No matter what your style, priorities or finances, a versatile hard-working wardrobe of clothes can prove an invaluable asset for easy everyday style. We've all had those moments when we stand in front of our wardrobe with absolutely no idea what to wear – even if that wardrobe is full to bursting. It's very frustrating when you can’t create an actual outfit out of everything in front of you.


Most of us just don’t have the time or finances to carefully edit our wardrobe each season, plan and research every single purchase and invest in expensive (or inexpensive) pieces depending on the latest trends or a change in requirements, such as a new job or a special occasion. One of the best starting points for owning an efficient wardrobe for everyday is forming solid foundations with good quality, basic pieces that you’ll be able to mix and match with your own style and the latest looks from season to season.    



The Building Blocks


The “perfect capsule wardrobe” for you will greatly depend on your own personal needs, lifestyle and what suits your style and body-shape. Some of us might need smart evening outfits more than casual, some of us wouldn’t dream of going to work in anything but tailored separates and heels and some of us feel all at sea if we’re told “no jeans”. Requirements also obviously vary according to the season. But here is our line-up of key pieces to look out for which we believe will give you maximum “cost per wear” all year round.


Tees and vest tops: Good quality cotton basics form the foundation for most outfits – perfect for layering under knits and tailoring. Look for neutral coloured styles that are long in the body and fitted without being tight.


Neutral knits: Whether it’s a longline boyfriend cardigan with skinny pants or a simple round neck jumper with a pencil skirt, good quality knits in a classic colour will bring together a multitude of looks. Luxurious cashmere is perfect for colder seasons, while lightweight cotton provides some much-needed warmth on those chillier summer evenings.


White or cream blouses: A smarter alternative to the t-shirt, a simply cut classic white cotton shirt and a looser fit cream silk blouse are always a good investment.


Lightweight cotton trousers: Lighter colour trousers in a beige or neutral pastel shade will be perfect for comfortable, smart style when the weather warms up.


Tailored trousers or a pencil skirt: Go for a neutral matt colour to team with more patterned or textured items depending on your own style. From slouchier wide fit trousers to skinny fit pants, find the style that suits and you’ll feel comfortable all day. And on those formal occasions, team with the tuxedo jacket below for a polished top-to-toe look.


Tailored tuxedo jacket: Whether cropped or hip-length, a well-fitting tailored blazer in a dark colour will smarten up jeans and a t-shirt as well as prove an invaluable cover up for work or evening wear.


Dark blue jeans: Go for a darker blue wash in a straight cut for jeans appropriate for almost all occasions. Jeans vary wildly in price and while it’s an item you’ll possibly get the most wear out of – it’s not necessary to spend fortunes if you find a cut and style that works for you.


Little black dresses:  Your style choices here will be very personal to your own needs and body shape but a flattering, well fitting shirt or wrap dress is perfect for work blended with some statement accessories, just overlay with a knit or tailored jacket if required, while a figure hugging cocktail dress is an essential for evening. The LBD is the ultimate one-step outfit.


Classic trench coat: For those in-between seasons, a lightweight cotton trench in beige, navy or black overlays all outfits with a cool, professional air. Opinions on how to style it vary – trust us, there are discussions on this in the fashion world – but here at TSS we go for a popped collar and a casually knotted belt.

Warm wool coat: A coat is the one thing in your wardrobe you could potentially wear everyday for months at a time. It's the first impression everyone has of you and the last - so it's important to pick a style that works over as many outfits as possible. Regardless of trends, a classic coat such as a belted knee-length style will be as fashionable today as it will be in 10 years time, making it one item worth investing in.


By getting these simple essentials right, you’ll be able to create a look everyday with minimal effort, no matter what the occasion. Style is all about confidence and individuality. Find your perfect foundations and establish your signature look, focusing on the most flattering cuts and colours to suit you. Then mix it up from day to day to make the look firmly your own. Blend your essentials with your own favourite pieces and experiment with additions from the latest trends. Try new accessories, new proportions, new patterns, new textures, a new hairstyle or a new colour lipstick – and these basics will look different every time!



Get organised


Once you’ve got that perfect wardrobe established, you’ll want to make sure you can access everything quickly and efficiently. When we’re in a rush it's easy to get disorganised - it sounds obvious, but getting into the habit of taking five minutes to hang or fold your clothes and put them away will be a massive time saver. And put aside an hour every month to maintain your organisation; group items together – tops with tops, dresses with dresses etc. It won’t take long but will be invaluable when you’ve got more important things to think about in the morning.


If space allows, store items when seasons finish, particularly in the spring.  Moving those heavy coats and sweaters out of the way will free up valuable frontline space for items you're more likely to be wearing every day during the warmer months.  And if you haven’t worn anything in a year – whether it doesn’t fit or doesn’t suit – be ruthless, take it to the charity shop or sell it online (earning funds for something far more useful!). 



Buying tips


When you’re trying on a potential new purchase, always think of what you already have that you can wear it with – style and colour wise. Ideally, it should go with at least three pieces you already own. If it doesn’t go with anything, you’ll need to buy even more clothes to make it work – so if you don’t have the budget to do that – don’t buy it. 


If the price of something is slashed in the sale – don’t be tempted to buy it for this reason alone – especially if it doesn’t quite fit properly and can’t easily be adjusted. It might be cheap, but if it’s not a colour or style you’d usually choose, it will still be a waste of money.


If you see something you like in a magazine or elsewhere, rather than rush out or head online to buy it straight away, tear the page or picture out and pin it up somewhere you'll see it regularly, it’ll give you time to properly assess whether it'll work – beyond that first impression – before committing to an actual purchase. We’re all guilty of being swayed by that initial reaction to something shiny and new.


More tips


Here's some more essential advice from our favourite style sites:


When should you get rid of clothes? A 10-step guide to figure it out. By StyleList, New York


12 things every fashionable woman should own by the age of 30. By StyleCaster, New York


5 new ways to style your favourite classic pieces. By WhoWhatWear, Los Angeles



We hope these tips help in making your wardrobe work harder - if you have any questions or would like some advice, please drop us a line at hello@thestylestandard.co.uk - we're always happy to help!

 




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