Wardrobe staples for Spring

spring minimal wardrobe mademoiselle

If you live in the Southern Hemisphere, the month of September always signals the start of spring, which hands down has to be one of my favourite seasons. I’m a summer baby at heart, but I love this change in season, it’s the opportunity to introduce some interesting layers, as well as a softer colour palette. So today, I wanted to share my latest YouTube video, which features eight different looks, with some of my favourite go-to wardrobe staples for spring. I’d love to know which look is your favourite! x

OUTFIT ONE
This first look features one of my go-to jumpers from winter, this grey oversized Country Road sweater, paired with a cute polka dot ruffle skirt from Topshop (this is a similar option) and a pair of Chanel-inspired two-tone pumps from Vaneli.

OUTFIT TWO
This Sussan polka dot top is hands down one of my favourites, and I love it paired with the white denim skirt from J Crew, marshmallow pink coat from Karen Walker (sadly a few seasons old but this is cute), and my Charlotte Olympia kitty flats (if you’re after an affordable option, these are a great dupe).

OUTFIT THREE
I don’t tend to incorporate too many prints into my wardrobe, but I do make an exception for gingham, especially in the black and white check. This Kimchi Blue off shoulder dress ticks all the right boxes; the shirred bust, midi length, off shoulder detail and slit up the leg. I kept things simple and paired the dress with a Hat Attack straw bag and my favourite Sophia Webster sandals.

OUTFIT FOUR
My colour palette often doesn’t stray far from black, grey and white, and this outfit fits is the perfect example; the Uniqlo turtleneck has been a godsend for layering under all my dresses, and I love how it pairs under this slip dress from Grana, and for shoes, I opted for my Valentino tango pumps, which are always a great fail safe option.

OUTFIT FIVE
This Assembly Label sweater is one of the cosiest wardrobe additions of the year – I’m a little bit obsessed and have been wearing it with everything from my white denim mini, to these ASOS mom jeans. I often try to keep to a colour theme when building an outfit, and the Everlane day heels in nude are the perfect match. For my bag, I went for this Mansur Gavriel inspired bag from HiEleven – it’s made out of a faux leather and is super roomy inside, plus I love that it can be worn two ways!

OUTFIT SIX
Culottes are probably my favourite discovery of the year, so it wouldn’t be a Spring look book video without a pair. I’m wearing these cute cuffed striped wide leg culottes from J Crew, which I paired with a dove grey silk cami from Everlane and a classic trench coat, also from Everlane. For shoes, I am head over heels for these suede slingback from Paul Andrew (and the flats are also super cute!)

OUTFIT SEVEN
What I love about this outfit is all the earthy hues, something I’m trying to incorporate into my wardrobe a little more. Starting with the basics, is this T by Alexander Wang stripe top which I’ve been reaching for, for years now. I wore it with an a-line mini from RUBY, and a khaki green military jacket from Workshop (this is a similar option). For accessories, I loved the way that this paired with my pashli mini from Phillip Lim, and of course my CO kitty flats – a go to when I can’t decide which shoes to wear!

OUTFIT EIGHT
The final outfit is another favourite, which revolves around this oversized shirt dress from Everlane (this is similar). I paired it with an oversized denim jacket from Topshop, muted rose suede flats from Senso, my Chanel boy bag in the chevron caviar leather, which I’ve attached a zodiac twilly from Dior to in a bow – a little detail I absolutely love! x

Denim Jacket + Polka Dot Ruffle Mini Skirt

minimal outfit wearing denim jacket polka dot skirt mademoiselle
minimal outfit wearing denim jacket polka dot skirt mademoiselle
minimal outfit wearing denim jacket polka dot skirt mademoiselle
minimal outfit wearing denim jacket polka dot skirt mademoiselle
minimal outfit wearing denim jacket polka dot skirt mademoiselle
minimal outfit wearing denim jacket polka dot skirt mademoiselle

Double Trouble t-shirt, Topshop denim jacket (similar), Topshop ruffle mini skirt (similar), Valentino tango pumps, Chanel boy bag, Dior zodiac twilly (similar), Mademoiselle X Mejuri earrings, Daniel Wellington watch

When it comes to weekend wear, I’ve been going down the more relaxed route, especially as we start to come into spring. This Topshop ruffle mini skirt (sadly not available in the navy spot but here in red) has been one of the major players (as has the denim jacket, not gonna lie), because it’s fun, frilly, and unlike anything else in my wardrobe, plus I’m always partial to a good polka dot print. Some of the accessories I’ve been reaching for a bit lately include this Daniel Wellington watch, which has been a great accompaniment to my typical ‘neutral’ themed closet, and of course my most recent bag purchase – the Chanel boy bag, with a zodiac twilly tied attached at the side. Have you been switching up your wardrobe as we come into the new season?

