WARDROBE STAPLES – The 19 Staple Pieces In My Capsule Closet That I Can’t Live Without
There’s a reason you haven’t heard as much from me on the blog these past few weeks, and that’s because my family and I are on the road, and everything has been very go go go. Some of you may have noticed the change of scenery in some of my latest Instagram and Like To Know pictures, and I want to confirm that I am not playing around with a new background app, they are in fact a brand new location. Many of the pictures you’ll see today have been shot in beautiful Austin, Texas, whereas many of my earlier photographs were in Colorado, which is where we were for the majority of last year. However, don’t get too used to the Texas backdrop, as we are on the road again, and – spoiler alert – my next blog post will be coming to you from a laptop in South Carolina.
This brings me onto the subject of closet staples rather nicely. I’ve been simplifying and curating my closet for a while now, and being forced to pack only the essentials into a handful of suitcases has really helped me appreciate the importance of a capsule wardrobe. In other words, those essential fashion staples that every closet – and therefore, every suitcase when you’re on the go – needs.
It’s no secret that I love getting as much wear as possible out of my clothes and accessories, not just in a bid to eliminate fast fashion, but also to feel like I’m getting every penny’s worth from my high-end pieces. A great way to get the most out of your pieces is to have a capsule wardrobe full of staples that can be worn again and again, and adapted to suit each occasion and weather type with a few extra additions. Plus, in my experience, having a staple, capsule closet makes finding something to wear so much simpler, even on those “I have a closet full of clothes but nothing to wear” days.
I wanted to show you some of my closet must-haves, the ones which I didn’t hesitate about packing with me in my “essentials only” suitcase; and I’m confident that at least half of them will be on everyone’s staple list too. So, without further ado, check out some of my essential wardrobe staples that I packed with me in my suitcase as we embarked on our temporary new journey in Texas…
Regardless of how fabulous your life is, and how many couture pieces you may own, everyone has dress down days too, and everyone therefore needs at least one pair of jeans in their closet. Classic blue jeans or dressier black skinny jeans, the choice is yours! For me, my heroes are my Gap skinny jeans, although slim fit jeans or even mom jeans may be more suitable for other women. There’s always room for a few different styles and colors, but if you must only choose one, I recommend going for the style you wear most, and the one which can be paired with the most other pieces.
How To Wear Skinny Jeans
I can dress my skinny jeans up or down, which is why I never go anywhere without them. Here, I’ve teamed them with my oversized argyle sweater, my statement sneakers (another wardrobe fave!) and elevated the look with my Chanel 19 bag.
The more feminine alternative to the aforementioned must-have-jeans, women’s maxi skirts can be worn during all four seasons, which is why I regard them as a closet essential.
How To Style A Maxi Skirt
Proving that floral maxi skirts aren’t just for summer, I’m wearing my favorite floral pleated maxi skirt with a blue button down sweater which complements the blue shades in the skirt perfectly, and sticking with the casual aesthetic with my trusty YSL sneakers. I’ve accessorized with my Chloe sunglasses and faithful Chanel flap bag, which has been with me for quite a few years now. A very worthy investment that I have no regrets about purchasing!
Every woman feels a million times sexier when she steps into a pair of high heel shoes, doesn’t she? If you have to narrow down your collection, I recommend choosing only your most comfortable heels (if there is such a thing) and going for a neutral color that will complement as many other pieces as possible, while also being able to stand out on their own due to their wow factor.
Comfortable High Heels
I have quite a few shoes in my rotation which fit this bill, and my Christian Dior heels are definitely one of my favorite pairs. I didn’t hesitate to pack my Dior high heels with me, as they go with everything from pants to skirts and everything else in-between. I’ve teamed my nude heels with my velvet midi skirt, a lightweight cardigan, a cinch detail cami, and finished off with a Dolce and Gabbana bag.
A Pretty Top
When we don’t know what to wear, how many times have we told ourselves that “jeans and a nice top” is the only answer? I always like to have a few what I class as “pretty tops” in my closet or suitcase, as they’re so easy to just throw on and accessorize around. Easy to wear and mix up, feminine, and perfect for all four seasons depending on your choice of footwear and optional layers; what’s not to love? I would recommend choosing a few in your most worn colors, and opting for a few different prints to mix it up.
Cute Women’s Tops
I’ve run away with the jeans and a nice top theme here and worn some acid wash skinny jeans with my Arielle linen top. And inspired by a little bit of Texas, I’ve added some slouch boots and a rancher hat; because why not?
Akin to a fierce leather jacket, there is always a place in my wardrobe for a denim jacket or two. My Levi’s denim jacket has been with me for quite a while now, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Teamed with the most casual of outfits and even slightly dressier ensembles, my denim jacket has never let me down. As I like to keep my color palette on the lighter side, this is the perfect shade of denim for me.
Women’s Denim Jackets
However, if you are partial to slightly darker hues as well, I would recommend going for something a little darker for maximum versatility. Of course, having two different shades on opposite sides of the color spectrum is also a good idea too, as is going for different silhouettes such as an oversized denim jacket for an androgynous, super-casual vibe, or even a cropped denim jacket to complement a cute summer maxi dress, for example.
