Friday, January 29, 2010

Build Your Wardrobe with Great Fashion Basics

While we’re waiting for the advent of events like Fashion Week and (of course!) the Art of Fashion Design Competition and Trunk Show to show us what designers have in store for the year ahead, why not take this time to stock up on your fashion essentials to make sure you have all the basic wardrobe building blocks to put together a polished look every time? Having the basics, after all, is the foundation of good fashion sense!

The white shirt
A classic white dress shirt is the perfect accompaniment to jeans, sweaters and suits. It should always look clean and crisp, so if you can, replace this staple garment every year. Try the Gap for a fail-proof standard shirt.

The perfect pair of jeans
It is THE standard garment in most wardrobes, and for this reason most of us rely on several pairs. Typically, a dark wash is more commonly worn in the winter months, while lighter shades come out in the spring. A good pair of trouser jeans will serve you well when you want to dress up but aren’t sure how dressy to go. Try a jeans-only store to find the pair that matches your exact specifications, or invest in one of the tried-and-true brands, like 7 for All Mankind.

Black trousers
Even if you have no other trousers in your wardrobe, a good pair of well-tailored black trousers will serve you well in a variety of situations where formal or conservative wear is required. A good fit is essential, material should skim the thigh, but not cling to it, and pants should be long enough to wear with high heels.

The little black dress has got so much publicity lately, it’s the one thing that every woman knows is a staple. The versatile LBD can go from the most formal situation to a casual one as long as it’s accompanied by the right accessories. Something knee-length provides the most options, although fit is the most important consideration here. Don’t be afraid to invest a little, as this is a piece that can last you for years and will never go out of style.

A nice leather jacket
It’s durable, and enduring fashionable. Buy a classic fit that you could see yourself in for a long time. Perfect with jeans and a nice scarf, many leather jackets are warm enough to wear well into winter.

A traditional peacoat
It hasn’t gone out of style yet. Wear it with tall Hunter boots for a rugged English countryside look, or over your trousers or LBD for more dressed-up occasions. Real wool coats look best and will keep you warmest, but there are a variety of options, and a variety of price-points to choose from.

When possible, buy the best when you are buying your fashion basics, as these are the pieces that will eventually give you the most bang for your buck. But don’t spend too much – you’re going to need some of that cash to buy some of Canada’s hottest up-and-coming designers’ wear at the Art of Fashion show in October.

Image: Suat Eman /

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