Capsule Wardrobe ideas

So last night I had the complete pleasure of being invited by hush to talk to sixty (EEK) of their customers about building a capsule wardrobe.  It was a fabulous evening, I honestly loved it.  A huge thank you to everyone who listened to my witterings and wardrobe choices from the current season. 

I've been asked to share my main pointers from the evening and I've also been allowed to share the 10% discount code from the night.  The code is KATSS16 and is valid until Sunday night.  

I started with what's the point of a capsule wardrobe.  Handily I did have two rails of clothes that would serve to demonstrate this point.  Doesn't have quite the same impetus just written down..  But imagine two rails of clothing perfection in front of you (that you were then supposed to imagine being in your wardrobe very day).  How wonderful would it be to open your wardrobe each morning and easily fling on an outfit you that you love?   To be able to put together different outfits for different occasions from a range of all your favourites.  To know that you are making the most of every piece in your wardrobe and nothing is languishing there, worn once, silently screaming at you "DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I COST?".

To ensure that you end up with the perfect array of gorgeous items to choose from every day, there are some simple rules you have to follow.  This is regardless of whether you're ordering online or buying in a shop.  I may have mentioned them before so skip through if you've seen them previously.  Although I do have to remind myself of them regularly as it's so easy to forget.. *stares at selection of random skirts in wardrobe*


  1. Stick to a colour palette.  And my advice is go neutral.  My choice from hush was black, khaki and cream.  Add in one (or two if you're feeling flush) colour(s) for interest.  My tone this season from hush is pink.  Different shades but pink goes perfectly with the neutral colour scheme.
  2. Know your lifestyle.  I am not a skirt person.  For a month or so in the Summer I get jiggy with the dresses but I am a trouser gal.  What happens when you go off piste (from building a capsule wardrobe..) is if you buy a skirt that's slightly outside of your comfort zone, you need a top to go with it.  And a new jacket.  Then you realise you don't have any shoes that work with the outfit.   Not to mention a coat or jacket... Slippery slippery slope.  Buy trousers....
  3. ...in different styles.  "Haven't you got one of those already?"  Which husband hasn't uttered that immortal phrase?  No.  I have one similar.. Don't buy exactly the same thing (the joy of having a capsule wardrobe is that you can see easily what you have - it's not buried behind twenty skirts you never wear) but if you live in black trousers, then do buy variations on the theme.  If white shirts are your thing, buy more as you will wear them, but make sure they're slightly different - with a collar, without, long sleeved, layering, jersey, silk.. you get the idea.
  4. Only buy something if you can think of at least three occasions when you will wear it.  This is a fantastic rule - eliminates excess purchasing and is an aid to further black trouser buying.  And goes hand in hand with...
  5. ... only buy something if you can make three different outfits with it from your existing wardrobe.  Again, big up the black pants, sayonara full print skirt.  Identifying what you wear often and buying variations of it will make it so much easier to put together outfits that you love (as opposed to forcing yourself to wear that expensive skirt and feeling meh all day).  Which leads neatly onto...
  6. ... invest invest invest.  Do spend money on those things that you wear a lot.  The general rule of thumb is that the more you spend, the better the quality.  The better the fabric, the better the cut which means a better fit.  And the older we get - sweeping generalisation but the more we'd like to hide.  (or is that just me? *stares down at wine tummy thinking about all the planks I've been meaning to do this year and haven't*)
If you manage to put together a selection of clothes that you love, you will wear them all.  Often.  I always bang on about cost per wear but it does pay to spend more on an item if you're going to wear it a lot.  And if you can mix and match your wardrobe so that you can create all the outfits you need for every occasion, you do in fact need less.  (said no shopaholic ever.  But it's true...)

How do you create all the outfits you need from a limited selection of clothes? 

Rethink the use of your clothes.  

Starting with (and I was assuming that everyone hadn't read my blog so was able to wax lyrical again about my new found obsession with joggers..) JOGGERS!  Let's call them harems to ring the changes. 

