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#StylistWeLove Katie The Wardrobe Insider on The Art of the Ultimate Capsule...

By Katie Powell on Sep 26 2013

With amazing fashion trends emerging more frequently than ever before, it is easy to forget about the foundations of your style and the huge benefits of a great ‘Capsule Wardrobe’. We have all done it; spent a whole day perusing the shops not knowing what we are looking for, seeing lots of plain pieces that we know we definitely need but definitely don’t want, and then end up purchasing a stupidly expensive piece that is quite frankly very random, doesn’t really fit with the rest of our wardrobe but is secretly very exciting because it has the wow factor. These outlandish pieces are great as they add to the wardrobe in a very creative way but are ultimately pointless if you don’t have the appropriate basics to translate them into an everyday outfit!

I find this so often when I see women for their Wardrobe Detox appointments– their cupboards and drawers crammed with printed dresses, embellished tops and fancy shoes that they have bought on a whim because they fell in love with the concept but have nothing to go with them so they remain unworn year after year.

These key pieces that I am alluding to all build the framework to your wardrobe and are the silent heroes you turn to (often without knowing it) on a ‘I have nothing to Wear’ day – with this in mind it is important that you get them spot on, understand that quality is much more effective vs. quantity and know exactly what you need for your individual wardrobe so they can help maximise your style.

So to give you all a heads up on what a ‘Capsule’ Wardrobe actually is in case you aren’t familiar with the term (and don’t worry, its easy not to be given the different contexts it is often used in); it is a selection of key essential wardrobe pieces that are simple in shape and colour (normally neutrals), complement each other and can be used in a ‘mix and match’ format to create multiple outfits, both on their own and also with a variation of seasonal trend pieces. They should make you feel great, be very comfortable and given they are the connective essence of the wardrobe, beautifully versatile.

Shopping for your capsule wardrobe can seem a daunting task when starting out but is actually a very exciting one when you realise that these purchases are going to become your wardrobe ‘tools’ to be able to create the perfect outfit for any occasion. And although there are particular staple pieces that should be in every woman’s capsule offering, most of the styles will vary person to person depending on body shape, skin tone and visual preferences, but the effect will have the same stylish impact! How often to update your Capsule wardrobe is also a question I often get asked and this depends on two things; the quality of the pieces - which as I mentioned is so worth it, especially when you start calculating the unbelievable cost per wear ☺ If you invest now, you won’t need to for a good few years. You also need to consider how each capsule piece works for you throughout the year and if you need to update it from spring/summer to autumn/winter, i.e. you may want a black skirt that lends itself to summer but for winter switch it up to a black dress that ticks the same wearable box.

With fashion weeks now in full swing and the dazzling new autumn collections hitting the British high street, there is no better time to revaluate and detox your wardrobe and establish how you want the capsule blend to help you! You will not only feel prepped for the new season but your wonderful set of tools will help you to create outfits more easily, dress with more confidence and give you the power to shop more effectively!

TopTip – Keep a pad by your wardrobe where you can start making a list of missing capsule pieces as soon as you identify them when getting dressed. That way, your list will be ready for your next shopping bonanza!

Here is my autumn inspired Capsule Wardrobe checklist:
• Leather Jacket – A must have, but the shape you pick is crucial; heavy biker styles are fun but will date quicker than a classic look and may add bulk to curvy shapes. I suggest a collarless style for versatility.
• Jeans – Skinny, flare, straight or bootcut, investment is key in the denim department; pick the right shape for your silhouette and in a shade you feel most comfortable in
• Blouse – A beautiful, feminine alternative to the classic shirt, the blouse can blend into many lifestyle situations.

• Black Blazer – The simplicity of this makes it so powerful, especially with the continuing androgynous trend. It can take you from day to night in an instant!
• Nude Heels – These are your legs best friend as they are forever elongating and go with everything!
• White T-shirt – You need a good fit round the bust but a bit of fluidity round the waist. Treat it as a blank canvas to create any outfit and always add jewellery.
• Tailored Trousers – These work wonders on all body shapes and are a really versatile option for different outfit styles.
• Skirt & Dress Shape – These are so varied depending on body shape but can be anything from a little black dress to your favourite pencil skirt.
• Scarf – I’m not talking woolly for wrapping up here, but rather a luxurious silk number in a fun, vivid colour that can be thrown on to liven any outfit!
• Ballet pumps – These need no introduction; simple yet effective.
• Cashmere Sweater / Cardigan – Depends which style you wear more, but either way a true classic.

• Gold Chain (long) – Whether you are a fan of jewellery or not, this piece adds a finishing touch to any look and won’t date!
• Winter Coat – Every woman needs a staple winter coat that is totally fabulous but also very timeless. Don’t get caught up with trends for this one; pick a simple shape that will see you through for years.
• Leather Handbag – Black. Slick. Roomy. Done. #wearwitheverything

So whatever your age, shape, lifestyle and budget, these pieces can help to enhance your style and make you feel really confident every single day. Master the ‘Ultimate Capsule' and the rest is easy!

Feel free to shout me with any Capsule wardrobe questions; I’d love to hear from you: