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Fashion Women Womenswear

The Need-to-Know style basics and Harris Scarfe have come together with Melissa Hoyer to help you dress for every occasion by showing you the essential pieces that will elevate your everyday wardrobe.


*Originally published on

The Need-to-know style basics

Sure, we’re always tempted by that crazy little sequin jacket that we may only wear once or all that mullet skirt that will be lucky to see the light of day twice. But those sartorial splashes have to be the exception, not the rule, if you want a wardrobe that actually closes.

So with those wardrobe injections like those in mind, I thought I would let you in on the five wardrobe pieces you absolutely need in your wardrobe. Having been in this fashion editor game, writing about it, talking about it and styling it for quite some time, there are five quintessential pieces that I literally, if I was to quickly pack my bag and zip away somewhere, throw into my Samsonite straightaway. While most of us probably have our personal style down pat at this point – and that can be for better or worse – it’s about carefully choosing which items you should invest in.

Ok, so let’s go.


The classic black blazer

This is the ultimate when it comes to wardrobe essentials. A relatively slim fit, slightly longer-line, single-breasted black jacket that can be worn to the office, to dress something up at night, with jeans on the weekend and of course, nonchalantly thrown over your shoulders when you are wearing just anything. When choosing your fabric don’t make it too light or too heavy – this way it will stand the test of all seasons.


A little black dress

How many times have you heard the praises of the LBD sung? Lots, yes? That’s because a well-chosen little black dress will get you through thick and thin no matter what events you might be going to. I would suggest opting for one with a short sleeve so it is perfect for summer, then you can team it with your black jacket during those cooler seasons. The shape needs to be fairly timeless – just below the knee and a slim fit – then you can accessorise it with jewellery, scarves and whatever you prefer, to give it your own signature.

A good mule

One of the most practical things about a mule (as in shoe) is that you literally slide your foot in and don’t need to think about anything afterwards. They’re also flattering to all ankle shapes and sizes.

But be really careful when you choose your mule as the straps need to come up high enough so your foot is firmly placed in the shoe and you don’t go all wobbly and stack it. Mules, of course, can be found with either a heel or not, so I’d suggest a kitten or mid-heel mule that would get you through a day in the office and then could zip you off that night to party land.


A pair of black slacks

A pair of black pants really speak for themselves but are, at times, harder to find than you may think.

Sure, there are thousands and thousands of options but it is a matter of finding the right style for your shape. I’d suggest finding a pair that don’t feature really heavy pockets at the front as they may just give you the look of a few extra centimeters you may not want. Also, look for fabric that doesn’t need constant ironing or dry-cleaning. The reality is you will probably wear these pants a number of times during the week and the last thing you want do is iron them each time.

Even look for a fabric with a tiny bit of stretch so they do fit nice and snuggly around the bottom but not too tight. As for the shape of the leg, either go are skinny cigarette style or a boot-leg cut, these are the the two styles that will get you through any season.

A classic white shirt

I bet if you went into your wardrobe you already have a number of white shirts but the time has come to go through the ones you have and choose THE one – or the few that aren’t a little bit grubby around the collar and sleeves and are basically unsalvageable.

Or maybe it’s time to ditch them all and indulge in a new one. A white shirt can be worn so many ways. Classically, it can be your quintessential work shirt or you could turn it into a really cool night time look by unbuttoning it a bit further down and wearing some brilliant black lace lingerie underneath and yes, here comes that black jacket again – so you can wear over the top.

The one thing about that shirt is that it really needs to be crisp and white, so don’t forget the NapiSan!

Of course I could suggest another 20 pieces but just to get your wardrobe show on the road I think the above classic five will start you off in a really good place. And from there, you can go anywhere.

So, get shopping!

As we approach summer and the season for socialising, finding the right outfit for every event can be overwhelming. Rather than always shopping for something new, choose core pieces that can be dressed up or down. Elevate your essential pieces with Harris Scarfe and make sure you’re dressed well, no matter the occasion.

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