Classic black & the Capsule Wardrobe

So yesterday, whilst I said a camel coat was a much requested blog post, I would have to say top of the pops is definitely a black top post. 

Ubiquitous yes.  Easy to nail the perfect one?  No.  Now in an ideal world we would be able to have one for every occasion.  But since we don't all have wardrobes the size of Selfridges (nor the budgets), we need to be able to find a couple that will offer versatility and be the backbone of so many different outfits.   I covered these in ivory the other day and whilst I couldn't live without either, for me, the black is probably the more difficult to pin down.

The other thing that I've worked out is that this is one of the essential items in a capsule wardrobe.  

In fact, whilst we're here, what would I have in my capsule wardrobe?  Another question that I am being asked all the time.   

Seriously - what could I not live without?  Without further ado - the following things are items that I could and do wear, day in, day out (ok so I'd be bored by week four is this was ALL I had and would sneak in a cheeky "guest piece" aka impulse purchase) but these are the items that I come back to month after month and year after year.  This is the Winter Cut.

  • Skinny coated jeans/leather leggings in black (I collect these as wear them day and night.  I don't think you can have too many.  Add another colour as you see fit depending on how much wear you get out of them.) 
  • Boyfriend/looser jeans (I would say actually you can live without these if you don't mind wearing the above day and night. However a pair of these is an advantage.  Colourwise - black, classic blue or I would go so far as to say leather version... which = peg legs in my book.) 
  • Cigarette pants (choose your colour - these can also be replaced with wide leg crops if you're more adventurous.  I didn't say this was going to be simple...) 
  • Fitted black polo neck (add other colours if you're feeling generous, I couldn't live without pale grey and navy)
  • Crew neck black jumper (I also have navy.  Could easily justify a pale grey too)  Others may include a V neck instead of a crew neck.
  • Black silky top (SEE TODAY)
  • Cream/ivory/white silky top
  • Breton top (doesn't have to be navy and white - go black and white/red and white - I will be coming back to these) 
  • Oversized polo neck jumper (how many/what colour/fabric/depends on you. I collect these and wear them so often, I could never have too many)
  • Black dress (LBD obviously)
  • Camel coat
  • Black/navy/grey coat/cape cover up - dependant on your style
  • Black blazer (I also can't live without navy but probably "could" in the Winter... Spring - no way.  But we're talking Winter today)
  • Long/midi cardigan (colour/type of knit, depends on you, as does definition of long)
  • Biker boots (I would also say a lace up type chunky boot is another option.  I wear them so much, I have both)
  • Sneakers (I dare you to try and survive with only one pair)
  • Stilettos (or any other heeled shoe to your liking - heel height and style dependant on taste) 
  • Heeled ankle boots
  • Woolly hat
  • Wrist warmers
  • Scarf (this should so be scarves)
  • Clutch bag
  • Cross body bag
  • Larger handbag
So now we come to lovely options (this list is by no means exhaustible)
  • Knee high/over the knee boots
  • Skirt (how long is a piece of string...I will be back to this) 
  • Leopard print - this deserves a category all of its own as I think every wardrobe needs some.  Be it in the form of a coat, a scarf, boots or shoes, find what works for you. 
  • Leather jacket
  • Fur (of the faux variety)
  • Print dresses
  • Red - see leopard print definition
  • Logo jumpers/sweatshirts
I have pretty much covered my basic list but that's not to say it shouldn't be added to with quality.. I also have some more handbag exploring to do as well. 

Today though, a quick look at some black top options.  

Scalloped Silk Blouse from Banana Repubic £75

Another silk option from hush and I particularly love that this is almost a washed black making it that little bit different from other silk blouses out there. 

Essential Silk Blouse from hush £130

Flowy Textured Blouse from Mango £34.99  This is a great example of one tucked in and I think would work with skirts as well... ditto culottes and those wide leg cropped trews I've still got my eye on. 

I think the key with ones that you do want to tuck in is to not have them too oversized and make sure that they're snug on the shoulders and around the bust area to eliminate looking like a balloon (not that you would.....).

