Our team x their go-to comfortwear
Words: Leila Petersen | Images: Supplied
Classics, staples, basics, essentials – whatever you call them, these are the reliable workhorses of your wardrobe that provide the unshakable foundations of any look. But what exactly classifies as a closet staple? Is it a neutral palette, simple silhouette or the fact that they transcend seasons? Yes to all the above... and more. They’re the streamlined selects that make day-to-day dressing infinitely easier, too. Think Mom Jeans, the perfect white tee and the boyfriend blazer. Ultimately though, our basics are unique to each of us. They’re the fundamental pieces in our closets that we have an emotional connection with… bringing comfort and confidence, on constant rotation and special enough to hold onto for many years. So what’s yours? We turned to our stylish team members to hear what basics they can’t do without year after year – and why they make the cut.
Albe feels so comfortable in her Mom Jeans, she’d wear them 24/7 were it not for her fashion-savvy co-workers who might judge her for overwearing. Versatility is top of mind for what she considers the ultimate basic attribute and her jeans have never let her down. Easily played up with accessories and heels or down with a tee and trainers, Mom Jeans are Albe’s most reliable staple for the office and beyond. Another reason why they rule her closet? “Quality is important. I can wear these jeans for years instead of seasons,” she says. Confessing to almost wearing them four days a week (before swapping them for joggers now that we WFH), it’s clear that she’s found her perfect fit… since she’s about to purchase her second pair.
With a penchant for the coolest trainers, oversized proportions and quirky prints, Kelly’s effortlessly cool wardrobe features the perfect mix of basics and trend pieces. But when asked which staple she constantly gravitates towards, her oversized white shirt came out tops. “For me, a garment is given essential status when you wear it over and over again, transcending all seasons, need states and trends. It's your trusty wardrobe BFF.” While a white shirt is not exactly fashion news, this one in particular feels just right for her. Blending seamlessly with her wardrobe, from layering it under everything to pairing it with multiple separates, the consistency and predictability brings her comfort. But just like her fashion-forward style, Kelly’s basic manages to have a unique edge too – a key factor she considers, together with quality and fit, when purchasing. Constantly trawling the shops, Kelly has not been able to find another quite like it. But if she did? “I'll be purchasing it as a baker's dozen.”
A long-time fan of the iconic stripe, its no surprise that Kira’s ultimate basic is a super luxe striped tee. Describing an essential item as “something that can be grabbed blindly out the drawer and worn with almost anything”, this tee has quickly become a major player in her wardrobe since she was gifted it a couple of years when she travelled to Paris. Bringing her much comfort, this easy piece has pulled together many successful looks and it seems to be only getting better season after season saying “With each wear and wash, it gets softer and every time I put it on, it feels like a gentle hug”. Ticking all the boxes of what she factors in when buying her basics- versatility, comfort and quality- this wardrobe staple has not only managed to keep Kira looking on trend at least once (or twice) a week but has also brought an element of the elusive je ne sais quoi to her wardrobe too.
One of the most important staples in your wardrobe is a good pair of black trousers, especially when you find the one. Nontuthuko has been one such lucky person and now that she’s found the perfect pair, there is no going back. “These trousers allow me to move around with ease without feeling restricted. They're also not too tight, which means that I can sit comfortably after a huge lunch or dinner and, added bonus, I love that they are high-waisted. That makes them even more comfortable.” Sporting her black trouser at least twice a week means that quality is key, but equally important is an essential item that’s sustainable. The fabric used as well as where and how her trouser was made all impact how she feels when wearing them. And the fact that they’re from a conscious sustainable range makes Nontuthuko one proud owner. Versatility is another drawcard and she often looks for something that can “easily transition from a day to a night item without the fuss and can be worn throughout any season”.
No stranger to looking super stylish, Akim knows a thing or two about building a well-rounded wardrobe. To him, essentials are those pieces that you don't even have to think about. His grey cotton turtleneck is exactly that. Layering plays a major part in Akim’s aesthetic, which is precisely why it’s his go-to. “I find comfort in knowing that it can easily replace a T-shirt in an outfit I would've worn in summer and I won't even have to think about whether or not it will work, it just does. And it always does just work – under a shirt, a chunkier knit or a jacket.” When asked what he considers most before purchasing his go-to classic? “I'm a bit of a quality snob when I shop basics, so anytime I see a tag labelled ‘premium’, consider it sold.” While this might not be easy on his wallet, Akim stresses that quality and how his basics feel on his skin are his most important considerations. And the fact that his local dim sum bar has seen him wearing this staple on a few dates means it’s a feel-good fashion piece, too.