The six items every stylish wardrobe should have

Alyson Walsh is the author of the book Style Forever based on her popular blog That’s Not My Age. As a fashion journalist, she writes for the Guardian and the FT’s How To Spend It websites and strongly believes that you don’t have to have youth to have style.

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Confidence comes from finding clothes and accessories that work hard, and work in real life. Not just on catwalks, in glossy magazines or ‘Today I’m Wearing’ blog posts. These reliable, figure-flattering essentials are what I like to call Wardrobe Glue. Finding the perfect Wardrobe Glue may take a little time, effort and self-awareness but you’re going to be a member of Generation FAB (fifty and beyond) for quite a long time, so it’s worth putting in the groundwork. Once the essentials are in place, the uniform perfected, add a final flourish and you’re ready for action.

Here are six of my favourite pieces from the spring/summer 2015 collections at Fenwick (which, to be honest, weren’t that difficult to find). The Bond Street store is one of my favourite shops. The calm environment, perfectly edited fashion offer and brilliant lingerie department make shopping a doddle. And there’s a Blink concession where I get my eyebrows threaded – so obviously that means I have to visit on a regular basis. Any excuse, really.

1. The slinky silk blouse

It’s French. It’s chic. Say bonjour to the navy silk blouse.

Silk feels cool in summer and warm in winter, and hence comfortable to wear whatever the season.

This pyjama-style shirt from Equipment would look fab with a pair of white jeans for channelling that easy-breezy Ines de la Fressange vibe.

Equipment available at Fenwick Bond Street.

2. Everyday denim jeans

Hardworking and reliable, a decent pair of jeans is like a long-lasting relationship - and we all know how we feel about things that get better with age.

I know the fashion world is wearing flares but easy-to-wear boyfriend jeans are my go-to essential.

J Brand’s boyfriend style comes in a lovely faded wash and the softest denim, ever.

J Brand available at Fenwick Bond Street, Brent Cross, Colchester, Kingston, Newcastle, Tunbridge Wells and York.

3. An outstanding coat

A fabulous stand-out-from-the-crowd coat will upgrade the simplest outfit.

By Malene Birger’s stunning wrap version works equally well with faded boyfriend jeans or smart black cigarette pants.

Oh and the metallic gold fabric will bathe you in a warm, flattering light, all year-round. So much better than an Instagram filter…

By Malene Birger available at Fenwick Bond Street and Newcastle.

4. The go-everywhere tunic dress

Perennially chic, navy is my favourite grown-up neutral, and this pull-on-and-go tunic style is guaranteed to make getting dressed a doddle.

Just add a gorgeous silk neck scarf, an armful of bangles and some metallic pumps for work, weekends, whenever.

Jil Sander Navy is available at Fenwick Bond Street.

5. The kick-ass jacket

To me a sharp tailored jacket is one of the wisest investments - and the quickest way to go from working at home to walking into a business meeting.

Perfect with the go-anywhere tunic dress, even better thrown on over jeans and a T-shirt, Joseph’s brocade blue design is a striking, modern day staple.

Joseph available at Fenwick Bond Street, Kingston, Newcastle, Tunbridge Wells and York.

6. The essential Breton top

Parallel lines can perk up any outfit; adding a smidgen of understated glamour to simple trousers and jeans.

But no need to go full-on French ingénue; I find a modern-day mash up – adding a floral-print skirt or pair of camouflage pants ‒ is the best way to wear a Breton.

Sonia by Sonia Rykiel is available at Fenwick Bond Street.

Style Forever: The Grown-Up Guide To Looking Fabulous by Alyson Walsh (Hardie Grant, £12.99) Illustrations: Leo Greenfield

By Alyson Walsh