Whistles leopard print tee, similar here / Whistles Cest La Vie sweat, similar here / Uniqlo White Long Sleeve tee, £9
I'm not sure about you, but for me the hardest area of my wardrobe to keep managed is my long sleeve top section. I seem to acquire far too many, and it runs out of control on a 6 monthly basis (which then turns into a Vestiaire and eBay frenzy, as I am doing right now). Last week I decided to sort out my drawers and put my tops into piles: one I had worn more than 10 times, ones I have worn a couple of times and ones I have never worn at all. In the first pile were six clear winners, so these are the ones I've decided are my essentials and have made the above cut.
picture via my breton shirt / yellow Celine trio, £393, Vestiaire Collective - whistles slogan sweater
This time of year, having smart basics are what drag me through the gloomy winter nights. I bought a Edith A Miller breton in the my-wardrobe sale and it made dressing in the morning all the more fun. Knowing you look smart but being super comfy at the same time is like the ultimate "fashion smug" of the season... My slogan long sleeve of choice is an old season Whistles "Cest La Vie" sweater, as above. It seems to have sold out everywhere although they have a super fun "Je voudrais" version this season which I really recommend.
Anyone after the quintessentially casual look can nail it with a breton top. I wear mine with everything. My pinterest board is filled with breton inspiration, so if you need any encouragement on whether you want one or not have a look here. My favourite one is from The Outnet's own brand, Iris and Ink. At £45, the quality is worthy of a tee three times that price. Buy one - just do it. As for the leopard print tee, well you just need one. They're super handy for layering up basic outfits and they look as good with plain coloured trousers as they do with clash printed skirts.
The basics for me are simple as they come from three places: Gap, The Outnet and Uniqlo. I rarely deviate except for the odd James Perse tee such as the black long sleeve featured at the top. Expensively priced, but expensively made - they really do not scrimp and they last forever. Uniqlo's white long sleeve tees are a total enigma for me, how on earth they get that quality for that price I just don't know (they're £9). In the same vein, I also check out The OutNet for low price Alexander Wang and their own grey tee (by Iris and Ink) is a total winner.
So with these guidelines I cleared out a whole drawer of bits I no longer needed - I hope it's as useful for you as it has been for me!