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Avoid an overflowing wardrobe and look effortlessly chic with our edit of essential tops

The white shirt

A tailored white shirt epitomises elegance and simplicity. It manages to be completely unpretentious, while also adding instant sophistication. Choose between a loose, masculine-style button down or a more fitted blouse, depending on your personal style; the only prerequisite is that it must be crease-free and perfectly white.

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Wear it with

Turned-up jeans for the weekend
A double-breasted navy blazer
A polka-dot flowing midi skirt
A form-fitting pencil skirt for the office

The Breton

Originally worn by French sailors, the Breton top has been a firm fashion favourite ever since 1917, when Coco Chanel first introduced it to women’s wardrobes. The nautical stripe looks just as chic with jeans as it does with a full skirt and heels. Don’t be scared to mix it with print either – with the simplicity of a Breton, you can afford to experiment.

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Wear it with

A vertical striped skirt with side pockets
Off-white jeans for off-duty style
Laidback casual navy shorts
This linen skirt, which looks great with stripes

The smart top

The return of ‘jeans and a nice top’ as a fashionable evening option is great news as far as we’re concerned – it’s a simple formula that allows you to look dressy but never OTT. Even better, the right top can either be smartened up for the office (black or grey checked trousers are perfect) or given an even more glamorous twist with heels and jewellery for really special events. This waist-cinching number ticks all the boxes.

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Wear it with

Instant glam-giving earrings
Sculpting black jeans
The work-friendly skirt
Checked trousers, available in three lengths

The white T-shirt

The most functional item of clothing imaginable, a white T-shirt is nevertheless a firm fashion favourite, offering a sartorial blank page that allows your imagination to run wild. For a casual-cool uniform, team with jeans, sandals and a gorgeous piece of jewellery. On dressier days, a white tee’s simplicity off-sets wide-leg trousers or a pencil skirt perfectly.

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Wear it with

A slouchy grey blazer
Budget-friendly straight-leg jeans
A floral pleated skirt for summer
The ultimate tan leather bag

The sleeveless blouse

One feature we truly value in a top is versatility, and a good sleeveless blouse will see you from daytime to date night, office to holiday, and everywhere in between. Pick a shape that’s loose and comfortable, in a shade that will inject colour into your wardrobe. For a smart look, tuck into a high-waisted skirt or team with cigarette trousers, or go laidback with white jeans or denim shorts.

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Wear it with

A cotton-rich skirt for the office
White wide-leg trousers for holidays
Super-chic leather sandals
Figure-flattering indigo culottes

Editor: Sophie Hines / Photographer: Jonny Mallen / Hair stylist: Liam Moore / Make-up artist: Joanna Bernacka / Model: Caroline Winberg

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