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Workwear capsule wardrobe challenge - please help :)

(19 Posts)
PamplemousseRouge Thu 27-Oct-16 00:01:16

Hi everyone,

I've recently started a teaching job, and the dress code is fairly smart.

I've also been trying to organise my wardrobe recently. I really like the idea of the Kon-Mari method, which focuses on stripping down wardrobes to the very basics.

I'm thinking about having a workwear capsule wardrobe and a daywear capsule wardrobe. Not sure if it's best to gave a separate work and non-work wardrobe, or to combine them both.

Just for some context, I'm in my early twenties, blonde with very fair skin and quite very small (just over 5 foot!)

I really like wearing dresses and skirts (especially fitted dresses, as I'm quite small!) I also like fitted shirts with fitted trousers or cigarette pants, but have struggled to find good quality fitted shirts at reasonable prices.

I love blue and seek to have a lot of clothes in some shade or other of blue, but am also happy to also wear other colours! I think purple and even some shades of brown would be nice, but not sure if black might be too harsh?

I would be hugely grateful if any of you have any suggestions on what I could put in my capsule wardrobe please - links and outfit ideas are most welcome!!

Thanks! smile

PamplemousseRouge Thu 27-Oct-16 00:12:19

Bumping smile

PamplemousseRouge Thu 27-Oct-16 00:30:25

Anyone? smile

wobblywonderwoman Thu 27-Oct-16 00:35:17

I'm not a fashion guru at all but try gap for shirts - they are great for teaching

I would also buy a navy and black stretchy blazer

Few scarves (asos/ river island)

Wrap dresses

pooh2 Thu 27-Oct-16 00:40:16

I am currently looking to massively reduce my wardrobe as well... a good place to start is here. I have found it really helpful! You combine your workwear and your daywear into your capsule of 33 items (or less!) but your lounge wear isn't counted, nor is underwear, pj's etc. Personally i find some clothes I wear to work I can also wear at home but I guess it depends on what your work is like and if you enjoy it! You change your capsule with the seasons so you can substitute say a winter coat for a sundress. bemorewithless.com/project-333/

I'm afraid I have no ideas about the colours though... I wear tons of black because it goes with everything grin

homeaway Thu 27-Oct-16 09:06:44

I would pick two or three neutral bottoms to start with and work out what you already have that would work with them . Think of it like a pick and mix, but everthing should be able to be won together .

PamplemousseRouge Thu 27-Oct-16 13:27:05

Thanks so much for your advice! smile

Anyone with any thoughts on colours at all, please?

Diamogs Thu 27-Oct-16 14:24:41

What is your colouring like OP?

PamplemousseRouge Thu 27-Oct-16 14:43:39

Hi Diamogs smile I've got really fair skin (I burn very easily in the sun), and blonde hair (varies from light-ish blonde with very light strands to quite dark blonde/light brown in the winter.

PamplemousseRouge Thu 27-Oct-16 16:31:40

Anyone with a similar colouring who might have some ideas on how to choose clothes that go with blonde hair/pale skin please? smile

slug Thu 27-Oct-16 16:46:33

Teaching requires, in my experience, pockets.

One idea would be to buy a fairly neutral sleeveless dress and a collection of coloured shirts to go underneath. Uniqulo's long sleeved T Shirts are really good for this, and with a dress, it does not matter if any collared shirt fits less than perfectly.

Diamogs Thu 27-Oct-16 17:47:28

this colour quiz ink{http://a.cstmapp.com/p/12622\a.cstmapp.com/p/1262]]2} to work out what suits you.

pollyglot Thu 27-Oct-16 19:33:58

When I was teaching, at a private school which demanded formal attire (gowns for chapel), I had a go-to work wardrobe as follows: two pairs black trousers (Boden suits my figure perfectly, but then I'm 5'9 and ahem..well built), a black skirt and a charcoal jacket. Navy trousers, a couple of white/cream linen shirts, several Boden Bretons and some comfortable, but formal-ish knitwear - merino/cashmere cardigans. I also had a huge collection of belts, which smarten any outfit, and lots of scarves to cover any contingency. Pearl earrings also add a certain je ne sais quoi, and patent flats or lowish heels always look classy. I had a few more quirky items for more rebellious days, such as cheerful coloured skirts and shirts. I too am blonde and blue-eyed, but with a more olive skintone than you, apparently, OP. This is where the coloured scarves are so handy, both to soften the black of the formal wear and to change your look completely, so people aren't so aware of the almost "uniform" you are wearing. OK, safe, maybe even boring, I know, but makes life so easy to have the good quality go-tos, with changes rung with accessories.

pollyglot Thu 27-Oct-16 19:46:57

Oh, and sorry, about colours...have you tried coral/peach/terracotta? A more blue-toned pinky shade might bring out the underlying tones of your complexion. It's very easy, as a blonde, to become fixated on blues, when you can actually wear almost any colour - though I suspect that yellows are probably not flattering on you. What about greens? Maybe an olive-based green would suit you really well. I know I avoided greens for years, because my mother favoured them, but now find they are very softening on a blonde.

JoJoSM2 Thu 27-Oct-16 20:44:35

My top tip would be to pick one light and one dark neutral + accessorise with brighter colours. My 2 colours are white and navy, but you could have cream and brown, grey and black etc depending on your colouring. That way everything matches and you get many combinations without having tons of clothes.

QueenofLouisiana Thu 27-Oct-16 22:56:55

I have a capsule wardrobe for teaching. I wear navy, grey/ silver and off-white (white does work for me). I use the same colours for my holiday wardsrobe so I have expanded it slightly.

I have:
1 pair tailored trousers (grey)
1 pair slim fit trousers (navy- for playground duty/ outdoor learning)
1 pair wide leg trousers (navy)
2 pencil skirts- 1 navy, 1 grey- lace on bottom for days when I need to go out straight from work.
3 creamy tops, 1 navy blouse, 2 grey tops
1 knitted dress, 1 jersey dress
1 warm cardi (big pockets), 1 navy jersey blazer (meetings/parents eve),
Scarves: many!

Which age group are you teaching as that will make a difference. I teach upper KS2 so can wear heels and skirts which would be massively impractical for my EYFS colleagues.

PamplemousseRouge Fri 28-Oct-16 00:17:45

Ooh thank you slug, Diamogs, Polly, Jo and Queen for your advice! Really, really helpful smile

Queen, I'm teaching in a secondary school, so formal-ish and smart casual clothes.

I really need to find myself a 'uniform' (or 'battle dress'? grin) and stick to it!

phoolani Fri 28-Oct-16 10:29:00

Try French connection, their basics range is lovely imo (go online tho, not in shops unless sparkly body con is required!)
I'd also like to say 'have you tried cos' but if I type that sentence one more time I may have to shoot myself 😒. But. I do have gorgeous fitted trousers from there and some lovely shirts (I'm a shorty, too).
The key for me in finally getting a capsule wardrobe was 1. Doing (ish) the kon-Mari thing and 2. Finding a shop that just really suits me. About 80-85% of my wardrobe is now cos and I wouldn't have it any other way 😍.

PamplemousseRouge Fri 28-Oct-16 13:05:18

Thanks phoolani smile

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