Freshers week is here (I hope everybody enjoys themselves!) and the new school/college terms are well underway. I’m in an interesting position in my life right now between these two worlds – I’m a uni student, but as I’m a little older I also have a lot of friends who are mums. It occurred to me that these very different groups of people face some of the same challenges when it comes to dressing for the everyday (albeit for very different reasons!) – lack of time and money, the need for pieces that are comfortable to wear whilst still feeling stylish. After doing a bit of research amongst my mummy friends and student buddies (thank you to all who helped) I discovered I’ve hit the nail on the head with this theory! So I’m doing a series of posts that amalgamate the two…hopefully you’ll enjoy and find them helpful! (I feel compelled to point out that on this occasion the sunnies are not a fashion statement – sadly they were an essential as I had a splitting headache and the light hurt my eyes. Boo!)
Photos taken on St Andrews Quay, Hull (City of Culture 2017)
A Decent Shirt
This is such a helpful piece – it can be worn on its own or open over a vest as another layer. The dark colours/print will hide a lot of marks (beer/coffee/food) and the fabric is soft so is comfy and moves/washes well. This one is an oversized style so I’m wearing it baggy as intended, but it could just as easily be tucked in or tied up if you wanted to create a slimmer silhouette and not feel like you’re getting lost in it. Another interesting feature is that it has popper fastenings so can be undone easily if you have a baby and are breast feeding (an excellent point that my friend Kerrie made this morning) If you have a curvier figure (as I do) and prefer to highlight this a little more you could go for a more fitted style in a similar print and still hit the same style mark. I have a couple that are more fitted as well (see below) that I also wear with skirts and trousers – the denim one in particular is very versatile and can be dressed up and down.
The best places I’ve found for quality and choice have to be New Look (http://www.newlook.com/shop/womens/tops/shirts-blouses/_/N-9wfZcfi#results) and River Island (http://www.riverisland.com/women/tops?f_parent_category_names=098a3a28-ef78-42e7-ab7e-108818f2a717) which is where my red and blue check one is from. RI versions are a little more expensive than NL, this was £28, but if you wear it a lot then it’s probably worth it. NL also offer student discount (which will probably go up to 20/25% if you can hang on until the start of Oct, aka first drop of your loan) so you can bag a bigger bargain and maybe buy an extra item!
Don’t let the name scare you! This is possibly the pair that flatters the most people believe it or not. As you’ve read in previous posts, jeans are not usually my friend, so these babies are actually my Eden jeggings by Dorothy Perkins (http://www.dorothyperkins.com/en/dpuk/category/clothing-203535/jeans-203564?cat1=208600&cat2=208655?intnav=clothing-supercat_52_d04_expand_style_Jeans#pageSize=20&catalogId=33053&viewAllFlag=false&sort_field=Relevance&langId=-1&beginIndex=1&storeId=12552&parent_categoryId=208600&categoryId=208655&refinements=category~%5B720994|208655]&noOfRefinements=1). YOU ALL NEED AT LEAST 1 PAIR OF THESE IN YOUR LIFE. Seriously! They’re ridiculously comfy, keep their shape after washing, don’t really need much of an iron, flatter your waist AND hips, don’t have that thick denim waistband that digs in and gives you dodgy marks on your stomach, come in lots of colours, are available in leg length S/R/L aaaaaaannnnnndddddd……they’re a bargain!! DP do student discount (which also usually goes up soon) and often have really great offers throughout the year of up to 30% off so you can get them even cheaper (I usually pay less than £20 for mine with just 10% off). If you only get one colour, get black. They’ll go with everything and can be worn for pretty much anything. Wearing a skinny bottom also means that you can wear a baggier/oversized top half if you wanted and not look bigger as I’ve done, this is always something I think about being a curvy girl. I currently have 3 pairs of these in my A/W wardrobe (see below). I’m 5ft 3.5ins and go for the S length and they stop nicely at my ankle. The blue pair are R length which are a teeny bit long, but I roll those up at the bottom which gives them a different look (1 that DP are also championing in their Style Essentials campaign)
A Decent Pair of Boots
I’ve developed a bit of a boot obsession in recent times! I think you can just pick a really decent pair that’ll go with everything and they will see you through A/W so would usually say buy the best pair you can afford. However this year that’s gone to pot! This pair are sensible to me because they have a block heel and the cleated texture is both on trend and will give a bit of grip on uneven surfaces (the park perhaps?). Black will go with practically everything and the ankle style means I can wear them with dresses too. This pair are from Primark and were a bargain £15! If you look through previous posts you’ll see the rest of my boot collection – black wide ankle boots with a white heel (New Look), mid calf quilted biker style (Matalan), cut out ankle boots (New Look), cream canvas cleated ankle boots (Matalan) and my shoe boots (Primark). I used to spend a lot of boots but found I was forever getting them repaired as went for a smaller heel, I think a wider heel is more sensible and cost effective overall now. I don’t own any boots higher than mid calf – this is because like a lot of ladies, despite the fact that my calves are very slender, I cannot get boots to go round them! So, as with jeans, these are currently off the table.
So these are the first 3 items of your essential wardrobe – they can be mixed and matched, purchased in whatever style you like, for whatever budget suits you, worn however you please. You can literally just pick these pieces up, throw them on and look effortlessly stylish yet casual. The holy grail!
So what do you think, would you wear something similar? And what colours/prints would you opt for? Get in touch and let me know, I enjoy hearing about other people’s style! It feeds my addiction so kind of keeps me alive….hehe