As I've mentioned (a lot - sorry) these aren't for just slobbing out on the sofa in anymore.  They can be worn with a silk tee for the evening with a blazer and a pair of heels.  Linen or fine knit jumper, biker jacket and sneakers for every day, dress down chic.  Or yes, throw on a sloppy joe and hey presto, perfect Sunday afternoon lounging (or every evening post 7pm chez moi)

Whilst we're there, let's look at a tee.  Don't buy a normal tee, buy a silk tee.  That you can wear like you would a normal tee but doubles up as evening wear too.  Ditto silk or metallic vests.  Still perfect for layering like your average joe vest but also work as a top in their own right.

Take a blazer.  Not just for smart.  Perfect with boyfriend jeans, stripe tee and flat sandals for every day casual.  But yes, throw on over a jumpsuit, add heels and it works for the evening.   Or with one of those silk or metallic tees or vests.  It can completely change the look of the jacket and therefore the functionality of the outfit.

Pretty much every piece I selected can be worn for every occasion, depending on what you pair it with. 

So what did I select? 

Here are my top picks - divided into three sections which you can then mix and match, including layering the tops.   

Long Harem Trousers in khaki £49.50



Now it was mentioned by someone last night that they found the harems too overwhelming with regards to volume of fabric.  Fear not - these then would be a great alternative... (although not in khaki.  I may have mentioned my Private Benjamin obsession once or ten times). 

Amie joggers £45 Also available in a blue.



The other option is the Cropped Relaxed Trousers which is a crepe fabric as opposed to a jersey.  Again, ridiculously versatile and wearable for work, for play, for holiday, for the sofa.  It's all about the top and the shoes.

Cropped Relaxed Trousers £45



Boyfriend jeans £75  These are amazing.  I've tried the sample sized 10 on and they are the perfect amount of slouch.  I've ordered some and was going to wear them last night, as I think they are so easy to dress up or down but they're on back order.   I also have this jumper from last year which I'm planning to layer over the metallic vest.  All great options for packing for hols as they can work in so many different guises.



Wide leg trousers in cream can add an element of glamour to your wardrobe, when teamed with the gold vest and a cream jacket.  We discussed last night that this would be an ideal alternative wedding outfit to the usual Coast/Karen Millen etc dress options that we're usually faced with. 

For dress down, I suggested putting the summer cashmere jumper with them, which is honestly like angel's breath.  The softest fabric ever.

Wide leg trousers in Antique White £65 (and this is the jumper).



And as if by magic.... not sure this is the metallic vest.. but it's another one of the tops just gives you so many different options.

Frayed Crop Jacket £85



My favourite.  I have been shocked by how much wear I've got out of mine and how versatile it is.  I can't remember what I used to wear before I had it.
Onyx Leather Jacket £280




The ultimate black blazer.  I got mine two years ago and it's still worn pretty much every week, all year round.

Black Jacket £65




Jackets sorted.  Onto tops.  So clearly this isn't an exhaustive list but these would be my best buys to either start off with, or add to existing tops you have.

Silk Vest £55 in Antique White   This is perfect to layer or wear on its own during the day as styled here.  Works as a top on its own with a blazer or jacket for out in the evening.  




Silk tee in black £65 also available in the antique white 




This stripe tee is a step above with regards to fabric.  Smart enough to wear with a suit for work.  Wear it at the weekend with jeans or harems.  Or tucked into a skirt if you're lucky enough to be a skirt person.  (I know you do exist...!) 

Black and white tee £35




Or white and black tee £35




Sequin top £150 - this is perfection.  With all the trousers above and all the jackets.  Just change shoes and jewellery as applicable. 



And my outfit from last night included the Essential Silk Blouse in Ecru £130




And the metallic linen vest £32



Finishing the clothes selection with the two tone cashmere jumper £125 (the same jumper as in the pic with the wide legged antique white trousers above). 



I also wore an Ethipian Promise ring £30



This wasn't my entire selection, there were some more pink jumpers which I suggest you get a glass of wine for and peruse the website.  Not forgetting the super good news of the 10% discount code.  Valid until Sunday evening.  Off everything.  KATSS16.

I have no pictures at all of the evening (how rubbish is that? ).  Actually I lie.  I have one of empty chairs.... all 60 of them... Lots of pics were taken though and I think hush might want to do a blog piece for their website which will hopefully have lots of pics on it.  

In the meantime, the 60 empty chairs... 


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And my outfit.  Yes - all those people there and I forgot to get anyone to take a photo. 