Adding Print to a Classic Wardrobe

minimal wardrobe houndstooth skirt mademoiselle
minimal wardrobe houndstooth skirt mademoiselle
minimal wardrobe houndstooth skirt mademoiselle
minimal wardrobe houndstooth skirt mademoiselle
minimal wardrobe houndstooth skirt mademoiselle

Grana silk cami (10% off with JAMIEXGRANA), Stella Morgan houndstooth skirt (I love this gingham option), Everlane trench coat, Everlane day heels, Chanel boy bag, Dior zodiac twilly

One thing you’ve probably noticed, particularly if you’ve been a long time reader of my blog, is that it’s not often that I add a bit of print into the mix. Having made a concerted effort to simplify and strip back my wardrobe – not only to make getting ready in the morning 10x easier, but to also strengthen and define my personal style – there hasn’t been much room for prints in the classic wardrobe that I’ve spent years building.

So, how do you add print to an otherwise classic wardrobe, without detracting from your personal style? Firstly, the focus has to be on finding the right print for you, which is versatile, and works within your style guidelines. Over the years, you’ll have noticed a handful of prints which have been in heavy rotation; polka dots, stripes, and more recently, a bit of gingham and houndstooth. With a wardrobe that is is grounded in basic staples in a fairly neutral colour palette, my focus has been on complementing that with prints, in a way that is fun (and that will hopefully also become staples that I’ll want to reach for in the seasons to come!).

For example, a couple of the things I like about the houndstooth skirt I’m wearing above is the architectural tie at the waist which acts as a focal point for the piece in addition to adding a bit of whimsy, the asymmetrical hemline, and the tightness of the print – the latter of which is one of the keys to making it such a subtle complement to my existing wardrobe.

I’ve had my fair share of hits and misses when it comes to building my wardrobe – overall – but below are the four rules that I apply when deciding if a print will work with the current contents of my closet…

IS THIS A TREND PIECE?
In an age of Instagram, there seems to be a constant stream of new trends to try and add to your closet. I try to be pretty selective about which trends to incorporate into my closet, and try to focus on styles which have a timeless appeal to them that I can see lasting more than a month or two. Same rule applies to prints – go for the ones which are less focused on a seasonal trend, as not only will they be less likely to date, but unlike a bold print, they won’t feel ‘tired’ after a few wears.

CAN YOU WEAR IT AT LEAST THREE WAYS?
As with any new purchase, one of the best ways to predict its longevity – and whether you’re going to actually reach for it – is if you can imagine wearing it in at least three different outfits. Or even better, five outfits. The more versatile it is, the more classic it’s likely to be, and again, the more staying power it will have. Prints might have a reputation for being bold, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t prints out there which will stand the test of time.

DOES THIS FIT YOUR LIFESTYLE & WHEN WILL YOU WEAR IT?
It’s so easy to get swept up in the magic of buying something new, that you can forget to stop and think, ‘does this actually fit my lifestyle?’. While an ikat printed playsuit might seem like a great complement to your wardrobe in theory, is this something that you’re likely to only wear on vacation or is it an item that you can see yourself reaching for more than once a week? Perhaps the biggest change to my own closet the last two years has been acknowledging that a large proportion of my previous wardrobe didn’t accurately reflect my lifestyle, since I stopped working in a corporate office. The same goes for prints – know when you’re likely to wear them, and add them to your wardrobe accordingly. For me, I like simple more subdued patterns for everyday, and love the idea of a bolder print for summer weekends and tropical holidays.

DO I WANT IT TO BE A FOCAL POINT OF MY OUTFIT, OR A SUBTLE COMPLEMENT?
Finally, the last thing I like to consider is whether the print works best as a focal point of my outfit or more of a complement. Printed dresses and jumpsuits might be easier to throw on as they’re a total outfit in themselves, but they’re less likely to get as much mileage as a printed top or skirt, or a fun accessory like a pouch or a pair of shoes (such as these leopard-print sandals). I tend to opt for printed separates so that I can tone them down with a block colour – it’s a much softer introduction to print, and it can make them a lot easier to wear.

Do you have any prints that have become classic staples in your wardrobe?

