Posted: July 29, 2017 10:20am

Once people find out I am a blogger, the question I get asked the most is ‘what should they buy to update their wardrobe’?

Being in your 40’s is a tricky time; you don’t want to look too ‘oldest swinger in town’ but you also don’t want to fall into the ‘mother of the bride’ category either.

Most people have a good sense of what suits them and this is where I start.  Forget looking at what others are wearing as we all have different lifestyles and body shapes.  Think of the outfit that you feel most comfortable in and start there.

There are a few items that are just useful to have in your wardrobe.  They are worth buying as they will update what you already have and with the sales still in full swing it is now time to try and track down those wardrobe essentials that will keep you looking current. I have collated my wardrobe over years and lots of the pieces I have bought second hand or in the sales.

wardrobe classics

Focussing on these classics stop us getting carried away with the ‘one hit wonders’ that you wear only a few times and will then lie languishing in your wardrobe.

  1. Leather leggings suit everyone.  PLEASE BURN ANY IN PLEATHER – they might look like leather but you know they are not leather and you will sweat like crazy.  You can buy leather ones  in the sales, just keep an eye out.  Mine are Joseph which I bought years ago.  You just pull them on and they get better with age; they are well worth saving up for.  The Outnet often has great pairs – just keep your eyes peeled.  Alternatively, you can just look for a Preloved pair and now is a good time to look as no-one else will be bidding
  2. Joggers; I wear mine all the time and Made by Riley are my favourite brand.  They are cut in the right place, just above your ankle, and don’t sag around the knees or bottom
  3. I am so tempted to order these Barbara Bui tuxedo trousers.  They do have to be worn with a heel and a simple shirt but again you will have them for ever.  Yes, you can find similar at Zara and if you are a size 8, you probably don’t need to spend more, but if you are not a size 8 then Barbara Bui is a master of tailoring and the pants will lift your ass and flatten your tummy
  4. Leggings are so useful; I have recommended the Spanx ones to so many people and they all have emailed me to tell me how they make them feel two sizes smaller.  Wear them traveling with a great shirt or in Winter with an oversized cashmere.  Don’t think you wouldn’t get the wear out of them, I promise you will live in them!  They key is proportion; make sure there is no camel toe and work with proportion, tight on the bottom, looser on the top
  5. Shirts are key to a functioning wardrobe.  Rails are one of my favourite brands, they are so soft and hang so well and will take you from Winter to Summer.  MiH is another one of my top tips for oversized shirts that you can wear over leggings or joggers and over a bikini in the Summer.  A great denim shirt is another staple; find the style that suits you best.  I have spotted a brilliant Golden Goose one on sale. You can layer a denim shirt over a Summer dress or your gym wear, I use mine on holiday as well, as a cover up.  I adore & Other Stories for t-shirts and vests, the fit is great and the quality of the material is superb
  6. Hoodies are so useful especially with the rain (layer under a leather jacket or throw over a pair of leggings or a Summer dress).  Also invest in a great cashmere cardigan (I will be doing an entire post on this layer as they will be huge in 2017) and a silk camisole (I wear mine under a blazer, thank you Shanaz for the tip).  Equipment do the best cashmere sweaters and they are that perfect boyfriend fit
  7. Zadig and Voltaire is a great brand for blazers and they have a great sale on at the moment.  A Pea Coat is another classic you will wear year in year out and they are perfect over denim or joggers.  The Acne sheepskin jacket has been around for years now and again it dresses up any simple outfit.  I bought mine in a Winter sale years ago and it comes out every Winter, you can find a great option from Ducie.  If you can try on the military jacket above it is hand embroidered and so exquisite, it is from the designer section at Miss Selfridge.  Buy your coat now; I found the midi coat above now on sale and the shape was  all over Vogue this month, you can wear this shape over anything.  Parkas are not going away, mine are also from Ducie and the grey one above is now on sale.  Bomber jackets have also now become a classic and I found a lovely one on sale at Tara Jarmon.  You also cannot forget the trench coat and nothing beats Burberry.  I adore the midi length, you can find these pre-loved, I sold three last year through my ebay shop Nw8closet
  8. Bags don’t feature that much as we all have so many but I do love the Clare Vivier oversized clutch bags, they are so well priced.  Get the biggest size as it can hold everything and they age so well.  I have my eye out for one of these Balenciaga beach bags as they are so beautiful and they sell out as soon as they come out.  I hope some fashionista will have so many I will stumble across one on Ebay or another pre-loved site!
  9. Shoes are the same, thank you Noreen for tipping me off about the Vamp.  They go with everything and just don’t date at all.  I bought mine second hand and they are far superior to all the imitators. A nude ankle strap sandal and a slide are also my top tips and if you can find them track down a Saint Laurent trainer in the sales.  A dicker boot from Isabel Marant or one from Anine Bing will be a boot you can wear for ever and they are trans-seasonal.  The Saint Laurent Lou Lou is another true classic
  10. A fitted jumpsuit is another classic and this one from Vanessa Seward is now in sale, as is the silk black dress and the midi silk dress from Zadig & Voltaire.  I have already done a dress edit so I have kept this section brief
  11. As it is still high-Summer I am adding the Seafolly bikini and a cover up from 9 Seed
  12. I fell in love with hats from La Cerise Sur La Chapeau – they are so beautiful and I love that you can design your own
  13. Cadence is my favourite designer of unique wearable jewellery; the quality and price point are spot on.  They will offer a discount if you mention Catwalkschoolgates
  14. Also as I like to nest more at home these Aloe London silk pyjamas are the best on the market.

These are expensive items, I am not going to pretend otherwise, but I have saved and sold to buy my pieces and most of the brands you can hunt down in the sales or available pre-loved.  These are the pieces I have collected over years and I wear year in year out.  Yes you can add the latest fashion piece like a folk dress or floral one but the items above are for ever and should come first when you are thinking of spending.

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Anne Marie



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