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Fashion

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BASIC NEEDS

Fashion is the art of seduction. It makes life more beautiful, pleasurable and it gives you power. But as with all temptations, there’s an art to keeping it under control. With a wardrobe of timeless basics, you can comfortably keep the excesses of fashion at bay. Forget about shopaholic stress and the I-have-nothing-to-wear morning panic: with a modest set of perfectly fitting classics as your foundation, you can effortlessly put together a stylish look and enjoy the latest trends. Summum Woman’s Fashion Editor Simone Dernee shows you how it works using the first three classics on the list.

The spotless white blouse

For as long as I’ve been in the fashion sector, the white shirt has returned like clockwork as “a new trend”. This season, it’s even reached the top of the list as a must-have piece. Pure, crisp, pristine, mannish, virginal and festive, all these attributes belong to the white blouse. It’s a true multitasker: the ultimate complement to leather trousers, a distinguished update for striking print trousers or skirts and you no longer have to be a hotel receptionist or a secretary to rock an oversized version worn with a tight pencil skirt.

The power of the shirt is not that surprising when you consider that it was one of the first types of clothing in history: the oldest (man’s) shirt ever found originates from Ancient Egypt, dating from 3,000 BC, and is made from linen. It comes in all sorts of forms, from boyfriend to form-fitting, from concealed fastenings to beautiful, statement buttons. Crisp cotton remains the favourite fabric. The golden rule is that it’s worn very clean and very ironed – which requires a certain amount of dedication.

Simone’s favourite: Blouse, H&M

The basic jeans

Basic five-pocket jeans are undoubtedly the most popular type of clothing in the world, but they were taboo on the runway for eons. Until a few years ago, you wouldn’t dream of turning up for a fashion week show in a pair of jeans. Jeans started out life 140 years ago as durable workwear for cowboys and gold prospectors, but it gradually became one of the stars of the fashion industry with its very own culture. Brands that earlier generations grew up with survive alongside many new top players and niche labels. Jeans come in new finishes, fits and colours all the time, and prices range from extremely expensive (premium) to absurdly cheap.

While we used to own one pair, now we have several – one for every mood or look. Team with a leather biker jacket, cashmere sweater, oversized cardigan or a striped shirt. Nowadays, jeans can be worn anywhere and are always cool. The shoes you wear with them dictate the look you want to create: casual with sneakers, sexy with a heel or on-trend with flat loafers.

Simone’s favourite: 5 pocket jeans, Summum

The grey sweatshirt

A sweatshirt is a cotton jersey top featuring a crew neck and a napped interior. When it has a hood, we call it a hoodie. Sweatshirts originated in the United States where youths wore it for playing sports. Hence the word “sweat” in sweatshirt. So this separate would never have become a fashion item if it wasn’t for American designers such as Tommy Hilfiger, Alexander Wang and Jason Wu, who brought the sporty street style of hip-hoppers and skateboarders to the runway.

What’s great about the sweatshirt is that it lends a casual, streetwise air to any outfit you style it with: a party skirt, classic pinstripe trousers, a long dress – you name it, it gets the laidback treatment once you add a sweatshirt. So next time you’re going to a party, team your fancy rags with a sweatshirt and sneakers for an effortlessly cool look.

Simone’s favourite: Sweatshirt, Champion

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Fashion is the art of seduction. It makes life more beautiful, pleasurable and it gives you power. But as with all temptations, there’s an art to keeping it under control. With a wardrobe of timeless basics, you can comfortably keep the excesses of fashion at bay. Forget about shopaholic stress and the I-have-nothing-to-wear morning panic: […]

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