My Style: New Staples

I’ve been shopping!

After using these principles to cull my wardrobe, I realised that I needed some new staples that would add a formal element to my outfits without feeling too stuffy. My prior-life corporate blazers are feeling too stiff for me now but I need some of that structure that a good jacket provides. I love a good blazer but was inspired by this post featuring a vest/sleeveless blazer which I could see working more broadly across my work and weekend-wear.

Business Chic Vest and Lace Trim Shirt Dress 2

My new work staples – long sleeveless vest and lace-trimmed white shirt dress.

How to get the fit of a staple right

The classic wardrobe staples are:

  • trench coat
  • blazer
  • white shirt – can be extended to “white top” for those of us who are ironing-adverse!
  • cashmere cardigan
  • little black dress
  • pants/skirt

And now I’m subbing in a vest to perform the function of a blazer.

When it comes to your wardrobe staples I think it’s so important to try things on in person to make sure that you get the fit right to ensure that it does become the most hardworking piece in your wardrobe that you can reach for all the time. For example there are lots of vests out at the moment in different shapes and lengths but which one is right for you will come down to your body shape and how you wish to wear it.

There are lots out there cut straight-up and down or trench-coat style which isn’t always flattering for my bodyshape for example. If you have an hourglass body shape like I do, opt for either a short tailored vest or a longer-but-tailored one that defines your waist; this will allow you to wear the vest open or closed and I wanted a longer one so I could wear it as a dress (in winter with stockings) or achieve the chic effect of a day or duster coat.  So go in for the 3D experience and try on the item in person so that you can see how it’s been cut.

Business Chic Vest and Lace Trim Shirt Dress

Good staples should be able to work with most pieces in your wardrobe. Be prepared to see all of the ways that I style my new vest and shirt dress!

I’m wearing: Cameo sleeveless vest with grosgrain ribbon detail and Asilo Shirt Dress both purchased from The Estelle Store. My Bag is from Nomadic and Clarks Australia shoes.

As for the lace-trimmed white shirt dress – ok it’s going to sound like I’m going against what I said above in terms of the importance of fit –  it’s actually a few sizes too big for me! Yes I confess it was on-sale but I believe it will work for me because I intend to use it as a layering piece. As you may have noticed since last week’s style post, I love the peek of a lace hem and can’t wait to layer this under more coats, long cardigans, jumpers and the like – stay tuned!

Have you been shopping lately? What have you picked up?


  1. Cheryl! What an awesome outfit! I LOVE the cameo vest! And the lace peeking at the bottom is so lovely!
    Seriously in love with this outfit! 🙂

    I also had a wardrobe clean out recently and am looking to invest in more staple items this year! Will make sure to keep an eye out on your new pieces!

    xo Luci

  2. I love wearing my sleeveless blazer vest! I really should do a corporate look story on it, I did a two ways to wear last year but both were quite casual. Definitely love this look with it buttoned down over the lace.
    xx Jenelle

    • Let me know if you do, Jenelle! I’m looking forward to getting lots of wear out of this style and already have my eye on others. I have a lot of black in my wardrobe so one in a different colour and texture would be great too 😉

  3. I love how you styled it!
    Very simple and classy!
    Well done!
    With love from London
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