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Naturally, style evolves as we get older. Some people know their personal looks and taste from the get go, others take longer to learn and understand what works for them and what doesn’t. As we grow and evolve, our bodies can change as much as our taste and our wardrobe needs to be able to flex to accommodate. Having a capsule wardrobe with key, high quality pieces that transcend throughout the seasons is a great way to start.
I’ve never been super adventurous with my style, I generally stick to a classic palette a majority of the time with a few prints and select colours here and there. I have seasonal pieces which come out year after year and I supplement them with some newer pieces or a few trend items here and there.
Over the last year or so I’ve made a conscious effort to curate more of a capsule wardrobe. I’ve been adding more neutral items including clothing, bags and footwear which can easily be mixed and matched. This has given me a wider variety of options day to day and helps me avoid wearing the exact same combo over and over again. While a capsule wardrobe tends to contain less items than a normal, non-curated wardrobe, it gives more options due to the versatility of each individual piece. It’s also reduced the number of times I look at all the clothes in my wardrobe yet feel I have nothing to wear.
1. A Signature Blazer
Blazers are a great option to have in your wardrobe for a wide variety of occasions. They can be worn casually day to day with jeans and a white tee, styled up for a dinner date or thrown over a dress for a night out. They are also an essential part of my work wardrobe and I have a large collection which I wear all year round. During Spring and Summer I wear them over blouses or dresses and in Autumn and Winter I layer with knitwear, jeans and trousers. For me, it’s the easiest way to instantly look and feel put together and professional.
My current favourite and go to blazer is this checked one from Marks and Spencer. It’s very well tailored with structured shoulder pads and immediately finishes off an outfit. I’ve styled in numerous ways already including with dresses and skirts, high waist trousers, shorts and jeans along with jumpsuits. It’s the kind of blazer I can throw on any day of the week and instantly feel confident. That’s something you can’t put a price on and it’s just by chance I managed to get this blazer on sale for only £25. I would happily have paid £100+ as the quality and cut is incredible. I’ve recently added a similar version from Zara to my collection based on how much I’ve worn the M&S one. It’s become such a staple piece for me and one that I’ll wear for years to come.
2. A High Quality White Top
I’m obsessed with white tops, I’ve got so many it’s hard to pick a favourite however it’s definitely high on my list of pieces for a ‘capsule’ wardrobe. Having a really good quality one will see you through all seasons, events and occasions. They are extremely easy to style up with skirts, shorts, trousers, jeans or even to layer under jumpsuits and playsuits. I’ve included a variety of examples of how I’ve styled previously to demonstrate the versatility and wearability.
My most recent addition is actually a body with exaggerated sleeves. It’s a really crisp white and I love the contrast of the ribbed base against the soft and flowy sleeves. It’s a simple style but really feminine and adds a little extra detail to a basic outfit. This one was only £14.99 which is such a great price for a good quality basic that can be dressed up or down.
Having reliable pieces like this make getting dressed and deciding on outfits much easier day to day. Although we haven’t been able to socialise properly for the best part of a year now, I still enjoy wearing things that make me feel good and that’s very much the case with a staple white top. It’s clean and simple which gives that understated and effortless vibe which I always veer towards.
3. A Good Fitting Pair of Jeans
A good fitting and flattering pair of jeans can be hard to come by. I don’t know anyone who finds it easy to go into a shop and come out with the perfect pair of jeans. It’s a long drawn out process of trial and error to find 1. a style that suits your shape and 2. a pair in that particular style that fits well. High waist styles are all I go to now whether it’s skinny, mom or boyfriend style, it has to be high waisted. I don’t know how I ever wore anything else to be honest, low rise jeans feel so uncomfortable and exposing which probably makes me sound old and definitely not in keeping with Gen Z.
Being petite brings another challenge into the equation as often regular styles will be too long or too wide for my frame. I don’t really have a solution or top tip when it comes to finding the right denim, I’d simply recommend trying on lots of different pairs from lots of different stores in various sizes until you find ‘the one’. Don’t get disheartened by the number on the label, getting the right fit is more important and I can assure you, nobody else cares anyway.
