Clothes on the Brain

9 October 2011

With the gradual change in seasons and the job of staring at/analysing/coveting clothes all day, it appears that my mind is a sea of colours, shapes and fabrics.  I can't so much as glance at a pair of trousers without wondering about the fabric, fit and numerous stitching details they might have, making finding the perfect pair rather difficult.  I've seen many posts relating to the idea of a uniform or having a wardrobe full of essentials that make up your personal wardrobe despite the numerous trends and changes of what's in the shops.  When trying to work out what new bits and pieces I might need for Autumn (any excuse) I realised a certain type of pattern in what I'm drawn to at this point in my life.  There are some items I always find I end up buying with little or no hesitation, a slightly complex kind of uniform with rules that I seem to follow subconsciously.  These are my 'basics' only in the way that they make up the foundation of my chaotic wardrobe and sometimes they are not the most versatile of pieces (hello red polka dot skirt) but in my eyes, more is more!


I've found that tops are what I buy most often as they're a relatively inexpensive 'filler' item and freshen up old pairs of shorts and skirts. My purchases seem to fit into three distinct casual styles, which I tend to put with smarter items for a bit of balance.  I think I might have bought four striped tops in July and even though my mother doesn't quite understand why I need multiples, I can always find something different within each one I buy whether it's a new stripe layout or shape.  You'll also see a lot of Weekday in this post, another European based store that needs to join Cos and Monki in transactional website wonderfulness.  I love their basic loose tees that aren't typically flattering but always fascinate me in their cut and drape.  I'm also prone to the odd slogan tee, a trait only strengthened by Elisabeth who got me on the A.P.C bandwagon.  I expect to be sale stalking this tee continuously.


At the moment I'm trying to sort out my skirt collection as I've definitely fallen out with the micro-minis of yesteryear and am trying to stock up on as many A-line skirts as possible.  My preference is still above the knee but with enough length to feel decent when sat down and minimal fuss and detailing.  I also love skater skirts to bits but find them still quite short when worn high on the waist so am hoping that this Asos number suits me when I finally buy it.  Pleated skirts are pretty much a given for me and if I buy another one it really needs to be special, though grey is the only colour that I don't seem to possess at this moment in time.


Trying to figure out what to wear at 7am isn't always the easiest task in the mornings and dresses make things a lot more straightforward.  The type of dress I love hasn't really changed over the past five years or so and I'm all about a full skirt and a nipped in waist.  I never seem to be bored of floral dresses and I love how this Topshop dress has now come in a more Autumnal print (I remember the yellow version that came out a few months ago) and need this polka dot version to do the same.  I tend to veer towards higher necklines as I like to accessorize with a quirky necklace of some sort, so I'm welcoming all of the various collared dresses at the moment.  I really can't see my love of full skirted dresses dying and although there are some exceptions to the rule, I'm looking to add some new versions to my wardrobe in exciting fabrics.


Flat shoes are the foundation of my shoe collection, allowing me to walk at my brisk pace whilst commuting and running for various forms of transport.  It's quite obvious that I'm a major fan of the more masculine variety, maybe due to my feet practically being man-sized at a UK 8 and following the 'if you can't beat 'em, join 'em' mentality.  I love how brogues and loafers counteract with more feminine items of clothing and I can't see that obsession fading, but now I have the basics I'm looking for styles that add something extra such as the finish of the leather or numerous other details.  This Office pair is an amalgamation of all the things I like in a shoe and it's taking a lot of self control not to buy a pair and crowd my room with even more shoes.


On the bottom half I've pretty much washed my hands of jeans (hello graduation weight) preferring to stick with slightly flared shorts and structured trousers.  Tights don't really belong in this category but it'd be a shame to leave them off as I rely on them so much to add interest; preferred styles are sheer with pattern and boozy hues such as plum and dark green.


Although I am prone to forgetting about my shirts due to lack of ironing, I still feel that they are an important part of my wardrobe.  Gone are the days when I'd have to wear white or black for school and early part time jobs; nowadays you can have any print under the sun and various materials such as velvet and denim.  My print of the moment appears to be spots and I was tempted by this Etsy number before it sold out whilst deliberating.  Further online searches have resulted in much disappointment and even horror as what people class as a polka dot silk shirt and I will have to look further afield for the perfect delicately spotted blouse.  Sheer shirts are a given as they rarely need ironing and I also like Asos' take on the denim shirt, which reminded me of some of the menswear I saw in Berlin.