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Ecru Silk shirt - hush
Onyx jacket - hush
Black leather leggings - hush
Ethiopian prayer ring necklace - hush

I really hope everyone who came had a fantastic time - you all certainly seemed to enjoy yourselves.   I would like to thank you for being such a warm and welcoming lovely group of ladies.  And I hope you managed to take some food for thought away (as well as the discount!).

Outfit from today.. lovely lovely lunch with a friend, long dog walk, dog to the groomers, supermarket and swimming lesson...


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Navy cashmere dress - Whistles 
Black zip ankle skinnies - Boden
Onyx leather jacket - hush
Haworth bag - Village England

And now it's wine.  Although I still have some damage to do at hush with my 10% off... 

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CONVERSATION

58 comentarios:

  1. I live in my hareems and need them in khaki. Can't seem to find how to apply the discount code to my order. Am I being a bit dim? Can anyone help?

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  2. Ohhh ignore me. Sorted! Thanks for the code! X

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  3. So love you & the blog but you are the reason I am poor 😂, well it's my excuse & I'm sticking to it.

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  4. Oh well done you - all sounds wonderful. Very jealous couldn't attend - please come to Manchester! Did Hush video it? Maybe to be uploaded onto You Tube - hint hint! The harems are gorgeous and this summer they will be mine! Have a good weekend x

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    1. Yes, Manchester would be very handy!

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    2. Yes definitely Manchester!

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    3. You'd have to fight out with the people the other side of the M62....!!

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  5. Really enjoyed your talk last night - thank you so much to you and Hush for a great event. I absolutely love the biker jacket, but I think I'd be breaking one of your capsule wardrobe rules by buying it! I already have a dark grey one, which I've lived in, and a couple of paler colours (which I think, given the lack of wear, might equal another broken rule), but the black one is just perfect. x

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    1. AH now.. you see if you live in the grey one then yes, you can justify a black one seeing as it's similar but not the same.. However the paler colour ones clearly break the rules (we've all been there, done that..!) If you can see that it would give a slightly different look to your outfits as opposed to wearing the grey one ALL the time then yes, invest invest invest! Something that you wear a lot is a good investment! I am honestly so surprised how much I've worn mine. And so pleased you liked the talk xxx

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  6. I can't do hareems or joggers, soz just not me. I'm liking the idea of the silk t for the summer.

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    1. Wouldn't it be a boring world if we all liked the same thing? And yes, some girls are trousers girls, some aren't. Some like purely skinnies whereas others will be trouser tarts and wear all sorts! The silk tees and vests are such a great versatile option. Perfect for holiday where one thing does so many jobs.

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  7. So hopeful of a repeat sesh with Hush!

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    1. We'll have to wait and see. Maybe later in the year would be good x

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  8. I bought everything, pretty much...thank you for the code, it did soften the blow somewhat x

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  9. Please ask Hush to do a petite range. I'm a size 8, 5 foot nothing and I used to be able to wear Hush clothes but now everything drowns me even to pjs. Love your outfit that you wore to the talk. Would buy the blouse in a flash if they did a petite. Xxx

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    1. oh no! Yes, I'm a 10 in the blouse and you'd need a 6. The only thing I can offer up is that their cropped harems would work? If it's any consolation, most of their trousers are too short for really tall people? xxx

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  10. I second the request for petite range!

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  11. Thanks for an excellent evening to both you and the ladies from Hush. Great advice and beautiful clothes. Unfortunately I didn't make it to the front door quickly enough this morning to avoid the husband seeing the enormous box which has arrived from Hush...

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    1. GAH. Tell him they do tend to use EXTRA big boxes for even the smallest of things... And so pleased you enjoyed the evening xxx

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  12. Definitely love different leg lengths in their trousers. They are just so long - I am 5ft 2 and the hareems are overwhelmingly swamping.

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  13. Thank you for this! Just what I needed to read over a cup of coffee this morning. Spring is here in France, the weather is gorgeous, finally, and it is definitely time to start thinking about breaking out the spring wardrobe and putting away the jumpers and puffa coats. Lots of inspiration here and just the sort of wardrobe I love. Have a great weekend, Susan

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    1. That sounds amazing. I bet you have amazing croissants to go with it too?!

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  14. Had a lovely evening, really helpful to get some ideas of what would work well together. Thank you Kat!

