Does Your Wardrobe “Work” For You?

As women we inevitably have several “roles” in our lives. Having a workable wardrobe for all the different heads you wear isn’t easy and can put us into a flat spin when we get invited to a wedding or black tie event, or have an important presentation at work. Add to that those purchases you made in the sale or to cheer yourself up and your wardrobe starts to bulge but when the occasion comes you still don’t have the perfect outfit.

I am a great believer in having a wardrobe full of clothes you love that make you feel fabulous, so wouldn’t suggest that you fill it with basics and never have any fun. However, you still can make your wardrobe work for a variety of occasions as well as having pieces you cherish. It’s all about clever accessorising and not saving items for “best”. For a start best may never come and an expensive piece will sit in your wardrobe unworn, and secondly I believe we deserve our best every day.

As an example of how a versatile wardrobe can work, a week in my life might include:

Majority of work time spent at my home office

Coffee catch up with an existing client

Visit to a new client

Shopping trip with a friend

Household errands and chores

Dinner at a friends

I don’t need traditional Office Wear however, I do need to look professional when meeting new clients. When I am working at home my key requirements are warmth and comfort. Since having my own business and not being in an office everyday my wardrobe has gradually relaxed, but because of my personal style preferences I still like to feel that should someone turn up on the doorstep I wouldn’t be embarrassed to open the door.

These key capsule wardrobe pieces work for me all the time:

A great pair of smart jeans (I don’t do scruffy, it doesn’t suit my style. Dress down with a T and flats or up with heels and a necklace)

Black jersey trousers or leggings (good quality that won’t bag at the knees or bottom)

Long cardigan (a neutral and a bright or fun colour)

Loose tunic tops/dresses (great for layering under cardigans, over jeans and leggings and T-shirts, or worn alone with tights and boots, heels or flats)

Breton stripe T-shirt (a staple all year round layering piece and more interesting than a plain T)

Flat Pumps (comfort for running around, but in a metallic great to dress up for evening, summer or winter)

A pair of heels (for dressing up jeans and tunic tops/dresses)

Smart Tote (in a neutral that goes with everything, big enough to carry my ipad for business)

Every day Tote (again a metallic is great summer and winter and goes with everything)

Scarves & necklaces (my signature finishing touch – one or the other, adds colour near the face and draws the eye up)

Fourteen pieces make numerous outfits and by adding a few more tops/tunics, another cardigan or jacket, a scarf in a print, the possibilities become endless.

1. Soft Pleat leather Bag from Pure Collection was £249 now £74
2. Leather Trim Tote from Boden £59
3. Snakeskin Court shoe by Hobbs from House of Fraser £129
4. Stripe Jersey Scarf from Isabella Oliver £39
5. two tone strand necklace from Phase Eight £25
6. Zena necklace from Phase Eight £25
7. Angora blend cardigan from Fenn Wright Manson £129
8. Scoop stripe top from Phase Eight £35
9. Every day pumps from Boden £59
10. Jersey Pleat Neck Tunic from The White Company £65
11. Drape Cardigna from Isabella Oliver £95
12. Linen Tunic from the White Company £90
13. Armani Straight Leg Jeans from House of Fraser £124
14. Stretch woven ‘posh’ leggings from The White Company £80

Need to be smarter?

If the majority of your time is spent in an office, swap the leggings for tailored trousers and a skirt, add a jacket and a few more smart T-shirts possibly in silk. the cardigans become more formal with the trousers or skirts and if the jeans are a dark wash they can be worn on dress down days with cardigans or jacket.

Below from left to right:

Cosy work at home layering, Meeting with a new client, Shopping and errands.


Below left to right: Shopping and lunch with a friend, Coffee meeting with existing client, Dinner at friends


More possibilities for comfort at home, lunch with a friend, and running errands.

Finally add a Little Black (or darkest of your best neutrals) Dress, for evening pile on jewellery and add heels. For a smart work meeting add a jacket, necklace or scarf and heels.

Jersey twist empire dress from The White Company £70
Statement Pearl & Chain Necklace by LK Bennett from House of Fraser was £225 now £112.50
Anya Hindmarch Huxley Clutch from £695 Yes I know it’s expensive but it goes with any colour, will never date and is a truly beautiful investment piece!
Boden Glamorous Party Heels £110
Wool Tailoring jacket from Fenn Wright Manson £199
iconAnother great investment piece which could be worn with the jeans, leggings and tunic tops, again and again.

Have you created a capsule wardrobe you love – what is your must have piece?