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Over the coming months we’ll be building a capsule wardrobe of versatile garments from the spring/summer 2013 trends that will mix n’ match with ease to create a whole range of seasonally literate looks to have you at your most stylish and confident best.
We’ll tell you what we’ve picked and why and each month we’ll add more garments to our recommendations so you can see how we work the trends within our wardrobes. We also match the new looks with what you’ll already have in your wardrobe so if you followed our recommendations last season you can create a seamless flow of updated looks.
Read on below for our assessment of each item and follow the link to buy it for yourself!
Lace has been on the agenda for past few seasons, but last summer’s candy-coated outings have been replaced by a more demure and darker crochet-cousin. The aesthetic is a sophisticated and sultry Mediterranean vibe, just think of those Dolce & Gabbana summer ads and you’re pretty much there. The crochet look has a (surprisingly) seductive undercurrent which also taps into summer’s Sheer and Gothic trends.
This top from Debenhams is a great way to master peekaboo fashion in a classy way as well as giving structure to your shape and this top will also work as a great cover-up for the beach for a touch of your own Italian beach-chic.
Your capsule wardrobe this season is very much in tune with the minimalist and pared-back looks that were all over the catwalk. Yet adding in a little texture is a great way to bring some rich flavour to your wardrobe and mix things up a bit. Team with many items in your wardrobe for an instant, effortless sophistication that will give those Dolce & Gabbana Glamazons a run for their money!
Try teaming with your blue trousers, printed courts and statement necklace for elegance amplified. Additions to this look could also be the soft tailored jacket or you could also add in the shell top underneath for an individual print twist.
Rocha.John Rocha Top
Roksanda Illinic’s s/s13 catwalk collection was a blazing spectrum of colour and a showcase of experiments with texture and colour. One catwalk dress was composed of various-coloured tweeds and a neon yellow accent sleeve. A wonderful thing about Designers at Debenhams is that you can tap into this technical vivacity and buy your own fantasy piece that is actually extremely wearable and workable for the real world. A perfect example is this dress with its intriguing colour combination (with the of the moment colour – neon yellow) and vibrant embellished effect yet extremely wearable silhouette giving an hourglass shape. Not forgetting the great price point of course!
A great dress is a staple for any wardrobe and the surface interest and colour palette here keep it just left of conventional so it enhances your femininity without getting all girly about it. This subtle knock-out of a dress will serve you well come night and day; summer and winter.
Team with your monochrome belt, wedges, sunglasses and perspex clutch for a fresh, sophisticated look. Slip on your cocoon coat for those cooler moments and add in the statement necklace for added style points. Also try with the lace top over the top for a surprising twist. The dress will also look chic with your soft blazer jacket and collar.
Roksanda Ilincic Check Embellished Dress
As you well know by now the savviest way to update your look season by season is by some smart accessories which will transform looks and give them a new seasonal spin and breath fresh air into some of your old favourites.
Who would have thought that that a teeny tiny belt such as this one from ASOS would be such a trend titan for summer 2013 but with its monochrome print and neon yellow accent, it is exactly where your waist should be. It perfectly taps into the Sixties trend that reigned on the catwalks.
Not only will it draw focus to an enhance your waist it is also the perfect sartorial icing for this season’s looks. Team with your summer dress for to enhance its hourglass effect or with your blue trousers and printed blouse to really make the blue “pop.” Team with your A-line skirt, soft tailored jacket an wedges for an ode to this season’s Sixties feel, with the Louis Vuitton shows most in mind. In fact it will work with anything, trend looks easily executed at the snap of a buckle.
Monochrome Skinny with neon tipping waist belt
It seems the leopard may have changed its spots – bright colourful animal print is a great way to stand out in the fashion jungle this season. It’s no time to be a camouflage chameleon. Animal print is now a staunch season-after-season favourite but this new evolution feels fresh, light and relaxed and rather in keeping with Spring.
This blouse from Monki is typical of this season’s offering of modern, versatile clothes with a soft femininity and effortless wearability. A semi-sheer blouse can also be a seductive way to show off some skin without ….err actually showing skin.
