Wherever you go, whatever fashion magazine or blog you read, you’re gonna be getting one fashion advice: Make sure you have good basic pieces for your wardrobe.
And then we go Yes Uh-Huh and stock up on the:
- Black-coloured things
- Brown-coloured things
- Navy-coloured things
- Tan-coloured things
- Leather things
- Square things… etc.
We go for the safest options on the market. Should I go for this black one or THIS black one?
And girl, it’s normal. I’ve personally gone for every black, navy and gray thing ever for my wardrobe because I’m terrified that my clothes won’t match otherwise.
When you think about it, it’s reeeeasonable to go for versatile pieces right? If you’re looking for pants, it’s better to go for a classic black one than a fun yellow one. We have to shop responsibly because that’s how we get our money’s worth. (I’m not shopping for fun sayang I need it for work.)
But once you’ve covered all the basics and bought all the official-looking pieces, you need to upgrade your wardrobe with UN-BORING BASICS. Yep, it’s time.
What are un-boring basics?
Un-boring basics are basic pieces of clothing that lean towards the “fun” side. How do you know if something is an un-boring basic?
- It’s not in your usual official colours or materials.
- It’s a “normal” style but it has a twist that makes it different from the usual variety in the market.
- You can’t stop thinking about it but you’re reluctant to buy because it’s so… different.
You NEED un-boring basics. Need. Because you need to have at least a few things in your wardrobe that make you feel powerful, feel like the best version of yourself AND are great conversation-starters!
In other words, you don’t choose un-boring basics because they match everything else. You choose them because they make a STATEMENT.
There are SIX pieces in your wardrobe that you can make a statement with:
- Blazer or jacket
The statement blazer or jacket
There’s something about a blazer or jacket that makes a woman feel like they can conquer ANYTHING. When you put it on, you feel like a female version of Harvey Specter walking around and fabulously arguing with people (and winning those arguments).
Other than a basic black one that’s great for meetings and job interviews, you can invest in another “fun” blazer:
- DIFFERENT COLOURS: Rather than go for navy or gray, go for other colours! It’s fine if you don’t want to go for bright colours like yellow or hot pink. You can still have a little variety by going for dark colours like dark green, dark purple or maroon.
- DIFFERENT PATTERNS: Solid-coloured blazers are great, but there are plenty of subtle patterns like pinstripe and houndstooth that will add interest to your look yet still be official enough. If you work in a non-corporate environment, a floral pattern would be great too!
- DIFFERENT STYLES: Other than the standard boxy cut, you can go for blazers with flared sleeves or waterfall lapels. They’re fantastic because they add a more feminine, casual look to your outfits.
Things to consider:
- The blazer has to be structured enough that it can still look professional for work. Try to avoid slouchy styles that are not structured around the shoulders as those are more suitable for casual settings.
- Consider choosing a lighter, breathable type of fabric because, you know, tropical country and all. Your office has air-conditioning, but if you want to wear your fun blazer outside of work, you need to be able to breathe.
The statement pair of shoes
Nobody has time to buy shoes in all colours of the rainbow, not when beautiful, comfortable shoes are EXPENSIVE. So, yes, you guessed it, black and brown.
But that doesn’t mean that your shoes need to ONLY be in those colours, even if you want them to be versatile.
By the way, pick a style that you prefer and are comfortable with to get the most out of it! With shoes, it’s usually the colour that makes a difference. The style, not so much.
The tips that have worked really well for me in finding a statement pair of shoes are:
- Look at your wardrobe and identify the colours that you usually go for. My clothes are usually navy, black, gray and nude.
- Choose a colour that’s the OPPOSITE of those colours. I went for yellow and orange.
- Go for the brightest shade of the colour instead of the darkest.
Shoes are basically a small part of your outfit so you can definitely get away with brighter colours. Trust me, you won’t look ridiculous.
The statement skirt
One of the current trends that I am absolutely in love with is the batik print! When I was in high school more than 10 years ago, I lived in batik pants, so I’m glad they’re making a comeback now.
