Can I have your thought/advice on a Preppy Capsule Wardrobe?

(33 Posts)
Greymalkin Wed 29-Jul-15 08:54:48

I have a two, almost three, year old DS and I am fed up of looking like a frumpy bag lady. I want to look more polished and put together. Finally I am losing some weight and getting a skin routine and I really want to revamp my wardrobe.

I love the idea of a capsule wardrobe. I would rather have fewer, good quality, fairly conservative clothes that will last than a bulging wardrobe full of throw away fashion.

The preppy/Sloane style is one that really appeals to me and I have spent ages putting together a Pinterest board. I don't mind taking my time to build up the collection and think this is want I need:

To get:

Cable knit cricket sweater, off white
Thin v neck sweaters, in fawn, cream, for layering
Blazer, navy
Tweed jacket
Vest tank tops, knit, for layerimg
High waisted Skinny jeans (dark navy and black)
Bootleg jeans, dark navy.
Khaki trousers
Plaid shirt
White button down shirt
Oxford shoes (flat)
Breton stripe tee
Hunter wellies and socks
Converse sneakers
Ballerina flats (black)
Knee high boots, flat, tan
Narrow tan belt
LBD sheath dress, just above knee, sleeveless

I Have already:

Black trench coat
Barbour jacket
Waistcoat
Rugby shirt
Pearl necklace and earrings
Diamond studs and solitaire necklace
Understated designer watch
Coloured button down shirts
Sort of ballerina flats, tan

So what I wanted to ask was:
1. What items on my to get list are worth splashing out on?
2. Which Items should I get first?
3. Which shops/where online should I be looking to find these items (with the emphasis on quality)
4. Is there anything obviously missing?

Thanks in advance (this is my first real foray into the S&B board!!)

Callycatsy Wed 29-Jul-15 09:04:33

Make sure your skin tone can take fawn and cream. I look hideous in beige. A capsule wardrobe works best when the colours coordinate so maybe pick a palette that's warm or cool according to your skin tone. Keep the prints minimal, stripes are good.

As for what brands, Joules, Hobbs, Reiss, Jigsaw but they're spends. IMHO it's just as good to trawl through John Lewis's capsule collections online for ideas.

Jennifer Aniston did/does the preppy look well.

fatpony Wed 29-Jul-15 09:05:26

This is a great idea - I have been weeding clothes out of my wardrobe for charity/ebaying but haven't started replacing stuff yet. I don't go into Zara/Mango/H&M now to avoid the temptation for throwaway stuff!

On your list of stuff to get I would splash out on the jumpers, the ballerina flats (a good pair can last a few summers) and the blazer/jacket (especially the tweed - it'll last you forever). IMHO you cannot really tell the difference between an expensive/cheapish bretton top once it's on and white shirts do need replacing eventually what with small children and wear and tear...

I've had some lovely trousers recently (khaki and got a pale blue pair too) from Anthropologie. I don't think their style is preppy but they do have some nice things. Good luck!

Greymalkin Wed 29-Jul-15 09:14:26

I have naturally blonde hair, not processed at all, quite flyaway really and fairly pale skin, greeny blue eyes. Do you think fawn or cream would work?

I suppose I can go window shopping, try some stuff on just to see if it suits.

I don't mind paying more for some excellent quality staples. And yes, the tweed jacket should last absolutely ages if I get the right one!

SuperFlyHigh Wed 29-Jul-15 09:22:48

Tommy Hilfiger for a great navy blazer (I got Zara similar and doesn't compare).

you can get skinny jeans anywhere from Top Shop to higher end.

sales on now so try for anything from there.

have you thought about a tan bag?

Massimo Dutti and Banana Republic are good for a few of your basics. If you know anyone visiting continent (Spain) or USA then request your items from there (cheaper).

also Ebay is brilliant - friends have got Toast, Hush clothes especially tweed jackets from there.

what about loafers? Tods good for those.

SuperFlyHigh Wed 29-Jul-15 09:23:53

I would also add a bit of colour. red can work well with your basic pallette or various greens etc...

just your basic palette can look a bit boring if you stick to just that.

GoodToesBadToes Wed 29-Jul-15 09:28:23

I think preppy looks amazing if you have a neat figure. What dress size are you and height?

Tory Burch is a good preppy designer and of course Ralph lauren

GoodToesBadToes Wed 29-Jul-15 09:31:33

Oh and I don't think you need to add colours like red or green or whatever. Preppy works best as a completely clean palette

GoodToesBadToes Wed 29-Jul-15 09:33:40

Winter preppy

GoodToesBadToes Wed 29-Jul-15 09:36:08

Summer preppy 1

GoodToesBadToes Wed 29-Jul-15 09:36:27

Summer preppy 2

AmazonsForEver Wed 29-Jul-15 09:40:27

I'm not sure about so much denim. I would opt for navy or black cigarette pants or 7\8 trousers (gap usually do good ones).
I'd also go for navy sweaters rather than camel, but that's my colouring.

