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17th Feb 2014

Retail Therapy: The Five Fashion Staples You Need in Your Wardrobe

Say goodbye to wardrobe meltdowns!

Behind every stunning outfit, there is usually a women with panic in her eyes and half of her wardrobe strewn across the bed.

Despite regular shopping trips, most of us cannot avoid falling victim to the curse of having ‘nothing to wear’ and according to those in the know, this is usually because we don’t have the basics down. While it is easy to get excited about the latest Peter Pilotto collection or that trendy IT bag, shopping for a reliable dress or plain shirt doesn’t seem to get the pulse racing in the same way, but it can help you to avoid having any more wardrobe meltdowns.

So next time you have a few quid burning a whole in your pocket, think about having a splurge on these.


The coat…

This is the foundation of every good wardrobe and if you live in Ireland, you’ll probably get more wear out of it than most. From interviews and family events to shielding your party dress on a night out, a good coat will pay for itself ten times over so it is worth investing a little more than you would usually spend to make sure you are getting a quality piece. While patterned coats and trendy shapes are fun and fashionable, a good black or neutral coat will last from season to season and the major things to look out for here are a good cut and quality material.

Your body shape will determine the best cut for you but a classic, straight-line coat will flatter most figures. Team with a belt to make the most of your curves or let it hang naturally for a high-fashion look. Wool is a great choice as it will be both warm and durable but there are some great mixes out there too so have a good feel and decide for yourself! This James Lakeland Gold Zip Coat is a definite winner and is currently on sale at House of Fraser.


The white shirt…

Again, a decent white shirt will get you out of the worst fashion dilemmas as it can be layered under a dress, teamed with a pair of jeans or tucked into a pencil skirt. There are endless choices when it comes to style, from structured wrap-style shirts to light and flirty chiffon blouses. If you find yourself a bit flush, investing in a made-to-measure piece from a company such as Garbeau is a great investment and we love this one from Burberry (€175), which features a touch of pattern of the sleeves.


The leather jacket…

This is one trend that just refuses to go away and although it tends to reinvent itself each season, a basic leather jacket will endure for years to come. One of the our favourite ways to wear the leather jacket is to use it to toughen up an otherwise girly look, so try yours with a floral dress or pastel basics for a great contrasting finish.

The collection of leather jackets available at the moment would bamboozle even the most savvy fashionista but the basic rule of thumb is to opt for minimal embellishment and choose something that reflects your general style. With leather, you really do get what you pay for so either save those pennies for a blowout, scout a pre-loved jacket from a local vintage store or keep an eye on the high street as some brands often have affordable gems. In our dreams, we’d invest in this dreamy hooded number from Helmut Lang.

leather jacket image

 The little black dress…

Whether it’s a last minute wedding invitation or a work conference, a little black dress will have you covered and, here, it is all about the fit. When the palette is simple, the eye is drawn to the body beneath so make sure to opt for something that skims over the bits your want to cover and flatter the bits you want to show off. This Coast dress has a simple shape that will flatter the body and the detail on the neckline makes it perfect for more ‘dressy’ occasions. Team with a blazer and pumps for work and some costume jewellery and striking shoes for play!


The right foundations…

Getting this one wrong could negate all the good work that you’ve put into your capsule wardrobe. The raw materials are there but it’s crucial to get them packaged them properly. The first step is the getting the right bra and if you haven’t been professionally measured already, get to it! Most large department stores including Debenhams and Brown Thomas have specially trained staff, who will measure you and advise you on the best bra to make the most of your assets.

Once the bra is taken care of, it’s on the bodywear. There is a common misconception out there that Spanx are only for those of us with a few extra pounds but this is definitely not the case. While the right garments will reduce your silhouette and make you look slimmer, that is only the beginning of their magical powers. Most, if not all, Hollywood celebs wear Spanx or another bodyshaper under their red carpet ensembles as it smoothes the body, removing any unsightly lumps and bumps, makes your clothes fit better and gives you the pert derrière of your dreams. As with the bra, getting the right shape and fit is key so pop into the experts for some advice!