This week marks the beginning of the 2018 school calendar and a return to reality for the majority of the South African population. The countless ‘back to school ads’ continually serve to reinforce this fact. Offices are quickly filling up again as more people return to their desks. Oh and, don’t get me started on the traffic. Joburg streets are abuzz with busses, taxi’s and tuk-tuks packed with commuters making their way through the city.

This time of the year is often coloured with mixed emotions that are brought on by the dread of returning to set routines which were erased by the ease of summer days. You’re definitely not alone if you’re already up for round two of a summer vacay. We all know how easy it is to lose yourself in the nostalgia of carefree days spent around the pool with friends and family while the meat braais. We can unanimously agree that the back-to-reality struggle is REAL. With that being said the new year also presents fresh opportunities for improvements in life and style.

The internet offers countless methods to help beat the post-holiday blues, however, nothing is as effective as a return to the basics, the essentials or the ‘building blocks’ of any balanced wardrobe and killer street style.

Perhaps you’re still unsure of whether you have all the essentials in place? Then simply imagine not buying or thrifting a single garment or accessory for the next 365 days. If you’re sure that what you already have in your possession will see you through the next sun rotation with enough desk-to-dinner and off-duty looks that never go out of fashion, then you’re good.

However, there’s no harm in going over a checklist or creating your own to ensure that you have everything you need, so here goes. The working girl’s ultimate checklist for essential items:

  • Items should be versatile and outlast the ever-changing seasons.
  • All about prints? Make polka dots, stripes and wild florals your go-tos.
  • Make quality over quantity your thing, items that need to go the distance should be of premium quality, so make room in your purse to spend a little extra on nice things that last.

Ready to make your return to the grind? Make sure to pick up a classic or two from Vero Moda, Mango, Edit and a host of other brands. Dresses: You seriously cannot go wrong with a dress collection that consists of a perfectly fitted LBD, a striped midi, a lightweight shirt dress and a flowing maxi.

GET THE LOOK

  Mehna Long Sleeve Dress Black | Vero Moda

Vero Moda
R599

  Mathlo Shirt Dress Blue and White | AMANDA LAIRD CHERRY

AMANDA LAIRD CHERRY
R995

  Linen Shirt Dress Black | edit Plus

edit Plus
R449
Tops: A button-down shirt is the ideal go-between for a suit-up day or an off-duty jeans and slides day. A quirky slogan tee is guaranteed to lift your mood no matter how bad the day.

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Bottoms: For the corporate girl, a pencil skirt is a sure staple. Make sure to switch up the texture every so often. Wide-leg trousers, denim jeans and a checked ruffled skirt are fail-safe options for a winning wardrobe.

GET THE LOOK

  Lace-up Skirt Navy | STYLE REPUBLIC

STYLE REPUBLIC
R299

  501 Tapered Jeans Mid Blue | Levi’s®

Levi’s®
R1299

  Long Sleeve Shirt White | MANGO

MANGO
R649
Jackets: Oversized blazers, gilets and biker jackets are timeless items that make for the best transitional pieces, great in summer and equally perfect in winter #totalwinners.

GET THE LOOK

  Oversized Blazer Grey | STYLE REPUBLIC

STYLE REPUBLIC
R449

  Molli Denim Jacket Pale Blue | Noisy May

Noisy May
R999
Shoes: A balanced shoe collection ranges from courts to medium heels, flats and sneakers.

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  Parma Loafers Gold | Dolce Vita

Dolce Vita
R449

  Owl Mules Yellow | Miss Black

Miss Black
R549

  Alessia Sneakers White | FILA

FILA
R599
Accessories: Your accessories are probably your hardest working items and therefore need to be the most durable and stylish.

GET THE LOOK

  Drop Earrings Gold | STYLE REPUBLIC

STYLE REPUBLIC
R59

  Skinny Belt Black | Joy Collectables

Joy Collectables
R119