SuperFlyHigh Wed 29-Jul-15 09:41:12

good.... you have peach jeans and red shorts....

Itscurtainsforyou Wed 29-Jul-15 09:43:45

Joules sale has some tweed jackets and tweed-look navy/blue/brown jackets.

GoodToesBadToes Wed 29-Jul-15 09:46:36

Yes I was thinking actually in summer one colour can look nice. But no patterns other than stripes.

All of this only works if you are a nice shape though. OP's colouring sounds great but fawn/beige/camel might look a bit sickly

SuperFlyHigh Wed 29-Jul-15 09:48:55

Good I totally agree with no patterns.

however in winter a bottle green sweater (cashmere/lambswool) etc can make a nice change, in my opinion. or swap colour for whichever suits.

cathyandclaire Wed 29-Jul-15 10:17:27

I saw this navy jersey blazer in Zara and it's lovely and very preppy, if you don't want to spend £££
Agree though that maybe a jacket is a good thing to splurge on if you can

Pixi2 Wed 29-Jul-15 10:28:31

Less jeans. I'd swap a pair or jeans for navy 7/8 trousers and ditch the khaki trousers. I have a capsule wardrobe and pretty much rotate my Summer turquoise jeans (dark denim in winter) with navy trousers and dresses on nice hot days (rarely getting them atm).

My tip would be to wear dresses with thermal black leggings, thermal socks and tan boots in winter rather than tights. Make them work more than one season.

Also make sure colours suit you. My palette is plum, blues and greys. Tan is saved for slouchy bags and boots.

Callycatsy Wed 29-Jul-15 10:36:56

Sorry, I can't see dresses and leggings with boots being at all preppy.
Stick to the tops and bottoms OP and look for texture instead of patterns.

FizzyBubbly Wed 29-Jul-15 10:53:36

No suggestions OP I'm just here to steal your list! Same situation with a 2yo and 3mo and very much a bag lady atm! Only have a couple of items which are Ralph Lauren cable knit jumpers which I asked for at Xmas. I could spend a fortune on the RL website but as it's rather pricey I've told DH that my birthday and Xmas presents can be something from there. Pre approved first of course! wink

Greymalkin Wed 29-Jul-15 13:02:42

Thanks everyone for all this feedback.

I've never heard of cigarette pants of 7/8 trousers... Will have a Google in a moment.

I agree that patterns aren't very preppy, but stripes definitely are.

A plum, blues and grey palette sounds lovely Pixi I wear a lot of purple, so might consider this for a winter wardrobe.

I am 5ft 8in and currently a 16 or 18 depending where I shop. However, I think I'm about half a stone off being firmly back in size 16s. As I said, I am fed up of being a dowdy bag lady. I have no excuse now for carrying post baby weight and I have time to myself now to get myself feeling good again.

Thanks for the suggestions, am off to trawl t'internet and Pinterest again....

howtorebuild Wed 29-Jul-15 13:19:03

I think you will look great op.

I just want to make a point about skin and ageing.

I am continuously being told I look ten years younger than I am. I am talking people who have no motive to suck up to me. For instance the GP Nurse who was flabbergasted at my age.

I avoid too much sun. I don't need sun cream as a result. I only use cream if my skin is dry. I only wash my face daily with water. It gets washed properly by stealth with soap in the shower. I avoid lots of showers as they dry my skin, so on average every two days. I don't wear much make-up. Day to day mascara and lipstick, a full face about once a month.

I think not messing around with my skin is why it looks so good.

My Mum spent her life messing around with her skin, pulling/plying it with make-up and creams, she didn't ever look young for her age in the pictures or in my memory and the only people who said you could be sisters to us were sales people. Not once did anyone react shocked at her age.

SuperFlyHigh Wed 29-Jul-15 13:50:57

I just thought not quite preppy but adds style I know a businesswoman mum and she wears a sort of fedora some days and trilby hat others with preppy type clothes. It looks great.

draweroffmychest Wed 29-Jul-15 13:59:36

Sounds good OP. I'd add that make sure that everything also suits YOU and your skin tone/personality (eg you could stick to your basic list but maybe switch up colour/cut - so I have a very plain above the knee LBD but it suits me with 3/4 length sleeves - I've had it for coming up to ten years and it never goes "out" for me because it flatters me so well).

Also, I'd add accessories like scarves and headbands to your list.

Also hair and posture are good things to pay attention too.

AmazonsForEver Wed 29-Jul-15 15:26:24

I quite like this look which is quite dressy but understated.
I think this type of skirt goes well for prep, and Boden usually have that style each season (mine is from them). They do a longer and shorter version usually, so good for you, as you're much taller than I am!
I think kelly greeen or emerald green goes well with navy, and companies such as crew, nautical, gap etc often pair these two colours in spring.
Yellow can also be good- a yellow raincoat or cardigan is good, again with navy blue.

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