DO start with the simple things.
Begin building your capsule with plain tones. If you are just starting out or are trying to create a more stylised version of your wardrobe, start with plain pieces, especially with suits, weekend jackets, coats, shirts and pants. People make the mistake of buying a houndstooth suit or a striped knit at the beginning of a season, but it just won’t work hard enough for you.
DO identify your favourite balancing tones.
These are colours that act as neutral foundations to allow other shades to breathe, making them perfect for everyday wear. I will always recommend two or three neutral tones that cover the full scope from light to dark – I suggest starting with light grey, charcoal and navy. With these colours you can build the perfect base wardrobe.
DON’T be seduced by obvious names.
The high street is great, but a bit of research and effort will lead you to a lot of other cool brands that make really stylish pieces – as a result you get better value for money and you’re less likely to bump into someone in the street wearing the same things as you.
DO create a style map before shopping.
Building a capsule wardrobe should be approached and executed like a business plan. When you buy a piece, think of what other colours and styles you can wear it with, then build a stem and branch from it. The more the branches and stems connect, the more you’ll get out of the piece. Always browse with that tree in mind.
DON’T play it safe.
When it comes to fashion, you can be a one trick pony or a variant that evolves. The latter is preferable, especially in environments where you’re regularly mixing with the same people. Have you ever dressed one way for so long that the moment you change it up everyone comments? It means you have stayed in your safety zone for too long and been put into a box. I try to incorporate a range of different aesthetics into my wardrobe, from vintage to classic, polished to street. This keeps me out of the box and means I can be more adventurous.
DON’T assume you’re always the same size.
It is very important to note that sizing is a major part of styling and not just for fit purposes. I wear different shapes and sizes depending on the season and the amount of layering required. My suits are more fitted during summer than winter as I allow more room for layers, but also in the warmer months I may size up if I’m going for a more relaxed look. Don’t assume that something will always look best in a medium just because that’s technically your fit. Playing with proportions will make your style feel more considered.
DON’T underestimate the power of the classics.
I have found that no matter what’s trending, there are some pieces I have that just fit in, whatever. It’s not hard to identify these styles – just look out for patterns that you have seen over the years that still crop up in today’s trends. Whether it’s a great pair of jeans or a trench coat, these are the pieces to invest in. You’ll wear them for years to come and can even pass them down.
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