The Capsule Wardrobe – dated or rated?

Does the thought of having a capsule wardrobe fill you with horror, or sheer delight? Does it sound like something from the 80s – suits and a combination of patterned and plain ‘blouses’?

Capsule Wardrobe MontageI felt exactly the same way about having a capsule wardrobe until I found myself working with busy women who wanted to look and feel great, but without having to work too hard to achieve this. It’s amazing how many people tell me that they want to look ‘effortless’, as though they’ve just thrown their outfit together and happen to look stylish, contemporary, elegant, polished and chic.

Well, I’m really sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but if you know someone like this, I promise you, it’s not ‘effortless’. These people do actually take quite a lot of time in the thinking and planning their wardrobes, so each day, they can put outfits together easily. More often than not, they’ve worked out which styles and colours suit them best, and then stick to these reliable choices.

Now reliable doesn’t mean boring…certainly not. But it does mean having confidence in knowing what your style is and being able to edit the shop floor and seasonal trends to suit your own particular shape and lifestyle. Stylish women are not usually slaves to fashion… (Can I can hear a sigh of relief?) But they are people who care about the impression they make.

So, I am a great believer in the capsule wardrobe, but l like to think of it as a wardrobe edit. I love this word, because it is all about editing your existing wardrobe so that it contains clothes that you really love. It’s also about helping you to understand how to edit the shop floor so you buy clothes that suit your lifestyle now.

Whatever your personal style preference, the benefits of a well coordinated wardrobe include:

  1. a range of clothes that all go together.
  2. clothes that you actually wear.

Most women only wear 20% of the clothes they own; does that sound like you?

For your wardrobe edit you’ll need

  1. two or three neutral colours
  2. styles that are right for your body proportions and scale
  3. the best quality you can afford.

Try to control any urges to buy something just because it’s cheap. I know we’re living in a world of disposable clothing but three or four cheap items you only wear once quickly add up to the cost of something special.

Over time your wardrobe will be made up of a number of different edits, depending on your lifestyle. You might have a holiday edit, a work edit, a ‘going out with my girl friends’ edit, walking the dog edit…

But my starting point for you is to help you get the basics right and I’d recommend that you include these 10 pieces in your starting edit:

Top 10 pieces for a wardrobe edit

  • smart casual semi-fitted jacket
  • fashion jacket
  • trench coat
  • jeans
  • pencil skirt
  • fabulous dress
  • white shirt
  • oversized shirt
  • black trousers
  • little black dress
  • A black jacket with diagonal zip

    A great smart casual semi fitted jacket

  • A jacket with a tweed body and black arms

    A fashion jacket

  • A beige trench coat

    A trench coat

  • Legs of a person wearing skinny jeans

    A great pair of jeans (baby boot, straight leg or skinny)

  • A black pencil skirt

    A pencil skirt

  • A multicoloured wrap-around dress

    A fabulous dress

  • A white shirt with a side tie

    The perfect white shirt

  • A long leopard-skin shirt

    An over sized shirt (patterned)

  • A pair of black trousers

    The perfect pair of black trousers

  • A little black dress with a side tie

    An LBD

To find out more or if you have any particular style questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us directly at Stick & Ribbon by emailing us at style@stickandribbon.com or visit our website at www.stickandribbon.com

Sally Longden

About Sally Longden

I'm the owner of Stick & Ribbon, a ladies' clothing and personal styling boutique in Nottingham. I'm married, live in Leicestershire and have a teenage daughter.

  • Paula Sharratt

    Exactly, it’s about designing for you. So you make your version of the pieces in a way that makes you feel comfortable, relaxed and excited. Thanks Sally this is great: more please!