15 Easy Pieces
How to create your own capsule wardrobe
Follow this quick and easy guide to selecting the wardrobe essentials that will have you stepping out in style every time!
My first piece of advice is this: select a colour palette and work it HARD! If you have a favourite colour to wear, you might want to pick that out as the 'feature colour' then add in colours you love pairing together with it. In my example, it's easy to see I've picked out pink as my feature, and then added some base colours that mix and match easily with it - black, white, grey.
Now for the pieces themselves!
1. Great-fitting jeans
Jeans are ubiquitous for a reason - they're fun, youthful and hard-wearing, and there's no end to the styles on offer. Try not to scrimp on quality, but equally, you don't need to spend a fortune to find a fab pair. It's all about the fit, so take a deep breath and try on every pair you can - it takes serious sartorial stamina to find the right pair. Once you do - buy 2 of 'em... but only after road-testing them in real life!
2. A pristine white shirt
A no-brainer - buy the best your budget can afford! Remember to wash at as high a temperature as the shirt will allow, as perfume and makeup will very quickly discolour the collar.
3. Several well-cut t-shirts
Select various colours that complement your other key pieces and/or stripes that look great with denim. Make sure to include at least one pristine white tee - it's great for layering and looks chic under a blazer.
4. Low heel, leather ankle boots
Endlessly versatile, a good pair of ankle boots that are comfy to walk in is an absolute must. They'll work with your jeans, add some sass to your short skirts and dresses and will see you through every season.
5. A fun, funky skirt!
Every girl needs a skirt, and skirts have been hugely fashionable for the last few seasons so there's no end of choice out there. I've a particular penchant for prom skirts - they give you a tiny waist, cover most of the leg and are the most feminine silhouette there is. However, they're definitely not for everyone, if you're more of a pencil skirt person, make sure it hugs in all the right places but isn't so tight you can't walk or sit in it! Maxi skirts too are a joy to wear, either in summer with super-tall wedges or in winter with chunky knits.
6. Round neck sweaters in a variety of colours
Depending on your bust size, a V-neck may suit you better and depending on your climate, a chunky knit may be a must!
7. Box-fresh trainers/sneakers
If you're really not the trainer type, a classic ballet flat or loafer could be substituted here.
8. Tailored trousers
Again, this is about personal preference and body shape. Wide palazzo trousers look great with trainers and are endlessly chic. Tailored straight legs can look good cropped to the ankle and paired with pointed toed stilettos. But when it comes to full-length tailored trousers of any shape, they absolutely MUST NOT be too short. Nothing is more ageing than full-length trousers that flap about around the foot. they must break on your shoe or even scrape the floor, if you're in heels... you have been warned!
9. A well-cut, structured blazer
I do believe that any outfit, even sporty leggings, can be pulled together with a good blazer. Pick your cut carefully - double breasted is fine, but try it on open-fronted and test to see if it looks too boxy this way. Truth is we almost always wear them open, so jackets must look good this way. If in doubt, stick to the single-breasted classic with a neat, well-cut collar. Tailoring is a huge trend for A/W17 so now is a great time to invest!
10. A real leather handbag
I learned this one from my dad, believe it or not! He made sure my mum was suitably adorned with a good leather bag and shoes, and it's a style tip I've never regretted investing in. Pick a colour and shape you love and enjoy sniffing that new car smell every day!
11. A Fabulous dress!
Have fun with this one - choose it in your favourite colour or with a print that you love; ensure it's in a length that flatters your height and body shape and a fabric that won't crease.
12. A warm, long-line wool coat
Clearly this one's climate-dependent - a quality trench or light-weight duster may suit better, if you're lucky enough to live in warmer climes! But for the rest of us your coat is going to be your best friend all winter long, so make it a good one! Get in early - September is not too early to be shopping for your winter coat, if you're snagging a new one. Equally, a good coat can last a lifetime, so invest in a cut and colour you love that won't date and has a high wool percentage. This will keep it from creasing badly and, most importantly, keep you toasty all season long.
13. Classic, black pointed toe stilettos
Another classic that will never date and will the you from boardroom to date-night. Buy leather if you can - they'll let your feet breath and last longer, and if you polish them regularly, they'll continue looking as good as new.
14. Several scarfs
Choose from silk or wool, square or blanket style, in your favourite colours and in prints and patterns that work well with your other key pieces like your coat and jacket. Don't forget that square shapes can be worn turban-style as a head-wrap for the ultimate in poolside glamour!
15. Costume jewellery to zhoozh up plainer items
Real jewellery is one of life's huge pleasures and luxuries, but clearly, it's expensive and doesn't always make the biggest impact. Good quality, relatively inexpensive costume and high street pieces are a stalwart of the most stylish - they can transform the plainest outfit and pull together a look better than any other item. Choose carefully and have fun with them!