11 buy-now-wear-forever pieces that will put a stop to your impulse shopping
Did you know that when it comes to the environment, the fashion industry – especially our collective love affair with mass-produced, cheap fashion – is one of the worst offenders.
More waste, more toxic chemicals from dyes polluting waterways, more energy and water used – our impulse shopping is not doing our beautiful planet – or our wallets – any favours.
Which is why creating a capsule wardrobe for yourself makes sense on so many levels.
For starters, you are going to find that by investing in some really hard-working, mix-and-match-able pieces you really love, you will never again be caught with the old "wardrobe bursting, yet nothing to wear" panic when it's time to get dressed. You will save money, because not only will you feel like you always have something to wear and hence eliminate the need for panic shopping, but you will also start viwing your wardrobe differently, and start thinking a lot more critically about what you add to it.
And look – there will be a bit of trial-and-error maybe to start with, and we all have different taste and ideas of what the perfect wardrobe should contain, but here are some great tips to get you started:
1. Take a long, hard look at what you have in your wardrobe already, and (in the spirit of Marie Kondo herself) keep only what you truly love – or what sparks joy, if you will. These are the clothes that will form the backbone of your new, better and more thought-throgh wardrobe, and what you buy going forward is going to be an extension, adding to, this.
2. Make yourself a Pinterest board with looks and styles you love, and make a mental note of items your wardrobe is currently missing that you will need to achieve this. As in, the perfect pair of black pants, a denim jacket, loafers – whatever the items you feel you need to build a good capsule wardrobe are, write them down, and now you are ready to start buidling your perfect wardrobe.
3. Nail your capsule look – and then look for a few fun/different/interesting bits to add, so that you can change your look up, and mix and match your capsule style and change up looks on a whim. Some chunky costume jewellery, sunglasses, a fedora hat, a colourful scarf or jumper, all these will add some colour and personality to your capsule look, and it will ensure that you will not tire of your more edited and compact wardrobe.
And look – we all have different tastes and styles, but when it comes to putting together a really hard-working, fab wardrobe you'll get years and years out of, I think everyone should have a version of the following hanging up in their closet:
1. A cashmere sweater
Yes, they are a bit of an investment, but look at places like Marks & Spencers for a slightly more budget-friendly version.
A cashemre sweater is such a good buy, and if you treat it with care, will last you years. Wear it layered over a long-sleeved tee or a white shirt in the winter, and in spring and summer, it won't look out of place worn on chillier evenings, or paired with white jeans or even a denim skirt. It's a little bit of lux, and will easily make an otherwise plain outfit look more exclusive and chic.
We love Irish brand Lucy Nagle, and think her stripe design will not only never date, but will also add a bit of colour and fun to your look.
2. A pair of dress pants
Dress up or down, a pair of tailored, chic dress pants will see you through most occasions, and will look equally good for the office when paired with a shirt and a blaer as it will dressed down for travel or glammed up for a night on the town.
Tip: Go dark – black, navy or charcoal, and make sure the tailoring is impeccable.
These navy, slightly cropped ones from Mango are super-flattering, and we love the fit.
3. The pretty tea dress
Say hello to your new favourite off-duty look. A tea dress is pretty much the perfect thing to wear for Sunday brunch or a walk around the shops, and pair it with a biker jacket for a more egdy look, perfect for heading out for a tipple with the girls.
There are tons to pick from at all your favourite retailers, but we currently have our eyes on this fab one from All Saints – just look at those romantic ruffles and the print!
4. A classic loafer
Another wardrobe staple you'll wonder how you did without. With these chunky-looking Aldo loafers, you can give your trainers a day off. Equal parts preppy and fashion forward, these loafers are made with studded kilties and lustrously buffed leather.
5. The perfect wear-everywhere pants
I only recently heard of amazing UK-based brand Zaggora, and their chic, neutral wear-forever pieces – and now I am obsessed.
One of the first things I ordered were these City Culottes, and guys – we are talking about the most comfortable, soft, organic cotton pair of pants you'll ever own.
Perfect for warmer days at work, on weekends and for travel, these wide-legged cropped pants will work for every occasion, and hello comfort – that waistband offers plenty of stretch and support.
6. A midi skirt
Another item I feel like no wardrobe should be without is a midi length skirt – again the perfect choice whether you are headed to work, brunch or out for dinner. You might want to get yourself a leather midi if you can get your hands on one (I have one that I got in Zara five years ago, and I will pull it out to wear at least two or three times every month!). But I also love this pleated version, perfect to inject a bit of colour into your wardrobe, and will look as good worn with a tea and a denim jacket, as it will a white shirt and heels for the office.
7. The ultimate biker leather jacket
You'll be pulling this out of your wardrobe for years and years to come, just make sure you get one that is the right shape, lenght and fit for you. If you can afford it, invest in one that you'll truly love and cherish forever, like this fantastic All Saints version.
8. Simple, white sneakers
We love how it is now perfectly acceptable to wear sneakers pretty much everywhere, which is why we are updating our wardrobes with the perfect pair this spring. Wear with rolled up jeans for the weekend, pair with your favourite tea dress (see above) or team up with a pair of slim black pants for the office – sneakers are the new ballerina shoe if you ask us.
9. The perfect pair of 'Mom Jeans'
An item you'll be reaching for over and over again, a good pair of 'mom jeans' will see you through most scenarios and situations. Flattering, just-trendy-enough and also more comfy to wear than skinny jeans, a pair of jeans like this in the perfect shade of classic blue is a must-have, if you ask us.
10. A simple crew neck sweatshirt
Another great buy that will be easy to match with most things in your wardrobe, and that can really pull together your smart-casual look like no other item.
We love this simple Zaggora one, and its super-flattering lengthened fit for extra cozyness. Made from 100 percent organic cotton, this jumper will keep you toasty on chilly days, and won't look out of place anywhere – it all just depends on what you pair it with.
11. A classic trench coat
Yet another buy that will never age, and that you'll be pulling out of your wardrobe for years and years to come. A classic trench will see you through anything from work appointments to dashing around with the kids on a chilly or damp autumn weekend. If you can afford it, treat yourself to a Burberry one. If not, this M&S one ticks all the boxes too.