Winter Wardrobe Staples

I've been searching for the perfect pair of boots for years. They had to be robust, they had to be black, they had to have laces and they had to be leather. I needed boots that I could wear on walks with the dog, splashing around in puddles and getting a little bit muddy - but that I could easily wipe clean and wear to work the next day. Our shoe rack at the front door was full of various pairs of winter boots: my 'nice' walking boots, my 'dirty' walking boots, a pair of suede lace-up boots, my cosy shearling lined desert boots and a beat-up pair of boots that I used to wear for work. I was sick of having to evaluate the weather and the terrain I'd be walking on every time I walked out of the door and needed the perfect pair of boots that I could wear every single day, for every eventuality. Then I stumbled upon my dream boots on the Toast website. 

I like to have staple pieces that I fall back on and wear on a day-to-day basis. Outfits that I know work, clothes that I know suit me, garments that I can pull on in the dark. Several of these staple pieces, such as my many pinafore dresses, work for every season; it's just a case of layering with weather-appropriate tops. Other items, such as shoes, are seasonal.

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All summer I wore my Saltwater sandals (also from Toast) every day without fail. I wore them to work, on holiday, on walks, and even paddled in the sea with them fastened firmly on my feet. I've owned these boots for less than a week, but I can already see that they will be my winter equivalent. When I'm wearing them, I don't want to take them off. They add a grungy edge to my more feminine dresses and perfectly complement my growing collection of midi-length pinafores and linen shifts. I'm yet to wear them with my favourite jeans, but I'm envisioning rolling up the hems will work perfectly.

Of course, these boots aren't the only staple piece in my winter wardrobe. I've also been searching for the perfect shearling-lined jacket for eons, and finally unearthed this rust-coloured gem during an Ebay trawl. It's an old Topshop corduroy jacket, lined with faux shearling and slightly oversized, ticking all three boxes for my dream jacket. Again, I've found myself wearing this everyday, throwing it on over everything from my favourite jeans to my cotton pinafores. I'm not normally one to gravitate towards colour when it comes to staple garments, but I've got a real thing for autumnal hues at the moment, especially jackets the same colour as my hair. I know I won't get bored of this, and it will brighten up winter days once the last leaves have fallen.

Then there's my Toast denim pinafore dress (sold out but similar here and here). This is one of those pieces that I've worn all year round since I received it last summer as a birthday gift. I wore it layered over t-shirts in summer and I'm already starting to wear it over striped long-sleeve tops and thin jumpers as the temperatures plummet. It's one of those timeless pieces that I'll always want to wear, and it's simple silhouette means that it even looks great on those winter days when I've gorged on cheese and don't want to wear anything too clingy! Toast are great for these season-less, easy-to-wear pieces, making them my first port of call when I'm looking for a new staple garment.

When I'm looking for wardrobe staples that I can throw on every day, I always look beyond trends and think about what I really love wearing and what styles actually flatter me. This is one reason I tend to stay away from trends - the latest styles don't suit everyone, as well as not having longevity. I've learnt over the years what I feel comfortable wearing, and I'd much rather wear clothes that make me feel good than garments that look pretty on the hangers but aren't right for me. 

Solovair Jade Derby Boots by Toast

These boots were kindly gifted to me by Toast, but all opinions are my own

Photos: Dave Rowe