Must have Dresses to Add to Your Capsule Wardrobe

There has been a hint of Spring this week, so my thoughts are turning to my capsule wardrobe and how I will be updating it for Spring. One of the key items I am investing in is a versatile dress (or two). There are always those occasions that you need a dress that is smart, but not over the top, or times when you just want to wear a dress.

Spring dresses

I find dresses really hard to buy because I am 2 sizes bigger on the top than I am on the bottom. This means that I have to buy something that will fit my top half and that is either unfitted on the bottom (because it would be too loose) or is a wrap style that I can put a cami underneath to make it decent. So when I do see a dress that I like I tend to snap it up, as they are few and far between.

Spring dresses

This happened recently when I was in London after a meeting. I did have in mind an event that was coming up, which I hadn’t decided on an outfit for and when I spotted this dress I thought it could work. My criteria for a versatile dress is something that can be dressed up or down, that is easy to wear and accessorise and that is easy to care for. There is no point in me buying a dress that needs dry cleaning because I know it won’t get much wear, so think about the practicalities of a dress when you buy it and you will get the optimum cost per wear.

Spring dresses

The event was an exciting trip to St James’s Palace to see my daughter receive her Gold Duke of Edinburgh award in the presence of the Duke himself. The invitation said “Afternoon dress, suit or uniform”. I didn’t want to buy a dress just for this occasion because I hate having pieces in my wardrobe that only get worn on rare occasions. This dress is something I know I will wear again for a lunch, meetings or more casually with a knit. It’s from Marella who I have found some great little gems from in the past, so definitely worth keeping on your radar. I can wear it now with tights but as it is quite lightweight, but fully lined, I can wear it through our British Spring and Summer (except on the rare boiling hot days) and on into Autumn. And an extra bonus it can be washed at 30 degrees. It comes with a fabric tie belt which I wouldn’t use, but if you have a waist, add a camel or black belt to cinch it in.

Spring dresses

The dress held up perfectly for the event. It was extremely comfortable to sit in for the 2 hours or so we were at the event and was a blessing afterwards when my daughter decided what she really wanted for lunch was a burger! I wore it with black flat boots as we had decided to walk through Green Park, a red coat (the one day this week it was cold and rainy!) and a┬áred handbag. Because of it’s striking print it really needed very little accessorising, just a pearl necklace to finish the outfit.

Spring dresses

In these pictures I am wearing a fabulous pair of 18 hour shoes by Shaherazad – more to come on this fabulous brand, as well as a treat from them at the Style event!

Below I have found some more dresses that I think fit the bill for versatility but in a variety of styles and budgets, so hopefully there will be something that is just right for you.


  1. Cindy
    March 10, 2017 / 1:41 pm

    I have the same issue with being larger on top than on bottom (contrary to most who tend toward a pear shape) so finding dresses that work is an issue for me too! Would you mind devoting an article to dress recommendations for those of us with this fit issue? Thanks!

  2. Gill Evans
    March 11, 2017 / 4:32 pm

    Having trouble accessing Looking Stylish. Keep getting a blank page or some nonsense about the page not being available. Do hope gremlins haven’t got into the works! Good luck if they have and hope you’ll soon be restored!