Building a capsule wardrobe

It is the eternal conundrum: why is my cupboard heaving, but I have nothing to wear? There is nothing worse than a wardrobe filled with things you don’t love. Well, there is, and that is: spending oodles of money on clothes that hang unworn, blinking belligerently up at you day after day. Seasonal transitions are the best times to refine your wardrobe. Inspired by the nip in the air, and by Marie Kondo’s tidying Bible, we’re championing one delightfully simple idea: only buy things you love, and that you’ll wear. We’d love to claim that ours is an impressively streamlined wardrobe, but we’re not quite there yet. However, winter is a time to swaddle yourself in layers, and here are the guidelines we’re using to make getting dressed a little bit more pleasurable.
#1 They're called classics for a reason

Timeless pieces allow you to re-interpret them, season after season, year after year. Whether it’s a second skin pair of jeans, a super soft cardigan, or a perfectly slippery silk shirt, certain things will never date because they’re free of trendy detail. If you can imagine yourself in it ten years from now, it is a worthy contender. Fashion changes. These will endure.
It all starts with a spectacular pair of jeans. J Brand, Madewell and Acne Studios do incredible denim, and closer to home, Korra will actually send someone round to your house to custom-fit you for a pair.

#2 Start with neutral colours and build from there

The building blocks of your capsule wardrobe should span a palette of black, white, navy, and checks (the new neutral) allowing you to mix and match without concern. Once you’ve got your neutral foundation, you’re free to add in flashes of colour and pattern with abandon. To start we recommend: a breezy white dress, a pair of checkered culottes, and a great winter trench.
#3 Invest in quality

If you’d like your capsule to last more than a season, pick pieces that are made well. Look for really special pieces that can be worn into the ground. Spend a little bit more for pieces that will last. Think about things like lining and fabric weights.

#4 Play a little

Brevity doesn’t have to mean boring. Now that you’ve got your quality collection of well-cut pieces, play with shoes, accessories, or jewellery to make these looks your own. To start, we recommend a large canvas tote in which to transport everything you’ve discarded to a more needy recipient. You might encounter the odd Sophie's Choice moment, but keep in mind that they're just clothes, on their way to a great life with someone new.

Find Chiaroscuro, our new winter line here, and more ways to have fun with these pieces here.