Work Work Work: One Dress, ALL Seasons
Okay girls, here are 3 VERY hard working outfits, that show with thoughtful consideration how much you can get out of very few pieces and why investing in quality basics is a great and cost effective long-term strategy. There is a lot of information so find 5 minutes and enjoy :)
To start, I have selected a light-weight summer boucle dress by Victoria Beckham. You likely cannot see, but the weave is black, bright blue and cream. Boucle is a fantastic fabric with subtle texture to act as a strong base to many looks plus boucle is timeless and appropriate for many occasions. The shape here is very flatting and also forgiving through the lower waist and thighs. The mid-calf length of this dress transverses many a dress codes. It is a workhorse and a key staple for both work and personal wear.
Instead of paring a traditional blazer, I have selected a butter soft leather jacket from The Row. The very subtle peplum at the natural waist follows the same lines as the dress and accentuates the waist yet in a timeless way. This jacket will last a lifetime and will not date dramatically making it a modern classic. Being a wardrobe classic, I choose the best quality available with quiet details as an investment piece. Actually ALL items in this capsule wardrobe are classics. If you treated them well they should remain in your wardrobe forever and are worth investing in. In the long-term the cost per wear will work out very well for you.
This blazer is also fabulous with a pair of straight leg trousers with a pointed toe stiletto (lengthens the leg) and equally a pair of clean tailored jeans and chic flats. If you wear ballerinas, go for an almond toe to lengthen your legs. I am personally a fan of pointed toe flats and love my pair by Nicolas Kirkwood. Equally you could wear a pair of open toe sandals with a block heel with jeans for a lighter summer look. LOTS of options here!
Transitioning into the autumn, I find my arms get cold and I like to layer a blouse underneath dresses. This Chloe option (the best and most luxuriously timeless blouses are by Chloe) is perfect with a close cut arm that will fit well under the dress. The collar has beautiful details yet is not overly fussy. For this look I would style with the cream Tom Ford Pumps (classic and cool) and the cream Gucci belt (subtle details here) to lighten the look. Make sure the belt is the correct size for your natural waist!
Besides with the dress, the blouse will work with almost all trousers, skirts and jeans in your closet, from ultra polished to classically chic and street style cool, the latter if you know how to mix it!
When winter arrives, you can add a cashmere wrap sweater over the dress with or without the blouse underneath. If you leave the blouse on, make sure you see the bottom centimetre of the blouse cuff from under the sweater sleeve. Very polished. Here I would use the dark Marni bag with subtle green and gold on the handles and these fantastic Black Aquazzura pumps. Note the ankle strap for leg lengthening, my favourite trick!
Again this sweater works well with most trousers, skirt and jeans and is equally great for weekdays and weekends. I always ensure to have a wrap like this when travelling, particularly when flying as it can get so cold on the airplane! Go for cashmere and learn how to wash yourself. In my books nothing feels as great and comforting as a cashmere sweater (I even wear light weight cashmere in the summer!).
And finally when summer comes you can break out this fabulous short sleeve silk Victoria Beckham coat. With the cream pumps (note the coordinating gold heel) this look is a knockout! Equally this fabulous coat is great worn as a dress, belted with the cream Gucci one shown here, worn loose over a light dress, casually with relaxed and slightly slouchy cream trousers OR go bold and build a great ensemble like that of SJP below! The key here is the 3/4 or shorter sleeve, which reduces the volume and your exposed wrists keeps the look delicate and feminine.