We all dream of owning a wardrobe stocked with fantastic outfits that translate from the office to an evening out without missing a beat.
What we’re really looking for are a slew of versatile and flattering clothing pieces that mix and match with ease. Ideally these will be classic pieces that are hard to grow tired of, and that don’t float in and out of fashion with the changing of the wind.
Fortunately, having a highly functioning wardrobe is attainable and it doesn’t take Victoria Beckham’s 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.
First up, a tip: Consider your lifestyle! The Australian capsule wardrobe needs to reflect who we 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 are you always at the beach?
Be sure to consider the climate, as well as your best colours (note: these are not necessarily your favourite colours!) You may consider enlisting a colour professional to help you with this if you are not sure. Work around base colours in your capsule wardrobe and add interchangeable accessories for pops of colour.
Here are the wardrobe building blocks to pave the way for a capsule wardrobe that is adaptable and versatile.
Item #1 – 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 perfectly 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A white t-shirt + great jeans + a stunning black leather jacket = a classic combo that will never go out of date. So having a flattering pair of jeans to team with t-shirts is imperative. 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.
Item #2 – A Timeless Leather Jacket
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.)
Adding a leather jacket to a t-shirt and jeans and 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.
Item #3 – A Classic Blazer
The classic blazer in black, grey or navy is an essential part of any woman’s capsule 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 black or navy classically-cut blazer needn’t be boring, and pulls a look together no matter what else you are wearing.
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.
Item #4 – A Neutral Trench Coat
Your trench coat should be considered an investment piece. You’ll wear it in the spring and autumn as a transitional piece, over everything from jeans to dresses. Trench coats are a perfect inclusion for the Australian capsule wardrobe as our weather is so much milder than our northern hemisphere counterparts, and the coat is endlessly versatile.
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 for your capsule wardrobe. They’ll work seamlessly with most other garments.
Item #5 – Black Ankle Boots
Ankle boots are a no-brainer when it comes to creating a versatile capsule wardrobe – they work with everything are a daytime staple. You can team them with jeans, suits, and dresses, shorts and skirts.
Always invest in leather, with either brown or black being the most versatile. Pair black ankle boots with jeans, black leather jackets, or sleek dresses.
Brown boots go well with feminine dresses (an edgy/boho look), blazers (everyday sophistication), and preppy outfits.
Item #6 – The Little Black Shoe (LBS)
Black leather pumps are a year round fashion favourite and no fashionista’s capsule wardrobe should be without them! A classic black pump will be your go-to shoe for day and night wear, elevating 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!
Item #7 – 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.
Rachel Gilbert ‘Belinda’ Dress (on sale)
For instance, an eye-popping belt, a flattering neckline, and or some other interesting design feature 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.
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