Know what I mean?

Basics might be boring, but they also mean speed and ease of dressing like nothing else.

It’s my premise that every woman needs a solid foundation to her wardrobe, like a solid bra (I wear an M&S bralet because as a 43 year old mother of 3 boys who breast fed all of them, even the twins, there is nothing solid about my boobs and I’m totally fine with that).

Anyway here is my top 5 basic items I think you should have in your wardrobe go with anything, are hard working and provide a solid foundation around which everything else should revolve.


Black and white t-shirts are your best friends, there is nothing they wont go with, go under or over and they can single handedly dress up or down an outfit. In the office setting I was a peg leg trouser, blazer and t-shirt type of girl. It was a corporate setting so heeled courts were worn with everything and trainers were for the commute. TSHIRTS are the hardest working item in your wardrobe so stock up if you find the right one for you. White t-shirts, die faster because of makeup and sun cream so don’t spend more than £20-40 on a t-shirt. You will need more than one; don’t be afraid to have a few of the same in abundance. One is always in the wash when your desperate or one dies and goes to the great big clothes bin in the ASDA car park when you need it the MOST! The best ones come from American Vintage, & Other Stories and sometimes Topshop although they can be a hit or miss on the boxy styles. And as a final note, make sure its not see through, I have had to deliver senior level workforce presentations to talk about office dress codes and to explain to many employees in a variety of settings “if you can see up it, through it or down it, it’s not work wear…”


There is a reason denims have been going strong since the 1800, apart from in an uber corporate office they are indeed the one thing (other than t-shirts) “you can wear anywhere to any occasion” (Bridget). Night out, Jeans. Dress down Friday, jeans. Lunch with girls, Jeans…. You don’t have to spend more than £50 to get decent pair these days. Amazing cuts can be found in Topshop and River Island for about £40. If skinny is your thing Zara is also your best bet. High street jeans are amazing. Core to your capsule is a pair of straight leg blue denims and a pair of skinny black jeans. I have as yet to meet a woman that didn’t feel better after finding the right pair of skinny black jeans and if you think they don’t suit you. Think again. You just haven’t found the right pair yet! KEEP TRYING. New Look, River Island and Dorothy Perkins do amazing curvy ranges there is something out there that will make you look fabulous.


Yes you guessed it. A trench…. Again a simple item that can be worn anywhere, apart from the beach but I hope that you already knew that. I like one with a little structure and classic shape so that it doesn’t date quickly and it is shower proof (I live in Scotland anything can happen). Yes its autumn and almost wool coat weather, but a Trench will do you for years to come and certainly from now even up to November layered with chunky knits, your denim or leather jackets. I would invest in as good a one as you can afford. It doesn’t have to be Burberry! But Arket, & Other Stories and even good old Marks & Spencer all do amazing Trench Coats costing from £50-£225 approx.


A good blazer whether black, beige or checked can be layered again in so many ways and doesn’t have to be confined to your ‘work wardrobe’. Invest in one black or check blazer that you LOOOOVE and wear it in many ways. I don’t do ‘corporate dressing’ anymore but I was never one to have a separate work wardrobe. I think that the pencil dress uniform favored by women the UK over is great, but it’s not for me, express your style and confidence in your ability to mix and match cool separates with authority. Best blazers at the moment definitely come from Zara, Mango and & Other Stories but if you want something with a little more bang for your buck the Anine Bing Madeleine is to die for!


Goes with or over anything to add that little bit of edge, a leather biker jacket is an essential if you ask me. All Saints do my absolute favourite leather jackets of all time. Topshop has recently done some fab ones. Zara as ever does a blinder on the high street bargain. Again, buy the best leather you can afford. I’m not a fan of the pleather in this area; I’d rather save or do without. You want something buttery soft, big enough to get an arm wearing a jumper through but not too oversized that it doesn’t look good over a skirt or dress. If you are lucky enough to live close by there is an All Saints outlet at Portsmouth Harbour, last time I was in the leathers were reduced to £150! With 20% off!!!!! SWEAR SWEAR SWEAR!

That is all for now.. I could go on, there are about 30 items on my must have basics list. Perhaps less chat next time more pics!

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