Ever feel like you have a wardrobe full of clothes but have nothing to wear? Preach, right?! It seems like it’s a universal problem and was a leading motivator for this blog. This is the first blog post in a blog series that combines the yin and yang of your wardrobe to make a harmonious union of clothes. Water and Wine Wardrobe is not just a name, it’s my wardrobe philosophy. I bet quite a few of you have been wondering why the hell this girl has named her fashion blog after beverages or you may have just gotten lost on your google search for religious enlightenment and think I might have the answers for turning water into wine. Either way, allow me to explain.
As human beings, we require water above all else to survive. I believe that the ‘water’ for your wardrobe is excellent quality basic pieces. By “basic”, I don’t mean “Girl, you’re basic.”, I mean core essential garments that are simple in design and therefore, coordinate with everything else in your wardrobe. This may differ depending on your lifestyle, but generally these are pieces which include; a good pair of jeans, a leather jacket, cami’s, an LBD, a blazer and a plain t-shirt. They are versatile and hence, very useful. These items are the most thirst quenching for your wardrobe when they are in neutral colours like black, white or beige monochrome. Your body is about 60% water, i believe your wardrobe should be about 60% basics.
Now for the wine. I wish I could pour you a glass to go with that line, but alas… Wine or any alcohol for that matter, is something that is to be consumed in moderation for a healthy lifestyle. However, as we all know, you plan for a quiet night in and whoops you’re drunk and busting some questionable dance moves at a questionable pub. For my analogy, trend pieces are the ‘wine’ of your wardrobe. Items that are specific to the “hot” look of the season but will make their way to the sale rack as quickly as they arrived. Think colour blocking and jeggings, remember the jean and legging hybrid? Sorry for the graphic flash back, it’s enough to induce the nausea of a fashion hangover (see what I did there?). ‘Wine’ pieces include anything that is outside your regular fashion choices.
This obviously varies from person to person, but my rule of thumb is anything that doesn’t easily go with everything else in your wardrobe. Like wine, these pieces need to be added to your wardrobe in moderation. See where I’m going with this? It’s all about having the correct balance of ‘water’ and ‘wine’ in life and in your wardrobe.
So, if you answered yes to my first question and you have a wardrobe full of clothes but never have anything to wear, my prognosis is that your wardrobe is drunk because you have too many trend pieces. You need to give it some hydration with some basic pieces, so it can sober up and start working for you effectively. However, the problem can also go the other way. Your wardrobe can be too hydrated and is always the designated driver dressed in jeans and a t-shirt. Good news for you, it’s time to have a glass of wine or two, cheers!
So now that the long-winded intro/explanation is over, it’s time to get into the first episode. In each episode I will be selecting one ‘water’ and one ‘wine’ item and delving into why they belong in their categories and a few tips on how to style them. Anyway, let’s get started and you’ll get the idea. The first basic that I have chosen is the most obvious. The plain white t-shirt. If you don’t have this essential, your wardrobe is very drunk and might need an IV drip. Ok, so I am being a little dramatic, but this unassuming garment is one of the most useful tools in your fashion arsenal.
For it to be a true basic, it can’t have any logos or cut outs or any other quirky design features. Just virgin white with preferably a crew-neck neckline (say that three times fast). For a white t-shirt to be Hayley approved, it also needs to be at least 95% cotton. You’ll find that it’s the most durable, comfortable and appropriate fabric choice for this garment. It’s worth spending the extra time checking the labels and spending the extra coin on your ‘water’ pieces as you will be getting the wear out of them.
Now to address the elephant in the room with said white t-shirts…the see-through issue. If you are planning on entering any white t-shirt competitions, I can’t help you, but for everyday wear, the nude bra is your best friend. I am yet to find a white t-shirt that can stand up to a black bra, I’m working on it though so watch this space. Obviously, some are better than others, the ones I would recommend currently are the AS Colour Maple Tee from The Iconic, the Hanes X Karla tee from Shopbop and surprisingly K-mart’s basic white t-shirt (go K-mart!). The classic white tee is a classic because it works so well with just a pair of jeans and some style defining accessories for an effortlessly chic look. This we know so I thought I would show you some alternative ways to wear this basic and to show off its versatility.
The first look is achieved by layering a cami over your standard jeans and tee. The layered look creates interest and by putting the white t-shirt under your dressier tops, it transitions them into a more casual outfit. This is why I recommended the crew neck. It works better than other necklines for this trick. The next look is almost the reverse. By knotting your white tee over the top of a dress, it turns your dress into a skirt. This doesn’t work with every dress, just the ones that have a flat, more fitted top half so that you don’t get any extra bulk under the shirt.
See why this is a ‘water’ piece, it makes the rest of your wardrobe a lot more versatile. Pair this look with some sandals and a basket bag and you’ve got a bohemian summer look with items you already have it your wardrobe. For my third trick I’m going to make this shirt disappear (sorry, I couldn’t help myself), no, I’m going to show you how you can dress up a plain white t-shirt. I knotted mine again to make it a bit sexier by showing some skin but that’s optional. You can then pair it with a dressier skirt, I went for a black leather pencil skirt. Throw on some heels and some personal touches, for me that’s a skinny neck tie and a red lip and BAM, that’s how you get ‘drunk’ on ‘water’.
For this episode’s trend, I have chosen the colour combination of the moment, pink and red. A couple of months ago this combination would have been a fashion faux pas, however, the spring and summer 2017/8 runways have spoken and red and pink are now on like Donkey Kong! It’s a bold combo and who’s to say how long it will be acceptable but if you are keen to give it a try, my advice is to find one piece that includes both colours.
You might already have some pink and red items in your wardrobe but the likelihood of them forming an outfit together is slim so keep an eye out for a pink and red shirt or maybe, as I have found, a dress. This slip dress from Bardot has succeeded in making this trend very wearable. The bottom half of the dress is a light pink chiffon fabric which is subtle enough not to compete with the bold red colour. I kept the rest of the outfit quite simple as well, with a matching red purse and nude mules. With this colour combination, adding any other colour would make it too much.
Bonus look for this episode is the white tee layered under the trendy slip dress for a more casual look. I hope this shows you that by having the right balance of ‘water’ and ‘wine’ in your wardrobe, your outfit options are almost endless. It’s a tricky thing to get right, believe me, I’m still working on getting my balance right as well, but we will work on it together throughout this series. If you have any questions or any trends you want me to feature, please leave a comment. Also, I’d love to hear what you think about these pairing, if you gave them a try or if you have any other suggestions that I’ve missed. Show me some love.
Love Hayley xo
Photographer- Adara Neradil