We recently hosted an event with Kat Farmer, the stylish mastermind behind the blog 'Does My Bum Look 40 In This?' and asked her to spill the beans on capsule wardrobes - why are they so great and how do we get one?!
If you couldn't make it on the night... here's what happened - as written by the gorgeous lady herself...
How wonderful would it be to open your wardrobe each morning and easily fling on an outfit you that you love?
To ensure that you end up with the perfect array of gorgeous items to choose from every day, there are some simple rules you have to follow.
Although I do have to remind myself of them regularly as it's so easy to forget.. *stares at selection of random skirts in wardrobe*
And my advice is go neutral. My choice from hush was black, khaki and cream. Add in one (or two if you're feeling flush) colour(s) for interest.
My tone this season from hush is pink!
I am not a skirt person.
For a month or so in the Summer I get jiggy with the dresses but I am a trouser gal. What happens when you go off piste (from building a capsule wardrobe..) is if you buy a skirt that's slightly outside of your comfort zone, you need a top to go with it. And a new jacket. Then you realise you don't have any shoes that work with the outfit. Not to mention a coat or jacket... Slippery slippery slope.
"Haven't you got one of those already?" Which husband hasn't uttered that immortal phrase?
No! I have one similar..
Don't buy exactly the same thing but if you live in black trousers, then do buy variations on the theme.
If white shirts are your thing, buy more as you will wear them, but make sure they're slightly different - with a collar, without, long sleeved, layering, jersey, silk.. you get the idea.
Only buy something if you can think of at least three occasions when you will wear it. This is a fantastic rule - eliminates excess purchasing and is an aid to further black trouser buying.
And goes hand in hand with...
Only buy something if you can make three different outfits with it from your existing wardrobe. Again, big up the black pants!
Identifying what you wear often and buying variations of it will make it so much easier to put together outfits that you love (as opposed to forcing yourself to wear that expensive skirt and feeling meh all day).
Which leads neatly onto...
Do spend money on those things that you wear a lot. The general rule of thumb is that the more you spend, the better the quality. The better the fabric, the better the cut which means a better fit.
And the older we get - sweeping generalisation but the more we'd like to hide. (or is that just me? *stares down at wine tummy thinking about all the planks I've been meaning to do this year and haven't*)
If you manage to put together a selection of clothes that you love, you will wear them all - often!
If you can mix and match your wardrobe so that you can create all the outfits you need for every occasion, you do in fact need less. (said no shopaholic ever. But it's true...)
So you have the rules, now the outfit building!
The best way to build lots of outfits from your capsule wardrobe is to rethink the use of your clothes.
Pretty much every piece I selected can be worn for every occasion, depending on what you pair it with.
My top picks;
Long Harem Trousers & Amie joggers
Starting with (and I was assuming that everyone hadn't read my blog so was able to wax lyrical again about my new found obsession with joggers..) JOGGERS! Let's call them harems to ring the changes.
As I've mentioned these aren't for just slobbing out on the sofa in anymore. They can be worn with a silk tee for the evening with a blazer and a pair of heels. Linen or fine knit jumper, biker jacket and sneakers for every day, dress down chic. Or yes, throw on a sloppy joe and hey presto, perfect Sunday afternoon lounging (or every evening post 7pm chez moi).
The other option is the Cropped Relaxed Trousers which is a crepe fabric as opposed to a jersey. Again, ridiculously versatile and wearable for work, for play, for holiday, for the sofa. It's all about the top and the shoes.
These are amazing. I've tried the sample sized 10 on and they are the perfect amount of slouch. I also have a hush jumper from last year which I'm planning to layer over the Metallic Linen Vest. All great options for packing for hols as they can work in so many different guises.
Wide Leg Trousers
In particular, the cream can add an element of glamour to your wardrobe, when teamed with the Metallic Linen Vest and the Frayed Crop Jacket. We discussed last night that this would be an ideal alternative wedding outfit to the usual Coast/Karen Millen etc dress options that we're usually faced with.
For dress down, I suggested putting the Two Tone Cashmere Jumper with them, which is honestly like angel's breath. The softest fabric ever.
Onyx Leather Jacket
My favourite. I have been shocked by how much wear I've got out of mine and how versatile it is. I can't remember what I used to wear before I had it.
Not just for smart! Perfect with Boyfriend Jeans, a Stripe Crew Tee and sandals for every day casual. But yes, throw on over a Jumpsuit, add heels and it works for the evening. Or with one of those Silk or Metallic Linen Tees or vests. It can completely change the look of the jacket and therefore the functionality of the outfit.
I got mine two years ago and it's still worn pretty much every week, all year round, it's the ultimate black blazer!
Silk Vests & Silk Tees
Whilst we're there, let's look at a tee. Don't buy a normal tee, buy a Silk Tee. That you can wear like you would a normal tee but doubles up as evening wear too. Ditto silk or metallic vests. Still perfect for layering like your average joe vest but also work as a top in their own right.
This is perfect to layer or wear on its own during the day. Works as a top on its own with a blazer or jacket for out in the evening.
Stripe Crew Tee
This Stripe Crew Tee is a step above with regards to fabric. Smart enough to wear with a suit for work. Wear it at the weekend with jeans or harems. Or tucked into a skirt if you're lucky enough to be a skirt person. (I know you do exist...!)
This is perfection. With all the trousers above and all the jackets. Just change shoes and jewellery as applicable.
Two Tone Cashmere Jumper
Finishing the clothes selection with the Two Tone Cashmere Jumper.
I also chose some more pink jumpers which I suggest you get a glass of wine for and peruse the website!
Here's what I wore to the styling event....