In these credit crunchy recessiontastic times it seems people are slowly starting to change the way they consume fashion. The days of cheap disposable one hit wonders are numbered, and this can only be a good thing.

Customising and recycling your old clothes to give them a new look is becoming increasingly popular, and it seems that, perversely in this economic climate, luxury brands are doing as well as the low budget ones as people shop for quality basics that will last. Both Chanel and Dior have reported a rise in sales recently.

I’m unlikely to be running off and investing in a Chanel LBD anytime soon, mostly because recession or not it is way out of my price bracket, but I am trying to invest in some decent quality basics for my wardrobe.

By investing, I don’t mean spending my life’s savings (if I had any) I just mean buying sensibly and checking the quality and durability. If you can’t run to haute couture that doesn’t mean you have to shop head to toe in Primark. Check out vintage and second hand pieces and you might get a quality piece for a lot less than it cost new.

So here are my top 4 wardrobe basics for women that it’s worth buying carefully, and making sure you get the best quality and fit you can afford. I haven’t got all these yet, but I’m working my way there.


Such a cliche, but once you’ve got one, you’ll know why! This should be a dress you can work for night or day just by changing accessories, so steer clear of fabrics like satin and velvet or glitzy trims. Simple jersey or quality cotton are your best bets. I have a jersey dress with a shawl neckline and cap sleeves from M&S that doesn’t crease, washes well and gets glammed up with heels or worn with ballet pumps at least once a week.

For reasonable prices and reasonable quality try the classic high street shops like M&SLaura Ashley and Monsoon


Jeans styles come and go, but a good pair of straight leg jeans never go out of style. This is a tricky one as you don’t necessarily need to buy a £150 pair of jeans, you just need to buy a pair that fit. I have curvy hips and a small waist, so over the years I’ve had a nightmare getting jeans that fit without gaping at the waist or cutting into my hips and giving me hideous rolls. Finally, about 6 years ago, I found a pair of low rise straight leg dark wash jeans that fit perfectly, and they were from MOTO at Topshop!

Brands like Diesel, Rock & Republic and Gap are places to start looking for your perfect pair. Of course, once you’ve found the perfect fit, for something like denim it’s always worth trying places like Ebay to see you if you can search that style out second hand for a bargain. One woman’s perfect fit is another woman’s costly mistake….

  • COAT
Aquascutum Coat on Ebay

Aquascutum Coat on Ebay


Everyone needs a really good classic winter coat. Check out the Retro Chick guide to buying your Winter Coat. You might still pick up a bargain in the sales if you shop now, but if you need a new one, this’ll probably have to wait.

My classic coat is a Principles light brown belted coat that I bought off Ebay a couple of years ago.


This is something I don’t have. I have some great evening bags, but for everyday I am sorely lacking. I am forever keeping my eye out on Charity and Thrift stores, but I am yet to come up trumps.

I feel this should be something roomy, but not too huge, fairly structured with handles that will go over the shoulder or can be hooked onto the arm. I also want lots of internal pockets.

Again, if you want the classics it’s best to head to the classic stores and M&S and Laura Ashley have a selection. It’s also worth checking out department stores.

Follow my blog with bloglovin´