Fashion | September 4th 2017

5 Wardrobe essentials I discovered in my 20s

Wardrobe essentials are not something we’re born knowing about. In fact, it can take decades of dedication to perfect your own personal style, and the journey can be fraught with fashion faux pas. Kristabel Plummer of IWantYouToKnow is here to share her style history…

“Hands up if you had a footless tights and ridiculous heels phase in 2007?  Join the club. The main reason for all these style-related reflections is because I recently turned the big 3-0 and realised that I’ve been on a bit of a journey.

wardrobe essentials

My twentysomething years started with me feeling pretty fearless and wanting to try every trend going.  I’d get a little too excited about my student loan and buy something new during each shift at my retail job regardless of whether it actually fit properly.  The reason?  I was determined to make it crystal clear that I was a fashion student and would sometimes force myself to wear things that I didn’t feel comfortable in.

Now things are a little more chilled.  I feel as if I have nothing to prove and prefer to make considered purchases that can be worn in multiple situations.  Not everything has to be all singing and all dancing.  I’ve grown to love items that I previously wouldn’t have touched with a barge pole and consigned others to the ‘Gone But Not Forgotten’ category (such as the white miniskirt that was a bit like a belt).

Wardrobe essentials: Kristabel’s key pieces

Here’s a few of the items I’ve discovered throughout my defining decade, which I hope to still be wearing in years to come.

Age 20 – Leather jacket

This was probably my most sensible purchase with my student loan, a leather jacket that I bought for £75 and have worn solidly for the last ten years.  Even though I’m tempted to update it with something from Whistles or All Saints, I can’t see myself every throwing it out.  They get deliciously soft with age and look great with pretty dresses or structured jumpsuits.

All Saints Leather Biker Jacket £318 at John Lewis

Whistles Cara Clean Leather Crop Jacket £330 at ASOS

Age 23 – Skater dresses

All hail the skater dress!  My love for this shape evolved from the retro 50s styles I’d wear throughout my teenage years, but now there can be a little more variation with sleeves and unusual patterns.  I like how they even out my proportions and Mango have added clever details to this design, like fluted sleeves and unfussy bows.  Perfect for all year round.

Bow Printed Dress £29.99 at Mango

Age 24 – Quirky knits

Even though I used to work as a knitwear designer, most of my own jumpers and cardigans tended to be a bit plain.  Fortunately quirky jumpers started to make an appearance on the catwalks and I started to wear bits that seemed reminiscent of my own colourful graduate collection.  For this season I can’t decide between this cute nautical Mango style or this pastel masterpiece from ASOS.  They look great with denim or leather skirts.

Ruffle Striped Sweater £25.99 at Mango

Jumper with Multi Stripe and Fluted Sleeves £25 at ASOS

Age 27 – Jumpsuits

This is probably the item that’s taken me the longest to get on board with.  You have to be pretty patient when buying a jumpsuit as 9 times out of 10, the proportions are just wrong.  I tend to find most of mine from ASOS or Warehouse, for some reason their cuts suit me and even out my #shorttorsoproblems.  Layer a poloneck underneath for when the weather turns.

Warehouse Iris Print Jumpsuit £52 at John Lewis

Age 28 – Embroidery

My embroidery obsession probably coincided with spotting the intricate designs at Valentino and wanting to achieve the same look on a High Street budget.  ASOS and River Island have always been my go-to for this trend, they seem to produce an array of tops and dresses that can be worn in so many different situations.  This skater dress has a clever little panel at the back to accentuate the waist and will be great for Christmas party season.”

September 4th 2017 - by @CollectPlus