What To Wear With A Denim Jacket
I love wearing my denim jacket as soon as spring has sprung, with everything from maxi skirts and maxi dresses to miniskirts, hotpants, and even casual leggings. In this picture, I’m wearing my go to Levi’s denim jacket with a T shirt dress, Hermes mules, and a flap bag. I’ve added a touch of femininity with another wardrobe staple, my hair bow, which I know you’ve seen at least once or twice!
All Occasions Coat
You didn’t think I was going to pass up the opportunity to talk about coats, did you? My last two posts were all about coats – the first one, a wide selection of some of my favorite winter coats, old and new, and the second, an example of how just one coat can be worn a multitude of different ways; perfect for the space saving and money saving fashionista. I still stand by the fact that if needed, you really do only need one coat in your closet or suitcase, which is what I’m going to refer to as an all occasions coat. If that’s not already a term, I definitely think it should be. Who’s with me?
Women’s Coats And Jackets
This Balmain pea coat will be with me for many seasons and many years to come, as it is so versatile and can be worn for pretty much all occasions. I probably wouldn’t wear it to go mud-sliding with my children, but it would be perfect for most other events. As the coat is so chic, I’ve kept all other things casual and worn it with mom style jeans, my layering tank, slouch boots, a rancher hat, and my Chanel 19 bag. It can of course be dressed up for a very smart head to toe look too, so the styling possibilities are endless. (As they should be for that price tag!)
You already know that comfort is key for me, which is why a selection of comfy sweatshirts will always come with me wherever I go. I like to choose sweatshirts – and also, T-shirts and sweaters – in a variation of my favorite colors, including black and pastels, and a few neutral hues too for maximum versatility. A lot of women tend to have a handful of staple ‘wear with everything’ black pieces, and while I do of course have quite a few of these in my wardrobe, you all know that neutral, camel hues are much more a staple for me, which is why they will always have a place in my heart and of course, closet.
Comfortable Stylish Clothes For Women
Over The Knee Boots
When the weather gets a little chillier, there’s no better choice of footwear than a pair of knee high boots or over the knee boots. Plus, they’ll even allow you to hang onto summer a little bit longer, as you’ll still be able to wear summer dresses and summer skirts with the boots without feeling the chill.
Stuart Weitzman Over The Knee Boots
You’ve seen my Stuart Weitzman over the knee boots in almost all of my blog posts, and as a result, many of my social media pictures too. A very worthwhile investment, my Stuart Weitzman 5050 boots have served me well so far, and because of their top quality, I am confident that the luxurious boots will be with me for many more seasons to come.
Busy moms, rejoice! Thanks to the increasing popularity of athleisure and statement sneakers, we can now be “en vogue” so to speak without the need to wear the latest sky scraping stilettos; and instead, can wear one of the comfiest pieces of footwear ever invented. I can’t remember a time before it was just as stylish to wear a pair of luxury sneakers as it was to wear those famous red soles – and quite frankly, I don’t want to. I have quite a few statement sneakers in my rotation, but my YSL sneakers are pretty high on my list of favorites as they go with absolutely everything!
Designer Sneakers For Women
I am obsessed with the statement sneakers trend. I’ve worn my YSL sneakers with my Gap skinny jeans, a distressed drop shoulder sweater, and a Burberry hat. Keen to represent Saint Laurent just that little bit more, I’ve also completed the look with my YSL niki bag.
I couldn’t live without my argyle cardigan; fact! The print, the colors, the warmth, there’s nothing not to love. Every woman needs at least one warm cardigan in her wardrobe for those unexpected chilly nights, for snuggling on the couch, for traveling, and so much more. As always, choose your comfortable cardigan in a color and design that will complement many of your existing pieces so you can get the most wear out of it.
Cozy Cardigan Sweaters
Versatile Comfy Dress
I know we all need at least one LBD in our closets, but when you’re a busy mom of five, you have less need for a little black dress (as fabulous as it might be channeling Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s at any given moment) and more need for a comfy dress that you can go about your daily duties in. While still looking chic and stylish too, of course.
It might take you a while to find a comfortable dress that ticks all of your boxes, but once you find it, I am confident that it will be worth it. That’s how I feel about my ribbed maxi dress, as I can dress it up or down as I see fit, and wear it all year round with the right layers and accessories. Here, I’m wearing my V neck ribbed maxi dress with my Chanel slides and Dior bucket hat – just one of the many versatile ways I style it.
These might not be essential to everyone, but for me, I couldn’t live without my crew socks, which makes them a firm staple! I always talk about how fashion is unique to everyone, and I think these crew socks pretty much prove it. I love wearing them with everything from sneakers to ankle boots, and I’m sure you’ll recall seeing them in many of my posts and social media pictures.
