Wardrobe essentials | 9 must-have tops under £20

cocomamastyle | wardrobe essentials | 9 must have topsYou’d be forgiven for thinking that summer styling is purely about packing in the colour and print and finding the perfect swimwear and while the warmer months are the obvious time to do this, it’s easy to forget the basics. Trend-led and printed pieces in our wardrobes bring our outfits to life, but it’s the neutral fillers which can make or break a look. Get the foundations right with your wardrobe essentials and you’ve got year-round dressing sorted.

This season there have been three key buys which have formed the basis of most of my outfits and in a variety of colours they start to build a capsule wardrobe around which to add print, colour and accessories.

The Shirt

In a flowing viscose fabric for a soft cotton feel that’s light enough for comfort and coolness during the summer with no sheer-ness to contend with.

cocomamastyle | wardrobe essentials | mango shirt

The Shirt: available in sky blue, navy, off white and pastel pink (not pictured), £19.99 each, Mango

Style tips:

  • Button-up or down depending on your preference. If in doubt, unbutton the first few for a relaxed feel.
  • Take tips from this 60 second style video for the perfect cuff role à la J Crew to flash your wrist and make your arms appear longer and leaner.
  • With a fitted skirt, tuck in all the way around.
  • Wearing with trousers or jeans? Do the front tuck only.
  • Fancy a 2016 spin? Do the half tuck as seen in the video above.

cocomamastyle | wardrobe essentials | mango shirt

Work to weekend styling
Instagram | @cocomamastyle

The T-shirt

Fluid jersey, a good sleeve length for a t-shirt, and a silk-effect neckline that gently curves all make for a t-shirt that’s more that a step up from your average tee. Add in the scooped hem which lends itself to tucking in just the front with jeans (for a smarter finish) and this forgiving tee is a must-buy.

cocomamastyle | wardrobe essentials | oasis t shirtThe T-shirt: available in khaki, navy, maroon, white, turquoise and striped (not pictured), £14 each, Oasis

Style tips:

  • With a bigger bust, look to longer necklaces to elongate and  create a V shape at the neckline.
  • Try tucking into a midi skirt and adding heels for a comfortable yet chic work look.
  • With the darker colours of the t-shirt, lift your look with print and bright or light colours on your bottom half.

cocomamastyle | wardrobe essentials | oasis t shirt

From Stylist mode to school runs
Instagram | @cocomamastyle

The Vest

With a v-neckline that will flatter most body shapes, these Warehouse vests drape well to skim a tum with a woven front and jersey back for comfort and stretch. With wide enough straps to disguise a bra beneath, this vest is not only practical but also has added details which lift it above the ranks of jersey basics for layering.

cocomamastyle | wardrobe essentials | warehouse vest

The Vest: available in khaki, red, black and cobalt blue (not pictured), £19 each, Warehouse

cocomamastyle | wardrobe essentials | warehouse vestBeach to bar and coffee runs
Instagram | @cocomamastyle

Styling tips

When wearing plain, neutral tops it’s important to introduce colour and print elsewhere. If you’re having a casual day and pairing your basics tops with jeans, bring your look to life with a bright bag or scarf and introduce texture to keep an outfit interesting.

It’s easy to get into the habit of bright colours on top and dark on the bottom half so if this is your go-to try something different and switch it up. While it’s true that a darker colour on your hips is slimming, a well-cut skirt will flatter even in a bright shade.

If it works for you and you will wear it, then yes, buy it in every colour. Just be sure that each top you buy will work with at least 3 other items in your wardrobe.

Think about the silhouette you want to create with your outfit as a whole. A simple tuck-in can add shape and structure to show your shape. Sometimes covering everything with loose tops isn’t the most flattering option!

Follow CocoMamaStyle on instagram for daily style snaps and Instagram stories

A summer styling post sponsored by Ocean credit cards, written and styled by CocoMamaStyle

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