17 Fashion Brands To Turn You Into A Style Icon
BY NIAMH GIBSON
Being back in lockdown inevitably leads to an increase in screen time… and therefore, a heavy dose of online ‘window shopping’. It’s dangerous but cathartic.
30 AUG - 2021
If being in the fashion industry has taught me one thing it’s to shop less but shop smarter - a classic piece will always transcend a trend.
A note from the Editor: When Showroom22 had a Camilla and Marc sale, I went to town on it. I bought three dresses, a blazer and three t-shirts - and it's all thanks to Niamh Gibson. She's one of those mysteriously effortless girls who always dons super stylish outfits that would stand the test of time. In this stimulating world of social media that suckers you into mega-consumerism with trends that stay for a split second, the ability to look timeless is no mean feat. Niamh is only 24 years old but she dresses in a way that would suit the bougiest of women from 20 to 50 years old.
Anyway, back to the story about the C&M sale, I asked Niamh what she thinks I should buy and she kept handing me all these items to try on. I bought all of them. *Swipes card* If I was loaded, I'd have Niamh as my stylist, but alas, I'm not a Jenner or a Hadid and simply not as financially blessed as some.
The point is, Niamh knows. So, get ready to ramp up your wardrobe and style factor.
I am a massive advocate for a capsule wardrobe made up of classic pieces that transcend trends. Largely, because I know that no matter how many things I have in my wardrobe, I’ll always gravitate to my favorite pieces - the timeless classics.
I’m a pragmatic shopper and so, I’ll generally shop for pieces that I can wear over and over again in a number of ways. I find myself more likely to splurge on these pieces because I know I’ll have them forever (I often justify big purchases by saying one day my grandchildren will thank me… it’s a bit of a stretch… but whatever helps you sleep, right?).
Day to day, I’d say the pieces I wear have more of a masculine aesthetic; relaxed and not too fussy; however, I still like them to remain elegant and soft. This usually comes down to fabrication so that the cuts skim the body or pinch you in at the waist.
Nine times out of ten, you will find me in a good pair of jeans or black high-waisted wide-leg pants, a cotton tee or tank, and a blazer, with a classic handbag. I find this can be dressed up or down so easily, a Philippe Model sneaker during the day or heel by night. I recently bought the Dior ‘J’Adior Slingback Pump’ in the black technical fabric and they are so good to throw on and elevate a day look. The heel height is only 6.5cm so they are comfy enough to wear for longer periods of time, which is also a win.
I’ve rounded up some of my favorite brands right now - some I shop from regularly, some get a heavy dose of online ‘window shopping’ and then proceed to follow me around the internet to taunt me and rub in that I’m still yet to own any of their pieces (looking at you Manolo Blahnik - Net-A-Porter and FORWARD are doing a REAL good job at pushing your product).
Vintage or new, you can't beat a classic. Levi’s was founded in 1853 and there's a reason they are still the best-selling denim brand in the world. The Ribcage is my favourite cut, a great high-rise pair that cinches you in, just above your belly button to accentuate your shape.
COS does essentials well. Think wardrobe staples with a point of difference. Their knitwear is great, especially the cashmere, which comes in at a more reasonable price point than other brands. It’s always worth checking out the menswear range too - think boxy blazers, oversized knits, and great tees.
I’m not a huge Zara shopper as I try not to buy into ‘trends.’ However, you can’t overlook it for a few basics. The Halter Neck Bodysuit is a Rosie Huntington-Whitley favourite and has become a firm staple in my wardrobe. It’s great under a blazer with a pair of high-waisted pants.
Citizens of Humanity / Agolde
Owned by the same parent company, Citizens of Humanity and Agolde do the BEST denim without fail. From wide-leg to a classic black skinny and denim cut-offs, there's quite literally a pair for every occasion. They aren’t cheap but they stand the test of time.
I spent summer 17/18 interning for Tibi in New York. No one quite does effortless style like Amy Smilovic (Tibi’s founder). The pieces are classic but always have a point of difference, whether it be fabrication, the cut or finer details. Tibi’s designs mix irony into everyday pieces. You can’t go past one of their blazers, I quite literally live in them (5+ days of the week). They also have great leather goods from shoes to an amazing handbag range designed in collaboration with iconic handbag designer Myriam Schaefer.
I’ll be wearing Matteau all summer. Clean cuts, cute bikinis, pops of colour and starchy cotton shirts. It’s the closest we’re getting to ‘Amalfi Coast dressing’ for the foreseeable future.
Maggie’s ‘Somewhere’ collection is a perfect nod to the ‘capsule wardrobe.’ Yet again, she’s nailed it. The tanks are the perfect fit to be paired with jeans or a wide leg pant, a classic blazer, and sneakers.
I live in sneakers, and the French just do it better. The Lakers cut is a personal fav as it feels a little less predictable than Golden Goose (which admittedly, I wear too…).
I have my eyes on way too many pieces from Christopher Esber’s SS22 range (especially the Tropic Nouveau print and looped rib dresses). Their shoes are also to die for. Bank says no, the wardrobe says yes.
Sucker for a suit? Me too. Manning Cartell’s ‘Flight Mode’ suit is a must-have. It’s so versatile and the perfect cut. It’s also part of their permanent collection which acts as a nod to just how great it is.
Miss-matched earrings, chunky rings and wobbly bracelets, Jasmin’s pieces are the perfect way to add an eclectic element to a simple outfit. I have the Lulu earrings and absolutely love them.
Major Hailey Bieber vibes. Doesn’t fit in my budget, but a good place to window shop! Khaite does polished staples really, really well.
Dreams are free, right? The cherry on top of a classic outfit.
Six words, Emerald Green Satin Lurum 90 Heels. One day. I’ve been obsessed with these for 10 years. I’m convinced that these are the ultimate wedding shoes.
From tailored suits to sexy party dresses, Saint Laurent ticks all the boxes. A 10/10 accessories and footwear offering as well.
Founded by Australian Vogue Fashion Editor, Christine Centenera, Wardrobe NYC is donned by the likes of the Kardashians and Rosie Huntington-Whitley. It ticks the box for the perfect capsule wardrobe. It’s a shame it’s crazy overpriced... but if money wasn't an object, I’d be all over it.
Phoebe Philo era. Enough said. I can’t wait until she drops her LVMH backed label. I’ll be adding that to my window shopping repertoire.
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