Over the coming months we’ll be building a capsule wardrobe of versatile garments from the autumn/winter 2013/14 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!
Maximalism was back on the catwalks via Tom Ford, Givenchy and Valentino and so we’re bowing out on your autumn/winter capsule wardrobe with some rich and feminine items that form the perfect contrast to the mainly muted hues and silhouettes already selected for this capsule’s seasonal pieces.
First up is this gorgeous print-beaded bag from Lizzie Fortunato which also taps into the season’s texture and print stories and in particular the printed and beaded pieces with folkloric references.
Using accessories to navigate print is a great way to add and vibrancy to your look without feeling overwhelmed. In fact a printed accessory can be the coveted item of your whole outfit – just see those checked laundry bags at Celine, for example.
This means that you can team this bag with any look to push it up the fashion scale. And cleverly the slung over your shoulders or grabbed in your hand this bag also has figure-flattering potential.
The “T” Purse in Natural and Burgundy Beading
One of Autumn/Winter’s biggest stories was that of the new ‘new look’ and that of the 1940s nipped-in-waist ladylike look.
Miucca Prada, Tomas Maier at Bottega Veneta and Raf Simons at Dior were all thinking along mid-century lines – soft, rounded shoulders, wasp waists and skirts that fall to just below the knee.
A belt is the fastest way to enhance that nipped in-waist look and will instantly draw focus and create the hourglass silhouette.
An off-kilter take on a simple belt such as this clasped one from Baum & Pferdgarten will give a modern, updated twist to your look as well as adding a youthful energy.
Try teaming with your party dress, with your high-neck top and wide leg trousers or pencil skirt and high neck top for an instantly transforming and different look.
Baum & Pferdgarten
Sometimes it might feel like fashion and comfort are mutually exclusive but a pair of stylishly sleek knee-high boots prove this is not the case and are a great staple item to have in any wardrobe.
They keep your legs warm, sleek looking and all while retaining a stylish stance. They’ll provide the perfect accompaniment to your seasonal looks – team with your pencil skirt and high-neck top for ladylike chic or worn under your wide-leg trousers and statement sweater for just the right balance of masculine-feminine.
Duo is a company that perfectly delivers both style and comfort. They offer a range of chic shoes and beautiful boots that come in a range to calf and feet widths to perfectly fit and compliment your legs and feet.
Sizes 35-42, calf width 31-49
Texture is one of the biggest trends for Winter 2013. From pony skin and faux-fur to statement pleats and embellishment, the key is to have fun and push the boundaries of your day-to-day looks. Take a look at Fendi, Marc Jacobs, Prada and Marni for inspiration.
The catwalks were full of fur this season – shaggy, shaded, oversize and over-the-top. Wear faux fur with a little attitude and mix with your everyday pieces for a transformative effect.
That is exactly what you can do with this long faux fur scarf from Dune at Selfridges. It can naturally be worn as a scarf or teamed with your existing pieces to give them an individually stylish edge.
For example, try wrapping over your coat and belting to make your coat that statement colour and fuzzy piece. Or try worn over and belted around your dress for a day-time spin or worn with your high-neck top and wide leg trousers for a glamorous androgynous take.
One thing is for sure, you’ll come over all warm and fuzzy…
Dune Long Mongolian Faux-Fur Scarf
This season’s jewels were those of your (princess) dreams – we’re talking large jewels, OTT crowns and doorknocker earrings as seen at Dolce & Gabbana. Your jewels need not be limited to purely grand affairs, though – a statement pair of jewels will lift even the simplest of outfits from jeans and a jumper to a simple shift.
Of course statement jewels such as this gorgeous set from Anthropologie are the perfect accoutrements to your party season looks. Team with this month’s party dress, black skinny belt, simple heels and all you’ll need is your very own Prince Charming to sweep you off your feet…
Back to the light of day and team with your trophy jumper, wide leg trousers and ladylike shoes or over your high neck top, skirt and ladylike heels.