Ever since I bought my beloved Vagabond Chelsea boots last month, I've decided that comfortable heels that I can actually wear are the way forward.  I'm bored of saving certain pairs for certain occasions and am trying to look for styles I can wear in my everyday life, which incidentally involves a lot of walking.  I find lace up boots are the best for these sorts of scenarios and I recently bought this Office pair as another Allegra alternative, which were reasonably comfortable after the first wear.  I'm also pleased to see more flatforms around as an update to the wedge heel (ok so perhaps this Vagabond style could still be classed as a wedge but I really wanted to include it somehow).  I think it's finally time to get rid of my old uncomfortable pairs languishing in the loft and concentrating on achieving those extra few inches without crippling my feet.


As I mentioned in a previous post, I tend to buy bags most infrequently and I prefer to save up for a quality leather style rather than buying several cheaper versions.  I like the minimal detailing and fuss of vintage styles and would prefer to scour charity shops and car boot sales for the perfect bargain, rather than splashing out on the high street.  I found the Goldenponies Etsy store on Calivintage a while ago and love the fact that everything is made to order at an affordable price.  This simple cross body frame bag reminds me of a Celine bag I spied in Dover Street Market a while ago and seems far more likely to end up as part of my collection.  I only wish they did bigger versions!


I'm actively on the hunt for some new and exciting jewellery and although I still like some of the quainter styles out there, I'm definitely wanting some more unusual pieces like this double finger ring from Weekday.  Do you have a subconscious formula when shopping?  Regardless of trends I always tend to stick to these sorts of items when buying as I know they'll work for me, but I'm intrigued to see what others wear as part of their signature look.  This post has been useful in establishing what I might need for the coming season and things I should really try and get rid of.  I still have a few categories I'm working on however, namely knitwear and coats!
Remember to vote for me in the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards as voting ends in just over a week!  Just enter your e-mail address and pick this here blog in the established fashion blog category.  It's a bit of a conundrum as so many of my friends have been nominated, but whatever the outcome I'm looking forward to the awards ceremony.  I might even have a new dress to show off...

Also check out this article where my knitwear has been featured and illustrated!

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  1. Great post!
    Love these items

  2. Ugh, I'm trying not to go crazy with buying clothes and sticking to that 4-5 Piece French Wardrobe rule thing, but I really can be such an impulsive spender sometimes. Love how these are all basics that any wardrobe can benefit from! I've found that since sticking to my basics wardrobe, I find it a lot easier to get dressed - but would you believe I still don't have a black skirt? Or jeans?

    x Michelle |

  3. breton stripes, loafers, skater skirts, pleats, satchels - you've literally ticked every box ;)
    was lovely to meet you at the v&a festival - we should deffo keep in touch!

  4. that is pretty comprihensive i must say, you know what you want in that department. i agree though, i have this too. it's probably less stuff that this but consists on various types of blue shirt, utility blazers/jackets, blue jeans, tapered trousers, sneakers and brown shoes/boots

  5. thanks for the comment, i'm ridiculously in love with your blog so really appreciated it! i'm trying desperately to buy more 'sensible' capsual cloths and this post has really helped x

  6. Kristabel! When did you update the new header? I love it. Hope you like the little interview, i tried to be helpful, honest and insightful. I still very much admire and look up to my fave bloggers such as yourself. Hope you've had an awesome weekend! (ps. so good to see you have featured Love hearts and Crosses! They are fab!) x

  7. If you're ever in the states look me up, we'll thrift our hearts out!

  8. Love, love, love this post Kristabel. I want everything you've picked out! I am rubbish at actually planning my 'seasonal wardrobe' and tend to just buy whatever catches my eye in one frenzied attack on the high street. Will be using your guide and buying much more carefully. x

  9. Lots of things I like about this post! I want to go shopping so badly now after seeing your run through of the things you like and are pretty much a staple to your style.

    I also love the new background and header.

    Also yess to the love for my latest HK post, ordering lots of different dishes and sharing is definitely the epitome of Chinese culture. We even do this at Pizza express much to the bemusement of the waiters who we have to remind to give us lots of sharing plates! Why just have one pizza when you can try them all?!

  10. Nice picks!

  11. gah this post makes me want to go shopping immediately! lovely stuff, especially the skater skirt.

  12. Love, love all the shoes/boots and the conceptual ring. Got so many things I want to buy... but not enough money to fund my habit!

  13. i love this post, it's always interesting to see the basic uniform pieces others buy! your uniform is actually quite varied, but then again you look good in anything!

    whilst i obviously know my uniform colours, i've never really thought about the shapes and styles i lean towards. i'm going to write a little list right now inspired by this post! :)

    lovely to see you the other day. and yes please to pancakes soon! xx

  14. The tights are gorgeous and I love the bicycle necklace.