Roll up the sleeves, undo the top few buttons for a chic, laissez-fashion look. In turn you are making the blouse work for you – rolled up sleeves to show off wrists and lower arms, open the neck a little to flatter a curvy chest (trying all buttoned up if you have a smaller bust), wear loose with a belt to show off your waist if you have a short body or tucked in if you want to make your legs look longer.
Team this blouse with your blue trousers for a winning combination of pattern with a fiery shade which is very in tune with the season. The long line of colour will also lengthen and elongate – for a hot, simplicity look. Throw over your cocoon coat for cooler climes and extra style. If you’re feeling braver, then trying teaming with your striped A-line skirt and pop of yellow via your clutch and colour block wedges.
This blouse makes a great centrepiece to a wonderfully wearable wardrobe.
In a season ruled by simplicity and subtlety, shoes are also pure and simple – unfussy designs and sleek shapes. However, that’s not the full story – spring’s shoes are still marching to their own unique beat, bringing a dash of colour, decoration and a little light heartedness to the tale as seen with your geometric print courts and these monochrome wedges from Next.
They perfectly tap into Spring’s MODernist mood and the sugar hit of lemon is just the right amount of sweetness for your wardrobe as well as being a little kinder to your feet!
Team with a simple tee and jeans and your yellow clutch for an anything-but-basic basic look. They’ll also look great with your A-line skirt and soft tailored jacket for a further ode to the Monochrome trend this season. The yellow, black and blush with also really ‘pop’ against the cool blue pieces in the capsule wardrobe.
Monochrome Two Part Wedge Sandals
Sizes 35.5 – 43
Having a pair of great sunglasses that flatter your face is just as important as having a great pair of shoes or a great bag. Favourite styles come and go each season but a chic pair of simple sunnies that suit you can be that final piece of the puzzle that makes your look appear anything but simple.
The cat’s eye frame is a popular shape this season and this pair from Whistles have a retro air that will add a touch of classy chic to any look. They’re an eternally classic frame shape but if they’re not for you then there are plenty of options to suit your face shape and skin and hair tone. Here are some tips:
If you have a square face, sunglasses with curvy frames will soften your face shape. Classis aviator styles with rounded edges are perfect for your face shape. Glasses need to sit high enough to minimize the jaw line. Another alternative is a narrow frame that has more width than depth.
If you have a round face, steer clear or round frames and choose a contrasting frame such as a straight or angular one. A bit of width will counteract the roundness of your face so the Cat’s eye is a great option. Make your face appear thinner by choosing a clear bridge over the nose, which widens the eyes.
If you have an oblong face, opt for frames which cover the centre of your face. Select frames that have the effect of shortening your face with a deep frame. Oversized frames work well as does the aviator. Make sure that the outer corners run parallel with your temples and cheek bones
If you have a heart-shaped face, keep your choice of frame small and neat. Opt for a lens that is the same size at the bottom as it is at the top to give width to your jaw area. A slight cat’s eye style that tilts upwards to create a wider-at-the-bottom feel will also work well.
If you have an oval face then you can experiment with a variety of styles. Look for frames that are wider (or as wide as the broadest part of your face).
Audrey Catseye Sunglasses
This spring/summer is a celebration of fresh, vibrant colour and impeccable tailoring and as this is a season bursting with different ideas, there is no one single interpretation – with pared-back basics – bold stripes, columns of fiery shades or cool blue on the one hand and patterned and textured looks on the other. We’ve “en-capsulated” some beautiful elements of both takes into your spring/summer capsule wardrobe, in particular, with this month’s addition of a cocoon coat, coloured trousers and statement necklace.
This softly checked coat from M&S is the perfect chameleon coat – seguing effortlessly from season to season and into a whole variety of looks. The coat will morph into many of this season’s trend guises – a cool cocoon to minimalist style or a pretty princess in more ladylike looks.