My current favourite jeans are the cool neutral toned pair from H&M. I picked them up last Autumn and they’ve hardly been off my body since. The soft stone tone makes them easy to style and mix and match with lots of different options. Not only are they versatile but they are definitely the comfiest pair I’ve had for a while. I can wear them for meals out without having to worry about undoing my button when I’m finished dessert and that’s a huge bonus. They are a very stretchy, almost jegging like material which is 99% cotton and 1% elastane. At £12.99, they are incredible value for money and a really good quality pair of jeans. I’ve since snapped up the khaki green as well as black as I want to have plenty of comfortable pairs at the ready as we emerge from lockdown.
4. Little White or Little Black Dress
I’ve included both options here as for me, a little white dress is as important as an LBD. I know the LBD is renowned for being a wardrobe essential however I wear and own many more little white dresses and as a result I wanted to include both as they have equally become firm staples in my collection.
My best Little White Dress is definitely the Voluminous Style from H&M last Summer. I lived in this dress through late Summer, early Autumn and I’m bringing it back out now that we’re firmly into Spring. It’s the most beautiful yet simplistic silhouette which flows and flatters the figure. It hugs in all the right places and the big, billowy sleeves command attention. The skirt is cut perfectly and it hangs so graciously. I always get compliments when I wear this and people ask where it’s from. It’s such a key piece in my wardrobe that I don’t ever want to be without. They also released it in black and more recently in an ecru tone which I of course snapped up immediately however the white is undoubtably my favourite.
My best Little Black Dress is also from H&M but a slightly different shape and style. It has a ruched waist and layered skirt which is really flattering. The crepe material is ideal as it’s lightweight and doesn’t crease which is partly why I get so much wear out of it as ironing is not my forte. The tie sleeves are a nice feature and add a feminine touch to the all black silhouette. I can layer a long sleeve thermal tee underneath as well as adding tights to make it wearable through all seasons.
Both of these dresses are incredibly affordable for the quality and craftmanship of the pieces. I can put these dresses on any day of the week for any occasion and I know I’ll feel great as they fit well and are comfortable which enables me to wear with confidence. I can’t recommend enough having staple options like these in your collection as it makes it so easy to decide what to wear and eliminates that ‘I have nothing to wear’ feeling if an occasion or event arises last minute.
5. A Neutral Bag
I’ve added a few neutral bags to my collection in the last few years including the Taupe Shoreditch and more recently the slogan Richmond. Normally a slogan bag wouldn’t be considered versatile enough however given the subtleness of the branding and light tone, it works perfectly. I initially wasn’t sure if I’d get as much wear out of it as it’s completely unstructured which is in contrast to most of my other bags however that’s actually the beauty of this one and the reason I use it so frequently. It’s big enough for my camera along with my phone, mask, keys and other daily essentials which means I reach for it constantly. I’ve worn it on my travels along with exploring places closer to home and it’s the ideal bag for day to day wear. It also comes in camel and a darker brown tone with the slogan along with a quilted black version which I couldn’t resist.
More recently, I added the H&M tote bag which is an affordable ‘inspired by’ version of the Dior Book Tote. This is a bag I know I’ll use extensively through Spring and Summer for long overdue catch ups with friends and family as well as for day trips or adventures. It’s big enough to carry everything I need for a day out including my camera, snacks and even a light cardigan/jumper in case it gets chilly.
A neutral bag is a game changer and it’s the perfect option if you’re looking to splurge or get something designer. It’s a timeless piece that won’t go out of style as long as you opt for a shape/design which has longevity, avoiding trend styles as much as possible.
6. A Comfortable & Classic Pair of Trainers
I’ve only become more of a trainer girl since lockdown started. Gone are the days when I’d spend an age deciding what to wear. When going to the pharmacy, post office or supermarket are the only options for such an extended period of time you kind of get out of the habit of making a concerted effort. Now that we can start to meet outdoors and catch up with friends and family it’s a quick decision and out the door kind of mentality and trainers are so easy, comfortable but chic too. The Pull & Bear dupes of the Alexander McQueen platform style are my favourites. You get the benefit of the style without the heavy weight and high price tag of the designer pair. I’ve got two pairs of the white with pink back tab and one pair of the white with black back tab. At £29.99, they are a great option for day to day wear and the simplistic design makes them extremely versatile.
These are one of the highest clicked products I’ve ever featured and so many of you have purchased which is so nice to see. They’ve released a similar style pair for the new Spring/Summer collection which I’ve linked below if you’re interested or missed out on the other ones.
Overall, these are my key pieces to start curating a capsule wardrobe and the likelihood is you’ll probably already own most if not all of them. Sometimes it takes looking at your existing pieces from a different perspective in order to see their full potential and versatility.