Uniqlo "U", Don't Sleep on the Basics!
All over campus, I hear people saying they want to start dressing better but don’t know where to start. Our answer to this is basics. Basics are the foundation of building a great closet and having a style you’re proud of. What are basics? Where do I find them? How much should I spend on them? Fear-not! The answers to all your questions lie in this collection.
Uniqlo’s latest collection named “U” has everything you need. The Japanese brand has partnered with renowned French designer Christophe Lemaire —famous for his use of vivid colors and boxy cuts. A t-shirt from his own brand will run you about $200. Don’t get me wrong, the brand is incredibly nice, but the price it just a bit steep... however, the “U” collection offers the same beautiful designs and colors, but at affordable prices. “U” will be released throughout the Winter/Spring with the first drop on January 25th.
Let’s check out some of my favorites!
The COTTON FULL-ZIP PARKA
This simple, minimalist parka will keep you dry while adding some nice layers to your outfit. Although many companies sell a rain jacket like this one, the colors used here - especially the plum, the sky-blue and the rust - are unique(lo). Furthermore, Uniqlo is best-known for their quality parkas and light down jackets which will keep you dry on those ugly, rainy Berkeley days.
The COTTON CASHMERE LONG-SLEEVE SHIRT CARDIGAN
Although this piece might look like it belongs in your grandpa’s closet, you can achieve a semi formal image or even a skater vibe depending on what you pair with it. This piece over a white tee and nice trousers gives you a smarter look, while pairing it with a graphic tee, destroyed chinos or jeans, and some Vans gives you the Tyler The Creator-esque look. This piece is perfect for our volatile Berkeley weather, and is a nice change from the commonplace hoodie or sweatshirt. I would personally go for the dark blue or black versions, paired with light jeans or khaki chinos and a white t-shirt underneath.
The COTTON CASHMERE CREWNECK LONG-SLEEVE SWEATER
This piece is very common amongst fashion retailers, but you’ll rarely find it at the same quality to price ratio. The colors offered range from statement pieces to conservative hues. The sweater’s cut is impeccable; it’s slightly boxy giving it nice drape opposed to the often-seen stacking of very tight sweaters.
The OPEN COLLAR SHORT-SLEEVE SHIRT
As Spring approaches, you will want alternatives to the usual t-shirt. This collar shirt is the perfect substitute. It comes in beautiful, elegant colors that will brighten up your closet’s palette. This shirt is very flowy and will be perfect for hotter days. You can also wear it over a t-shirt and unbutton it to add layers and complications to your fit.
The LONG-SLEEVE HOODED SWEATSHIRT
Although I try to avoid hoodies and switch it up, I always end up resorting to one for those windy, chilly, or rainy days. Hoodies are practical and comfortable, but some look better than others depending on the materials, cut, and details like pockets and drawstrings. This hoodie is pretty simple, yet its metal eyelets elevate it to a higher end status. The wide pockets also give it a minimal, clean vibe. Furthermore, the colors make this piece special, especially the peach-ish and mustard one .
The CREWNECK SHORT-SLEEVE T-SHIRT
Everyone needs multiple basic tees in their closet. These are simple and allow you to layer without overdoing your outfit. It is super easy to stick to whites, blacks and greys when picking an outfit since brighter colors can quickly get tacky or childish. Lemaire is special in the sense that he makes his clothes colorful yet serene, elegant and mature. My favorites are above.
These t-shirts will allow you to add color to your fit, yet maintain a serious aesthetic without looking like a 3rd grader. Fit-wise, I personally like to size up so the fabric flows, and I achieve an oversized but these t-shirts are naturally quite boxy, so if you want a form-fitting t-shirt, consider sizing down.
The STRIPED SHORT-SLEEVE T-SHIRT and COLOR BLOCK SHORT-SLEEVE T-SHIRT
These two t-shirts are both elegant and modern. They add color, patterns, and complications to your fit, while maintaining the minimal, graphic-less look that this collection aims for. Thick-knit cotton is both comfortable and durable, ideal for the spring and Bay-Area “summer” due to its thickness.
The WIDE-FIT PLEATED PANTS and WIDE-FIT TAPERED JEANS
These wider pants are an alternative to the classic skinny jeans or chinos. The width and the ankle crop will give your outfit a very Japanese look . Not only do these look great, but they are also a lot more comfortable than skinny jeans due to the more relaxed fit and soft fabrics that uniqlo uses (even for denim!). And to anyone who follows streetwear and fashion, you will know that wider, cropped pants are “in” right now!
This collection is a great guide for anyone looking to buy basics. Of course you do not have to buy everything above, but these items give you a feel of what basics are and what purpose they can serve. All of these pieces are not only beautiful by themselves, but also easily work with each other, which is the key to building a clean fit. Be sure to check out the rest of the collection which includes many more gems!
Words By Albert Tres