Now we're moving onto without buttons.  And these can be worn over so many things - ideal for skinnies and also for straight skirts.  In fact, a really good friend of mine has this in both the black and the cream and wears it over the hush leather leggings.  It looks amazing.  BUT she's about 5 inches shorter than me so the dimensions work.  If you're tall, this won't sit in the right place as it's not long enough in the body but it will be ideal with a looser pair of jeans or trousers.  Probably wouldn't team it with a full skirt though...

Ivy Black Wrap-front top from Reiss £120

Another top that would look great untucked and for wearing over skinnies.  Perfection.  In the other shades of this online, they've layered it with a shirt underneath which looks equally as fabulous.  A great styling tip.

Boatneck top from Banana Republic £34.65

This is a buttonless version that I think would look superb tucked in as - following my rules from above - it's not too voluminous.  I love the idea of this being like a silky longsleeved (not clingy - dear lord it has to be non clingy) tee.  But smarter.  And for the evening. 

Flowy Blouse from Mango £29.99

Another option that won't work for everyone but I love the idea of this with a leather skirt (again, make sure you get a more fitted size as opposed to sizing up) or leather peg leg trousers or culottes (wide leg trews - yes I am obsessed).

Alara Black Lace Blouse from Reiss £135 - and it's handwash.  HANDWASH KLAXON.

Whilst we're on that subject - this could either work or it could look like you've raided the ski-ing cupboard (can I please point out we don't have one of these as we don't ski anymore - well, I don't ski any more and the thought of taking our ADHD/Aspie son who is sport obsessed, has no fear of speed or heights and complete mindblindess, literally makes me want to weep - hence the kids don't ski at the moment either.)  Suffice to say, it could be fabulous or it could be pants. 

Unsurprisingly I love this look here.  And I think with a matt leather or a detailed skirt, this could completely work.  

Clean Funnel Neck Sweater from Topshop £28

Now here's an option... navy and black together in a rather unusual camo print top from Banana Republic.  It's slightly out there but if you have a mixture of navy and black, it will work.  Plus, fabulous for over jeans in the Spring with ballet pumps for during the day. 

Camo Dolman Faux Wrap Blouse from Banana Republic £49.50

I am completely aware that I haven't even scratched the surface with options that could be covered but hopefully there will be a few there that float your boat.  I feel it's definitely something I need to look at in more detail.  Certainly I shall be on the hunt for "tops that go with skirts" - which currently is up there with being THE most difficult thing to source for a wardrobe.   I will be back..

But in the meantime, am interested to know if there is anything you feel that should be added to the Capsule Wardrobe list.  I'm sure I've missed off loads and to be honest, it doesn't begin to cover warm, practical (dog walking/rugby/footie) outfits or those snuggly weekend (for me - from 6pm if I'm not going out, everyday) outfits as well.  Let's be frank - there's not a lot "capsule" about this wardrobe list.  I should perhaps rephrase it "wardrobe essentials".

Outfit from today.  Car crash morning if I'm honest.  The 9yr old Aspie didn't sleep last night that well.  He always sleeps like the dead and really doesn't know what to do with himself if he has broken sleep (common problem apparently).  He does however, know to blame his brother if it was his coughing that kept him awake - a situation not helped by The Husband taking the 7yr old to a rugby tournament when he normally coaches the 9yr old's rugby team.  Hence refusal to go to rugby.  And a meltdown tastic morning.  I have managed to limp through to 3pm and am so in need of a little drink I can't tell you.

Only thing I could think to do with him was drag him out for a long walk.  11yr old was dropped at the station as she's gone on a school trip to see The Railway Children.


