There is something about having a baby, or just getting older, maybe, that – even if you are nominally roughly the size you were “before” – means tight clothes, especially around the middle feel wrong. Evil. Terrible. Suffocating. BAD!!
The days that I discovered boyfriend jeans and chinos were the best of my life. At last! The tyranny of my jeans was OVER! I was no longer held hostage to those torture tubes! I no longer had to choose jeans and be uncomfortable all day or leggings and feel like a dag. There was a third way.
Of course, skinny jeans have their place on the days when YOU HATE YOURSELF. But there is also room for other sorts of trousers in a capsule wardrobe and once you’ve found a good pair of each, you won’t look back.
1 Boyfriend jeans.
I got mine from Acne about 4 years ago, long before boyfriend jeans were everywhere. Yes, dammit… I was first! Okay, it was because I literally couldn’t fucking stand my skinny jeans a second longer and needed an alternative, but sometimes necessity is the mother of invention.
Acne no longer make those jeans, but the next-best expensive option is Current/Eliott. If you want to take a deep breath and just think FUCK IT – order these. You can always send them back if you don’t like them. But they may also save your life. My Acne boyfriends I have worn to death. They were I think about £220 – but cost per wear? Pennies.
The ones I wear now and most often are Gap’s Girlfriend jeans – a lot of people rave about these. They are very comfy and remarkable in their un-remarkableness, if that makes sense. They are alas sold out as it’s the end of the season, but will re-stock.
I’ve always found H&M to make really good jeans; I have a pair of white boyfriends that are ace. These look promising to me.
If you are a bit more straight-up, these from Baukjen are the sorts of boyfriend jean that would be worn by a hedge fund manager on her day off.
These from ASOS, also look great. I don’t understand why they’re only £16… I guess they’re a bit too … normal for ASOS, which errs on the side of wacky – god bless its heart. They may well just be the bargain of the century.
Now, look – obviously jeans, whatever cut, size or style, are the most taxing things to buy. You might have to kiss a few frogs before you find The One (see what I’m doing here.. boyfriend?.. oh never mind) but you need a pair of these. You just do.
Take a size up from your usual, wear them low and loose on your hips, feel the cool, forgiving breeze around your midsection, a marvellous non-stragulation round the thighs. Wave goodbye to the hourly hitch-up. It’s just heaven.
I know that when I say “chino” you think “office man on dress down Friday”. You are thinking “slacks” you are thinking “beige”.
Non. I am talking about something like this, below.
For real, Gwyneth Paltrow used to live quite near me and send her kids to a school up the road and whenever I saw her, she was in a pair of these.
Unfortunately these from Gap are sold out (nothing to do with me) but they usually re-stock… the green khaki chino is kind of Gap staple.
Same with H&M – these have sold out in normal sizes, but they will be back. I think these may even be the ones that I have on right now! Except I have rolled mine up because I am not a lunatic like the stylist who did this pic below:
But these from Oasis via JLP look like they might be very great – they’re a fabulous colour, plenty of sizes left and look like a good, relaxed fit. And only £32!
3 Smart joggers
This is a very wide remit. A “smart” pair of jogging trousers or sweatpants can genuinely just mean a pair that is quite new and clean, with no indelible grease stains, (you know exactly what I’m talking about), and the nap of the cloth not just blown this way and that like a cat caught in a storm from wear and washing.
But you can go over to really, really smart – the sort worn by women at parties with high heels. I don’t really mean this sort. Nothing made of silk is necessary, but it doesn’t have to be terry cloth either.
So a lot to play with here. But they are, now, part of a capsule wardrobe. I once went to quite a smart lunch in some clean joggers, very white Stan Smiths, a white t-shirt, black blazer and very serious gold hoop earrings and definitely looked almost nearly the most awesome one there
in my head.
At the other end of the spectrum, on the school run some tidy joggers, neat shoes, t-shirt and denim jacket and you also look perfectly modern and pulled-together. Boden wrap dresses need not apply.
Here are some joggers for inspiration.
These are from Jack Wills – don’t laugh! I’ve got some of these and they’re very good, though knackered. These are now my indelibly stained pair, but in their prime they were pretty magnificent. Obviously I look exactly like this girl when I’m wearing them, too.
J Crew Saturday pant if I am ever in a position to upgrade my joggers, these are the pair I would choose.
