My Top Ten Wardrobe Hero Pieces
We’re running a series of monthly blogs around the theme of Sustainable Style.
Today’s theme is the first in our series of four blogs and we’re going back to basics.
We’re looking at wardrobe hero pieces: what they are and the reason why they have such longevity.
Back to Basics: Wardrobe Hero Pieces
A wardrobe hero is a piece you love, it loves you back and you can count on it time after time.
Some wardrobe heroes may well feature in the core of a capsule wardrobe.
In today’s blog, I’ve chosen10 wardrobe hero pieces that are worth their weight in gold.
Each piece withstands the test of time with lasting modernity.
And when you work out the cost-per-wear of a wardrobe hero piece, you’ll findt it costs very little.
This is because you’ll wear it frequently – throughout the year, and the next year and even longer.
So buy less but buy better. You want to invest in longevity.
You’ll find saving up for a wardrobe hero piece is money well spent, especially in the long run.
1. The camel coat
It’s a classic colour and a trans-seasonal piece taking you from work to social engagements.
Black and grey shades can be harsh and are more associated with Winter months.
Navy verges on the conservative and is often associated with authority.
Burgundy and Cobalt colours work well and they can pack a punch but you’ll tire of them sooner than a timeless camel hue.
Camel coat, Max Mara
Camel coat, Jaeger
2. The trench coat
Nothing makes a style statement as quickly as a trench coat.
And nothing will pull together an outfit together quite like a trench can.
It will even turn an otherwise casual outfit into an example of continental chic.
If you want to raise your style credentials and add a touch of ‘Je ne sais quoi’ to an outfit, throw on a trench.
3. The desk to dinner dress
Otherwise known as the 18-hour dress, it needs to take you all the way through from day to night.
It’s not meant to be a sexy dress but classy, oozing style with a touch of executive presence about it.
And it definitely needs to be comfortable, the sort of dress that naturally bestows poise.
It’s a piece that allows you to stay just as you are or lets you add a statement accessory to take you into after-work business socialising.
Blue wool stretch dress, Max Mara
Navy crepe dress, Roland Mouret
4. The Little Black Dress
Keep your LBD exactly as the name implies: keep it simple.
Choose your LBD in the simplest of shapes, allowing for multiple styling opportunities.
If you think it’s too short, it’s too short.
Choose at least a knee-length, which allows you to sit down without pulling down your hem!
Black wool crepe dress, Givenchy
Black wool blend dress, Reiss
5. The silk blouse
A silk blouse belongs in any work capsule wardrobe – it says relaxed elegance.
Such a blouse automatically elevates an otherwise business casual look to business chic.
In terms of colour, white or black can be harsh. Bright shades are useful for creating impact but soft muted hues are more welcoming, less commanding.
Blue tie bow silk crepe blouse, Valentino
Pink silk blend blouse, Hugo Boss
6. The go-to black trousers
Trousers can often be over-looked when it comes to Wardrobe Hero pieces.
Yet teamed with a silk blouse or cashmere knit, they immediately present a refined style.
A pair of black tailored trousers will offer many a practical style solution to work and social events.
Wide-leg tailored black trousers, Reiss
High-waisted tailored black trousers, Emilia Wickstead
7. The perfect shoe
Who wouldn’t like to prance around with perfect balance on a pair of stunning high heels?
The reality is that most of us want to wear one pair of shoes all day, even through busy travel hubs without wanting to walk shoeless for the rest of the day.
I’ve chosen 2 classic pairs of black courts that will see you through most work-related events.
And I’ve included a pair of nude heels for Summer.
Black patent courts, Jimmy Choo
Black suede courts, Gianvito Rossi
Nude nappa courts, Christian Louboutin
8. The cashmere piece
One piece of cashmere goes a long way!
Wear it as a fine knit over a silk blouse or under a blazer. Or wear it to keep warm travelling.
Or wear it as an accessory to add the finishing touch in the Autumn over a coat or trench.
Cashmere says a lot about your personal style.
Pillarbox red cropped cardigan, Pure Collection
Navy cashmere scarf, Aspinal of London
Camel cashmere scarf, Aspinal of London
9. The hero accessory
Earrings in this category are classic ones that can be worn for any occasion.
They’re likely to be investment pieces and so I’ve selected hoops, diamonds and pearls.
Silver twist mini hoops, Dinny Hall
Gold-plated hoop earrings, Jennifer Fisher
Baroque pearl earring drops, Annoushka
Gold fine hoops Annoushka (to hold pearl earring drops)
Gold & diamond hoops, Annoushka
10. The city handbag
To finish your outfit and to add finesse to any look, carry a quality handbag.
A bag can crash an outfit or elevate it.
CWC style tip: your handbags and laptop bags are probably seen more than any other piece of clothing.
Laptop bag, DeMellier
Business social occasion shoulder bag, Aspinal of London
Other Wardrobe Heroes
Yes a jacket or blazer could be a wardrobe hero particularly if they are part of suiting or you wear one to complete your looks.
However, jackets tend to be trend-led so they might not go the distance to qualify as a hero piece.
Build Your Own Wardrobe Hero Pieces
If you would like to invest in a wardrobe hero or two, please get in touch via email
Further Reading: In The Press
Caroline Wolf: Wardrobe Hero Piece, 20 January 2020
The second theme, Sustainable Style Series: the capsule wardrobe.
To be published in March 2020.