Back to Basics

I love blogging, but as a student it can be hard to keep up to date with current trends and continuously refresh my wardrobe as, lets face it, we’re a bit hard up when it comes to money. Clothes are my main priority – as soon as I get a lil’ bit of money, I’m dreaming of what’s top of my list to get my hands on and how I can weave it into my chameleon fashion collection. As all students or previous students (and probably non-students) are aware of, however, we do like our partying – and so sufficient funds must be dedicated to socialising with friends on a weekly basis. Factor in some cash for food, gym membership and rent; the budget for shopping isn’t huge. 

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CARDIGAN Urban Outfitters (similar here) | DRESS (worn as top) H&M | JEANS Topshop (similar here) | SANDALS BirkenstocksBAG Urban Outfitters | HOOPS EARRINGS M&S

So, as much as I would love to go out and snap up everything on my lust list as soon as my student loan drops, or payday comes, I have to restrain myself and pace it to one thing at a time. I start with my most wanted (and not necessarily most expensive) thing, and work my way through the rest when I’ve saved up a bit or know I can afford them.

If I spot something I really like but it’s wayyyy out of my price range, I’ll always sift through charity shops because often some of my most loved and worn clothes are one-off purchases from Oxfam or British Heart Foundation. One woman’s junk is another’s treasure, as they say. Vintage shopping is my next stop where, admittedly, I can get slightly carried away. But, again, some of my favourite ever items have been found in Cow or smaller vintage shops. The prices are still lower and you can always find a bargain similar to what you originally wanted if you look hard enough (plus it’s far more satisfying).

Aside from this I invest smartly: pricey accessories and staples that I know I’ll be wearing forever and can flexibly incorporate into my wardrobe I save up for and get. Watches, sunglasses, shoes and bags being the case in point (although I often buy cheap ones too!). I’m currently saving for a pair of Prada sunglasses because they’re classic and will stand the test of time.

So, for the weeks (of which there are many) where I genuinely can’t spend on anything I want to style up or blog about, I turn my inspo elsewhere. Cue the above outfit. I’ll raid my itinerary – the old, barely worn, difficult pieces thrown to the back of the chest of drawers included – and give them a new lease of life. Back to basics. Everything I’m wearing here is pretty old, but because they are fundamental and understated they work together to become a sophisticated and easy-going ensemble. This is why it’s handy to have some basic attire to fall back on when I’m stuck in a rut or just feel like wearing something simple on a particular day. It’s recycling at its finest and really works – I got more compliments from friends after throwing this together than I normally would on any other outfit, which has given me confidence in relying on the basis of my style when there’s nothing new to flaunt around – after all, everything becomes old at some point, right?

While these jeans are a pair I rotate often, and my Birks are my ultimate ugly summer shoes, (can we just appreciate that they have FINALLY come back out of hibernation!) I dug this amazing burgundy leather bag out from the depths under my bed and this cardigan is one I always skim over because, well, it has to be worn with basics. The colours really flatter each other and it’s a combination I’m pleased with and will try to incorporate more into my style in the future. In fact, the only new addition are my silver hoops – another great M&S buy, which I’ve wanted for ages to upgrade from my overused Primark ones!

So, as much as I try, I’ve come to the realisation that not every outfit has to be a ‘WOW’ one, and that stripping it back sometimes is actually really refreshing. This palette cleanse has given me time to gather future post motivation and have a little flash of creativity.

Thanks for reading (if you made it to the end!).

Lily x

Author: lilyroseking

20, blogger and journalism student at Nottingham Trent University. Music lover, fashion admirer and travel dreamer. Vintage and charity shopping, collecting records and drinking beer is what I do best.

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