We all dream of owning a wardrobe stocked with fantastic outfits that translate from the office to an evening out without missing a beat. Fortunately, this dream is attainable and it doesn’t take Victoria Beckhams budget to achieve it. With the right foundation pieces and a little planning you will save money, save time, save space in your closet, and most importantly – you’ll always look amazing.
Here are the wardrobe building blocks you’ll need to pave the way for a wardrobe that is adaptable and versatile.
First up, a tip: Consider your lifestyle! Your capsule wardrobe needs to reflect who you are in real life. For instance, do you work from home or do you have a million frequent flyer miles? Do you dine out a lot with friends or entertain with kids in tow? Be sure to consider the climate, as well as your best colors (note: these are not necessarily your favorite colors!) You may consider enlisting a colour professional to help you with this if you are not sure. Work around base colors in your minimalist wardrobe and add interchangeable accessories for pops of color.
The “Right” White T-Shirt
Include a few white t-shirts in your wardrobe and you’ll wear them in an infinite amount of ways. White t-shirts (V-necks and crew necks) go well under a blazer or with jeans, pencil skirts or shorts. Your white t-shirts can be dressed up with statement accessories for an evening out, and they adapt fantastically for casual Fridays in the office as well.
A white t-shirt + great jeans + a stunning black leather jacket = a classic combo that will never go out of date. Having a flattering pair of jeans to team with t-shirts is imperative – so choose a classic-wash pair with a lean fit and a straight leg. An ever-so-slightly flared jean flatters most body types, but steer clear of anything too retro.
Complete the look with a tailored leather jacket. (The leather jacket is another timeless piece that will get a lot of mileage. Click here to read our tips on leather jackets.) Added to a t-shirt and jeans, you have instant rock chic style, or your jacket can be thrown over a feminine dress to add some edge. Always try and invest in a quality piece that will hold up for many seasons, so go for a jacket with a classic cut and tailored lines and avoid those with heavy studs, chains, and heavy embellishments that will look passé after the season ends.
Read Part 2 here: WARDROBE 102: SIX PIECES YOU DIDN’T KNOW YOU NEEDED
A Classic Blazer
The classic blazer in black or grey is an essential part of any well-dressed woman’s wardrobe. It will be your go-to piece to throw over a cocktail dress for nights out, or over a blouse and slacks for a business meeting. A celebrity favourite, and spotted on just about every stylish female anywhere, the classic blazer also adds instant glam to an everyday tee and jeans ensemble.
Splurge on a blazer made from quality material and with a lean tailored fit. Say “NO” to studs, appliques, sequins and any other detail that detracts from the classic look.
A Neutral Trench Coat
Your trench coat should be considered your investment piece. You’ll wear it in the spring and autumn as a transitional piece, over everything from jeans to dresses. Purchase a trench with a figure flattering silhouette and an added belt to cinch at the waist. Black, tan or navy are the best bets when it comes to purchasing a classic trench. They’ll work seamlessly with most other garments.
Ankle boots are a daytime staple, and you can team them with jeans, suits, and dresses, shorts and skorts. Always invest in leather, with either brown or black being the most versatile. Pair black boots with jeans, black leather jackets, or sleek dresses. Brown boots go well with feminine dresses (edgy/boho look), blazers (everyday sophistication), and preppy outfits (think Pippa Middleton.)
The Little Black Shoe (LBS)
Black leather pumps are a year round fashion favorite and no fashionista’s wardrobe should be without them! A classic black pump will be your go-to shoe for day and night wear, turning an average outfit into a masterpiece in seconds. Whether you get them in plain black leather, suede or patent leather (slightly less versatile but still a winner) black pumps add polish and sophistication to almost any outfit. A beautiful black pump will also do wonders for your posture and poise, it’s like an instant jolt of lady-like!
A Little Black Dress (LBD)
You know you should own a little black dress, but make sure to purchase one that makes you feel like a million dollars. Whilst a LBD is the perfect canvas for showing off some great accessories, it’s better to start off with a dress that has some detail built-in. For instance, an eye-popping belt, a flattering neckline, and an interesting sleeve are some qualities you can look for in your LBD. This dress needs to fit you right, so it’s vital to purchase a replacement if your dress size changes.
Ready for Part 2? Read it here: WARDROBE 102: SIX PIECES YOU DIDN’T KNOW YOU NEEDED
Eva Haley is considered the style guru among her friends. She enjoys sharing her fashion ideas and style tips online. Her articles appear on fashion blogs.