Summer wardrobe wishlisting

Joie ‘Felix’ top, T by Alexander Wang stripe t-shirt, Vince textured v-neck sweater

Summer has officially begun in New Zealand, which can only mean one thing: summer wardrobe planning.

I continuously seem to gear myself toward a wardrobe with a summer focus, which is odd considering the mostly mild to almost non-existent summers we get in Wellington each year, so there is little that I feel I’m lacking.

1. Loose white singlet: Not a necessity, but definitely a nice to have, to throw on with a pair of shorts or a skirt on those warm summer days. I’m after something that is crisp in colour, in a scoop neck style, which is not sheer. I’ve almost given up on this relentless search, as I’m yet to find one that is adequate and meets my three requirements, which has resulted in many less than satisfactory buys over the years.

2. Striped short-sleeve t-shirt: I’ve been wanting a short sleeved t-shirt for some time, and with summer here now I can’t think of a better time to scout one out. I’ve had my eye on this T by Alexander Wang one for some time but always put off my purchase until it is sold out. Alternatively I’ve been considering one from American Apparel but I’m not sure I like the cut quite so much and I’ve had bad experiences in the past with their t-shirts pilling.

3. Cream loose fitting jumper: You would be surprised at how often I could probably wear a jumper during a Wellington summer. I’m the girl that still has the heater running while indoors and needs a cardigan when sitting in the sun. I have a couple of grey jumpers that fit the bill, but I’d like another option, in a tone that has a bit more warmth to it.

Short and sweet? Definitely. Ground-breaking? Not at all. I’m sure that my list seems far from inspiring, but I think perhaps that’s the beauty of it. Simplicity is definitely underrated, and needs often overwhelmed by desire. A pair of simple Salt Water sandals probably wouldn’t go amiss either. Considering my ideal plans for summer consist of lazing in the sun at the beach, and consuming copious amounts of ice blocks, the ability to be able to just throw on a couple of random things and just ‘go’, seems ever more appealing.

A bit of spring florals

Isabel Marant top, Karen Walker floral skirt, Topshop heels, Queen’s Wardrobe trench coat, Alexander Wang emile tote, Marc by Marc Jacobs katie bracelet, Mimco starlight necklace

So speaking of basic wardrobe pieces recently, here is one of mine – a lightweight beige trench coat which I picked up from Queen’s Wardrobe, simple with a twist, in the detailing on the shoulders. For some reason, I spent a long time thinking that a trench coat was just one of those classics that I don’t need, but recently, I’ve found that it’s often what I throw on just as I’m about to leave the house. You never know what the weather is going to do in Wellington so it always pays to play it safe.

Generally, I’ve found that lately I’m just keeping it simple and fuss-free, partly due to the warmer weather, it always inspires a less structured approach to getting ready. An almost too simple top, and a floaty skirt being quite possibly the easiest things to reach for considering my fondness for separates. This skirt, while familiar, is actually the result of a swap with a friend, to try it out in a slightly different style. Not something that I do often, but it sure is a fun way to give your wardrobe a momentary update!

Down by the waterfront

Country Rd breton stripe top, ASOS trumpet hem skirt, Whistles leather jacket, Charlotte Olympia kitty flats, Alexander Wang emile tote, Marc by Marc Jacobs katie bracelet, Karen Walker sunglasses

Over the weekend we were blessed with stunning weather, which is hopefully a glimpse of what is to come during the Christmas break. These are the types of weekends that I believe are best spent part exploring and part relaxing, with my curiosity about the Hobbit festival getting the better of me.

Never one to miss an opportunity to wear a) stripes and b) my kitty flats, it is probably little of a surprise that I wore them both in tandem, yet again. The two in combination seem to be becoming a habit, or an subconscious uniform to which I adhere on a regular basis. It’s either that, or I can’t stop myself from reaching for my daily favourites. What are yours?

Getting ahead

Karen Walker dress, Glassons cardigan, Beau Coop x KW shoes, Country Rd socks, Alexander Wang devere bag, Cheap Monday ring, Marc by Marc Jacobs katie bracelet

I have always been a sucker for sales. Always. There is something thrilling about nabbing a purchase for an absolute bargain, and even better if it’s something that you have been wanting to buy for some time. With the Thanksgiving break in the US (Happy Thanksgiving!), come the Black Friday sales, and inevitably, at least for me, a purchase or two.

Some, but of course not all, of my most beloved items in my wardrobe have been a result of a successful sale purchase. Like the dress and the shoes I’m wearing – bought on a whim during sale time, yet have more staying power in my wardrobe than some of my planned purchases. Case in point that you never know if something is going to work for you until you buy it and take it home. You might initially be certain, or very sure, but this can quickly fade, as I have learnt time and time again.

