You roll over and flop your limp hand onto your phone’s snooze button; once‐ still one hour to get
ready; twice‐ guess you’re going to look average; thrice no chance of looking decent. When you
finally peel open your eyelids, you realise that you have woken up 34 minutes late. You think, “I’m
screwed”. And so, like countless mornings, you begin the mammoth battle of getting ready in ten
minutes. When you reach your wardrobe the situation worsens. You are not leaving happy with
your look because the first things you grab in your frantic rush are a sparkly midi skirt that hugs you
in all the wrong places (why haven’t you got rid of that yet?) and a short sleeve checkered shirt.
which has shrunk in the dryer and is two sizes too small.
This all too common problem of having ‘nothing to wear’ can be remedied by applying a formula for
a well‐rounded and balanced wardrobe. Michael Kors, a leading New York based fashion designer,
explains this phenomenon well. “70 percent of the clothes you own should be meat and potatoes. 30
percent should be icing and fluff… Too many women get the proportions the other way round, then
can’t figure out why they can’t get dressed.” Fill your wardrobe with the right mix of staples and
trends and you’ll be sure to have an attractive, yet functional collection.
Back to Basics
Basics, must haves, staples‐ these are the building blocks of the perfect wardrobe. They are pieces
you can’t live without, the things that go with everything. Personal stylist Aneesa Page recommends
“spending big dollars on items that will stay the distance”, namely classic and timeless wardrobe
Alison Freer, a costume designer and author of ‘How to Get Dressed: A Costume Designer’s Secrets
for Making Your Clothes Look, Fit, and Feel Amazing’, illustrates this. She used to buy $3.80 Forever
21 t‐shirts which fell apart after about 12 washes, and laughed at her friends who splurged on a
t‐shirt But once she bought a $68 Splendid t‐shirt she has “never looked back since. Splendid’s tees
hold up through dozens of washes, and the loose, swingy cut is the most flattering thing that ever
existed. This alone makes them worth every dime.”
What are some other basics? A leather jacket, ankle boots, skinny jeans, the perfect white tee and a
cardigan will get you started on creating a functional and balanced wardrobe.
The Jacket. A truly great leather jacket can make a dent in your back account, but if you’re willing
and able to invest in one, you won’t regret it. Invest in a black, biker inspired style, or a buttery soft
suede jacket. You’ll wear it with just about everything‐ it works well as a layering piece and adds
some edge to an outfit. Wear it over a dress on a night out for some warmth without compromising
style. It’s effortless ability to make anything look cool makes this spurge worthy piece worth every
The boots. Ankle boots in black or brown with a flat or low block heel are versatile and classic. Like
leather jackets, investing in a real leather pair of ankle boots will last you for years and you’ll find
yourself always wearing them. They are easy to throw on with just about anything in every season.
In winter, cuff black leather ankle boots with jeans in a rich blue wash and in summer, suede booties
in a tan colour will pair well with a floral dress for a festival ready look.
The jeans. Denim has evolved from a symbol of rebellion for teenagers in the 50’s and 60’s into
wardrobe ubiquity. Skinny jeans are a piece of denim which deserve a place in your closet. A rich
blue colour is a good option, as well as darker blue or black wash. They pair well with sneakers or
ankle boots for a casual daytime look, but can just as easily be dressed up with heels and a blouse at
night. Alex Polydorou, assistant manager at Jeanswest Riccarton, explains that a lady came in to buy
jeans, and asked whether these were the jeans she could wear without underwear to avoid visible
The tee. The perfect white t‐shirt is always there, always useful, yet under appreciated. A white tee
isn’t just for a lazy Sunday or to work out in‐ it is the perfect piece to dress down more formal pieces
like blazers, and is just as good half tucked into jeans as it is with a floral A‐line skirt. It’s versatility,
comfort and ability to fit in with everyone’s style arguably makes it the crème de la crème of
The Cardigan. A chunky, oversized cardigan is the perfect item to throw over jeans, trousers, skirts,
and dresses. It’s the ideal piece for summer nights, or for layering under your coat on a crisp winter
morning for extra warmth. Neutral colours like beige or grey are the most flexible as they pair well
with other neutrals and brighter colours.
