Style has begun to mean a different thing to me, as I get older.
Now in my thirties, I am no longer interested in fads and trends that flit around season to season, preferring to invest in quality garments that will stand the test of time. I still have a penchant for picking out beautifully printed vintage dresses, but I'm trying to keep these to a minimum and opt for timeless pieces of clothing that I can wear on a daily basis. It's all about making getting dressed in the morning that little bit easier.
Rather than making spontaneous purchases based upon first reactions, I am making an effort to carefully consider my purchases. I must be able to wear an item in both warm and cool weather conditions (a necessity when you live in the north of England), I must be able to wear it with at least three items already in my wardrobe, and I must feel comfortable in it.
It's harder than you think to discover brands that check all of the right boxes. Sara pulled together a great list recently on Me & Orla, featuring some of the best simple, no-fuss brands around. Toast, Cos, Everlane and Elizabeth Suzann all featured - brands that I admire from afar via their Instagram feeds, but that usually teeter just outside my budget. It's a case of quality over quantity, and saving up to invest in one long-lasting timeless piece rather than armfuls of clothes that you'll only wear once.
In order to carefully select the right garments that will stand the test of time in your wardrobe, you must first step aside from fleeting fads and consider what are your personal style staples that you come back to time and time again. For me, that means stripes, pinafore dresses, jumpsuits, loose-fitting silhouettes and lots of denim. Building up a colour palette is also beneficial, as it makes layering and mixing and matching much easier.
When it comes to brands, I've recently stumbled across The Acey, who curate a collection of clothing and accessories with a focus on integrity. All of the garments that they sell are consciously created without compromising on style. Whilst there are more statement pieces featured, slow fashion reigns and classic silhouettes and prints feature prominently.
Another new discovery is Australian brand, Vege Threads, a lifestyle label that pride themselves on sustainability, slow fashion and organic cotton. They focus on contemporary basics that can be layered together to create fresh and inspired outfits that won't date. Think loose-fitted t-shirt dresses, soft crew-neck tops, tunics that skim the body as opposed to clinging to all the wrong places, and jersey slip dresses that are designed to be layered.
Eco-friendly brands that manage to create the perfect marriage of fair-trade and fashion may be rare, but once you've discovered a brand that you respect and realise that their clothes flatter you, there will be no going back.
Another key factor in creating a modern timeless wardrobe is the quality of the materials that you select. Stray away from synthetics that only survive a handful of washes before they're relegated to the bottom of your wardrobe and instead invest in soft and durable natural materials, such as cotton, linen and wool that will last a lifetime.
Building up a wardrobe of timeless classics takes time. Don't rush. Rather than throwing out all of your clothes that you are unsatisfied with and starting from scratch, go through your wardrobe seasonally with a critical eye. Anything that you're sure that you will never wear again, bag up and donate to a local charity shop - or alternatively, organise a clothes swop with a group of friends. Organise your wardrobe by style and by colour and make a note of where the gaps are. Only allow yourself to purchase the items that your wardrobe is lacking.
Eventually, you will find your wardrobe becoming more streamlined, filling up with garments that you love to wear and that you know flatter you. It may take a while for you to get to this stage, but you'll discover more about yourself along the way.
Grid of 4 photos | Top two: unknown via Pinterest / Bottom Left: The Chronicles of Her / Bottom Right: Lisa Przystup for Elizabeth Suzaan