Building a capsule wardrobe is a tried-and-tested styling trick of industry insiders, and it’s easy to see why. Pairing key separates in a complimentary colour palette provides you with the foundations, while contemporary cuts and more directional accessories can create an impactful outfit in minutes. Consider this your guide to unshakably chic style…
1. White Linen Shirt
Linen separates come with the promise to keep you cool all season long. This is a fairly minimalist trend, but it couples equally well with neutral tones and brights. Nothing is more classic than a white shirt, either. Oversized it serves as a cool beach cover up, boyfriend styles pair well with cropped jeans and shorts, our new favourite though, has retro feels. Think 1950s-style, button down, with a small collar and delicate lapel. This With Nothing Underneath version is inspired by a men’s bowling shirt.
The Cabana in White Linen, £95 www.withnothingunderneath.com
2. Neutral Shorts
In for the win are beige-but-not-boring shorts. Shorts are always one of the season’s key buys, and this year is no exception. In place of denim and utility styles, we’re being drawn to casual, neutral linens. Relaxed styles will prove their endurance as the weather hots up and are just the ticket for adding a fresh yet functional spin to everyday wardrobes.
3. Gold Hoops
A pair of gold hoops continue to be a mainstay of our jewellery boxes. Why not update yours with this twist on a classic. They might be small, but these perfectly formed earrings have the potential to elevate any look – even a simple white tee – and bring it instantly up-to-date. Timeless, wearable and totally worth the investment.
Otiumberg Mini Chunky Twist Hoops In Yellow Gold Vermeil, £130 at www.otiumberg.com
4. Chic Black Dress
If you’re looking for a antidote to all the floral and frilly white prairie dresses that have been dominating of late, why not try a chic black dress instead. So simple and so elegant. You can dare to do volume or keep it pared back. Accessorise with colour, or opt for sophistication with a neutral palette. Broderie anglaise and puff sleeves will keep it summery and feminine.
5. Straw Bags
The humble straw bag has transcended from its holiday wardrobe roots, into a summer must-have. Yep, handcrafted carryalls, market totes, and straw bags are having their moment in the spotlight. They’re practical as well as feeling relaxed and effortless, and they come in a myriad of shapes and sizes. From neat enough for a night out, to large shoppers, there’s a woven handbag for every occasion and style preference you can imagine. Given we’re likely to spend a lot of the summer picnicking in picturesque locations, you’ll require a bohemian basket bag to stash your essentials in style. Here are a few of our favourites…
6. The Wide-Leg Crop
Forget white, and consider ecru – or cream – jeans your summer go-to. Denim is the cornerstone of so many a great wardrobe, and this season a lighter palette promises to take your look to the next level. These ankle-length jeans come in a flatter-all stretch denim with a high waist, and wide, straight legs – our current obsession. The cotton content of the jeans is partly recycled, and if you’re not brave enough to go pale, don’t worry, they come in black and light denim blue, too.
Wide Jeans, £17.99 at www.hm.com
7. Simple Boxy T-Shirt
You’d be forgiven for overlooking the importance of this wardrobe basic, but every season requires a t-shirt refresh, and behind every effortlessly chic wardrobe is a slew of immaculate tees. For simple, go-with-everyhing styles head to Cos and stock up on non-colours like grey, black and white. This is one of the cheapest, yet most versatile and valuable wardrobe updates.
White T-Shirt, £15, www.cosstores.com
8. Knotted Sandals
If you’ve been tied up in style rut, and need an easy, chic update, we know the perfect footwear trend. New in for this season is the knotted sandal – basically Spring summer’21’s answer to the chunky Chanel-inspired sandals that ruled last year. There’s a style for every budget, too. From H&M’s light knotted slides, to relatively new-kid-on-the-block Dear Frances, knotted sandals have been popping up all over our Instagram feeds in recent weeks.
9. Blazer Update
If you’re pining for more grown-up attire post lockdown, look no further. Crafted in sage Irish linen, this relaxed boyfriend blazer is the epitome of smart casual, and couldn’t be more perfect for light layering. Style it with wide-leg denim and a white tee, throw it over a dress, or pair it with neutral shorts and a white shirt. The styling possibilities are endless and it guarantees a polished finish.
Jigsaw Irish Linen Relaxed Blazer, £180 www.johnlewis.com