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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

Lend a nonchalant vibe to your look with a longline, oversized blazer

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. 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.


Kitten heels

From The Row’s cult favorite Bare sandals to Prada’s vintage-feel mules and slingback styles by Jimmy Choo, this season’s kitten heels were heaven-sent to keep us looking and feeling polished while still being able to stride around the city in comfort. Wear them with tailored pants and midi skirts in the office and raw-hem jeans at the weekend.

Follow Olivia Palermo and Linda Tol’s lead and choose kitten heels for comfort and style

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 Chiara Ferragni and elevate a simple sweater with a selection of layered chokers and pendants plus a pair of chunky hoop earrings. 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 Chiara Ferragni
Loewe’s cult Gate bag is a favorite of editors and stylists, including Leonie Hanne

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, Loewe, Gucci and The Row aren’t just ultra-covetable, they will also work with (and improve) every look in your existing closet. Fashion magic.

A cashmere knit

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 – Spanish influencer Gala González even counts cashmere as a vacation essential. 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
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 coat 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.

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
Step up your sneaker game with the season’s retro-inspired stacked styles

Stacked sneakers

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 slip dress has wear-with-anything properties that 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

The perfect complement to everything from blue denim to micro-mini dresses, cowboy boots are a fail-safe footwear style that’s full of personality. Whether you gravitate towards Chloé’s modern snake-print styles or Isabel Marant’s suede 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.

The people featured in this story are not associated with NET-A-PORTER and do not endorse it or the products shown.