Team with the blue trousers and shell top for a cool, modern, minimalist feel and a stylish collective of clean, uncomplicated separates that prevail in the fashion stakes. What keeps this simplistic look relevant is a little softness and femininity. Mixing two sizes of check will add a graphic punch and give a nod to another of the season’s trends. A simple shape with graphic print is a great easy-wear combination that looks good anywhere.
The coat has a gentle silhouette that cocoons the body without adding too much volume – look for details such a curved seam at the waist and a single line down the centre of the coat to elongate and streamline your shape.
Per Una Speziale Cotton rich Collarless Coat
Tailoring enjoys a lighter spirit this season with softer, slouchy lines and pieces that are extremely wearable and not just made for the office. Wearable and pared-down is anything but plain as these cool blue trousers from Hobbs show. A shot of blue is stylishly striking against the monochromatic elements in your capsule wardrobe and pairing with the bursting shots of yellow will up the wow ante. Well-cut stylish slacks will always have iconic status in your wardrobe and simply refresh their eternal appeal with seasonal add-ons.
Keep trouser hems short and team with your geometric print court shoes to ensure a sharp and seductive shape as well as show off your ankles and elongate your legs.
Aside from the shell top, cocoon coat and geometric shoes combination, your trousers will look chic with last season’s printed shirt, with S/S12’s sporty tee and last season’s blazer.
Get set for a summer of a jewel fest-ival. With the power to lift the most simplest of outfits super-size gems are having a moment. Chunky chokers, over the top earrings, colossal cuffs – as long as it is statement, anything goes!
Fashion can often seem like a complex set of instructions to follow but the statement necklace is the equivalent of a pop-up tent – simply throw it on and you’re good to go.It will seamlessly hold your looks together season after season (without a role of duct tape in sight!) and make your other pieces sing – all with no risk of fashion deflation.
The pops of blue and yellow in this necklace from Next, together with your neon clutch will be a hit with your monochromatic skirt and jacket. Also try with last season’s femme fatale dress, burgundy suit or last summer’s in and out waist dress or printed top and peplum cardigan.
Aqua Statement Necklace
This month we’re sharpening up your new season capsule wardrobe with a serious Sixties-injection via these geometric print court shoes from Clarks’s collaboration with Eley Kishimoto. Teamed with your striped A-line skirt and shell top this is bold look but shows you how you can play with print without being overwhelmed and keep in tune with the light, relaxed Spring mood. The key is to keep the colours in a similar clean colour palette; keep shapes soft, streamlined and feminine and mix various size of prints for a 2013 impact. These shoes from Clarks perfectly mix the sharp-edge print shapes with a feminine, leg-lengthening court shape.
A printed shoe can cause foreshortening but the genius of the printed top, skirt and shoes outfit is that the top will create focus drawing a long line up the body. These shoes are a fashion panic saviour – simply team with your printed shell top and jeans for a no-thought-needed stylish look. In fact slip them on with your capsule wardrobe items from previous seasons to instantly up the fashion-ante. Try with last season’s maroon suit or with your statement sweater and trousers. Last Spring/Summer’s in and out waist dress or pencil skirt and printed top will also look chic with these shoes for more stylish savvy print clashes. Great if you like you fashion bold without the fuss…
Ancient Eley Shoes
Complex textures and intricate detailing can bring rich flavour and new ways of seeing your outfits. Collars show no sign of loosening their nooses on fashion after becoming firmly in favour and are a great way to see your looks differently.
This gorgeous collar from the House of Snowball is the perfect ambassador for all collars. Add to this season’s A-line skirt, shell top, printed court shoes combination for an Hitchcock-esque ladylike transformation. Add a-top of your soft tailored jacket to have your friends demanding where you got this show-stopping jacket from!
As well as being incredibly chic, a collar is also a great tool for drawing focus. A wider one like this one will also draw focus along your shoulder-line, visually widening them. Opt for a neater one if you want the opposite effect.
Try layering this luxe collar over a simple white tee and jeans for a cool evening look. Last summer’s sequin sporty tee will also look great.