Trends to Try for Spring Summer 2015/2016
Designer Erin Fetherson recalls her first fashion week experience. “I was an intern at Elle magazine
and someone at the art department was dear enough to make me a copy of an invite to come to the
Calvin Klein show here at Milk studios. I was 19 years old and I basically snuck in. It was my first
time going to a fashion show and it was like all the great models, Amber Valletta, Shalom Harlow and
I just remember being like ‘wow.’”
Fashion week gives designers the opportunity to showcase their collections for the upcoming season
for buyers and the media to take a look at the latest trends. Amidst the rush, elegance and glamour of
fashion week for spring/summer 15/16, three key trends were clear‐ 70’s inspired pieces, obi belts
Electric, hippy, seventies influences are everywhere on the runways of spring/summer 15/16.
Classic seventies silhouettes classics like flares, off the shoulder tops, and long, flowing dresses,
fabrics such as suede and detailing like embroidery and fringe stormed the runways of spring and
summer 15/16. At Gucci, it was about cropped flares in suede fabrics while at Chloe, broderie
detailing and billowing blouses lead the way. Aneesa considers wide leg pants and chunky boho
necklaces to be some of her favourite trends which are part of the 70’s revival. To test the waters
with this trend, look for subtle lace up and crochet detailing. Tone down printed pieces with black,
and try out boho jewellery to add 70’s vibes to your look.
Obi belts, whether it was on dresses, jackets, vests, pants were wildly popular on the upcoming
season’s runways. Tied loosely around the waist, they are ultra‐flattering as they cinch in at the
waist and tie an outfit together‐ literally. To pull off the look with the least amount of effort, look for
bottoms that already have a wrap or tie built in. Pieces with miniature and subtle belts are the most
Thought sportswear was just for the gym? Think again. Designers Jasper Conran and Topshop
Unique featured this trend on their runways. To incorporate this trend into your wardrobe, avoid
wearing actual hoodies and track pants. Instead, look for pieces made of athletic materials, such as
mesh, jersey and neoprene. If you’re afraid of this trend, the easiest way to try it out is through white
sneakers; try brands such as Nike and Adidas.
The Right Way to Organise your Wardrobe
Key to organising your wardrobe is keeping it trim. To keep track of what clothes you actually do
and don’t wear, hang them up backwards. After you wear each piece, hang it back up normally and
after a few months you’ll be able to see what you need to get rid of. This technique is effective since
we aren’t always honest about what we do and don’t wear. Andrea Rapke, a wardrobe organisation
expert and founder of The Organized Move advises “clients to donate anything they haven’t worn in
more than two years that has no intrinsic value. Also, if it’s two sizes too small or two sizes too big,
get rid of it. It’s time to buy new clothes.”
Furthermore, Andrea explains that you should store your most used items at eye level, the items you
wear sometimes down below and the items you use least up high. This way, the items you always
reach for will be easy for you to grab and you won’t have to hunt for them up high or down low.
If you have a wardrobe which is very colourful, colour coding your wardrobe may be a good way to
organise it. However, if you have a wardrobe full of neutral colours, it may be better to organise
your wardrobe by the item of clothing, by occasion or by outfit. Find out what works for your
wardrobe and stick with it.
Every time you buy new clothes or when you put your clothes back after they’ve been in the wash
put them in their rightful place and not just anywhere in your closet.
Dr Melanie Wilson, a psychologist, describes how she struggled with an unorganised wardrobe:
“Clothes piled up on my closet floor because I hated how long it took me to put them away. When
they were put away, I couldn’t find what I wanted because my closet was stuffed with clothes.” She
then organised her wardrobe by outfit and now knows that she can “walk in and grab an outfit that
[she] already know[s] looks great.”
Despite the fact that you’ve woken up late, heading to your wardrobe now doesn’t worry you like it
did before‐ your wardrobe is organised, neat and balanced. You pull out a white off the shoulder
blouse (70’s revival) and pair it with dark wash skinny jeans and tan booties (wardrobe staples).
You throw a black bag over your shoulder and head out the door, looking effortless and stylish.