What is a Hero Item? Some Ideas and What to Look For…

What is a hero item? It could fall into one of two categories. Either a piece that can be worn multiple ways and functions as a key item in your wardrobe. For example, the perfect navy trousers or a beautifully cut blazer that fits like a dream. Or it could be a special item that never lets you down when you have a function to go to – the cocktail dress that has you making a confident entrance to any party or a pair of special heels that you could take on the world in.

So how do you go about finding these wonders and adding them to your capsule wardrobe? More often than not they will turn up when you aren’t looking for them. Perhaps you stumble across the dress at the end of a sale rack that you almost didn’t bother with. Or maybe something good always seems to happen when you wear those shoes so they become your “lucky” shoes.

To make this process less hit and miss though, it’s worth thinking about what these items could be for you and creating a shopping list that you always have with you just in case you happen to spy one of the items on the list while you are out.

Here are some suggestions, starting with pieces that can be worn multiple ways:

Hero pieces

Leather jacket // Sweater // Skirt // Blue tote // Blue shoes // Silk blouse // Trousers // Neutral tote // Neutral heels // Scarf // T shirt // Saddle bag // Jeans // Trainers //

A leather jacket that works from smart to casual – I’ve chosen a fitted style that is smarter than a biker but looks equally good with a dress or skirt as it does with a pair of jeans.

A silk blouse or shirt that dresses up with tailoring or a pair of evening trousers or down with a pair of jeans.

A fabulous neutral tote bag that goes with everything and only gets better as it ages.

A pair of neutral heels in a comfortable height that you can wear all day.

Quality T-shirts that don’t loose their shape in the washing in one of your best colours.

Jeans cut for a feminine shape  – high waisted with supreme fit.

A stunning signature scarf in colours that make you happy.

And here are some examples of more special items that are stand out pieces:

hero pieces

Necklace // Green top // Trousers above // Green shoes // Dress // Clutch // Sandals // Jacket // Top // Jeans above // Boots //

A stunning necklace that is a statement finishing touch to an outfit.

A beautiful top that takes tailored trousers out to dinner. Add a pair of shoes to match that complete the outfit.

A dress that will do occasion wear both summer and winter.

A colourful jacket that can be thrown over neutrals to create a more interesting and individual outfit.

I’ve chosen pieces at a higher budget level to give you some ideas, but you can find similar at whatever price point suits you. One key thing to think about though is don’t settle for something second best. Yes, if you see something that isn’t quite right buy as a stop gap (but not at a premium price point) until you find the perfect item. Another suggestion if you are thinking about spending a lot on a particular item, is to find something similar at a lower price point and see how often you use it. This will tell you if it’s worth buying your dream item.

Do you have any hero pieces in your wardrobe or are you searching for something special?


  1. Chrissie
    February 24, 2017 / 1:05 pm

    My latest hero piece is the denim blue longer length utility vest from Gap and its 30% off should be £49 but I’ve got it for £32. It sparked genuine joy when I tried it on, can’t wait to collect it. Much much better in real life than the website photo suggests.

    I am however genuinely disconcerted by the prospect of bright colours taking over the shop rails. I have coolish soft summer colouring so the recent spate of muted shades have been great. What am I going to do….?? Help?

    • Maria
      February 27, 2017 / 9:42 am

      Thank you for commenting Chrissie, it sounds like that was a great find. Don’t worry because there are also lots of muted options out there this season especially blues – Niagara tone of the Pantone colours of the season is everywhere and so pretty. Also look for soft pinks and as a soft summer you can wear red too and there is plenty of red around too.

  2. Georgina
    February 26, 2017 / 1:12 pm

    My latest hero piece is a pair of blue velvet boots with a covered block heel. As soon as I saw them, I knew they had to be mine! They’re incredibly comfortable, I can dress them down with jeans and up with a pair of tailored trousers. I can also wear them with a 70s style dress when the weather starts to get a bit warmer.

    • Maria
      February 27, 2017 / 9:43 am

      They sound gorgeous Georgina! A Hero piece can make an outfit and it sounds like these definitely do.