#DOSEETHEWONDERFUL

pandora jewellery doseethewonderful mademoiselle
pandora jewellery doseethewonderful mademoiselle
pandora jewellery doseethewonderful mademoiselle
pandora jewellery doseethewonderful mademoiselle
pandora jewellery doseethewonderful mademoiselle
pandora jewellery doseethewonderful mademoiselle
pandora jewellery doseethewonderful mademoiselle

images 1-3: classic hearts of pandora ring, fairytale sparkle ring, lavish sparkle ring, two tone signature open bangle, essence collection silver bracelet with pandora signature heart charm & patience essence charm, cascading glamour small hanging earrings, cascading glamour necklace

images 4-7: classic hearts of pandora ring, sparkling droplets ring, radiant hearts of pandora ring, teardrop silhouette ring, hearts of pandora halo ring, two tone signature open bangle, essence collection silver bracelet with pandora signature heart charm & patience essence charm, hearts of pandora earring hoops, hearts of pandora collier necklace

I’m all about those subtle statements; small accents that help to finish off a look, whether it’s a classic watch you reach for everyday, a simple wedding band, or a delicate diamond necklace that sits on your d├ęcolletage just so. Depending on how much of a rush I’m in before heading out the door, it’s not unusual to see me just sporting my wedding bands (or if I’m in too much of a rush – not even at all!), so when I got the opportunity to play dress ups with Pandora’s newest collection, I couldn’t really say no.

As someone who not only works a full time ‘9-5’ job and also spends about 99% of any spare time working on my YouTube channel and blog, I’m always on the hunt for inspiration, whether it’s a new concept for a blog post, a new trend I want to incorporate into my otherwise ‘classic’ wardrobe, or a new creative idea. Perhaps without surprise, it’s often the little things that I find myself drawing inspiration from; the promise of a new day, the excitement of a new adventure, or the sparkle of a pretty pair of earrings.

#DOSEETHEWONDERFUL serves as a reminder to see the wonderful in the subtle details of every day, recapturing that magic and wonder with which a more youthful eye would take in the world around them.

Taking inspiration from the essence of Pandora’s new campaign, I wanted to play around with some – new to me – jewellery styles, keeping everything else paired back and minimal. A slinky black slip dress and a make shift studio in our living room set the scene, while trying to play off the light streaming in through the windows that frame the front of our home.

Unlike 95% of the photos you see of me online, I self-shot all these photos – something that takes a hearty dose of perseverance, combined with trial and error just to get the perfect shot, and i couldn’t be happier with how they turned out – I mean it’s hard to complain when you’re working with a generous selection of dainty, sparkly jewels.

I’ve narrowed it down to some of my favourite picks from the new collection, so if there’s anything in particular that catches your eye, I’ve provided details of every piece I’m wearing above. But if I could only pick one piece? Hands down it has to be the cascading glamour small hanging earrings; not only are they incredibly elegant (and comfortable to wear), but they have this timeless old world feel to them which I am absolutely smitten with! x

wearing Grana silk slip dress throughout – use code JAMIEXGRANA for 10% off

Slogan tee and an Oversized Denim Jacket

slogan tee denim jacket mademoiselle minimal outfit

Double Trouble t-shirt (similar), Topshop ruffle skirt (very similar option here and I also really like this one), Topshop denim jacket (this is also lovely!), Charlotte Olympia kitty flats (affordable option here), Celine trotteur bag (similar affordable here)

There’s two things that I can’t seem to get enough of lately; a basic slogan tee and this oversized denim jacket from Topshop. This past year, there’s been a gradual shift in my weekend wardrobe, from pleated skirts and slinky cami’s to mom-style denim and oversized knit sweaters, and hey, I’m not complaining. After giving my wardrobe an enormous overhaul back in May, one thing I’ve realised is that my lifestyle is a lot more relaxed than it has been previously, and more than anything, I’d love it if my closet reflected that of a nonchalant French girl (who always wears a bold red lip).

Surprisingly, it’s also seen my closet move into a more youthful direction; I’m less focused on wearing crisp tailoring, and more in tune with wearing flippy little mini skirts and my kitty flats with everything, especially as we transition into spring.

My fixation on the slogan tee has been reinvigorated in recent months – the one above from Double Trouble was a lovely gift from a meeting with Hop and Cotton (a skincare brand I’ll be talking about in an upcoming post…), and I just adore the subtlety of the petal pink embroidery on an all-white tee. It has a little bit of that 90s throwback, and being a kid of that era, it brings back all the best kinds of nostalgia (along with singing Spice Girls in my bedroom, and eating chocolate cake for breakfast).

The one thing you won’t see me switching up too much? The core colour palette of my wardrobe. While there might be the odd smattering of pink and blue, in addition to some more muted earthy tones such as khaki, there’s nothing I love more than my standard staple diet of black, white and grey.

Are there any style favourites that you haven’t been able to get enough of lately? x