I’m a firm believer that when it comes to clothing, you’re best to spend a little extra to get a better quality and have fewer items than to have lots of items because they’re cheaper.
Ultimately the cheaper items don’t look new for long with even a single wash distorting the fabric or colour. But even if the less is more concept for your wardrobe is a little too much to consider, particularly if you follow the fashions, there are some staple items that you should have in your wardrobe. Not all of these items require a lot to be spent on, particularly if you’re wearing them continuously (like me in flats) which will wear quite quickly, but these items should be regarded as your capsule collection, items that should always feature in your wardrobe. We explain why.
A blazer will instantly transform any outfit. Having a blazer on hand is ideal for last minute business meetings, interviews and even will serve you well on more sombre occasions and it’ll also help if you’re trying to dress up your more casual attire for when you’re uncertain of dress code.
Your blazer is one item of clothing that should look like it was made exclusively for you; there’s nothing wrong with getting your blazer from your favourite high street retailer but we’d recommend visiting a tailor to have it adjusted to fit you perfectly.
A coat that’ll last you for the seasons; a trench coat can deal with the spring showers and help with the autumn chill.
The trench coat is also an ideal and smart coat for business purposes when a jumper or blazer just isn’t enough. It’s also simple enough that it’ll complete your casual outfit just as well.
Your LBD should be a dress that if you’re totally lost on what to wear, you’ve always got this to fall back on; but it should say so much more than that. Not only should it be your go-to item but you should feel comfortable and confident in it. When shopping for your LBD, you should feel ecstatic for wearing it not just because you have to.
Additionally, despite the title, it doesn’t necessarily have to be black. Although we’d recommend you get a version of ‘the perfect dress’ in black, it wouldn’t hurt to have it in another colour too; preferably the colour that suits you best. After all, it’s the style of the LBD that makes the stand out difference not just the colour.
A white shirt on hand is ideal for any occasion where you need to dress up at short notice be it a meeting at school, with clients/at work; or for those times when you want to feel a little more powerful. The white shirt also pares well with blue denim jeans like the sky and clouds!
A crisp cotton white t-shirt will serve you just as well as a white shirt will; it will go with everything, ideal for dressing up or down and if you’re ever concerned about a clash of colours, a white t-shirt will pull an outfit together without toning a strong colour down.
If you feel a white shirt is too dressy, a white t-shirt will be a next step alternative.
A pencil/straight skirt will make any outfit look polished. Additionally, it accentuates your hips and will help your legs look longer. Team with a t-shirt for a casual/dressy look or shirt and blazer for a look that says you mean business.
A striped top looks great on everyone and surprisingly it’ll go with everything too. Whether for work or casual purposes, a striped top can be both serious and playful at the same time; it’s just all down to how you accessorise it.
Much like the rest of your capsule wardrobe, a pair of black trousers is good to have on hand for those occasions where you need to be or feel a little more dressed up. The beauty of black trousers though is that regardless of that look you’re going for, whatever you pair them with will be the distinguishing factor on whether your feeling more laidback and casual or you mean business. E.g. a flowy pair may feel more casual but team with a pair of brogues or court shoes and a crisp white or blue skirt and you’re just as powerful as the rest.
Every woman should have a pair of straight jeans on hand. Wear with a pair of flats and you could be off to the cinema, bowling or just heading out shopping; wear with a pair of courts for cocktails with your friends, out on a first date or even to the office.
If you take care of it, it’ll take care of you.
A cashmere jumper is one of the most expensive purchases up-front but it’s also one that can go a long way if looked after in the way it requests. Cashmere is the type of wool used; it’s softer than most, so suitable for all skin types but it is also regarded as the cosiest and will keep you warm on the coldest of nights.
Sleek Pumps/Court Shoes
In black, navy or muted colours such as nude, your sleek pumps/court shoes will help you to dress up any outfit instantly. They should be treated much like your LBD in that they’re comfortable to wear and are not regarded as a chore when you need to. You’ll want to pick a colour that’ll go with the majority of your clothing items to be on hand as and when you need. Be sure to keep these in the box or in a dust bag to help protect them.
We all need to let our feet relax from time to time and a pair of slip ons/trainers are what we all need to have as a staple to our wardrobes. We’re not talking about your workout shoes either, but a pair designated for ‘casual’.
Office dress policies have become a lot more relaxed lately and trainers and slip on shoes are A-Okay (with the exception of meeting with clients of course!). But that doesn’t give you the freedom to let your trainers go. Always ensure your trainers are clean, tidy and don’t look bent out of shape. If you’re opting for white, keep them white.
Perfect for when we need to be on our feet all day long but are still business smart. A pair of ballet pumps/pumps or brogues will serve you well.
Cross body bag
For days out, long days, going out after work or just because you don’t need to carry that much with you; a light weight cross body bag is tidy as it is elegant.
For days you need to carry a little more with you but don’t want to have to haul a laptop bag or backpack with you. A tote bag is both functional and stylish.
When it comes to accessorising, we can end up with multiple items but no-where to store it. Streamlining your accessories will be much more cost and time effective. We recommend the following accessories
Watch – if you’re only going to have one, opt for a thin strap in either metal or leather and avoid a large face. We’d also recommend avoiding anything too embellished as it’ll be less likely to go with everything you own.
Simple gold band and necklace- a simple gold band with a slight detail is effortlessly stylish, as is a simple gold necklace in the same style. You can wear together or individually to help accessorise any multiple outfits.
Stud earrings- pearl, diamanté, diamonds or motif, a simple pair of earrings will complete your outfit if you need or want to.
Scarf in grey or camel- You may be like me and have plethora of different styles and colours of scarves but really you want one in cotton or wool in either grey or camel. These colours will go with most of your staple items and will be suitable for casual or dressier occasions. Avoid black as you could end up with a wardrobe saturated in black and or white and a little colour in your scarf will make a big difference to your mood and overall outfit. Plus too much black can make you look washed out.