4 Denim skirt
Unless you have fabulous legs, do not buy a denim mini, no matter how much you are tempted. They really don’t suit anyone as far as I can see and you will find reason after reason not to wear it. Not capsule.
So knee-length is what you want. Not really long or flappy because they will piss you off while you are pushing the buggy. These are two examples that I’ve found around at the moment, but I think that there will be more around in the autumn as a knee-length denim skirt is quite an autumnal thing.
Whichever one you choose make sure it doesn’t ride up or possibly impede your stride as you dash after a 3yo heading for the road. It needs to have good stretch or a slit somewhere or both. A couple of horrible childbirth comparisons have just popped into my head.
Here is one from White Stuff
And this one is the kind of thing I’m talking about: John Rocha for Debenhams
Okay I argue that a Mad Skirt is capsule. This is your go-to for a lunch party where you don’t want to feel like a frump, but don’t want to wear a dress – you wear this with your white t shirt, jewellery, clogs and a denim jacket (more on this tomorrow). This is also good at night, with your black camisole, jewellery and your clean trainers (unless you’re going to the Ritz, in which case maybe the clogs again). I have two mad skirts, one ancient shiny knackered one from Zara and a Gucci rip-off from M&S back in winter. Both very useful.
Here are some suggestions but god, don’t let me stop you. Wait until you’ve got PMT then go shopping for this skirt and going fucking bonkers.
I sense a lot of resistance to culottes but please, please, please just give them a go, even if you’re not sure. You might be really surprised at how useful and flattering they can be. It will take you a day and a half to get used to them and how they look. Your husband won’t like them, which is a really good sign as they just want you to wear a wrap dress and/or tight sweaters every day. Obviously make sure they are comfy as hell.
The culottes don’t have to be black – they could be navy or I’ve got a pair in chambray. But PLEASE give them a try if you haven’t before.
I try not to wear skinny jeans ever these days, but I find they do come in handy for times when you have to be smart, or for going out in the evening. 1 pair skinny black jeans, plus one black camisole top plus crazy earrings = lifesaver evening outfit. Or jeans, grey uniqlo crew neck, crazy earrings = lifesaver dinner party outfit.
I put them on just before I leave the house and rip them off in the hall as soon as I’m home to minimise the time actually wearing them. The only way one should ever wear skinnies after having kids really.
My black skinny jeans are from J Brand, though you can just pick your favourite jeans maker and buy from there. I like J Brand because they are very stretchy, (though not like jeggings), and the dye has a high pigment so they’re still black as night even though I bought them BEFORE I had Kitty!!!!
This is the link to the J Brand/Net site though obviously being end of season they’re bloody sold out, (AGAIN, sorry – what a stupid time of year to do this post), but if you are near a big department store stockist, they ought to have some. This is one of those times when real life outstrips online by some margin.
Okay. Still with me!? Awake? At the end of this on my Instagram stories I am going to spend an entire morning just putting together and wearing outfits from the capsule items I’ve been mentioning all week, to really get you psyched.
Yes Esther!! I needed this. I get all caught up in top-buying and then realize it doesn’t matter how good my top half is looking when it’s attached to my midriff squeezed into some too-tight skinny jeans bought in the Brent cross Topshop about 10 years ago, which might as well be 100 years ago as far as how similar my body shape is these days. Am diving in with some culottes and a new pair of khaki chinos asap. And weirdly I also look like that girl in my old jack wills joggers. NOT. Anyway many thanks all very appreciated. Xx
Hush boyfriend jeans are great (I’ve got big hips). Though I don’t love the pair i bought last year as much as the original pair I bought a few years ago, which are perfect.
how weird that they changed the style! you need a good dressmaker to alter the jeans to fit perfectly xxx
I’m very excited as I did buy a mad skirt (or two) in my post-second baby shopping spree last month. Also bought several bad pairs of trousers that make me look huge! You are so right about the beastly tummy area! So needed this series then. Think you need to make it into an e-book.
When my (coincidentally) J Brand black jeans started to get a bit less black I redyed them black as black in the washing machine (Dylon from Amazon). In fact I’ve done it twice, that ‘s how ancient my black jeans are. But like a crisp new pair each time. Now I’ve typed “black” so many times, I’m feeling a bit weird…
like looking at one’s face for too long in the mirror – this is a great tip. There is nothing better than an item of clothing that REALLY fits that you love – if you can regenerate it from time to time that’s great!