Leggings are another busy mom fave. When I can’t quite face restrictive buttons and zippers, and want something a little more dressed down than a maxi skirt or dress, I always reach for my leggings. Black leggings are a staple in many women’s wardrobes, and although I do have a few that I definitely will never be getting rid of, my neutral hued scrunch leggings are a go to as they compliment my existing pieces much better. You know I’m all for those neutral head to toe looks!
I’m wearing my favorite scrunch leggings with a sweater vest, and adding some luxury style by way of my LV shawl and Chanel espadrilles. I love mixing high and low and smart and casual pieces, and this looks sums that up perfectly.
Pajamas and Loungewear
Another staple that all the moms in the house agree is an absolute essential. Even if you’re not a busy mom, the Coronavirus pandemic and the various lockdowns we have had to endure over the last year have made us appreciate elasticated waistbands in all their glory. So much so, that I actually feel like I have made an effort with my look by picking out a matching loungewear set in a calming color or a fun print. I don’t think we’ll ever go back to life without loungewear sets, although I do hope we will be able to balance it with more formal dress codes too.
Women’s Loungewear Sets
To demonstrate one of the many ways I like to wear my pajama sets, here is a picture of me in this fun plaid and lace detail pajama set, teamed with my go-to gray cardigan and luxurious and forever-on-trend Hermes Oran sandals.
Tank Top for Layering
As you know, the majority of my looks are all about mixing and matching, and a big part of achieving my casual cool aesthetic is down to layering. I couldn’t live without my raw edge tank top, as it’s the perfect base piece that I use for layering. Many women do the same thing with some of their favorite monochrome pieces such as a black dress or a white shirt, for example; but for me, this tank top has saved me from sartorial disaster on so many occasions.
My raw edge tank is teamed with a gorgeous lace maxi skirt and my 15 year old charcoal cardigan thrown on top; and I’ve finished the look off with my Chloe Franne ankle boots, a Louis Vuitton shine monogram shawl, and Chloe sunglasses.
You don’t have to be a Hollywood diva trying to escape the paparazzi to consider sunglasses an essential part of your wardrobe. As practical as they are fashionable, I seldom leave home without a pair of stylish sunglasses. I think it’s so important to protect my skin from the sun’s harmful rays with everything from sunscreen to sunhats to sunglasses; and the fact that sunglasses are some of my favorite accessories that help me look and feel chic and fabulous is just a nice added bonus!
My Chloe Carlina shades are definitely among my favorites. Here, they’re the perfect accompaniment to my black acid wash jeans, sweater vest, BV board flats, and vegan leather baseball hat. And speaking of baseball hats…
I’m not delusional – I am all too aware that a women’s baseball hat won’t feature on everyone’s list of staples. And that’s perfectly okay, because our own unique approach to fashion is what makes fashion so personal and interesting. Life would be boring if we all looked the same and liked the same things, so I’m all for wearing something if it makes you happy!
What To Wear With A Baseball Cap
If you haven’t already noticed from my last few posts, I’ve recently become quite addicted to baseball caps, and I don’t think this obsession is going to stop any time soon. I packed quite a few baseball caps with me as my family and I embarked on our new Texas adventure, and I’ve already worn them all at least once, which confirms that they’re one of my can’t-live-without items. Besides, if Hermes makes baseball caps, they can’t be that unstylish, right?
Belts seldom get the recognition they deserve. They have so many purposes, some of which include holding your trousers and skirts in place, nipping in the waist, enhancing a silhouette, breaking up prints and patterns, adding a pop of color where needed, and of course, giving the eye something fun to focus on.
Statement Belt Buckles
They can either be used as the real hero piece of a look – which is especially true if you go for an oversized one with an intricate or instantly recognisable buckle – or be used alongside the other pieces of your outfit to seamlessly tie the look together. I like to have a few belts of different colors and sizes so I can use them for different purposes.
Chanel Statement Belt
The one I’ve shown below is a pink Chanel belt from a few years ago; it’s one of my favorites as it complements so many of my staple pieces, and the unmistakable double C just screams luxury, even when the rest of the outfit is super-casual. I’ve teamed it with a sweater tank, kaye blazer, Gucci Princetown loafers, and plaid shorts.
Neutral Colored Handbag
Finally, the last piece in my list of sartorial must-haves is an accessory I think we all need in our lives – and that’s a nude colored handbag. Even if you’re not obsessed with neutral color palettes like me (guilty as charged!) a neutral handbag will serve you well in all four seasons as it can elevate and complement every single summer or winter outfit, and everything else in-between.
If you want to invest in just one luxury handbag, I will always recommend a neutral hue as opposed to black, as black, as versatile as it is, won’t work as well in the spring/summer, whereas neutral hues are trans-seasonal and can work all year round. My Chloe Faye handbag is a firm favorite of mine in terms of wow factor and versatility. It goes perfectly with my casual midi dress, tie dye button down, and Chanel slides.
What do you think of my list of wardrobe must-haves? Are there any staples you swear by that aren’t on this list? Apart from the baseball cap, which I already know will divide opinions, is there anything else you don’t regard as a staple?
Let me know in the comments or on Instagram!
Love, Lily x x