I love experimenting with fashion and style. I love to be bold with colour, textures, and shapes. But there is nothing better than putting a pair of comfy jeans, a silk top and a leather jacket and feeling put together. You can spice it up with jewellery and/or a red lip. And you can dress is up or down with either heels, boots or flats. I’m obviously a big advocate on investing in a good capsule wardrobe; but it’s important to understand where to spend your money.
It takes a bit of pre-planning, but once you understand what you like, your current lifestyle, and what you feel confident and comfortable in, you’ll soon start to establish your own set of ‘prerequisites’ when out shopping for basics.
For example, I appreciate really good fabrics because they feel good on, look great, are usually very durable and stay intact for longer. But I also like easy-to-maintain clothing. Which is a nicer way of stating that I in fact hate having to worry about hand-washing and ironing! There are some items of clothing that are undoubtedly high-maintenance, and often won’t get worn because of the amount of effort needed to just clean them! And unfortunately, this silk top (I’m wearing – creases and all) is one of those. It creases up so easily, that I find myself having to iron it after trying on a skirt then changing my mind and putting jeans on (what I did here!). But I have other silk items that de-crease much easier, and perhaps I paid a lot more for them. So my advice here is to understand what you are willing to do to maintain your clothes. If constant hand-washing, ironing or dry-cleaning trips are needed, and you don’t have time or money to obtain that type of maintenance, it’s worthwhile looking at some alternatives. By the way, I never iron jeans. Jeans are usually made up of cotton, which is sensitive to heat. If you own raw denim jeans, you run the risk of ruining the colour when you iron them. So if your jeans are quite crinkly, hanging them up in the bathroom to steam whilst you shower should suffice.
Another thing to factor in when shopping for basics is your lifestyle. And by this I mean, your occupation, what your weekends entail, whom you hang out with, and weather/climate. If your job requires you to wear corporate wear during the week, and you also go out and socialise on the weekend in dressy locations; you may not require as much loungewear/casual wear. Whereas if you wear more casual attire during the week and over the weekend; your basic wardrobe will comprise more so of jeans, sweaters and t-shirts.
My lifestyle is a little bit complicated! I wear corporate wear during the week, but also have to take into consideration the amount of walking and standing I do in hospitals. Suits and heels are not always ideal, particularly because I get changed in and out of scrubs throughout the day, leaving my clothes in locker rooms all day. Then on the weekend I go to the gym, wear casual outfits, dress up, and also love to utilise formal events to really explore my dressy attire! I like everything! And I don’t like to skimp on any item of clothing. For example, I have literally lived in a gym since I was 5 years old (as a gymnast) and I know the importance of having good quality activewear. But I also love experimenting with dresses, skirts, shorts, swimwear and shoes! I’m a bit of a chameleon in that sense. But I know other people would require less variety and would benefit from spending more money on one area of their life, such as casual wear.
If you go out to dinner infrequently, and struggle every time an event comes up, is it because you haven’t invested in the right basics? Do you have a wardrobe full of, dare I say trendy items, that are outdated? Maybe it’s worth having a few really good quality key pieces (from the list lower down the page) to ensure you always have something to wear no matter the occasion.
There a few good items of clothing that every woman would benefit from having in their wardrobe. And it’s worthwhile spending a bit more money (if necessary) to get exactly what you love. I wouldn’t suggest you buy these items from the sales rack, unless you find something that you can honestly say you absolutely love and would wear for years to come. I see a lot of people being sucked into buying sale items because they’re on sale, not necessarily because they love the item.
Here are some items I believe make up a good capsule wardrobe. Use your lifestyle to determine weather some or all of these items suit you. For example, if you never wear heels because of an injury…don’t buy heels! There are plenty of alternatives. And if you don’t wear skirts for some reason, then perhaps you need to understand what looks best on your body type. Sometimes a change of perspective will open a whole new world of styling looks [I’ll do a post further on down the track highlighting ways to enhance all different body shapes and skin tones].
Use these items below as a guide to create your own wardrobe. I haven’t included activewear, loungewear, lingerie or formal wear…as those items will depend drastically on your needs. But you can create totally different looks by mixing and matching really good basics. Just add some on-trend jewellery, style your hair differently, and wear a different shade of lipstick, and voila – you have versatility!
- Skinny pair of jeans
- Looser more casual pair of jeans
- Perfectly tailored black blazer
- Black cigarette trouser
- White shirt (that can be worn casually, dressed up or corporate). This can be silk, cotton or linen – depending on your lifestyle/climate.
- Leather pants (for me definitely!)
- A-line skirt
- Pencil skirt
- Leather jacket
- Little black dress
- Trench coat
- Cashmere sweater
- Ankle boots (with heels or not)
- Classic black heel (pump)
- Silk camisole
- Denim jacket
- White t-shirt
- Winter dress (knit)
- The perfect summer dress (floral, denim, long or short)
- White sneaker
- Ballet flats (black, beige or brown)
- Flat sandal
- Sandal with a heel
- Classic sunglasses
- Winter boots (thigh high/knee high)
- Wrap dress
- Silk scarf
- Tote bag
- Classic dress bag
- Classic swimwear
- Shorts (denim/linen/silk/cotton – depending on your lifestyle/climate/style)
It’s amazing how many outfits you can create from a deceivingly limited list. When you have good quality items, that fit you perfectly, the looks you create are lot more polished and refined. That to me is a sign of a well thought out wardrobe. Furthermore, you haven’t wasted money on items that you never wear – which isn’t good for both your savings and the environment.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Have you got anything you’d add to that list? How does your lifestyle change the importance of some of those items?
Thanks for dropping by.
For more inspiration check out my Pinterest page – https://au.pinterest.com/leatherandsoie/
K- Leather & Soie
What I wore:
Leather jacket – Willow (doesn’t exist anymore) try http://www.kitx.com.au for similar items
Silk lace camisole top – http://www.witchery.com.au
Jeans – Frame denim from http://www.davidjones.com.au
Boots – http://www.tonybianco.com.au
Lipstick – YSL from http://www.myer.com.au (le rouge No.1)