Good morning Esther and fellow Spikers. Delighted to read this- I’m standing in my kitchen wearing my GAP girlfriend jeans. For once I’m ahead of the game (though waiting for the postman to arrive with my Hush tshirts & uniqlo sweater!) Where did you get the beautiful red Mad Skirt you’re wearing in your Instagram vid please?
It’s from M&S last winter! there will be more though next season, mad floral skirts are going nowhere x
Liz B says
Right bought some Current Elliot’s and that’s me out for the week (😆😆) back next month for the rest!! Do you rate the Jigsaw camisoles?
let us know what the current elliots are like!!! I don’t know anything about jigsaw camis, so long since I’ve been in a jigsaw. anyone?
I have heard good things about Jigsaw camis but never go in there, it’s way too £££££.
I just bought the ASOS jeans, thanks!
ooo jenny let us know what they are like
I rate them. I’ve got a few different colours plus a black and white one. I like them under tshirts or spring jumpers with skirts or jeans (I never wear trousers, they don’t suit my shape). The lace trim at bottom looks great and sorts out any gaps. They make fab presents for favourite sisters-in-laws or special friends. I’m a 10 and a 34C and I get a M. On a separate note, I’m eagerly awaiting the dress edit. I’ve bought a few of your book recommendations Esther via links – hope they’ve signed up to the click through programme. Loved The Awkward Age. Let me know if you’ve read The Hillbilly Elegy. About to start…
Hi NotSure – my dress edit (next week) is actually only 2 dresses… it’s a VERY capsule edit! What I will say is SHOCKING but also revolutionary xx
My previous comment refers to jigsaw camis – not sure if that’s clear!!
I’m wearing Gap girlfriend chinos (indigo, but I do also have the green) with a grey t-shirt today – do I win a Spike prize? The trousers are hella comfy and I’ve dressed them up with red toenails (sorry Esther), tan sandals and mad jewellery for the office. I’ve only discovered this week that trousers don’t have to be skinny jeans and I am LOVING it.
Sarah you are SPIKING it!!! you win spike first prize. I think if you’re in an actual office you really do need the red toenail so you are forgiven x
My office is full of young childless people doing full Studio 54, so really what hope? I’m 34 but feel ancient by comparison. I will press on in the knowledge that this will all come to them too.
Oh yeah fuck yeah. I see people doing Studio 54 all over Tufnell Park and I just think… soooooooooon…. sooooooooon
Ooh, also the Hush black jacket is in the sale! Ordered yesterday and it’s coming tomorrow. YES! You are such an enabler and I love it. x
omg maybe I should get it too!!!!!!!
DO IT! x
I bit the bullet and bought a mad skirt recently. A rainbow satin midi with pockets and a proper waistband. From M&S of all places. I went back to try it 3 times and kept the label in for the first 2 wears but I am completely converted now. I’ll going to wear it with white trainers and a white tshirt tonight for a magazine launch and will be just peachy.
Not sure the Channel Islands are ready for it yet but who cares.
you are going to blow their minds! don’t forget to accessorise with your craziest earrings
Ok. I’m doing it. I’m getting the culottes. I WILL BE BRAVE.
Liz B says
I am a bit jealous – I really like the Cos ones but not sure North Yorkshire could cope with them!!
Liz don’t be crazy! of COURSE N yorkshire can cope! be the first! lead the way!!!!!
I have bought some from Next! Liz, I’m in the north of Scotland, properly rural, so lord knows what the sheep will have to say.
do it! if you hate them you can complain to me, it’s alright I don’t mind
Question re boyfriend/girlfriend jeans – what do you do when the weather turns and we need to have proper ankle length (and therefore warm) coverings? I have some boyfriends from Uniqlo which I love and which, of course, need to be worn rolled up. However, come October it’s not really a goer because of the cold ankles situation. Socks and trainers and boyfriend jeans….erm, no. So, I go back to my skinnies.
I would argue that getting high rise jeans that come up near your navel, which contain in a very pleasing way the mum tum/ muffin top, is the solution. Problem for me is getting jeans that are also long enough (I’m 5’9″, long legs) and that STAY long enough after a wash (GAP I’m looking at you, you bastard).
