Extra-versatile pieces you need in your capsule wardrobe this season

I love putting a good capsule wardrobe together every season, and each individual piece has to work very hard to gain its place in it. The rule of three which I’ve mentioned here before is great for making sure you’ll get value for money out of anything you’re considering, but this season there are some excellent versatile pieces that button though to be worn open or closed to give you even more outfit options.

Dresses that also work as gilets or duster coats

penny golightly capsule wardrobe dresses

From left to right:

  • Topshop popper front black suedette dress, £45. Wear it closed as a little black dress, or throw a sweater over the top to turn it into a button-through skirt. Then undo the poppers and wear it Kylie Jenner style as a longline gilet over black skinny jeans with a mannish white shirt and long skinny rockstar scarf. Alternatively, go for a sleek 70s look with a fine rib polo neck, and skinny flares or bootcut jeans.
  • GAP contrast panel dress, was £45 now £32.99 in the sale. Sizes from petite UK4 up to UK 22. Wear closed as a minimalist or military chic dress, or wear open as a lightweight parka. Very Marc by Marc Jacobs in style, and really easy to wear.
  • Pull & Bear paisley maxi dress, was £36 now £14 in the sale at ASOS. Wear closed as a Burberry Prorsum-inspired dress with simple tan or black accessories, or throw a fuzzy jumper over the top to style it like a long skirt. Then wear it unbuttoned as a long boho duster coat over stonewashed jeans, with a simple t-shirt and platform shoes.

Cardigans that double as tops

penny golightly capsule wardrobe cardigans

From left to right:

  • Round neck cardigan by The Collection at Debenhams, £15. For cheap and cheerful block colours, you can’t go wrong with this one, including this season’s hot shades of terracotta, plum and darkest teal.
  • Leopard print crew cardigan by Next, £32. Very Roberto Cavalli, with a touch of punk.
  • Voodoo Vixen cardigan at EggAndChips, £19.95. The perfect mix of rockabilly and Gucci / Miu Miu geek chic. Tuck into a pencil skirt for pinup girl glamour, or style with heavily kohl-rimmed eyes, a pussybow blouse and flat shoes for a touch of Margot Tenenbaum. There’s also a huge range of their other designs on Amazon UK from petite to plus sizes (which is where I’ll be headed on payday).

If you don’t suit a crew neck or slightly scooped round neck, try a cardigan with a high V neck. Red Herring has lots of different styles and colours, all £18.

Structured shirts that also work as casual jackets

penny golightly capsule wardrobe shirts

A semi-fitted shirt in a thick fabric is easy to wear open as a casual jacket, perfect for transitional season street style or relaxed weekend dressing. For a more formal look, hunt down a cropped, boxy shape and wear over a tonal coloured skirt or trousers.

From left to right:

  • Maroon coloured cord shirt by Urban Outfitters, £30. Gorgeous rich autumn colour, hurry – nearly sold out. Don’t worry if that’s the case, they have loads of similar styles and there’s all kinds of interesting stock.
  • Fitted western shirt by Topshop, £29. More figure-flattering than most denim jackets, and great for utility looks or giving more floaty tops and dresses a tougher edge. The whole range of shirts at Topshop is worth a look, with lots of different colours and styles.
  • Flannel shirt by Uniqlo, £19.90. Checked clothes were all over the catwalks this season (Chanel, Westwood, Hilfiger, Preen, House of Holland and more) and Uniqlo has a wide range of styles to suit most tastes, all under £20.

Honourable mentions should also go to the truly excellent range of shirts at Mango and the bargain shirts at Forever 21 UK.

Have you seen anything that you could add to your capsule wardrobe for Autumn & Winter 2015?

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