Spring Essentials Guide

Posted by Sally McLaren on

I V Y  S P R I N G  E S S E N T I A L S
Having a capsule wardrobe is something that divides personal stylists. Some believe it to be a sustainable way to dress, and can provide a great foundation to having a wearable, accessible and timeless collection of clothes in which to then add unique and individual pieces that you love to show your personality.
Others believe it can limit and confuse, and that people can find it tricky to really show their true stye identity because it limits them.
Personally, with time constraints and life being so busy, I believe it to be a great place to start, to then layer on your unique style through accessories, jewellery and make-up, and adapting each look to wear it your way.
If sustainability is important to you, then by having key items that can be worn back with all of the other items in the capsule means that each piece is working hard and that multiple outfits can be created from just a few items, without the need for a vast expansive wardrobe.
As for t-shirts, well, if you're reading this, I am assuming you know how passionately I feel about having the best fitting, most sustainable, best quality collection in your wardrobe. I believe each of the items I mention here, when combined with a beautifully cut, premium organic cotton Ivy t-shirt, can be used to form a versatile, reliable and hard working capsule wardrobe. Although I am focusing on Spring here, all of the items can still be worn in Autumn and Winter when layered and adapted, making them even more sustainable.
I am not a personal stylist, but have been in the fashion industry for 20 years. As a buyer, I would inspiration shop all over the world for the brands I worked for which means I have spent a huge amount of my time living and breathing all things retail. In no particular order, here is my interpretation of Spring Essentials.


 THE LEATHER JACKET: Undeniably an investment piece, but when you find a classic shape to suit you, in beautiful soft leather, then the cost per wear will be minimal and it will never lose its value or style. Easily dressed up for a polished look for work, an evening out with tailored trousers and heals or simply with jeans and ballet flats. Channel your inner James Dean by styling with an essential white Mabel crew t-shirt and jeans for a chic but relaxed outfit.



THE BRETON T-SHIRT: The Breton is a timeless item that everyone needs several of in their wardrobes. Simple. It will be your ultimate all-year-round go-to piece due to its versatility and the endless ways it can be worn. With jeans and a white sneaker for a nod to nautical, a blazer for a sharper look, skirts for femininity, and clash with prints for a bolder statement. 

THE TAILORED TROUSER: A great fitting pair of tailored trousers can see you seamlessly from the office to the school run. Have a light/neutral shade and a dark pair too. A cropped cigarette shape offers fuss-free elegance (I find pleated waistbands help massively flatter the mum-tum), whilst high waisted wide fits are leg lengthening and super flattering. All shapes look perfect with a classic Ivy t-shirt.


THE DENIM JACKET/SHIRT: Dark or bleach wash, coloured or black denim, trucker, utility, western or cropped, a denim jacket or shirt is part of the ultimate trans-seasonal uniform. To get longevity throughout the rest of the year, layer up over t-shirts and jumpers and under blazers and winter coats. Go for double denim or get a super casual look over t's, hoodies and sweatshirts.


THE WHITE T-SHIRT: No wardrobe is complete without a perfect fitting white t-shirt in a great quality, soft organic cotton. The classic base layer that looks fresh all year round, whether crew neck or v neck, long sleeved or short. Wear with tailoring, jeans, skirts, dresses or layered under a jumpsuit, a great white t-shirt will make your outfit look effortless even if you've put a lot of thought into it. Our white t's are made in a heavier weight jersey to our other t's to give you total confidence that they won't be see-through. My advice is to always wear a great fitting nude t-shirt bra, not white.


THE WHITE TRAINERS: Canvas or leather, this is by far the most versatile piece of footwear. I alternate between my Converse and my Stan Smiths, both of which I have had for years. I recently felt that my Stan Smiths were looking very tired and that perhaps I would replace them, but instead opted to invest in some white trainer stain to make the soles and the leather white again and it worked brilliantly. A far more cost effective and sustainable choice! All in all, these are a wardrobe essential that will see you through most seasons with dresses, skirts, shorts, jeans, tailored trousers - comfortable and classic.


THE BLAZER: Without doubt an essential for its ability to instantly elevate a casual look within seconds and offer endless styling options from the different shapes, colours and fabrics available. We love how you can wear with our Layla Breton, jeans and ballet flats for a look that would work for brunch, shopping or work. Swap the flats for block heal sandals, red lipstick and plenty of jewellery and you can take this look effortlessly from day to night.


THE MARY-JANES: A new addition to my wardrobe after I was kindly sent these by Moi London, but I know these are going to be worn a lot, with many different things. Like Ivy, Moi was created when 2 busy professional women became mothers and were searching for comfort and style, and like us, they keep things simple with their focussed product ranges, and never compromise on quality They are beautifully made and completely classic (Leopard is most definitely a neutral!).


THE BALLET FLAT: Timeless and chic, everyone needs a classic pair of ballet flats in their wardrobe. Personally I love this 2 tone pair, but plain black would be equally versatile. We now just need the warmer weather!


 JEANS: Of course. My second clothing obsession after t-shirts. With endless denim fits available, there is something for every body shape, height, style and occasion. What would we actually wear if it wasn't for jeans?! They are 100% my daily uniform. Simply find a couple of fits that work for you, in a blue and a black denim, team with a base of Ivy t-shirts and feel great when worn anywhere and with anything. I recently toyed with the idea of getting some slim fitting jeans (I am beyond being able to wear full on skinny's). I found a great pair that fitted really well, but for some reason just couldn't see myself wearing them. I am so comfortable with the barrel leg and wide legs that are around now, so I am staying well and truly in my comfort zone.


THE KHAKI UTILITY JACKET: This is something that I invested in about 3 years ago and love wearing every Spring as soon as it is jacket weather. I was never a big fan of khaki until I owned this jacket. It makes a nice change from black/navy/stone/denim jackets, but can still be classed as a neutral itself and will go with everything.


THE WHITE SHIRT: Whether it's a fitted shape, or oversized and borrowed from your husband's wardrobe, a white shirt looks crisp and classic however it is worn. Smart enough for work with loafers and tailored trousers, casual enough for laid back weekend style layered over t-shirts and cool enough to wear as a cover-up on the beach over vests and swimwear. With the addition of our heavier weight, double jersey bretons, I love styling a white shirt underneath as a way to transform the Nora or Arabella. This is my go-to for meetings at the moment.


THE LOAFERS: I have never managed to find a pair that didn't feel really masculine, but this year bought a pair of Weejuns on the advice of my footwear designer friend. They are just what I've always looked for; in lovely burgundy leather, super comfortable to wear and a classic shape. When you find a good pair, they really are so easy to wear and will see you through the transition from Summer into Autumn, and Winter into Spring. I love when people wear patterned socks with their loafers, but I am not sure I'm cool enough for that, so roll on bare ankle weather!  


THE GREY T-SHIRT: Our Thia Grey Marl crew is a relatively new addition to our range. She comes in an oversized, boyfriend fit with the most flattering elbow lengths sleeves which gives a really contemporary shape. Not everyone likes grey t-shirts, but for me, they are as essential as the White or Bretons in our range.
THE BLACK T-SHIRT: White, black and grey t-shirts are without a doubt must-haves, and our black Mabel crew offers something effortless that can be worn with leggings for your yoga class, and dressed up with a blazer to take you to cocktails in the evening. Black is universally flattering, timeless, chic and 100% versatile.
THE HIGH-TOPS: Having added them to my wardrobe only 2 years ago, these are another item that just work, effortlessly with everything.

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