You are SO right about smart joggers. I think Boden do excellent smart joggers especially for the colder months. I am coveting the smart soft jersey ones at Hush. I may give in to temptation….
Thank you Esther. This series is really brilliant. I’m having a hiatus from work and suddenly realise I have nothing to wear that isn’t covered in porridge, ancient or both to do the school run and the errands and administrivia of life. So far I’ve bought clogs, a striped shirt (this is a big departure for me. I generally don’t do shirts because of boobage) and reexamined my t shirt drawer.
Emily this is a key problem – the weather turning issue. I will address it in the autumn (because I have yet to find the solution)
sophie b says
OMG sorry to butt in but i *think* i know the/a solution to bf jean/cold ankle thing. Everyone stay calm, but it’s ultra-short Ugg boots. Only the vvvv short ones though, and pref with a slither of ankle still showing if you can cope. Kind of like this: https://www.justthedesign.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/GCU03.jpg
sophie yes this is certainly an option I am looking into xx
I struggle with this too. Last year I dabbled with lace up flat ankle boots with the boyfriends folded up once and hanging over the top of the boots. I think Hush styled their winter boyfriends a bit like this.
We have to make this work though. I slightly dread AW for the inevitable return to the skinnies
Esther you’ll probably shout at me and ban me from the Spike for suggesting this but I’ve worn my boyfriend jeans for the last couple of winters with my Lotta clogs with sshh…. socks! Instagram some stylish Skandis and this seems to be totally acceptable style wise. I’d recommend knee length to avoid the dreaded sock/pasty leg/trouser look when sitting down.
Gemma yes I do this too. It is going to take a lot of explaining to other spikers, so I’m leaving it until the Autumn to broach the subject x
Voneron (@Voneron) says
JW joggers reduced to £18!!
AWESOME. Thank you for the tip!
I second your advice re culottes; so lovely and really flattering and very very versatile 👍🏼. I’d advice opting for a slightly higher waisted more tailored fit as then you can wear with more tops/blouses tucked in for a ‘dressier’ look. (my black ones were from new look, with a side zip at waist, only £14.99 a pair and one of THE most worn items in my wardrobe right now and so comfy!)
Thank you Sarah! Yes I LOVE the look of those higher-waisted tie ones. They don’t suit me at all, they make my bum look like it needs it own postcode but they look super on other people
Ha that is so true about husbands – I always know to size up a top if mine likes the smaller one as I know we’re trying to achieve different things. He approves when the buttons look like they’re going to ping off and hit him in the eye.
I really like the idea of these chinos, I have a denim skirt and some reasonable boyfriend jeans. Skinnies are still a very practical problem – I got caught in a rain shower in some flared jeans at pick up once and every other person was in skinnies and I was the only one flapping about like a flamingo caught on a mud flat.
I like the culottes, but I have recently bought a black linen skirt of similar length that I would suggest trying for those who can’t countenance them. It is so easy to wear, gives me a fifties waist and goes with everything. I flounce about with my hands in my pockets(!) waiting to be invited into Bogart’s boat, or for Gregory Peck to turn up on a moped (still waiting, but it really is a useful skirt)
Looking forward to buying a mad skirt in ooh, about 12 days time xx
Cindy thank you for this typically useful amusing and insane comment xxxx I mean that as a compliment
That’s absolutely how I took it xx
Am so proud of myself reading this because LO, I have all of these items already!! It spurred me on to wear my lovely M&S culottes that I bought last summer but hardly wore because they fall down a smidge BUT now I’m pregnant and expanding again THEY FIT! Am secretly glad there’s nothing I need in today’s post because I was rather skint after Mon/Tues. There is, however, a lot in my wardrobe I could now go ahead and cull. So that’s also a useful thing to take away when reading. Am loving this, Esther, thank you so much x
Mama can I recommend that you create a “holding” pen of maybe-to-charity clothes in a laundry bag first? Sometimes clothes you are just sick of can come out of retirement at another time.
Just saw the insta-stories and yes, genius idea, much less risk of ‘ahh fuck’ moments in a few months’ time 😉 Thank you x
I have spent all of my salary for this month and next on this capsule wardrobe, and it’s only Thursday morning. And I’ve just found out I am expecting again, which means I am not even going to be able to wear any of it for about 15 years. This is a fantastic series! Love it!
Labib your relentless optimism is an inspiration! Send it all back FFS and get yourself to Isabella Oliver!
