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The Fashion Memo

How to create the ultimate capsule wardrobe

Essentials, basics, wardrobe fail-safes… Whatever you call them, these nine key pieces are the unshakeable foundations of any look


The new jean shape

After what seems like a lifetime, skinny jeans have officially lost their stranglehold on your closet – high-waisted, wide-leg styles are the designs in demand. Cool and universally flattering, retro-inspired jeans by the likes of denim masters Goldsign, Agolde and Rag & Bone will put a different spin on your off-duty look. Pair with second-skin knits or play with proportions (and tick off two trends in one) by adding statement sleeves. Minimal effort, maximum impact? It’s all down to good jeans.

Wide-leg jeans make the cut for fashion stars Annina Mislin and Pernille Teisbaek
Chloé’s new ‘C’ bag was debuted at the label’s SS19 runway show

A crossbody bag

Every now and then, a bag comes along that boasts both the immediate appeal that makes it, well, ‘it’, and a simplicity that ensures it’ll stand the test of time. Bijou yet practical, a great crossbody bag ticks every box. Signature, yet refreshingly modern, styles by the likes of Chloé, Wandler, Gucci and The Row aren’t just ultra-covetable, they will also work with (and improve) every look in your existing closet. Fashion magic.

Everyday embellishment

The modern way to wear jewelry? In abundance and with aplomb – why save your stones for a rainy day when a delicate dusting will take even the most understated of outfits to another level? Take inspiration from French fashion consultant Camille Charrière and elevate a simple sweater with a coin necklace, or try Margaret Zhang’s trick of using gold hoops to brighten up jet-lagged skin. As for high-ticket items like diamonds and classic-luxe watches, don’t let them languish in your jewelry box; these envy-inducing pieces were made to be worn – and admired.

Make hoop earrings part of your everyday uniform, like Margaret Zhang and Camille Charrière
Trench, shearling or puffer – you can’t go wrong with one of these coats

A fail-safe coat

Brooklyn-based creative and star of our 2018 best-dressed list Vanessa Hong is a self-confessed outerwear addict. She’s a firm believer that a great trench or shearling coat will stand the test of time, growing with you as your style evolves, and we’d have to agree. In addition to her chic picks, we’d also add a sumptuous woolen coat and puffer jacket, which is quickly becoming a modern classic, to your list of essential styles.

Longline, oversized blazers are a favorite for fashion director Julie Pelipas

A blazer

In an age when Silicon Valley’s biggest power players wear hoodies to work, it was inevitable that the lines between on- and off-duty style would begin to blur. Case in point? The blazer’s transition from corporate classic to closet essential. Uber-cool stylists Alexandra Carl and Julie Pelipas favor oversized cuts, but look to Saint Laurent for a quintessential Le Smoking or up-and-coming labels Petar Petrov and Anna Quan for cinched styles. Pair with blue denim for a truly modern hi/low mix.

A cashmere turtleneck

Contrary to everything you’ve been told, cashmere does not need to be dry-cleaned. In fact, even if your washing machine doesn’t have a hand-wash setting, you can simply pop your woolens into a pillowcase and a cold wash will do the job. Meaning, invest in a super-chic cashmere sweater now and you’ll wear it on repeat for years to come; turtlenecks in muted tones will never date. Top tip: add a drop of baby shampoo to the washing machine drum for extra softness.

A neutral knit will work with everything from bold prints to faded denim
Step up your sneaker game with the season’s retro-inspired stacked styles

Stacked sneakers

A lot can change in a year. When Balenciaga launched its cult Triple S sneaker in fall 2017, they were considered to be so directional that only the savviest of dressers would dare to wear them. Flash-forward to now and the ‘ugly’ sneaker has become a bona fide closet essential. Minimal designs have been tossed aside in favor of chunky, stacked, technical styles and every label from Fendi to Chloé is getting in on the game. Get your kicks.

A silk slip dress

One of those magical pieces that can go from off-duty to high-octane with a simple accessory switch-up, the wear-with-anything properties of a slip dress should not be underestimated. The trick to finding a forever piece is to opt for silk; it is less prone to creasing, which means you can wear it from dawn to dusk. This season, Chloé, Jason Wu and Orseund Iris have debuted covetable designs in a bevy of blush, black and scarlet tones. Pair yours with chunky knits and barely-there sandals for leisurely days that stretch into long nights.

Make a slip work for day with a cozy yet cool cardigan
Cowboy boots are set to remain on fashion’s frontier for SS19

Cowboy boots

Yes, really. In recent seasons cowboy boots have gone from outré choice to veritable closet essential. The perfect complement to everything from blue denim to micro-mini dresses, they’re a fail-safe footwear style that’s full of personality. Whether you gravitate towards Chloé’s modern snake-print styles or Ganni’s traditional two-tone boots, you’ll find yourself wondering what you wore 24/7 before. Not your first time at the rodeo? Take your styling cues from the catwalk and go full-on gaucho by finishing Isabel Marant’s suede show-stoppers with a belted blanket coat.

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