Dressing for Real Life with Toast (Ad)

Sometimes I look through my wardrobe and can't believe how different it is from just a couple of years ago. When I worked in the fashion industry I was always on the lookout for the next trend, buying into fads and coveting garments because I'd seen a version of them on a street style site. I'd spend my time pinning looks to my online wish-list and creating outfits on Polyvore, always with my finger on the pulse of what was 'cool', whether it suited me or not.

Slowly, over the past few years, I've completely hit refresh and started to look at style in a completely different way. My days of working in fashion are long behind me, and I no longer have a job that requires a completely different set of clothes to what I wear at weekends. I spend half my week lounging on the sofa with my laptop and the other half working in an office where I can truly be myself. When it comes to getting dressed, comfort is higher up on my agenda that whether I'm following the latest trends. Maybe I've just got older, maybe I've changed, but flying fads no longer interest me.

I've been meaning to write this post for a while, after the phrase 'dressing for real life' entered my head one day. That's exactly what I do now; dress for reality. If I'm going to be sat in my own living room all day, why care what anyone else thinks of my outfit? I could just slob around in my pajamas, but I still like clothes. It's just what I get out of my clothes that has changed. I like to wear garments that work with my day to day life, that are comfortable and practical and suit lounging around the house or taking the dog for a walk just as much as they do going for a drink with friends or going into work. I don't want separate wardrobes for home, work, outdoors and socialising - I want one wardrobe filled with clothes that work for everything in my life.

One thing that keeps playing on my mind when it comes to getting dressed is our impending move to the countryside. I'm not going to wear high-heeled boots or silk dresses following our relocation. I need clothes that will keep me warm, that I can walk up hills wearing, and that I know are well-wearing and long-lasting.

My obvious choice, when it comes to dressing for what real life might throw at me, is to head straight for Toast. Every piece that I own by them is a constant at the front of my wardrobe; classic pieces that I reach for time and time again. The balance between function and style is completely bob on, and I've yet to find another brand that makes such easily wearable garments that also tick all the boxes aesthetically.

When it came to creating the images for this post, I had a vision of creating my very own Toast look-book, based on their seasonal catalogues that I always fall in love with. I may be slowing down my style and learning to appreciate how to dress for my everyday life, but I'm no minimalist. For this post, however, I wanted to create a capsule wardrobe of sorts. I thought to myself: if I could only have five garments in my wardrobe, what would they be?

A pair of jeanswas obvious. Slim-fitted, cropped to the ankle and black. Staple trousers that I can dress up or dress down, and work for every season. This Toast pair even have an elasticated waistband, making them the ultimate in comfort. I've been pairing them with this 100% cotton t-shirt and wrapping up in thick, cosy jumpers.

A lover of multi-functional items, a pinafore dress was another essential item of my list. Toast's black denim option saw me through last summer layered over thin t-shirts and worn with my beloved Saltwater sandals. For winter, I've been layering over my cotton t-shirt and slinging a wool jumper on top.

And shoes, of course. These Derby boots keep my feet warm and dry at the same time as looking cool and adding an edge to everything that I wear. Everything looks a little bit grungier, a little bit harder and a little more me when I slip on these lace-up boots. My ballet slipper days are far, far behind me.

The final item: a simple shirt dress, of the kind that is easy to carelessly throw on for those days when you're in a rush. Something effortless, comfortable yet stylish, in a nonchalant way. This cream denim Toast dress was in the sale and is no longer available online, but here are a few similar styles.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on dressing for real life. Do you prefer the escapism of wearing beautifully ornate clothes that completely contradict your actual reality? Or are you like me, and have discovered a love for clothes that really earn yourself in your wardrobe? There is definitely room for one or two fanciful pieces that I seldom wear but am completely in love with, but for the most part, I want my wardrobe to be filled with garments that I actually wear, as often as possible.

The garments in this post were gifted to me by Toast, but all thoughts are my own