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    Dressing Room Diaries

    The setting might be a little different, but our desire is the same: to search high and low for the smartest sartorial buys out there. 

    Edited by Laura & Petro Words by Brooke Le Poer Trench

    Last year, we hit the shops to find great-quality wardrobe staples. This year, we adapted our treasure-hunting and searched our favourite sites to find essentials that ticked all our boxes: beautiful fabrics, thoughtful design, stylish details and an entry-level price tag. We have found pieces with those timeless qualities that we believe make them keepers. They are special enough to love now, but minimal and classic enough to work for many seasons to come. And, if we may say so ourselves, it might be our best haul to date!

    THE PRINTED SKIRT

     

    “I know I shouldn’t play favourites, but my love for Ulla Johnson is real! This skirt might be a season or two old, but her pieces are so timeless and prints so beautiful, it really doesn’t matter. I love the cinched-in sash waist and full skirt. I’m wearing it with some other great finds: this puffed-sleeved shirt from Mango has a lovely textured fabric, while the bag from Iris & Ink is the perfect size for my weekday juggle. The leather is incredibly soft, too. Also, please note my old Swedish clogs, which I am still wearing many (many) years later!”

    THE IN-BETWEEN JACKET

     

    “I’ve often found that the high street is a great place to find in-between jackets, like this knitted one from Jigsaw. I love that it makes this casual outfit look polished. And when you’re embracing spring outfits, but the weather hasn’t quite caught up, this is the staple you’ll reach for again and again. I’m wearing it with denim culottes from Boden (I recommend sizing down) and a fab cut-out Ganni T-shirt, which has a great sleeve length.”   

    THE EVERYDAY DRESS

     

    “I absolutely love the way this & Other Stories dress falls. The cut-outs are subtle, and even though it’s open at the back, you can get away with wearing a T-shirt bra. The puffed sleeves are elegant and it’s super-comfortable to wear. It’s quite fitted at the front, so I sized up to get the most flattering look. I added sandals from & Other Stories, too, which are so comfortable and look great. To finish, the Aranáz beaded bag gives the whole look a slightly more summery vibe.”  

     

     

    THE PASTEL BLOUSE

     

    “This is one of my favourite looks on the page. It’s a very pale lilac, with amazingly intricate detailing on the sleeves and the front panel. For me, though, it’s the excellent fit that makes it feel like a luxury buy. I’m wearing it with another Outnet find – an amazing pair of Ulla Johnson jeans – and the shoes I’ve been living in this spring, from Jigsaw. It’s a really comfortable outfit that you’ll be seeing me wearing a lot in the coming months!” 

    THE DENIM PLAYSUIT

     

    “One of the things I love about The Outnet is that it gives me access to brands that I sometimes can’t afford at full-price. Case in point: this great Current Elliot jumpsuit. I love the short length, longer sleeves and washed-denim finish – it’s a perfectly balanced look. This has already become a hard-working weekend staple for me, but I’d just as soon wear it to a casual meeting during the work week, too.”

    THE SKIRT CO-ORD

     

    “So many of you have already bought this amazing & Other Stories co-ord. It comes in a fresh white, but I chose this bright tangerine. What a great buy! The cropped top is so flattering, and I love the skirt’s wrap-sash and super-deep pockets. The fabric is a soft, very good-quality linen. So, if you haven’t invested in a co-ord yet, this is a great way to tap into the trend at a smart price.” 

    THE BRIGHT MAXI 

     

    “This apple green maxi dress caught my eye immediately. The colour is so fresh and vibrant, and the fabric is heavy and not see-through at all, which can sometimes be a let-down with high-street buys. I also love a bit of a ’70s vibe, so the empire-line and floaty, cuffed sleeves are great. I’ll be dressing it down with New Balance trainers, which are ‘Dad’ trainers without being too bulky. Finally, this Reiss clutch is a new spring staple of mine – it honestly looks and feels like a luxury buy.”  

    THE MODERN STRIPE 

     

    “Some of you may remember a collection from Chloé a really long time ago that featured collarless shirts with these off-centre stripes. When I found this on the Reiss website, it reminded me of that collection, which I loved but didn’t invest in at the time. The fabric is lovely and light, almost gauzy, and I love a stripe in emerald green. It’s the perfect casual summer piece to throw on with denim shorts, chinos or a skirt.” 

    THE GROWN-UP DUNGAREES

     

    “For years, Laura has been trying to get me into a pair of dungarees and I have resisted, insisting they make me feel like a toddler. Well, this spring, I have caved, and I have to say, I now see what all the fuss is about. This pair, from Boden, have just enough stretch to be really comfortable and are fitted enough to be flattering. I’ve teamed them with a great oversized linen shirt from Reiss and some fun, raffia slides.”

    THE UTILITY PLAYSUIT

     

    “Now that summer is almost here, what could be easier than a playsuit? This one, by J Brand, brings a few of my most-loved warm-weather staples together in one piece: the chino, jumpsuit and shorts. And it’s just so easy to style. I’ve been wearing it with Birkenstocks during the work week and then trainers at the weekend. The fit around the body is great – it’s not too short, which can sometimes be an issue. A spring/summer hero.” 

    THE POLISHED JUMPSUIT

     

    “I have been surprised by how much I love wearing this linen jumpsuit, mostly because I usually gravitate towards jeans or chinos. This all-in-one is a bit of a game-changer for my work wardrobe. I love the sleeve length and slightly cropped, wide-leg pant, which makes it look more like a designer buy. I added a pair of Reiss sandals in white to give it a more contemporary edge. And also, let’s not forget the high-street buy I’m obsessed with: an oversized basket bag from ARKET that fits the whole world in it.” 

    THE DENIM DRESS

     

    “This is a great example of a high-street gem. It’s from Monsoon! And the reason the dress works so well is because of the way all the design details come together: the tiered skirt, sash, longer puffed-sleeves, elasticated waist, and fabric, which is a soft-feeling denim in a lovely blue. Styling it was easy: clogs and a basket bag got the job done, but I couldn’t resist adding a Marzoline headband, because I love them so much for spring.” 

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