Cochineal Trove Pedant
As we’re now bang into party season it’s time to pull on that faithful dress – the one that has saved you from many a fashion dilemma, the one that has you and your shape at your most fabulous and confident best and the one that has everyone asking “WHERE did you get that dress?” If you don’t own such a dress then why not rectify that this Christmas season.
And look no further than this Little Black and White Dress from ISME. The stunning lace detailing gives it that something extra and together with the sheer sleeves it offers a means to seduction and tap into this season’s dark romantic and sophisticated mood.
Monochrome is a trend that always latched on season after season and, as it has a certain ‘classicity,’ it will serve you well for many occasions to come.
Retain the refined elegance of this dress and style with a simple pair of courts or sandals and try a skinny belt to draw focus at your waist and create hourglass curves. An orange or grey belt will glue together the pieces of your capsule wardrobe and you can then wear this dress with you capsule wardrobe coat for a chicly styled look. Add in a statement pair of earrings or ring and cuff.
Keep your hair and make-up sleek and polished and that’s all you need to steal the fashion scene this Christmas…
Black and White Lace Satin Dress
Herringbone, houndstooth, pinstripes and Prince of Wales checks…the catwalk took a detour to Saville Row this season with these British fabrics having been reworked on many a runway. Masculine tailoring takes a relaxed turn this season making this checked, grey and wide-leg pair from Hobbs a perfect take on three trends of the season.
Team with your trophy jumper and maroon blazer from last Autumn/Winter for a mastery of the androgynous mood for this season or team with this season’s capsule wardrobe coat and high-neck top for another masculine take.
Try adding in a feminine accent such as this season’s ladylike shoe or Summer’s statement earrings for your own take on one of fashion’s favourite contradictions.
Being one of the boys has never looked cooler. The key is to keep your silhouette clean, your accessories sleek and your hair slick….
Or go for a full-on feminine take team with the high-neck top, and geometric print courts or with last autumn/winter’s printed blouse and ladylike heels. A pair of wide-leg flat front trousers work well for many bodyshapes. The wider leg will deftly cover heavier thighs and lengthen legs. A heel no matter how small will help to lengthen and also keep the width in check.
NW3 Beaton Wide Leg Trouser
Maximalists rejoiced a little this season with the re-embracing of embellishment and the season’s most ornate collections were dripping in crystals, corsages and sparkly bits.
This extended to what has become a staple yet statement piece each season – the simple sweater. Jumpers were adorned with embellishment, sequins and stones.
This jumper from La Redoute takes a soft embellishment approach with light jewelling detail that gives it that little something extra while retaining a clean, luxe look. If you want to go more maximalist then channel your inner stylist and decorate with some additional brooches.
Pink is everywhere for this season from soft blush and candyfloss to fierce fuchsia so this jumper also ticks off another trend box and make your looks just a little more rosy.
Team this sweater with the wide leg trousers and ladylike shoes for a look that is comfortable yet stylish enough to double up for the office and downtime. The high-neck top can also be worn underneath for an extra dimension. You can also team with this season’s capsule wardrobe skirt and ladylike heels for a chic look.
In fact this jumper will work well with so many items in your wardrobe, slip on with your favourite jeans to give them some instant glamour, team with summer’s blue trousers, cocoon coat and ladylike heels for a nod to Parisian chic or team with last Autumn/Winter’s coloured suit for another mannish take. Oh this season we’re going so crazy about the boy!
Besides from just being pretty, embellishment details can also cleverly draw focus – here the embellishment widens shoulders and will detract attention from a fuller bust or tummy.
SoftGrey Long-Sleeved Jewelled V-neck Sweater
Sizes 6/8 – 18/20
Available in ivory, charcoal grey, blush pink and black
When it comes to your winter wardrobe you should give your outfits some serious ‘coat-eration’ – your winter coat is not something to simply chuck on over everything else but can actually be the stylish topper that really makes an outfit or even be the centrepiece to an outfit.
Just like this colour-block coat from St-Martins – wear zipped up over skinny jeans or trousers and a pair of pumps for a oh-so-chic look that has relaxed fashion all wrapped up.
A tailored coat such as this one is an investment piece in the truest sense of the word. Clean, sharp lines will never date. What we love about this particular coat is that it is a simple, understated and sleek yet the colour-blocking detail gives it a subtle fashion charge.
