There are all sorts of versions of what goes into a list of essential wardrobe items, but not all of them work for everyone. For example the white shirt (not universally flattering, soft white or cream is better for some) and the trench coat (double breasted styles don’t work on a large bust and a belt won’t work on an apple shape) However, here are my essential 5 items that can be adapted for any body shape and I have shown you 3 ways to wear each of them.
My number one pick for these are the Richmond trouser, which come in 5 plain colours and 5 prints as well as 3 lengths. They also have 3% elastane for comfort. Here I have used the full length straight leg version but they also come in a 7/8 version and a bootcut version in 3 plain colours. The reason I love these trousers so much is that they can be dressed up or down for weekend, work and evening. One reader mentioned that she worked with children and needed clothes that were washable and suitable for the activities she does with them, but could also be dressed up for parent meetings and these would be ideal. I would recommend adding at least one pair to your capsule wardrobe, you will wonder how you lived without them. Below they are styled for casual weekends, work and evening.
I probably don’t need to tell you why a navy blazer is such a wardrobe essential. It can be worn in almost any situation. With jeans it pulls the outfit together, for work it adds authority and for the evening adds a touch of tailoring. For this example I have chosen a non traditional, more fluid style which will work better on those with a curvy top half than a fully tailored style as it has gathering detail on the back. If you choose a jacket in a lightweight wool it work for you throughout the year and if it has a touch of elastane it will wear comfortably through even the longest day at the office. Below I’ve styled it casually, for an event and for the evening and above with the cotton trousers for work.
As you probably know by now I love a jersey dress! They are comfortable to wear for both smart and casual occasions – add a blazer for work or sandals for weekend or holidays – and they travel beautifully, whether that be on business or on holiday. The one I have chosen is a soft stretch jersey in a wrap style which is flattering for all body shapes. Here I have shown it formally for workwear, smart with a tweed blazer and casually.
This is really a smart T-shirt made in a good quality jersey that elevates a casual look. Choose several in your best accent colours to add colour to an outfit. Add accessories and it becomes much more than a humble T-shirt. Shown below in 3 casual outfits but you could wear it under a jacket to work as well.
This is a cardigan that works as a more casual jacket. You could choose either a longer length to the thigh or knee or shorter style if you are petite. I have chosen a neutral colour and a waterfall style, both of which work for all colouring and body shapes, but particularly well on curves. Choose a more boxy style if you are column shaped. Here I have shown it smart casual, casual and for the office.
Do you have these essentials in your wardrobe? Are there other pieces that form a backbone to your wardrobe?