Raincoat - Ilse Jacobsen
Black coated jeggings - Dorothy Perkins
Wellies - Ilse Jacobsen
Fleece socks - Ilse Jacobsen
Grey Cashmere hat - Black
Grey Cashmere scarf - Black 
Charcoal wrist warmers - Toast

So I am now off to a family party for the afternoon and need to go and have a swift shower and find something vaguely glam but practical to wear....  Hope everyone else enjoys their Sunday. x

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14 comentarios:

  1. Interesting to consider the differences in my cold-weather essentials vs yours. I live in a very cold climate, so no need for silky shirts unless they look good with thermal underwear! I have and use four warm winter coats, lots of scarves, Uggs, fleece leggings for skirts and knee boots, sweaters, sweaters, sweaters, and did I say sweaters? The last two winters we had days where it reached -30 F, ridiculously cold, and I was very grateful for my big Boden cashmere sweater with a heavy T underneath.

    1. Yes, this is completely a UK (if not a Southern England!) capsule collection, for sure. I can't imagine temps that low.... Much. Respect!

  2. Ooh, I like navy and black together. I know some people won't wear it but I don't mind. And the pic here from Banana Republic showing them together is really nice, I like the styling . Lorraine x

    1. I LOVE it. I think it's actually very elegant. If done "on purpose"!

  3. ...Have a black pure silk shirt from h and m, slightly oversized....its great with everything...jeans, zara pleathers, so your selection. camel and black look fab too...
    Appropo your darling boy...have you thought of EFT...'emotional freedom technique'. google it...quite bizarre, but quite can find a practitioner who can help him to deal with 'stuff' as it comes up...and there will be bigger stuff as he gets older (I have a 17 yr old with aspergers) its empowering as he can do it himself when he feels overwhelmed with emotions...its really just tapping the skin lightly...on the face and the hand and collar bone...just google it on you tube...hope you dont mind, but I had to mention it as it really helps us and can be nothing sort of miraculous.x

    1. That sounds amazing (the shirt!) And also thank you so so so much for your advice on the EFT - I'm going to look it up and definitely give it a go. The problem we have at the moment is that he doesn't recognise what's wrong - mostly as a result of something sensory - and then doesn't know how to deal with the mood swings that result from it - so it's usually if he's hot, hungry or tired - he goes into meltdown but doesn't know that it's something so easy (really) to fix!!

  4. I have a black silk shirt from Zara which is older than Siena but which I reach for again and again - wore it last night actually! Additions for your list - how about white shirts for wearing under crew neck sweaters and flat ankle boots? I seem to live in both during the winter. Hope your babe is feeling better. Toosh xx

    1. oh that sounds like a total plan... I have to say I do wear my white silky shirts (well, one of them is jersey but more fluid than a stiff shirt) under jumpers and sweatshirts. But flat ankle boots - yes, I could justify a pair of them too!! Although I'm not sure when I'd wear them and not my Togas which I fell I should wear loads as they were so expensive!! But I love the look of flat chelsea style ankle boots. x

  5. In the winter I reach for leggings and a Uniqlo thermal top every morning. I also have a work uniform of spotty jersey dresses from Boden - they seem to have stopped doing them, quite retro looking and I would add a gilet or two to layer up - brrrrrr, preferring the cold bright days though to warm murky ones

    1. Well we've got a couple of those (until tomorrow that is..!). Now isn't it interesting how everyone has a different sort of uniform. I would never have thought of teaming those items together but it sounds great. And more importantly, you've found something that works for you and you feel great in!

  6. Love the capsule wardrobe but would have to switch the trainers for ballet pumps. Love the trainer look but not for me - wear more dresses and skirts than trousers. Very much liking the black and navy together though definitely food for thought...

    1. Do try it. It takes a fair bit of getting used to if you're not comfortable with it, but once you've mastered it, it's so so useful and I think looks rather elegant!

  7. I totally love the black lace blouse it's so adorable !

  8. I've been on holiday so am only now catching up on your posts. I completely agree with your comments about a capsule wardrobe and the inclusion of fur of the faux variety. I was surprised therefore to see that at the end of your post you are wearing the grey cashmere beanie from Black which has a fox fur pom-pom attached. Wasn't sure if you knew that the pom-pom was real fur so thought I'd point it out.