After last month’s passionate championing of the good old jumpsuit, and mild disdain of my usual fashion choice which I am so ironically contending for this month, Missguided have come out with a widely talked about “jeans and a nice top” section on their website, and so I quickly became inspired by my once go-to but recently rejected combo. The new section came after a fellow shopper tweeted Missguided with a request for said option; the store replying with a simple ‘noted’ before launching it only two weeks later. Not all heroes wear capes! The launch was received with an overwhelming response from girls and women everywhere, and since then, unsurprisingly, several online retailers have followed suit (ASOS, we’re waiting on you now). Even guys must experience this same conflict, surely. After weeks on end wearing the same chinos/jeans and shirt pairing and considering whether a t-shirt could maybe possibly be an appropriate choice, even our male counterparts must struggle with the inner debate.
As I navigate my mid-twenties, I realise that mini dresses don’t fill me with joy like they used to. Even though they’re perfectly apt for the Dusk scene, I feel like the older you get, the more you can get away with, and the more casual you can dress on a Friday night. Certain types of dresses are only really appropriate for out-out nights, whereas a more dressed down look can often transcend any occasion; perfect for a civilised glass of wine on the Chatham Counterguard strip, and perfect for the dancefloor too. It’s a win-win situation!
These days, my usual go-to is jeans and an okay-ish top; I wouldn’t even stretch it to nice, to be quite honest. I’m just not a pretty blouse kinda gal; I find it so much easier and more natural to buy casual tees or shirts. This year, however, I’m determined to invest in a few pieces that will succeed in taking my outfit from casual afternoon coffee at OV, to some evening beverages at Vinopolis (keeping all dancefloor-related eventualities at the back of one’s mind, of course).
One of my favourite styles, without a doubt, is a high neck piece. High necks are so incredibly flattering and elegant, and have the ability to give any outfit a touch of much needed glam without any effort whatsoever. I find wrap over blouses have that same effect; they are easy and uncomplicated options that are pretty simple to style too. Although I’ve never personally gone down the bodysuit route, I recognise, increasingly, how versatile and appropriate they are for those desperate jeans-and-a-nice-top outfit searches. They tend to perfectly teeter on that fine line between sexy and elegant, and can easily be paired with a smart blazer and some court heels for a particularly fancy affair.
On the other end of the spectrum, a flannel shirt, (or any shirt, for that matter) as unappealing as it may sound, doesn’t always have to look like you’ve just come from mucking out a stable. Aside from looking fantastic when tucked into a pair of high-waisted jeans, I find that they also give you a slight edge when it comes to accessorising; easy enough to dress up, but also seamlessly compatible with a more alternative style, as opposed to the restrictions placed upon you by an overwhelmingly feminine blouse. I’ve recently taken to wearing a flannel shirt with embroidered flowers detailing, buttoning it down as much as I dare, and pairing it with a delicate lariat necklace for that extra girly and glam touch. I love flannel shirts on guys too. They make for a perfect alternative to your standard Friday-night shirt, fellas.
But what about the jeans, you may ask? Well, the answer is, any pair of jeans will work! From high-waisted black skinnies, to ripped and studded, to colourful mom jeans, literally any will do! According to ASOS, though, we should be keeping an eye on “dark indigo washes, stitch detailing, polka dots and ice-cream hues.”
When I’m presented with a slightly more than casual affair, my natural inclination is to assume that a pair of jeans wouldn’t be appropriate, but when paired with a smart top, some accessories and a good pair of shoes, jeans suddenly become the perfect balance to an otherwise dressy look. The high-street has some gorgeous blouses on offer; pieces that are not only fab for after-work drinks, but also a nice lunch, a baptism, you name it! It’s amazing how a simple blouse can take your outfit up a notch to become one that is able to transcend occasion.
Whether it’s a simple button down blouse, a checked shirt or bodysuit, or even a cropped tee, pairing a top with a great pair of jeans should never have to be stressful. Embrace it fully, and opt for more daring options that you wouldn’t usually consider trying. You’ll find it can actually be quite fun!