The colour grey is rather fashionable right now but combined here with black and orange is a cool colour trio that will also work well paired with the cobalt blue accents in your spring/summer capsule wardrobe.
Style together with the other items in your autumn/winter 2013 for a modern ladylike take. This coat is a multitasker and can be styled to fit a number of sensibilities – give it an androgynous feel slung over A/W 12’s tailored suit or go all romantic teamed with S/S’s 2012 in and out waist dress.
The long sleek lines of this coat and the vertical colour blocking will create elongating lean lines.
St-Martins Vintage coat
Available in Rooibos Tea and Black
Elegant ankle straps, silk ribbons, girly bows all gave the new season shoe an ultra-feminine feel. However finding beautiful shoes that are walkable in the real world is not always an easy task for those of us who have given up on or can’t do the vertiginous heels.
These shoes from John Lewis are extremely wearable yet the low heel does not take anything away from their ‘Cinderella’ quality. They’re stylish, chic and the little height will give your legs a sense of elongation (helpful when wearing a skirt with a longer hem length).
The light flush of pink not only taps into one of this season’s hottest colour trends but will also help create that extra illusion of leg lengthening. The pink and metallic combination gives an extra dimension and stops them from being too prim and a just little bit seductive.
They’ll work with so many items from previous capsule wardrobes – they’re the sort of shoes you’ll want to wear forever chasing down that prince…
Collection by John Lewis Hayek Contrast Toecap Slingback Court Shoes
This season we start your new Autumn/Winter capsule wardrobe with a skirt. Each season one garment takes centre stage and this time it’s the turn of the skirt. And skirt lengths have creeped down with on-the-knee or longer being the new short. And this may be autumn/winter but clothes are still very much in bloom, at the ready to brighten up the darker months.
Florals may be back but this skirt from ASOS is the bud of a number of this season’s trends and will help you blossom in a variety styles and looks. The vibrant print speaks for itself and teamed with the more languid colour combinations here is a juicy way to add a bit of playfulness (and a bit of joy) for winter. Simple shapes combined with big graphic prints is a great easy-wear combination that looks good anywhere. The colour and print also keep the longer length from being anything but dowdy.
You can also go ladylike with this skirt – team with other items in the A/W 13 capsule wardrobe so far – the centre split will keep the look on the sophisticated side of saucy for this season’s new modern sexy take on ladylike – just ask Miucca Prada.
This skirt will also look really chic with the items in your Spring Summer 2013 wardrobe – try teaming with the printed blouse and court shoes or shell top, court shoes and soft biker jacket.
A sure fire way to turn up the heat in the greenhouse this winter and put a perhaps keep a little spring in your step.
ASOS Pencil Skirt in Bold Floral with Centre Front Split
The humble polo neck has become one of the hottest next-season buys. It may not have the wow factor of some pieces but that’s the genius part. It’s stealth style and the perfect backdrop for the seasonal styles as well as perfectly tapping into the season’s understated chic vibe.
This poloneck top from Next is elegant, chic and ladylike – perfectly in tune with the season as well as making a statement all on it’s own without getting all shouty about it. Check is an investment print for the new season as see in contrasting checks in different colour tones at Celine or ladylike check at Dolce & Gabbana.
Team with your checked pencil skirt for an illusion dress look which creates hourglass curves – with the prints meeting in the middle and showcasing your waist. A poloneck and small print will add volume to a small bust and your upper body. You can change the propotions, prints and colour around to suit your shape as required. You can also try a plain skirt if you are pear shaped (or you can use a statement necklace on with this look to draw additional focus upwards) or a plain, rich-shaded poloneck if you are bigger busted. You can also try a keyhole neckline top if you do have a large chest. Just use your waist as you centre point and make sure each half balances each other out.
The top will also work well with last season’s stripey A-line skirt or cobalt blue trousers. It can also be layered under the shell top or knitted blazer.
High Neck Top
Available in Mono, Grey Check, Red and Black
To see Spring/Summer 2013′s capsule wardrobe click here.
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.