Eilidh McDonald says
I love these guides. Blinking brilliant!
Yes to the surprising brilliance of H&M jeans! They are the only jeans I have that don’t get annihilated by cat and dog claws (and if there’s one thing that tips me into Basil Fawlty realms of hysteria it’s animals wrecking my brand new pair of Levi’s- 712, or wedgie fit). So, H&M are a bargainous Godsend.
What about mad trousers? A hybrid of chino and mad skirt. Are they ok? I have an ancient pair of Forever21 smart chinos with a sort of arabian geometric design in green and white (haha! They sound horrific, but are actually rather fetching. Or I am delusional).
Eilidh I am not a fan of printed trousers, but this is simple prejudice because something awful once happened to me while I was wearing a pair.
Tell us the story Esther!!!
no omg it’s too awful. it’s not rape. it involves baby poo
I know the answer re chinos/boyfriends in the winter and it is exciting socks! Maybe that is not capsule/permitted during this special season, but I have many beloved socks from eg bonne maison/finisterre/cos which are bright or stripy or even patterned and I long for them all summer when I have sticky feet because I can’t find tiny socks that don’t bunch down to the end of my toes.
O Hemmo yes socks are the answer but I am going to have to spend some time talking people round to the socks thing. Falke do vg trainer socks via John Lewis that don’t roll down.
Okay I will support you re socks at all difficult times and will investigate falke now! x
Oh my god! I’ve been reading with detached interest as I don’t do clothes in any meaningful way BUT I LOVE SOCKS. I hate the way they are not allowed. I love wearing a black dress, lace up shoes and CRAZY socks. Is that allowed?
I have those trousers from Oasis and I love them. Not as thick fabric as Gap khakis, so great for summer and a flattering fit. Elaine x
Elaine thank you for this useful and instructive comment x
I am feeling extremely pleased with myself as I am wearing culottes today! Loving this series, thank you.
Anna this is terrific! carry on xxx
Re boyfriend jeans and cold weather
Sheepskin insoles are your friend. With a pair of those bad boys in your Stan smiths you don’t need socks and your ankles are toasty. My mother was horrified to see me sockless in January. I did have to wear skinnies & boots on very cold days though.
Helen yes basically I tough it out in my boyfriends with cashmere socks for as long as possible and then when it’s really fucking cold alternate between skinnies and leggings.
I have a gorgeous charcoal grey camisole from Jigsaw and I love it and wear it all the time, was expensive but had it 3 years and it washes well and is very versatile to wear under things so would recommend. It still looks new and I think its quite capsule! I love smart joggers as I am a bit casual these days as I no longer work in an office. Sometimes too casual. My daughters have those JW ones and do look like the girl in the photo. I love the J Crew ones and Im still laughing about the terry cloth!!! Also love the mad skirt but when I go in my local very large M&S I never see anything this nice its all FRUMPY, like their food though! xxx
Liz B says
Thanks for input re Jigsaw camisole? Would you wear it in evening under a jacket, I am trying to figure out day to evening camisole/smart camisole and think they look like a good option!
Liz that sounds like it would look really nice
…don’t forget your earrings
Sarah local branches of M&S often don’t have the range of other stores. Online can also be confusing as there is so much. I’m not sure where you live but if you get to one of their larger stores or into a central London one/Westfield, they have lovely things
Oasis via JLP Chinos and ASOS boyfriend jeans ordered! And though the links on website ☺. My paycheck has also almost all disappered on capsule wardrobe, but it is worth it. I too already have culottes that my husband hates but I always wear them and stick two fingers up at him, ha! I have a question about shorts. I am wearing a smart pair of navy shorts with grey t-shirt and new office espadrilles today. Are shorts a no no? Worried I am too 90s now..
Kate no, wear shorts if you want! I don’t consider shorts to be capsule because there are just too many reasons not to wear them (feel fat/pale) etc but obviously if you have some and want to wear them, do! And of course navy shorts are the ONLY kind I think are acceptable. x
Re shorts, I do one hour of pilates a week with no other extra exercise beyond stairs/dog walking and in eighteen months I have got someone else’s legs, someone who can carry off shorts with reasonable aplomb (as long as you have sunglasses to shield your eyes from dazzling pallidness). I am amazed by such a return for so little effort – in fact I had new calves by last summer and this year I am getting new lower thighs. I mean, yes, sorry, massively vain boasting, but also major revelation!
