No capsule closet would be complete without a cardigan. This garment is named after James Brudenell, 7th Eat of Cardigan, a British Army Major General who lead the Charge of the Light Brigade during the Crimean War. The word “cardigan” is a variation from the Welsh Ceredigion. Legend has it that fame achieved by Lord Cardigan let to its ascent to popularity.
The modern day Cardigan owes quite a significant credit to Coco Chanel who detested the manner in which tight-necked sweaters ruined hair when pulled on that she opted to wear the Cardigan.
Modern day Cardigans come in a plethora of styles, colors and patterns. Some are made from luxurious cashmere. They can be machine or hand knitted. Generally worn during the cooler months they can be dressed up or for leisure time dressing.
As these photo’s clearly illustrate even the British Royal Family are often seen with a cardigan on. Famous feminine faces such as Reese Witherspoon, Zoe Saldanha and Amal Clooney often wear them. Even Justin Bieber wears them so there is no doubt just how popular a cardigan is. PS – My favorite is Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding cardigan – so stylish.
The next must have wardrobe item is a work tote or everyday hold all. The word tote means carry. Boy do I carry everything but the kitchen sink with me! Traditional totes have two handles but given the enormous array of merchandise on offer this is just a descriptive.
The deciding factor here has to be ease of getting to the contents of the bag quickly -without wanting to hurl the bag down onto the pavement due to any abyss like behavior being exhibited by not finding keys etc.
A bag showing abyss like tendencies generally remains in the dark recesses of the closet.
Take a read at the stir caused when Balengiaca showed off a bag which resembled an IKEA blue bag Read here.
Next up is a ballet pump shoe which is an essential part of any modern day women’s wardrobe. Especially if – like me – you run around all day and find that doing so in high heels was something you foolishly did in your 20’s – and without giving too much away lets just say it was a while ago.
The modern day pump was referred to as “pompes” in the 1500’s when strapless shoes without heels were worn by men. Back then these were mostly worn by servants because they lacked the fuss and the funds to have fancy buttons and laces reminiscent of that time.
Thankfully since then it has become a women’s shoe and is adoringly associated with style and glamour. Sensible sophistication of a pump has been adored by the rich and famous and include amongst other Jacqueline Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn, Alexa Chung to name a few.
The next must have item is a classic Trench Coat and for me it has to be in it’s primary and most recognised colour – Khaki.
This raincoat is traditionally made from heavy duty cotton, poplin, leather and a variety of modern day fabrics with technology constantly evolving to improve upon waterproofness and lightness.
It was originally an item of clothing for Army officers (developed prior tot he war but adapted for use in the trenches of the First World War, hence its name) and shows this influence in its styling.
The two luxury British clothing manufacturers each claim to have invented the Trench Coat. Aquascutum lays claim that they developed the coat back in 1850 whilst Thomas Burberry (which would evolve into the world renowned brand Burberry) submitted his design for an Army Officers coat to the United Kingdom War office in 1901.
Visit the Burberry Website for a closer look at this iconic brand: Burberry
Lets continue building a strong foundation of timeless pieces that can be paired with the other items in our capsule wardrobe. So far we have covered the white shirt, blue jeans and black pants. Next item is a one blazer.
A blazer is a versatile item which can easily be dressed down with a pair of skinny jeans and heels. A more formal look is easily achieved when worn over a dress and heels.This staple wardrobe piece comes in various forms, fabrics and styles but I would stick to a classic style which won’t date.
As is evident this piece is a firm favorite of the Duchess of Cambridge:
No good wardrobe would be complete without a pair of stunning black pants. They can be worn casually with a pair of trainers, worn with flats for the school run and worn with a sexy pair of heels for the evening. Whether skinny, cropped or wide legged its all about finding the right pair for your body type. Equally important is how you pair your pins. My simple rule is: If it’s tapered and skinny at the bottom then it can be loose and free form at the top and vice versa. If you pair a wide leg trouser with a loose top it can look a tad bit unstylish in my opinion although there are exceptions to the rule such as with a large belt to break the silhouette.
Here are some of my favorite black pants:
To me these five silhouettes would work for me and I think on average most women.
Following on from my shirt post which is part of my look book of items to create a beautifully curated closet, the next must have item is the perfect pair of denims/ jeans. This essential wardrobe staple has come along since it was patented by Jacob W. Davis and Levi Strauss in 1873. It was initially intended for use by cowboys and miners but has since gained massive popularity and evolved significantly to become modern denims.
Yves Saint-Laurent once stated that he wished he had invented blue jeans as jeans “are expressive and discreet, they have sex appeal and simplicity,-everything I could want for the clothes I design” (The Fashion Book, Levi Strauss Designer, 1998).
Since its early development much development has gone into our modern day jeans – they can be super stretchy, acid washed, stone washed, dyed, added with worn spots, stains, tears and ripped to expose the flesh underneath.
Ripped jeans are not my style but these mentioned below are:
These are the three staples that I would have it I went all minimalist on the crowd – something I keep intending but fail to succeed in doing. One of the little known ways of looking good is finding a perfect pair of jeans – the right pair will make you look tall and skinny. Pair them with sneakers or heels they are the perfect versatile trousers to have.