What I love about batik prints is that they are such a statement piece because of the pattern and the multitude of colours. For one batik skirt, you can have, like, up to 8 colours that you can mix and match with.
And your batik skirt can easily take you from casual to work to events!
- CASUAL: Pair it with a jumper or sweater.
- WORK: Pair it with a button-down shirt (tucked in) and a solid-coloured blazer. Black makes it look more corporate.
- EVENTS: Pair it with a modern kurung top or kebaya top.
To make it even more versatile, I went for a mermaid cut style that’s not too flared. It still looks like a standard work skirt but patterned, if you know what I mean.
There’s so many batik prints out there that you’ll be spoilt for choice. If you don’t like the traditional floral-esque patterns, there’s always the more modern geometric and abstract patterns for you to choose from.
The statement clutch
Why clutches? Why not a statement bag?
OK, statement bags are a thing too, but I feel like bags are the one thing where it’s better to be practical and versatile.
If you’re working or are a SAHM or in university where a gazillion things go into your bag and you don’t have time to match your bag to your outift, a basic and versatile bag will simply make life easier. (Unless you have time for it. If you do, go for it!)
But clutches! It’s not a stretch for me to say that when it’s time to use clutches, you’re all glammed up for something special.
And because clutches are for special occasions where you’re not carrying a mini umbrella, your make up bag, a Swiss army knife and the likes, form and size won’t be a limitation.
You can choose any form or size for your clutch, so it’s the perfect opportunity to make a statement!
Here’s where it gets interesting:
- STRIKING COLOURS: I know black, gold and silver are the normal “glam colours”, but in my opinion jewel tones like sapphire and emerald are striking but still luxurious.
- DIFFERENT MATERIALS AND TEXTURES: Leather is standard, but why not make space for other materials and textures like fabric weave or even wood?
- WILDER STYLES: Since you’ll be using the clutch for a few hours at the most, less-practical-but-more-fun styles like tassels and fringes should be in your consideration too!
The statement scarf
You probably have a raaaange of scarves in neutral colours. Let me guess, most of them in nude colours? 5 black ones?
Don’t worry, I get it. It’s just simpler in the morning to have solid-coloured scarves that you can match to most, if not all, of your outfits. Especially if you wear a lot of printed tops.
But if you find yourself feeling a little bored of the same old same old, consider patterned scarves as a way to quickly upgrade your look without doing much else. Plain top, plain pants, patterned scarf. BOOM! You’re set for the day.
Some of the patterns that are in the market right now:
- Floral (classic!)
- Marble prints
Personally, I like to go for shinier fabrics (or at least those with a slight sheen) for my statement scarves because they look more luxurious.
Hint: Ola Scarves is releasing its latest line of Marble Prints early next year that I’m drooling over! The marble prints are unique (forget white and black marble, ok) and the colours are so pretty too. Sneak peek of the Marble Prints from a Scarf Styling Workshop in November!
The statement jewellery
I’ll be honest with you, I don’t usually wear a lot of jewellery. But when I do, I like to make sure that it’s something that makes me feel like a queen. So I won’t go for something simple. It has to stand out in a way.
If you can’t blind people with the reflected lights from your diamonds, it’s OK! It’s not the price that makes a piece of jewellery a statement piece, but the uniqueness of it. If you love it, it works.
For me, the statement jewellery that you go for depends on the hijab style that you’re wearing at that particular time so that it can actually be seen:
- TURBAN STYLES: Earrings and necklaces (heavier and more intricate)
- STYLES THAT COVER THE CHEST: Bangles and rings
- STYLES THAT DON’T COVER THE CHEST: Necklaces (lighter and simpler)
Not a hard rule. Just something to keep in mind to choose jewellery that stands out.
So which statement piece will you choose for your wardrobe?
The best part about picking up statement pieces for yourself is the hunting part. It’s fine if you can’t find everything you want in a day or two. Take the time to survey around and explore what YOU like.
It’s better to really wait for something you adore rather than regret buying something that’ll just sit in your wardrobe like one of those sad toys you see in Toy Story.