When Something Works, Capsule Wardrobe Key Pieces

When you find something that works in your wardrobe do you buy it in more than one colour or print? It isn’t something I used to do because I thought it would be boring but actually it makes a lot of sense. Finding styles and shapes that really work can take a lot of trial and error, especially if you have reached a point in your life where your shape has changed and you aren’t willing to be on a permanent diet (note to self: even if I lose weight I am never going to have a tiny waist again!) Yes, like most women over 40 I have had to adapt what I wear to suit my changing shape. Belts no longer feature in my wardrobe. Instead I use scarves and jewellery, and whilst I love wide leg trousers and long to have them in my wardrobe (and sometimes still do – see below), the mirror tells me that by wearing a tapered or skinny leg trouser I look lbs slimmer.

Which trouser shape is right for me,

No difference in my size or weight but the slim trouser gives the illusion there is

Left – top no longer available // Trousers now £29!  // Bag and shoes no longer available

Right – Similar drape cardigan // Silk tunic sold out in brown – here in lighter brown // Crepe leggings (a lighter brown) // Shoes here in red and taupe suede // Bag // Necklace – bought in the US

Back to my original point about buying multiples of items that work. The picture on the right above was taken while I was in Dallas last week, wearing a silk tunic top and crepe leggings from Eileen Fisher. I have worn this outfit casually as shown here (and below right) but also dressed up with bronze heels and a sparkly necklace (below left) at Christmas.

How to wear,

Scarf // Bag // Shoes //

So, knowing that this combination was tried and tested, while I was in Dallas I managed to get to an Eileen Fisher store and add the same silk tunic and trousers in this season’s red to my capsule wardrobe.

How to wear,

Some of the ways I will be wearing these pieces

Red silk top // Crepe trousers (US but ship to UK) // Pendant // Blue bag // Navy trousers // Navy shoes // Sun ray necklace // Gold bag // Sandals //

I know that these investment items will work for many seasons to come – I have the same crepe leggings in navy from 3 years ago.

It isn’t just investment pieces that I have had this kind of success with. On a trawl of Marks and Spencer a few weeks ago I found these cargo style trousers. I bought them in the camel and wore them for several days because they were so comfortable and flattering. I knew they would be versatile too, so I also ordered them in the navy (a lovely light navy) and Khaki – at £22.50 they are a brilliant casual alternative to jeans.

How to wear, cargo trousers,

First wear of the navy cargo trousers

Similar knit // Similar shirt // Trousers // Similar shoes //

To answer the original question, yes if something works buy it more than once. Having some great accessories will help you ring the changes with these pieces.


  1. Alison R
    April 26, 2017 / 3:41 pm


    I had just persuaded myself that the way to avoid looking like I was wearing a uniform was NOT to buy the same top/ trousers in various colours but instead to try to find different shapes and styles and patterns and now you are showing me that I might have been right the first time.

    I know, I know, it’s what you do with them that counts and I’m afraid I would just wear the same trousers with the same top in different colours.

  2. Patricia
    April 28, 2017 / 12:47 am

    Well if you allow me to give my opinion (it might well be my impression) I think you look lbs slimmer with the wide flowered pants than with tapered ones. Looking at the first two pictures at least. Anyway you look great in both outfits.
    I use to think that straight pants are much more slimming than tapered ones. In my case, my thighs are quite voluminous compared to my calfs, and my knees are big too, so leggings and slim pants in general look awful in me. I found that straight leg pants (not very wide!) are the best.

    • Maria
      May 2, 2017 / 2:39 pm

      Thank you Patricia!

  3. Val
    April 28, 2017 / 4:07 pm

    I know I’m biased , but I think know Maria looks by far the .osteoporosis stylish in the Dallas line up! Val Norton xx

    • Maria
      May 2, 2017 / 2:38 pm

      You are too kind Val 🙂