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COS: the best of the basics

If there's one thing you should know about me, it's my love for COS. This love affair began a few years ago when I made the decision to start investing in quality pieces that were timeless and would endure the unrelenting and ever-changing trends of the fashion world. If I had to narrow down the reasons I love this brand (which I loathe to do) it would be that they create pieces that are 1) made for taller people like myself (no unintentional ankle grazers in sight), 2) on the higher end of the high street (or should I say student...) budget, but still attainable, and 3) centred around quality staples, sometimes with a bit of a twist. That was hard.


As much as I could go on and on about the reasons I keep going back to COS (or justifying to myself why half of my wardrobe consists of their pieces), the proof is metaphorically in the pudding. I've chosen some of my favourite and very well-worn COS items that I think make the basis of a great capsule wardrobe.

 

Introducing...


The boxy t-shirt


COS do a lot of t-shirts, and to the untrained eye, they may all look the same. But let me tell you, this regular-fit heavyweight t-shirt is the perfect fit. Weighing in at 100% cotton, this breathable yet heavy material holds its shape and washes well. One of my favourite things about this t-shirt is the length, I almost feel as though it was designed with me in mind (plausible, right?). I have a personal vendetta against slim-fitting, slightly awkwardly too-long t-shirts that you have to tuck in and then they bunch up in your trousers. If you too have a strangely specific hostility against most t-shirts, then this one's for you. The length of the body meets pretty much every waistband of jeans and trousers I own, so there's no tucking required. It's not cropped, but boxy enough that even if it is a little longer than the waistband, it just drops nicely over the top. I've got this t-shirt in white and black, both of which go with absolutely everything. This t-shirt layers well, but also looks chic and well-cut on its own.


 

The long sleeve


A lot of my points about the regular-fit heavyweight t-shirt apply to COS' long sleeve top too, so I'll save you the anguish of reading the same thing again. One thing I will say about this regular-fit long-sleeve t-shirt is that I opted against the heavyweight cotton this time. I bought this t-shirt more specifically for layering, so I didn't want to end up too hot, as most of my jumpers are wool or a variation of a sweat-inducing knit. They do have a heavyweight version though, which is more rigid and holds its shape. A good option for transitional dressing.


 

The wool jumper


Out of all of my COS jumpers, this has got to be the fave. Fore-warning, it's an alpaca-wool mix so I've got to be honest, it's itchy. However, if you pair it with the regular-fit long-sleeve t-shirt, these two are a match made in heaven. The cuffs are ribbed which creates subtle volume in the sleeves, and means that when you layer it under jackets and coats, the sleeves don't bunch up. The length of this knit also scores major brownie points as it's slightly shorter than most of my other jumpers, meaning if I pair it with the white long-sleeve, some of the t-shirt peeks out from the bottom. Personally, I like this look as I find layering makes a simple outfit more interesting and chic.


 

The classic jeans


Now, I may have prematurely vetoed ankle-grazing jeans earlier in this blog post, and in my haste, I forgot to mention that these are an exception. I was on the hunt for a pair of jeans that were longer than cropped but shorter than full-length, and these are the ones. Much like most other minimalist, scandi-loving dressers, I caved and bought the Birkenstock clogs, and these jeans are the perfect length to sit over the top, while still showing some sock (scandalous I know).


 

The puffer


The pièce de resistance. While this whole blog post is really just me exposing my perpetual love for COS, this piece really is *chef's kiss*. I'm not exaggerating when I say I have worn this nearly every day this winter. This puffer is both chic and practical, which is unusual for me as I nearly always opt for style over substance. Newsflash, this has both. The long and treacherous quest to find the perfect long black puffer coat led me here. The minimalist, streamlined design of this coat means that although it's technically a puffer, it's not too bulky (which meets point one of my long list of criteria). The black zip blends seamlessly so both silver and gold girls are safe with this one, and the two-way zip means you can unzip the coat from the bottom up so that if you're walking up a hill you don't have to waddle like a penguin. And it acts as built-in climate control for when you're walking up said hill. I'm sure there are other advantages but these are my favourites. One last thing - wearing this puffer zipped up with dark sunglasses makes me feel like a celebrity avoiding the paps. That's all.


 

The trench


Next up, we have the classic trench. Fear not, this is the penultimate item and then I'll be done waffling about COS. As much as I think most beige trenchcoats are a staple for a neutral wardrobe, this one has the edge for me. Firstly, the length is much longer than others I've tried on, so there's no awkward mid-calf cut-off, it just drops seamlessly over every outfit. Secondly, the minimalist design and lack of. unnecessary buttons and pockets mean that you won't look like an off-duty inspector - bonus! Jokes aside, this trench is an absolute staple for transitional dressing and makes any outfit look put together. A word of warning for the wise though, even if you're vertically gifted like me, be careful when sitting down on public transport as it will drag on the floor and get dirty (tfl I'm looking at you).


 

The oversized shirt


Last but certainly not least is one of my favourite pieces for transitional dressing, an oversized tailored shirt. I always choose a structured cotton over linen as I find cotton is wearable across all seasons, rather than being limited to summer dressing. From a practical point of view, linen creases very easily which I feel can sometimes look untidy, especially for a tailored item of clothing, so I opt for 100% cotton as it keeps its shape well. There are a couple of things about this shirt in particular that stand out for me (hence why I have it in blue too, naturally). As a rule, I always think investing in basics is the way to go as you can intertwine these items with more affordable trend pieces that will come and go, and this shirt is no exception. Similarly to a lot of other COS items, this shirt has a couple of details that elevate it, such as the slightly rounded split hem, and the wide cuffs on the sleeves. I also love that the back of the shirt drops lower than the front as you still get the feel of a really oversized look, without it looking like a dress and swallowing the rest of your outfit.


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