Styled by: My Essential List

The influencer’s best tips on personal style and winter dressing

styled by my essential list

Words by Kirsten Jacobs | Images: Abongwe Qokela

“Comfortable, basic, and timeless,” - three words to describe the perfect capsule wardrobe. It’s also the same way Cindy, more familiarly known as My Essential List on social media, views her personal style. It’s exactly this that has amassed her 42.5k followers on Instagram. What keeps followers coming back is her popular ‘how to’-inspired content, which revolves around creating wearable outfits to show how versatile a capsule wardrobe can really be.

On her love of fashion, she tells us, “What inspires me is that I can use fashion to express myself. I’ve always dressed according to how I feel, and I love that it gives me that freedom.”

Inspired by fellow influencers Lydia Jane Tomlinson and Cocobeautea, Cindy’s fashion content is all about how to style classic wardrobe pieces in different ways to give them new life. The beauty in her content is that she focuses on items most people already own - a tailored blazer, black jeans, a crisp blue button-up, and wide-leg trousers are among her favourite items to style. These capsule items bare no season - they work no matter the weather. For winter, she advises stocking up on other essential basics like long-sleeve tops and turtlenecks in a variety of shades to always have an easy base to build on.

Love her style? Here’s how to get the Essential List look this winter with her three must-have jackets of the season.

the trench

“A trenchcoat is a must-have when adding dimension and also warmth to an outfit,” says Cindy. The same button-up and mom jeans she would wear in the spring instantly works for winter with the addition of a longline trenchcoat. For more interest, opt for a shirt with a striped pattern or go for a satin finish to add a touch of luxe. Straight-leg or wide-leg jeans add extra interest to the outfit, giving off that ‘I just threw this on’ cool-girl effect.

the statement piece

This winter, texture is treasured. Fashion it-girls are styling statement jackets featuring the textures of the season. Think faux leather, faux fur + fringe detailing for the on-trend cowboy-meets-world aesthetic. With a bolder jacket, follow Cindy’s lead and keep your base fitted and simple so the outerwear can truly shine. When in doubt? Make it monochrome. “Keep it basic and create intrigue with accessories, shoes and bags,” Cindy adds.

the oversized coat
seen this?
Oversized blazers are the moment
Catching feelings