This week I was guest speaker at my local WI. Rather than introducing brands, I chose to talk about my capsule wardrobe. I managed to get my favourite pieces down to 20. Yes, I do have many more pieces in my wardrobe but these 20 pieces were my most worn, most current and most likely to wear.
So here are my 20 pieces. All bold vibrant fresh colours. (I'm a jewelled winter- see Kettlewell blog). I'm also a big fan of graphic and animal print. Labels wise, there are a good mix of high street from Zara, TopShop, H&M with some new higher end online brands like &OtherStories and Me&EM which I'm starting to invest in.
I would describe my style as modern/vintage/sporty. I like modern pieces to keep my look current and I have to mix vintage pieces to keep my style individual. The sporty touch is due to my lifestyle - I'm always running around to clients/shopping and then kids so comfortable clothes and footwear are essential and these days I'm rarely in heels.
Although my look isn't formal or classic, I keep my style polished by regularly cut hair, shellac nails and make up and skincare.
What's in the 20 piece?
Wide Leg stripe trouser, Black pleather tracksuit trouser, Wide Crop Jeans, Ski-pant style trouser, Red Blazer, Cream Vintage style Blouse, Bright Mustard blouse, Red Jumper, Multi dress, Leopard print top, Velvet waist coat, a multi printed scarf, khaki jumpsuit and black jumpsuit, a breton t-shirt, a green silk blouse, a zebra animal print pencil skirt, a multi-printed jersey dress, a grey cardigan-coat, a slogan t-shirt, a multi-coloured vintage midi skirt and a pink fluffy jumper. Thrown together her's a bit of a taster of my style.
But that really doesn't help you does it? So I've put together 10 key items I that I think you should buy this season to start building yours.
If you are still stuck?
1. A BLAZER
Casually cardigans don't cut it for me. We need some structure with a blazer, even if we don't work in the corporate world. The blazer for me is the new biker. It looks fabulous on top of chinos, jumpsuits, denim and dresses - all you've got to decide what style and colour to go for. I chose red as this is a great colour on me and goes with my wardrobe but I do have navy pinstripe one, a white one and a tweed one. I would advise you look at the colours in your wardrobe and work out the best one that would compliment. If you are starting from scratch, go out and try on as many as you can. Try HOBBS, JIGSAW, Me&EM, WHISTLES and H&M
2. TAILORED TROUSERS
A pair of smart tailored trousers are integral to a capsule wardrobe. These don't have to be suited trousers, just a pair of trousers that are not denim, are not a legging. This season, there are numerous styles of wide leg cropped trousers that look fabulous worn smart with a kitten heel or mule but equally work with a pair of trainers. Once you've found a pair of tailored trousers that fit you perfectly, you will throw them on effortlessly at the weekend and at work.
3. NEW DENIM
Try a new style of denim jeans, a crop flare, a mom jean or add a new denim garment into your wardrobe to keep your look original. I love this look with vintage style blouse tucked into jeans with boots and a lightweight denim jumpsuit can be dressed up for work or down for holidays.
4. A MIDI SKIRT
Midi skirts are so fabulous to wear with boots now and with bare legs in the spring. I love a midi length as I don't have to worry too much about my legs and can concentrate on dressing it up or down. I wear midi skirts with trainers, with ankle boots, with knee high boots. To create a smarter look, I would encourage you to buy a skirt that you can tuck a top in. This will give you shape and you will look smarter over all.
This bright yellow leather pencil skirt will revive your Spring wardrobe but also look incredible in the winter. For a softer style, I love a floaty style like this M&S one below.
Pencil skirts are very popular this season too - see my blog on this.
Khaki is cool,edgy, easy to wear and fabulous with all colours. Its understated at the weekend and contemporary for working wardrobe. It looks effortless with bold colours and less severe than black.
6. A THROW ON DRESS
A dress that you can wear with heels to a party and dress down with boots and a denim jacket. Perhaps a wonderful pop of colour or a floral or graphic print like this one by TopShop. My throw on dress is by Onjenu. The colours are perfect on me, the fit is fabulous - I literarily throw it on anfeel fabulous. Attempt to try on lost of dresses to find something you love and feel comfortable in.
7. A TRENCH COAT
The trench is a timeless classic and this season its been revived again. They are longer and fuller in shape, but go for style that suits your proportions. Camel tends to be the colour but there are also fabulous pastle shades around or brights. This Lilac one by Jil Sander is an investment piece
8. A STATMENT BLOUSE
This blouse will look fabulous with your denim jeans but work wonders with your tailored trousers too. Its the blouse you'll wear underneath your favourite jumper but also at your friends for dinner. Make sure it has some drama either in its cuffs, its neckline or its colour. Its your showstopper.
Kitri is a new brand but has some great original pieces and polka dot will never date.
9. A GREAT BELT
Every client I've styled I've talked on and on about belts being game changers in an outfit. They really are a clever way to smarten a pair of jeans, add edge to a skirt or dress or over a cardigan.Gucci belts are work wonders in the workplace as do star ones at the weekend.
10. WHITE SHOES
Yes white is right now. Either in an ankle boot for, loafers or a pair of sling bags or mules. These white shoes will freshen up last years summer wardrobe. Hard to get our head around when there's snow on the ground but believe me, you'll be wafting around in these very soon.