Mairzy Doats Collar
The House of Snowball
Spring’s modernist mood means a refreshing shot of orange and yellow, or a cool drink of cobalt and aqua. Try a sugar hit of neon lemon with your new season capsule wardrobe and you can see how it makes it pop with a vibrant flash.
In fact watch it works its magic on any of your outfits from previous capsule wardrobes – perfectly complimenting the cooler tones in your autumn/winter items.
This Perspex clutch from Pied a Terre at House of Fraser is a clear winner with two spring ideas meeting via its hot hue and on-trend plastic design. Plastic cropped up everywhere from dresses and macs, to endless accessories.
Plastic is the new leather!
Pied a Terre Resin Clutch Bag
House of Fraser
This month we ‘stripe’ away the fuss and fancy, ushering in a new purity of style. The stripe is the motif of the season and it’s being big and bold. Designers played around with lines in every size, angle, colour combination and width.
And you can count the vertical stripe as a fashion ally – as it will streamline your body and make you look taller. This skirt from ASOS feels fresh and vibrant and perfectly in tune with the stripes of the season. The A-line shape of the skirt is a key season silhouette and will deftly skim hips and thighs to show off your waist.
Earn your full stripes by wearing head-to-toe (as seen on many a catwalk) or try teaming with a polka dot top and monochrome jacket as we have done this month. Keeping the colour palette and shape clean adds up to a streamlined look with a bold and dramatic impact and a mastery of this season’s monochrome trend.
A pop of colour like a coral or pink will really amplify your monochrome look. And if you followed our recommendations last season, you can try teaming this skirt with Autumn/Winter 2011’s bright blue jumper or colour block blouse or with the black roll neck jumper and Autumn/Winter 2012’s printed tote back for a simple yet chic look. Alternatively team with Spring/Summer 2012’s sport sequin sleeve tee and peep toe mules or with the peplum cardigan.
Bold Stripe Midi Skirt
The Sixties remain a strong influence on designers and style this season. Monochrome interpretations are key to the look as well as geometric prints and shapes. Think a sharp silhouette, simple shapes and pops of colour.
This Shell shape top from Awear perfectly encapsulates many of this season’s trends and, together with the stripe skirt and relaxed jacket we’ve chosen here, pulls together a winning modernist monochrome look. This top still has a soft feminine edge which makes it a modern, versatile piece for your wardrobe. Simply team with Autumn/Winter 2011’s black leather pencil skirt or wide leg trousers or Autumn/Winter 2012’s trouser suit for a shortcut to effortless style.
Teamed with this month’s monochrome striped skirt the meeting of prints will draw focus at your waist and the small print will add volume and balance out the bold skirt and shape. The routine spot print draws elongating lines down your torso. If you have a fuller upper body try a bigger print and a v-neck or scoop neckline.
SL Pintuck Shell Top Coral and Black
Available in coral and black, black and white, lip print and pink flower print
The suit returns to centre stage this season but there’s a new chapter to the story with the addition of new softer and slouchier pieces to the fashion repertoire. There’s something for everyone to be suitably impressed with city classic and ladylike number to the fresher casual cuts. One thing though it’s not overly masculine this season.
We love the simplicity and gentle femininity of this knitted biker jacket from M&S which is a great statement mileage piece for your wardrobe and also taps nicely into this season’s monochrome trend. Casual enough to be easy-wear but just feisty enough to make a fashion point.
Team with your striped A-line skirt for a strong yet streamlined look. A bright pop of colour via a bright shoe, bag or jewellery will ramp up your monochrome look. Choose the accessory depending on where you want to draw focus. The black lines on this jacket cleverly draw elongating lines downwards, particularly when white can add width. The black lines at the shoulders and pockets create an illusion of a curve at the waist.
Knitted Biker Jacket
To see Autumn/Winter 2012/2013′s capsule wardrobe click here.
To see Spring/Summer 2012′s capsule wardrobe click here.
To see Autumn/Winter 2010/2011′s capsule wardrobe click here.