what items to buy for a capsule wardrobe

6 Items Every Woman in Their 30s, 40s and 50s Should Have In Their Wardrobe

With every new season, there comes an inevitable re-assessment of our wardrobe contents. And with sustainability weighing heavily on our consumer conscience, adding a few style staples that can be re-worn and adapted to any occasion is a smart way to shop.

Creating a capsule wardrobe has never been easier and with these six must-haves, you'll be a pioneer of styling in no time.

A white t-shirt

Finding a good quality white t-shirt is the holy grail of fashion. One that's soft yet structured, boxy in cut and sits just right on the shoulders – it's not as easy as it sounds. But once you've found the right style for you, there's no end of styling possibilities.

Whether worn with a straight leg jean and pumps a la Princess Diana or tucked into chinos with a knit around your shoulders, it's the perfect piece to tie separates together into one cohesive look. For the optimum buy, look for a white t-shirt that's long in the body, with a crew neckline and plenty of room in the sleeves, to enable it to be able to tuck comfortably into shorts or trousers and look more luxurious on its own or layered underneath a jacket.

A blazer

The iconic blazer has come a long way since Melanie Griffith rocked those shoulder pads in Working Girl. With a huge selection on the high street in every colourway imaginable, it's a lightweight cover-up that will stand the test of time. For a chic and understated look that will instantly smarten up your casual look, opt for a neutral tone such as beige, white, camel, or grey in an oversized fit that you can also team with an elegant slip dress for the evening. Think Bianca Jagger's wedding suit to get an idea.

If, however, making a statement is more you thing, why not try a silk or satin blazer in a deep emerald or ruby for occasion wear and a classic tweed print worn over the aforementioned white shirt for a smart yet casual look? But if you're not quite sure yet, you can't beat a traditional black or navy blue blazer – worn over a black turtle neck and jeans, it's a fashion failsafe.

A white shirt

No wardrobe is complete without a crisp white shirt, whatever your age. Chic and timeless, a cotton shirt can be one of the most versatile pieces in your capsule collection. Dressed up, worn over an evening dress or teamed with black trousers and high heeled sandals, or dressed down with linen trousers or jeans, it's a must-have for a more thrown-together look.

Whether you opt for a fitted cut for a more form-shaping silhouette or adopt this season's trend of an oversized design, there's something undeniably smart and stylish about a white shirt that will see you through a myriad of wardrobe dilemmas.

Cigarette trousers

Crisp, pleated with a tapered leg, there's a reason why the cigarette trouser was Audrey Hepburn's go-to for a chic casual outfit. Since YSL launched Le Smoking Suit in the 60s, this flattering trouser design hasn't budged from the shelves and it's not going anywhere anytime soon. With a slim ankle, it lends perfectly to a kitten heel for the evening, worn with a silk blouse as well as a a flat pump and a fine knit for daytime wear.

With an abundance of colours to choose from, a pair of black, navy or camel cigarette trousers will see you through ever season and, if you're feeling brave, you can even tuck them into some knee-high boots for a look straight off of the catwalk.

A tote bag

Handbag styles come and go and there'll always be an 'it' bag that we can't afford every season. But for a timeless classic that will never go out of fashion, a tote bag is a classic choice. Whether it's a structured leather or slouchy canvas, finding the right shape and size can easily transform your daytime outfit. We love a spacious tote bag with long shoulder straps to enable us to fit all of our everyday essentials in, with a pocket or two and elegant exposed stitching.

A chic flat shoe

Running errands, heading to the shops and rushing about after the family leaves no room for heels. A comfortable shoe doesn't mean sacrificing style and can see you through busy days effortlessly. With slouchy ballet-style shoes proven to be flimsy and disposable, this season sees the return of the sturdy pump. A structured flat made from leather or canvas, inject a little contemporary style into your flat of choice with a square toe, toe-tone colourway or stylish tie detail to the toe.

 Article by Jessica Harris

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