Anyway, I was pretty quick to jump at the opportunity of nabbing some much-needed sweaters, gloves and pajamas from the various sales, as well as pulling the trigger on THIS black swimsuit from ASOS. I also managed to get a little bit of my Christmas shopping out of the way, which means less stress for me in the lead up to December 25. Talk about forward planning, I know, but it never hurts to be prepared.

Key wardrobe pieces

Isabel Marant Etoile singlet, T by Alexander Wang t-shirt, LOCAL breton top, J Brand skinny leg jeans, Burberry trench coat, Helmut Lang blazer, T by Alexander Wang leather skirt, Topshop shoes

Over time, key pieces or what you would consider classics are bound to change, but for me there are always a few key things which seem to have staying power that others might lack. It wouldn’t surprise me if I’ve mentioned wardrobe staples, or classics in a past blog post. The backbone of every wardrobe is always supported by a few key pieces; you know, the ones that you reach for the most, and that seem to go with virtually everything. Key pieces vary from person to person depending on their style and what they favor, but I think there are some pieces that could quite easily find a home in any wardrobe.

The loose-fitting singlet or t-shirt: One of the things that has had a consistent place in my wardrobe over the last 10 years at least, has been a looes-fitting singlet (or t-shirt) in a soft fabric. White, grey, or black, or perhaps all three colours if you are so inclined, this is just one of those things that goes with everything, and is a great base when you start layering in the colder months. After my T by Alexander Wang singlets stretched out at the armholes, I’ve been trying to find a suitable alternative, and am only just getting there on the t-shirt front after recently discovering the soft marle options at Country Rd.

The breton striped top: If you asked me, I would tell you that as far as I’m concerned, stripes go with everything. I’m sure I don’t need to explain why this deserves a place in every girl’s wardrobe, what with the prolific resurgence of the breton the past year, the top which just oozes Parisian chic. ‘Cos, you know, those Parisian girls always look so darn good, and so effortless at the same time.

The tailored blazer: More often that not when I’m ‘finishing’ my look, I opt to throw on a blazer, which, when well-tailored, has the ability to instantly escalate any outfit. The result is always polished and refined, even if you choose to wear jeans. My current favourite from Helmut Lang, which I purchased in LA last year has been worn countless times, and I can’t really imagine my wardrobe without it.

The leather skirt: Probably not everyone’s cup of tea, but I’m convinced that there is a style out there for everyone. I’m still hunting down my “perfect” ideal leather skirt, high-waisted and sits an inch above the knee, and I am of course ever hopeful that I will stumble across it soon. I think the leather skirt has gotten a bad rap in the past, but it is essentially a timeless piece, and can quite easily be toned down with a soft blouse or an oversized jumper, and depending on the style you choose, go with virtually everything.

The perfect ‘XX’ jean: For a long time, I just didn’t wear jeans. Nor did I wear trousers for that matter. Winter consisted of me wearing thick tights and either a skirt+jumper combo or a dress – I think I was going through a period where I wanted to focus on my more feminine/girly side. I also once proclaimed that I would never wear skinny jeans, which have over the years become my jean of choice. Jeans get a place on the list because they are just one of those things that you can throw on and do virtually anything in – from going for a walk, to running errands, to going out dancing at night after throwing on a nice top and some heels.

The trench coat: The trench is one of those items that seems to top off every list of classic pieces for your wardrobe, and until recently, was one of those things that I felt rather indifferent about. Then Spring happened, and I realised that a light coat was the perfect antidote to those days where a winter coat is too heavy, and a jacket just didn’t seem quite right. My own personal preference is in a classic beige/camel tone, although a trench in navy or a dark khaki is equally stunning.

A pair of black shoes: With or without a heel. There’s that saying, that black goes with everything, and while I find that there are often exceptions, this is never true when it comes to the black shoe. Depending on your style, you might prefer a flat ankle boot, ballet slippers, loafers or chelsea boots, but invariably these tend to be one of the major workhorses of every girl’s wardrobe. I’ve upped my quota this year, where I once had perhaps one (if that) pair of black flats, I now have two or three, with plans for another, as regardless of climate, they can easily be worn year round. And if not black, I tend to go for navy, which is just as classic as it is versatile.

What I like most about any one of these pieces is that not only could you pull one out and quite simply make any number of outfits from what you have lying about in your wardrobe, together they also form a small capsule wardrobe which work together seamlessly.

My reality of key pieces extends a little bit further than this short list, but I think that’s where the variations in style tend to present themselves more. Do these register for you as key pieces or is your own list a little different?

PS. As an aside, if you haven’t checked it out already, you may be interested to know that Shopbop have a discount code (BIGEVENT12) running where you can get a minimum of 20% off any order over $250 USD. I have to admit, I have definitely been tempted, especially with all the new sale additions!