Fads might be fun to test drive in the moment, but if you live your life by these timeless rules you’ll always be in style.

All style editors will agree that it’s worth investing in a great pair of jeans. Don’t go for an on-trend colour: dark indigo is timeless, smart and flattering. Focus on fit and not size: depending on the brand, you could be a 12 or a 16 so don’t get hung up on numbers but rather focus on comfort. Lived-in finishes are cool but think understated, as more than one or two ‘holes’ and excessive distressing will date. And while there are myriad cuts out there, a pair of ankle-grazing skinny jeans and a chic boot cut are two ‘forever’ wardrobe staples.

Who wears it best… Miranda Kerr, Chrissy Teigen, Jessica Alba

Related article: How to style your denims

The classic cream-with-navy Breton stripe was appropriated from the French navy by Coco Chanel and introduced into her iconic Nautical Collection in 1917. Ever since then, it’s been loved for its no-frills attitude and ease of wear. Stripes work with everything from skirts or tailored shorts to jeans and a blazer. Black, denim and white are obvious pairings but red, tan and khaki have an elegant uptown vibe.

Who wears it best… Jessica Nkosi, Kate Middleton, Eva Mendes, Alexa Chung

The most iconic component of the perfect capsule wardrobe, think of the basic button-up as the foundation for every look: with a blazer, under a cashmere crew neck, worn loose over boyfriend jeans, as a blank canvas for a statement necklace, tucked into a high-waisted A-line skirt, with sleeves nonchalantly rolled up or primly done up. Modern variations on the basic white shirt include ruffles, a Victorian collar and a Mandarin neckline. Wear it wrinkle-free and spotless.

Who wears it best… Victoria Beckham, Zoë Saldana, Nicole Richie

Related article: 5 Ways to style the basic white tee

“The button-up white shirt is the most iconic component of the perfect capsule wardrobe.”

There’s nothing that a wardrobe full of neutrals loves more than bright pops of colourful accessories. There’s no denying the delight of a flamingo pink pair of shoes with an otherwise neutral outfit or a contrasting statement bag in yellow, green or turquoise. As for committed colourists, they know all about making a statement with colour blocking or pairing prints or plains with high-definition shades.

Who wears it best… Gigi Hadid, Gwen Stefani, Kelly Osbourne

Related article: Autumn trends for the office

A great outfit can be let down by meh hair and make-up! You don’t have to go overboard but a glossy mane, striking lips and a sexy cat-eye will go a long way to making you feel like a million bucks.

Who wears it best… Lupita Nyong’o, Rita Ora, Zooey Deschanel

Fashion loves black! A blazer, a biker jacket, an LBD, a cardigan, heels, pumps, a satin boiler suit, jeans, a handbag, sunglasses and tailored cigarette trousers work for every season, situation and body type. And a bright pop of colour is a fresh way to break the uniformity of an all-black outfit.

Who wears it best… Mindy Kaling, Vanessa Hudgens, Kristen Stewart, Kendall Jenner

Layers are a must between seasons or on chilly autumn nights. Here’s how... Stack a lightweight long- or short-sleeved T-shirt, classic button-up or tailored blouse, then pull over a light turtleneck or cardigan, and finally wrap up with a classic trench or pea coat, military-inspired parka, denim or leather biker jacket. Leave a little of the bottom layer showing to achieve the layered look. An oversized scarf provides additional warmth. It’s all about contrast: a colourful kimono over a black T-shirt and shorts or a worn-in denim jacket with a pretty floral dress.

Who wears it best… Fearne Cotton, Blake Lively, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen

Purge your wardrobe of everything that doesn’t flatter you, or that you don’t enjoy wearing. Think about the colours that suit your skin tone, a neckline that works for your bust and the key investment pieces that will give you the most confidence. Soon you’ll have a streamlined closet filled with fabulous choices.

Who wears it best… Solange Knowles, Rita Ora, Lupita Nyong’o, Zooey Deschanel

“Spend some time figuring out what you love to wear as well as what flatters your body type”

Related article: 10 Inspiring beauty and fashion trailblazers in South Africa

It’s really simple. Whatever shoes you choose, make sure you can walk in them. Your handbag should be able to fit your keys, phone and favourite lipstick. And, if your look is heavy on the bracelets, then leave your neck and fingers jewellery free, and vice versa.

Who wears it best… Bonang Matheba, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Rihanna

We all have that friend or celebrity icon we admire, who is a fashion chameleon, rocking the trends, making clashing patterns and prints look cool, sauntering into a formal gathering wearing light-up trainers with a tailored suit or getting a fuchsia pixie cut. It’s fun to not always play it safe so go ahead: combine black and navy, wear sequins during the day, do double-denim and dress in white whenever you like (just not to your sister’s wedding).

Who wears it best… Diane Kruger, Solange Knowles, Sarah Jessica Parker

Related article: 5 Young designers making it big internationally

THE 10 FASHION COMMANDMENTS THE 10 FASHION COMMANDMENTS Reviewed by Michelle Pienaar on April 14, 2021 Rating: 5
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