Fashion: back to basics

Back to basics fashion: Mum styleAfter a period of reflection of my current Mum wardrobe, and as a result of seeing the personal stylist at the end of last year, I realised that my clothes were severely lacking in some basics. I am talking about key items that you can rely on, dress up (or down), and that form the basis of your outfits.

People often mention having a capsule wardrobe, (I have heard this term mentioned a lot in wardrobes for busy Mums), and I genuinely thought I had one…but I have realised lately that I do not. I think this is why I am struggling so much to create stylish outfits and why some mornings I dislike getting ready so much.

I was going to a wedding this week and I wanted a pair of black court shoes and a black jacket to go with a dress and yet I didn’t own any. These are standard basics that should be there, whenever I need them – because a) they go with EVERYTHING and b) these items never go out of fashion.

I tend to have a lot of random pieces in my wardrobe and yet nothing to wear them with; I usually shop without thinking of what the item will go with. I also tend to buy a lot of clothes in grey and tan, and these two colours don’t always work well together.

Decisions, decisions

Deciding what to wear every morning requires a lot of mental energy (which I just don’t possess when I have to get my two little people ready as well!). Having a capsule wardrobe with the basics in there will therefore hopefully mean that I will be able to make decisions faster & easier and yet look stylish.

The next 6 months

So my mission for the next 6 months is to build up these basics, without spending too much money. I don’t want to spend a great deal in order to create this capsule wardrobe, which I believe will be relatively easy because a lot of this can be found on the high street where there is a great deal of choice.

Colour-wise I am also going to be seeking a lot of black; a colour I don’t tend to buy much of. However, black will go with a lot of the colours that currently sit in my wardrobe (unworn) simply because I haven’t known what to wear with them.

I am therefore aiming to purchase the following basics for style in 2017:

  • A pair of black ankle boots
  • A black blazer for weddings, nights out etc
  • Black court shoes for smarter wear and nights out
  • A couple of pairs of trendy jeans – including ankle grazers & step hem jeans
  • A couple of dresses
  • A pair of black trousers
  • Camel coat
  • Black long skirt
  • A leather jacket for the transition into spring

I have already built up quite a few pairs of trainers/pumps so I don’t need any more of those, as well as some new tan boots. In addition to this I have a wardrobe FULL of tops & blouses so I am not going to add any more tops in at this stage.

Here are some basics that I am already lusting over:

Stylish living: basics for busy Mums

Leather jacket, Zara

Jeans, Topshop

Black boots, Next

Dress, M&S

Camel coat, French Connection

Black trousers, Next

Heels, Zara

Skirt, New Look

I have my eye towards spring fashion and so I don’t want to go mad and purchase too much from the last of the winter stock, but it will still need to see me through the next few chilly months.

Once I have all of the above in place I am then going to start spending a little more money on purchasing more luxury items such as knitwear, tops, handbags, coats & shoes to go with the above. I think this mix of high street and luxury will see me create a new, stylish look for myself as a busy working Mum of two!

I’ll definitely keep you posted on here but please do follow me on Instagram for my progress!

Love, Jess x

Jess Soothill

Jess is a Mother of twins, blogger and writer.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Facebook


  1. January 1, 2017 / 10:57 am

    I love your camel boots and jeans in the first photo! And building up more basics sounds like a great idea. I’m similar to you and need more basics. I just need more basic t-shirts and another cardigan, oh and a black coat!!

    Gemma x
    The Gem Agenda

    • Jess
      January 1, 2017 / 2:50 pm

      Thanks lovely! I need some more cardigans too actually and would love a couple of over-sized ones 🙂 I think the basics will mean I can build on my outfits from there xx

  2. January 1, 2017 / 6:09 pm

    I’ve been looking for a long black skirt as well. They’re so versatile. I like the idea of going back to basics & buying quality products. :]

    • Jess
      January 1, 2017 / 7:01 pm

      They are – I definitely need one in my wardrobe this year xx

  3. January 1, 2017 / 9:14 pm

    Such a FAB idea! My wardrobe is a complete disaster zone-I end up wearing exactly the same things over and over again. Buying a few basics is a fab idea to blend things together better-good luck and I look forward to seeing some new purchases and great combinations x

    • Jess
      January 3, 2017 / 3:48 pm

      Thanks lovely! Am looking forward to building it all up and having more choice xx

  4. January 5, 2017 / 10:12 am

    I read this and was shouting yes!

    My wardrobe is half not worn for the reason I never have any basics to wear with them.

    I think I may make a similar list and try and stick to it and stop buying trend.

    Thanks for the inspo xx

    • Jess
      January 5, 2017 / 10:49 am

      I think building up the basics is a great start and then start adding in the key trends! I am already finding I have more to wear from just getting a few basic items! 🙂 xx

  5. January 13, 2017 / 8:00 pm

    I think we all have certain things that we automatically head towards because they know they suit us. My ‘things’ are ankle boots (any/every colour!) and tops that I can wear with jeans. I have nothing much else! I’m thinking of a biker jacket this season but my kids are totally anti me getting one lol! I have the black ankle boots which I would highly recommend and I also have a long coat which is pale grey rather than camel which also goes with EVERYTHING. So pleased with it – £30 from New Look! Good luck with building your capsule wardrobe. I always think that a good white shirt needs to be in there but I guess you probably have a few of those!

    • January 13, 2017 / 8:01 pm

      Should have signed off with my new blog as this one ‘died’ a while ago now!

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