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  15. Pleeeease could you and Hush do an evening in the North? Somewhere reasonably central like Leeds? Hush do need to remember their northern customers! Grumble over, thanks so much for the discount code, it's what I've been waiting for, time to do damage to the bank account now, hurrah! X

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    1. I will pass on your info! xxxx

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  16. Love your rules for a capsule wardrobe, they're good to have in mind when tempted to go off piste!
    I'm still refining my capsule wardrobe (not convinced I'll ever stop, it's a life long work in progress). The colours are almost sorted, navy grey and cream for neutrals. Blue (all shades), red, bright pink and green for accents - can't narrow them down further at the moment.

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    1. Oh gosh, yes it's a never ending mission. And yes, I always manage to go off piste every now and again... it's a bit like being on a sensible eating plan.. all well and good and it does keep you in shape but every now and again you need a Maccy D's..

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  17. I totally agree about a capsule wardrobe! It makes life so much easier to find things yo wear. You do need to know your colour palette and what style style you are comfortable with.

    I would add, only buy stuff you love! And good quality clothes can always have been expensive once and now discounted and a bargain ;). Off to peruse the hush website.

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    1. Brilliant suggestion! I only now buy something that makes me feel really really good. Hence I'm on the look out actually for a new navy cardigan thingy....

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    2. There's an ace longline cardigan in Jigsaw. Has a fab toggle detail fastening at the collar. V nice quality and true to size... Although I'm playing chicken and waiting for the sales ;-)

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  18. Sorry for the typos, I had a small person trying to climb all over me...

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  19. Hi Kat, I've recently been introduced to your blog and since January I've been hooked, you have made my internet shopping addiction feel perfectly normal �� I have a £10 off discount for Hush which can be used with the discount code but I'm not sure if it would be appropriate to share it on here?

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  20. I love your blog, but also the helpful comments from your readers with their suggestions and experiences too! Fab!

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  21. If you copy and paste this link it should work for new customers (or those with new email addresses) i hope this is ok, if not please remove Kat X X
    https://hush.mention-me.com/me/referee/registerko/2065449/13899458/c/43ebae70b812f40946b51c4cc88bf3c1489877e9/fe

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  22. Trouser tart !! I love that Kat....btw i totally get the joggers addiction....i'm besotted !!!!

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    1. I've just found an alternative as well.. Will report back!

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  23. I have purchased the Amie joggers in black - I'm thinking perfect for long haul flight I have coming up... I fear they might need to be surgically removed though - I love a comfy pair of trews!
    Jill

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  24. ,Firstly, love the blog! Secondly... since discovering it, my bank balance has suffered on account of a couple of pairs of Jemima Vine flats, some Seven Boot Lane bikers, a reversible coat at Whistles (cant complain as it was a real bargain in the sale....) and now a serious abuse of your discount code at Hush... So, how do you get an invite to these evenings? And are you still doing personal styling sessions??

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    1. The invite was through their mailing list but I did have it on the blog as well! And yes, I do occasionally do styling sessions - email me on doesmybumlook40@gmail.com for more details xxxx

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  25. I missed the code deadline as I was too hesitant about ordering from abroad (Holland). Returns can be a bit tricky (costly). How are their shoes? I am in love with the Kelly sandals. Might still do it...
    By the way, love your blog, read it every day :-)

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    1. Shoes are lovely. SIze wise - come up exactly right. Hope that helps xxxx

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  26. Too much tempting stuff - I am determined to have a proper clear out and get rid of the things that don't fit anymore and then to get a proper wardrobe (less impulse, more actually suits me)

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    1. That would be a plan. I"m doing that next week!

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  27. Would have loved to have been there, but the arrival of the first gorgeous grandchild rather eclipsed my clothes obsession! I would also like to add my petite please plea!! x

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    1. Well I do think that rather takes precedence...!!

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    2. Huge congratulations by the way sxxx

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  28. Very Nice blog looking gorgeous can you please update some ladies shoes .
    woman shoes

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  29. Oh I'm so tempted by the harem trousers. I've lived in coated leggings all winter and just ordered the boyfriend jeans yesterday - wish I'd read your post first and chucked in the harems too...hmm, what colour though?! (why no khaki??)

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  30. Petite, petite, petite please :-)))))

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