Walking around Amsterdam last weekend (I love going back there), it dawned on me – it’s one of those cities where 99% of the people surrounding you are ridiculously well dressed. Like they just fell out of bed into a pile of cool. I’m talking about the clothes, the accessories, the haircuts (this does not go out to the boys with gel combovers – sorry but not sorry, it’s a turnoff); bref, their overall image and how nonchalant they are about it.
And it got me thinking. I could say the same thing about Stockholm. And London. And Paris (well, partially). How come some cities are just that much more stylish (this word makes me cringe) than others? Despite the wide array of looks out there – some more universal than others – how can a city just look so… good (and I’m not talking about the architecture here)? No wonder all of the above-mentioned cities are a regular feature on my beloved street style blogs.
Whilst I have an unhealthy addiction to various magazines and fashion blogs, I mainly draw my inspiration from friends and street style (either when I’m lucky enough to travel somewhere, or just during my Sunday morning blog browsing), and over the years my personal style has been greatly affected by it. I may have gone through fashun phases (some bold, some regrettable, and some pure ridiculous), but some items have become staples I will always stay true to throughout my life (what a statement, coming from a twentysomething).
So without further ado, here are my Essentials (notice the capital E); the things I cannot live without, nor do I believe most people should live without.
With no particular order in the numbering, let me walk you through my reasoning.
1. A good leather jacket is always a wise investment. Perfect addition to both casual wear, as well as added on a nice dress when heading out, you just feel Danny Zuko cool (minus the butt chin). This particular jacket is by Selected.
2. A black coat. Effortless and works with everything; much like owning a little black dress, I believe women should have a little black coat. Well, maybe not that little, but you get my point. I hate boring, office-y pieces, and that’s exactly why I fell in love with this coat from Version Originale. It’s oversized and somewhat masculine, so of course when I saw it in Galeries Lafayette, I had to buy it.
3. A stripy Breton top. Actually anything with stripes gets a thumbs up from me. I once complained to a friend (and shopping champion) that I have a disease and purchase too many stripy items (I think it’s genetic, as my mother also loves stripes), upon which she made sure I wouldn’t buy any such things when out with her. A few irritated shopping trips later, I declared forfeit and told myself it’s idiotic to ignore a love affair that’s quite surely meant to be. I sincerely believe one cannot have too many stripes in their closet.
4. Black. Skinny. Jeans. Self-explanatory, really. They work with absolutely anything and shape your legs very nicely. It may sound bizarre, but I find it really hard to pull off jeans in any other colour. Life solution: only invest in dark skinny jeans.
5. Classic high-top Converses, in both black and white. I have always loved white sneakers, and once even had white brogues (dear brogues, I still mourn for you), but I crossed over to the dark side when I saw one of my Swedish friends (who’s style I always admire) wear black high-top Converses. Needless to say, the next day I bought a new pair shoes, and you can guess what they were. I wear both pairs with everything; ranging from office wear, pulling off a skinny jeans, white top and blazer combo, to nights out with dresses (my friend, once celebrating his birthday in a lavish club, awkwardly asked me to make sure I didn’t wear Converses but lady shoes – says a lot about me).
6. In terms of sunglasses, there can only be one – Ray-Ban’s. I started off with Aviator’s (back in my cool days) and have now adopted Wayfarer’s. My favourite pair is the oversized tortoiseshell, which I unfortunately lost during a surf trip, but I substituted them with foldable mirror Wayfarer’s (each time I unfold them and put them on, I feel like MacGyver).
7. I’m not very big on bracelets and necklaces. In fact, I overly rely on accessorizing through rings. Nevertheless, I do believe in a good golden watch – sleek but chic, Casio watches are always a wise idea.
8. Pearl earrings. Every girl’s friend.
9. Wearing lipstick is a rather new adventure for me, as I have been subconscious about my big lips and usually don’t wear a lot of make up. Yet last year, when browsing through the duty-free in Charles de Gaulle airport with friends, my friend (rat shout out, Lisa) made me try it on, and convinced me to buy it. To this day, I believe the Rouge Pur Couture by YSL was a life changing purchase (it’s essentially femininity on a stick, and for 25 odd euros it’s a bargain).
10. A statement handbag, that goes with everything. Now, friends of mine know I am a relatively fuss-free shopper, stocking up in H&M and Zara most of the time. However, when it comes to handbags, my credit card gets scared. To this day, the bag I am most proud of owning and feel super protective over is the white Louis Vuitton Neverfull MM. Amen.
11. Whilst I am no fan of fake nails and strange salon manicures, I do feel that bare nails can be a little sad sometimes. My main go-to colours are red and black (which unfortunately does not stop me experimenting with other colours that clearly do not suit me), as they easily suit anything you may wear.
Well, this has certainly been a materialistic post. What are your thoughts, dear reader – do we share the same style staples? If not, what are your go-to-items?