Frockadvisor: the perfect capsule wardrobe

Photograph: Getty Images

Photograph: Getty Images


A blazer at DAKSIt’s one of those terms that get bandied around, but what exactly is a capsule wardrobe?

Spinning above the earth, under galactic pressure, like Sandra Bullock, you know you could eject yourself from the extensive trappings of the mother ship, in that tiny perfectly formed capsule. You flee, safe in the knowledge that you have everything that you need for survival. The mother ship gives you options, more choice in terms of what to eat, how to occupy yourself, in fact, more space to be yourself. But the tiny alternative is a distillation of your core needs. And that is what a capsule wardrobe is.

A capsule wardrobe is the foundation, the building blocks, for a fully functioning wardrobe. It is not the everything, it is the beginning. At frockadvisor, we do like a bit of cabaret gear, dressing up for our own amusement and seeing the smiles we induce in others is a pursuit in itself. We always say that fashion should be fun. But sometimes you’re just not in the mood. Unfortunately, fun can be a luxury and one that can’t always be scheduled. In these dark times, we must turn to the capsule wardrobe. The idea is that you amass a small collection of pieces that are bedrock for dealing with the many and varied occasions that life throws at you. Your capsule is a direct result of your life needs, no point getting all power suited up when your activities revolve around day time television.

We have identified 10 fundamental pieces to have at your disposal; the styling and nuance in terms of form and formality is for you to decide.

Krisy wide leg trousers, e139, Fran & Jane1. Narrow trousers
These could be elegant tuxedo pants or well cut jeans, the key is to crack that slim silhouette. Choose a dark neutral colour, although not necessarily black.
2.Wide leg trousers The same as above applies, opting for a tailored version in preference. There seems to be a mild obsession with linen trousers in this country and an epidemic of the white variety. These are not flattering. If you must wear linen trousers, choose a darker colour and bring the lightness in on your top half.
3. Pencil Skirt
Every woman should have a pencil skirt. They’re great on a slim figure, but even better on a curvy girl. The key is that the hemline hits below the knee at a narrow point, to define the hourglass shape. If it hovers above the knee, a very different and less desirable effect is achieved.
4. Silk blouse
Sure you could wear a long-sleeved top in a composite fabric, which would withstand the sputum of life in general, but doesn’t it feel nicer to have to mind yourself, to be aware of your sartorial aura. Many silks are now machine-washable on a wool cycle, so don’t let practicality punch the sensuality out of the affair.
5. Day-to-night dress
Ah, this little wonder we at frockadvisor call The Sleeper can gently support you through your daily needs and then spring into action as required with the addition of a few well chosen accessories. The trick is to choose the style that works best for your body shape and to choose a subtle colour.
Niamh O'Neill Rafaella blouse, e295 at Serena Boutique6.Blazer
In a man’s world, every woman needs some sharp tailoring to square up to life’s challenges. Whether it’s a business meeting or a counter balance to those boyfriend jeans, a clean structured shoulder adds power.
7. Shirt
Taking the Parisian woman as a style icon, a crisp white shirt is something that can always be relied upon. If it gets any duller than a C-listers smile, chuck it and start again.
8. Trench
The frock camp is divided on this one, some of us think the trench is a bit of a cartoon version of style, reminiscent of pantomime spies and low rent detectives. It appears in this list because of seasonality. If we were heading into autumn/winter, we would of course be advocating a luxurious coat. Regardless, a summer coat is a great cover up, trench or otherwise.
9. Classic court shoes
The court is without doubt, the perfect shoe, with its deep décolletage of foot, lengthening and elevating the leg, tightening the calf just enough. The day of the platform heel is over. An elegant line is achieved through comfort and style, not the addition of eight extraneous inches.
10. Statement neck piece
Choose well and this piece can become an heirloom of classic costume jewellery for generations to come. If you’re not in the humour to make your design choices your legacy, then any number of cheaper alternatives abound.

It’s important to say that without the gilding and character of accent pieces like colour print and accessories, a capsule wardrobe is a dull proposition. It is, however, a good starting point.