We’ve all heard of the term ‘wardrobe staples’ or ‘wardrobe essentials’ but in a time when the next best thing in fashion one day becomes a designer’s worst nightmare the following day, it’s difficult to keep up with the ever-changing trends. The terms ‘Capsule wardrobe’ and ‘Minimalist Wardrobe’ are all the rage right now, with people choosing to invest in a handful of timeless pieces that’ll stay with them for the rest of their lives, so we thought we’d give you our two cents on what we think would work best for you.
Splashing out a little more on some key items, making sure that they are high quality will guarantee that they will last for years. Many people still have Dr Marten boots that they bought 30 years ago!
We’ve managed to curate a list of items we think should be your wardrobe staples, but this list is customisable from the hundreds of available pieces of clothing/footwear available to us. Our list consists of 10 items (we know, it may seem a little excessive but bear with us) that can create multiple outfits on their own, or you can add some simple high street basics to further push your options. However, if you’re not ready to whittle your wardrobe down to this many items, maybe try doing a holiday capsule wardrobe or a work capsule wardrobe. Baby steps are important if you’re wanting to stick this out.
Now, you absolutely do not need to purchase all these items all at the same time and they do not need to be the most expensive style and fit available. This process is a personal preference. Do your research on brands and read reviews on the products that you’re interested in. You’ll find that some brands/designers have created exactly what you want, but others don’t tickle your fancy at all! Take your time in creating your wardrobe staples. You might find something from your list either second hand on the internet or in a charity shop for a fraction of the cost. You want to keep these items for years to come - so make sure they’re timeless pieces, looked after and stored well to ensure their longevity. So let’s dive in, and how to create a capsule wardrobe for men AND for women!
1. A simple white tee
Ok, hear us out on this one. We're not talking about the thin, cheap-feeling top you love to throw on on a lazy day. We're talking about a cotton/polyester mix t-shirt. These make the shirt strong and wrinkle-resistant but also wash well. It’s always best to invest in some stain remover just in case there is a little spillage. But once you find the perfect tee that fits well and sit comfortably on your torso, you will absolutely want to look after it. Whatever bottoms or outwear you choose to pair with this, it’ll be a match made in heaven. We recommend a vertically striped tee and a black tee also to make sure you’ve still got a handful of options to mix it up, and you’ve started the base of your staple wardrobe.
2. Denim Jeans
Well.. duh! Blue or black, or both! Where you buy your jeans from the style or fit of them is entirely up to you. A skinny or straight leg is a much more versatile style in our eyes, but the choice is yours. You can dress up jeans with a shirt, fancy shoes and a blazer, or dress down with a t-shirt and trainers, the options are endless! Have a mooch around the different stores and ask your friends for some recommendations, you may find that you end up buying a brand that you’ve never once looked at.
3. The smart shirt
Again, a smart button-down shirt can be worn for multiple occasions; work, dinner out, down the pub or used to layer up. You really can be as adventurous as you want! We highly recommend looking for a reliable cotton shirt and try to avoid linen, silk or flannel. Cotton is light-weight, breathable and incredibly durable.
4. The trusty crew neck jumper
The word ‘jumper’ automatically makes you think of colder days and nights. However, the crew neck jumper is a whole year thing. Chuck a blazer or jacket over the top for colder days to make for a more curated and structured look or pop it over a t-shirt when it starts getting chilly after a hot day in the sun. When looking for your wardrobe staples, it’s best to try and purchase items that can be worn all year round.
Whether you’re a builder, cleaner, teacher or have an office job, having a well-fitted blazer is an absolute essential. You can wear it with every outfit imaginable: jeans, white tee, a jumper or a skirt, the possibilities are endless. It’s the perfect addition to make you look refined and put together.
6. Leather Jacket
We feel like everyone knows this, but for those who don’t - you absolutely need leather jacket in your life (or a vegan leather feeling jacket if you’d rather). If made well, a leather jacket is durable and can last a lifetime if you look after it. Wear it if you’re dashing about on a weekend or if you’re attending an important gathering. You’ll surprise yourself with how many outfits are finished off perfectly with a leather jacket. But make sure (if it’s real leather) that you invest in some leather conditioner, this will help you to keep it brand spanking new!
7. White trainers
Eye-catching, easy to maintain and go with everything you own. White trainers can add the kick and attention to an outfit that you wouldn’t usually get from your everyday shoe. As we’re looking at having the absolute essentials, make sure to go with low-tops. High-tops can make an outfit look instantly sporty and even bunch up your trousers or jeans. Take a moment to try them on with different outfits, and make sure to keep them nice and clean!
8. Smart Formal flats/boots
So we feel like this is a given, but there are some events where trainers just aren’t going to work. A pair of well-made and looked after Oxford, Derby or Brogues (there are more options - remember to do your research!) are the perfect addition to an outfit to make it seem like you’ve made an effort. They’re the kind of shoe you can chuck in the car to swap over from day out to evening event to make it seem like you’ve made a lot of effort!
9. Smart bag
Now if you’ve got this far down the list, then you are really serious about getting those capsule wardrobe essentials. Times have changed! It’s not all about the fabric laptop case you got when you started your job 5 years ago. Leather briefcases and canvas rucksacks are the way to go/ We know what you’re saying “Canvas?! But my laptop will get soaked!” - make sure to check the description, most rucksacks nowadays have a waterproof lining and a/or roll-top to ensure this doesn’t happen. Again, have a browse and see what tickles your fancy. A smart bag is perfect for work to make a statement!
10. Weekend bag
We’re FINALLY at the end! This bag obviously doesn’t need to be used for just the weekend. Too many people use their gym bag for a weekend away with their family, mates or even their partner, and that’s just a bit too far. A leather or canvas holdall or a duffle bag adds style and functionality to your outfit. Even if you turn up in trainers, a white tee and jeans, a smart weekend bag will show that you care about your image, you care about looking after yourself and it’ll also make you feel like an absolute boss.
Well, there you have it. Our top 10 wardrobe essentials. Obviously, take this with a pinch of salt and swap around styles and items as you wish - experiment! You need to adapt pieces to your own routine. Let us know if you want to jump on board and start your Capsule Wardrobe!
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