Meet your new capsule wardrobe.

Words by

Alyce Cowell

Be honest. Do you:

Have to use your entire body weight to push your clothes aside to get to your favourite top?

Have five pairs of jeans in the same wash but it’s totally acceptable because they are different cuts?

Literally have nothing to wear and literally cannot even?

If you answered yes to one or all of these questions, you my friend, have a serious case of Toomanyclothesaritis – a condition that affects 100% of females every single morning. Symptoms include panic attacks, misplacing wardrobe items, overwhelming feelings of doom before a party and occasionally, an insanely strong core from all that clothes pushing.

The cure? One small capsule wardrobe: 12 items that can be mixed and matched for all occasions, from work to weekend. 

1. The Leather Jacket 

Any self-respecting fashion lover will attest to the leather jacket. We are yet to find one look it doesn’t work with and for that reason, it’s a no-brainer for your new capsule wardrobe.

Wear it: With the slogan tee and shorts; off-the-shoulder top and jeans; draped over the midi dress and sneakers.

Our pick here

2. The Blazer or Blazer-Vest 

No wardrobe is complete without the blazer or – in the warmer months – the blazer vest. Style it up with the right pieces to be appropriately dressed for occasions ranging from the office to dinner dates. Or, if you’re Kim Kardashian, match it with high-waisted briefs and a lace bra for a casual weekend lewk.

Wear it: Over a buttoned-up white shirt and shorts; with your work dress; with skinny jeans and a slogan tee.

Our pick here

3. The Denim Jacket

For me, the denim jacket is just as important as the leather jacket. It elevates the most boring of ensembles into a complete outfit and is a sneaky way to wear colour if you’re a serial monochromer.

Wear it: Oversized, over the pleated midi skirt; with a white shirt, skirt and sneakers; draped over the off-the-shoulder top and shorts.

Our pick here

4. The Midi Dress

Ah, the midi dress… is there anything it can’t do? NO, there is not, because it’s perfect. It’s the ultimate blank canvas and puts in work when you’ve eaten three bowls of spaghetti, too.

Wear it: As is; with a jacket over the top; with a tee tied in a knot over the top; with the white shirt tied around the waist and a denim jacket over your shoulders.

Our pick here

5. The All-Rounder Dress

An all-rounder dress is a saviour when it comes to culling your wardrobe. Look for one that is appropriate enough to wear to work, but could also be worn to the markets with a straw hat on the weekends (yes, it really does exist). 

Wear it: With the white shirt layered underneath if you’re feeling prim; with a leather jacket if it’s Friday and you’re feeling a little badass.

Our pick here

6. The White Shirt

A white shirt is one of those things you didn’t know you needed until you actually own it. Unless you’re someone who spills your coffee on your top by 9:30am Monday morning, you could literally wear this every single day in different outfits and no on would notice (except for that annoying person in the office that notices everything).

Wear it: Tied around the waist with the midi dress; with your jeans and blazer; tucked into your midi skirt; buttoned-up and worn with your shorts and denim jacket. 

Our pick here

7. The Slogan Tee

I know what you’re thinking: that I’m just sitting here, on the other side of your computer, slashing all the personality from your wardrobe… But look! A slogan tee! It says, “I like basics, but that doesn’t mean I am basic.” And therefore, you need it in your wardrobe, like, yesterday.

Wear it: Layered under your midi dress or cami; tucked into your midi skirt or shorts; tied in a knot with high-waisted jeans and blazer vest.

Our pick here

8. The Metallic Cami 

When you’ve only got 12 things in your wardrobe, you need pieces that can be easily dressed up or down – like the metallic cami. The trick is to make it daytime-appropriate by paring it back with casual pieces, like denim and/or sandals. At night you can dress it up with leather, lipstick and lots of black.

Wear it: Tucked into shorts with sandals and an oversized tote; tucked into a pleated midi skirt with a leather jacket; over a basic tee with jeans; under a blazer vest for work.

Our pick here

9. The Off-the-Shoulder Top 

Just like the cami, the off-the-shoulder top will work with denim shorts and a straw bag at the beach, just as it will with jeans and heels for Friday night cocktails with the gals. 

Wear it: With shorts and lace-up sandals; with skinny jeans; with a denim or leather jacket thrown over the top.

Our pick here

10. The Perfect Jeans

OK, so jeans is another obvious choice, but can you actually imagine your wardrobe without them? Jeans are the real MVP, but the issue is how many pairs you actually own. The harsh truth is that you only need one pair that fits like a glove, in a dark wash that works for day and night. Skinny leg is preferable, as it works with more shapes. 

Wear it: With absolutely everything you own. Literally.

Our pick here

11. The Pleated Midi Skirt

A few seasons ago we’d never even heard of the pleated midi skirt, and now I’m not sure how we ever lived without it. Like the midi dress, it conceals a multitude of sins, but it also manages to make everything look that little bit cooler. Plus, the comfy factor is on another level.

Wear it: With the slogan tee and denim jacket; with the metallic cami; with the white shirt buttoned up and tucked in; and – if you dare – over the top of your work dress, to turn it into another top. Magic!

Our pick here

12. The Staple Shorts

Hey, I get it – not everyone is a shorts person. If this is you, feel free to treat yourself to another wardrobe item you just can’t live without. I do encourage you to try shorts this season, though, for no other reason than you don’t risk having your dress / skirt blow up around your face and the whole of Chapel Street seeing your knickers. 

Wear it: With the white shirt tucked-in and a pair of loafers; with the metallic cami; with the off-the-shoulder top; with the slogan tee and blazer.

Our pick here

Illustration by Twylamae who conveniently also makes the perfect statement tee.

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