If I haven’t gone on about it for long enough, I’m 30 now! It’s been two weeks since my birthday and I’m in that weird limbo period where saying your new age is always a bit weird. I don’t really feel any different, so I’ll probably still be consuming all of that twenty-something content (hello Teen Vogue) whilst attempting this adulting malarkey for real. Yikes.
I’ve probably been in a reflective mood ever since my 29th birthday and thinking about how my style has evolved over the years. I started off my twenties pretty experimental, with retro vintage dresses, tie dye leggings and plenty of American Apparel. I refused to wear dainty, pretty shoes and my tights would usually have at least three things going on. This video highlights a few of my most creative looks, which I’m sure you can relate to if you had a knee high sock addiction.
How things have changed! For my latest Collect Plus collaboration, I thought I’d share a mixture of staple items I’ve loved and discovered throughout my twenties. If you’re not aware of the service, then it’s a great way to collect or return your online shopping orders from over 6000 locations across the UK. You don’t have to fret over missed deliveries and can spend more time untagging yourself from dodgy Facebook photos…
The Fit and Flare dress
I’ve been wearing them since: 2007
If you’re a long time reader of this blog, then you’ll know that most of my dresses tend to have a defined waist. Growing up I was always a little bit insecure about my figure, so once I discovered 50s silhouettes, I was hooked. Now I would say that the more obvious vintage floral styles have been replaced by streamlined skater dresses. My obsession probably coincided with discovering ASOS and over the years I’ve bought so many of their plain and embroidered styles. I’m definitely a little more fussy these days, so I tend to look out for intricate patterns and clever details like this fluted sleeve. It’s also great if the dress can be worn in many different situations, so strappy sandals for now and knee high boots later on in the year.
The Neat Skirt
I’ve been wearing them since: 2011
Hands up if you also went through the bandage skirt and frayed denim phase? Gradually I’ve adjusted my silhouette from the low waisted style of the early noughties and most of the time I tend to go for a neat little a-line shape that sits on my waist. They look great with a tee tucked in or a jumper (which I usually have to fold over due to #shorttorsoproblems) and highlight the parts of my body I don’t mind showing off. Legs, legs, legs! I’m always looking for exciting fabrications, so this River Island patent version ticks the cute colour and tactile boxes.
The Duster Coat
I’ve been wearing them since: 2012
I’d always relegated trench coats to the ‘Stuff My Mum Wears’ category until I started seeing some of the more relaxed styles on Scandi blogs. No longer did I have to worry that all that structure was making me look like some kind of military reject, these new styles were fluid, casual and suited to so many different situations. Duster coats are my favourite kind of thing for transitional weather, as you can usually stash them in a tote when the sun comes out (though make sure you look for drapey polyester or viscose fabrics, that don’t tend to crease). River Island has lots of styles in different colours and grey is a great option if you want a break from black.
The Slogan Sweat
I’ve been wearing them since: 2012
Can you even remember a time when we didn’t have random French phrases on our tops like this one? I like to think that I was ahead of the trend, after buying my first APC sweatshirt in 2012. These days I prefer to keep things a little slouchier, to allow for any shrinkage (it’s heartbreaking when one of your faves looks like it’s meant for a 12 year old) plus I try to look for styles that not everyone else has. Uzma Bozai is a great brand to bear in mind, it’s a little pricier but each piece is hand-finished by skilled artisans in India.
The Peplum Top
I’ve been wearing them since: 2015
Now this is probably the most recent addition to my list of essentials. After swearing that I would never wear the ‘basic’ combo of a top and jeans (I was young and foolish), I then realised that I quite liked deciding what to wear in less than ten minutes. My reasoning is that I just hadn’t figured out what worked for me and now I tend to go for anything that’s a little bit more inventive than the typical boxy shape. Peplum tops are great if you want to add a little more interest in the hip area and Y.A.S are a good brand to know about. Think Scandi style with thoughtful, unfussy details (I’ve got my eye on this dress now).
It’ll be interesting to see how things change over the next ten years (and whether I’ll still be waffling on here) but I’m hoping that some of these essentials will still be around. Let me know which piece is your fave!
This post is in collaboration with Collect Plus