SOPHIE THAT’S THE SPIRIT!!!! I want someone’s else’s legs too. possibly yours
Sophie – high five to pilates! That too is my only form of exercise – bar walking / pushing heavy toddler in buggy up MASSIVE hills where I live – and agree, the return is excellent. And not a vain boast at all!
And thanks for the shorts approval. I shall carry on x
I’m going to bow out of the skirt thing, with the exception of a denim skirt I can’t live without, because they just don’t suit me (short of leg and ‘mum’ shaped). However if you have an M&S Sparks card there is 20% off skirts online and instore at the moment.
I have opted for a pair of the JLP Oasis khaki chinos from your blog today, fingers crossed.
I’m looking forward to a massive cull once my capsule is in place.
Does anyone else wish they could freeze frame the speedy insta posts for a good look at the things?
Kathy! I will do stills of all the different combinations of my capsule wardrobe stuff once the individual posts are all finished and up. you will be able to get a good look don’t worry.
Okay look I understand about the mad skirt thing… but… just bear it in mind. When you are shopping if you see one you think might work on you, give it a whirl, they are useful.
Kathy, I am SO with you on the skirt thing – even my denim one is rarely worn because I don’t like the look of it BUT am going to a ‘wear silver’ anniversary party and bought a mad, silver snake print £20 pencil skirt from ASOS which is sufficiently nice on me that I will probably wear it more than once, possibly quite a lot, and even my husband thought it wasn’t so unbearably tarty that he might stand near me at the party … so do keep an open mind on skirts and you might just find a winner.
Thanks Sophie, I won’t draw a line completely. x
Dear Esther I love this blog. I hate shopping and I never have any money, but it’s so good to have some guidance for some precision strikes. Thanks and keep up the good work. Kate
Precision strikes is exactly what you need to do. if you hate shopping you are lucky because you don’t buy random shit
I clicked on those H and M culottes but they appear to be made of satin!! I don’t think satin-y fabric will be a friend to my hips and thighs, unless it’s very thick?
it ought to be exactly a friend to it because of not adding any bulk. it also ought to skim bits and bobs and generally be kind. give them a whirl! also they won’t be satin they’ll be viscose so you can chuck in washing machine x
My mind is open and I will be looking out. X
This is all great, except boyfriend jeans with their slouchy shape make “pear-shaped” bottoms even bigger 🙁 so I have decided to stick to bootcut, no matter how out of fashion this looks. Worst case scenario, maybe straight-leg. No skinnies obviously, that’s the worst for the “pear”!
Bory you stick to those boot cuts till death do you part. .. but have a go at chinos??
I had threw all my skinny jeans out in a fit of rage last year and have not looked back! Okay, I still have the black, and for reasons you stated in the article. I’ve reacquainted myself with boot cuts and straight legs and my butt and calves have thanked me for it.
I thought I’d never find a pair of joggers that weren’t too long or too short (hitting at mid calf makes my legs look awful!) I was about to give up. And then… I found a pair at Z Supply! They are the camo but not stupidly so and look so smart with a black tee and hoop earrings and sandals. I’ve been wearing them all spring and i’ve found that they are a good summer weight too.
that sounds awesome
oh my goodness, I’m loving this series! I have just ordered ASOS jeans and Oasis chinos.
fab! report back! xxx
Have recently converted to culottes; black ones from Monki. Even wore them to a big do with no shame. They are also as comfortable as track pants.
Monki can be surprisingly excellent
I regularly mourn Recipe Rifle (still), however, I am also a big Spiker fan so all is not lost. Never change, Esther.
I’m so glad that you’ve found a way to make it sustainable, I was idly wondering a few weeks back how viable the blog was, with all that ugly talk of the money diet. I have no problem at all with people being up front about endorsements etc but get so cross when people try to hide it. So I applaud your honesty. I shall make it a point of principle to click through in future, just by way of sisterly support, of course.
Also wish you’d done a capsule holiday wardrobe, too. Sitting in a tropical paradise and seem to be getting cross with everything I’ve brought so far. Still, there’s the wine x
I think I like to do in that situation is furiously make notes on my phone about what I WISH I’d brought, then bring it next time xxxx
Yes!! Starting that list now… 😊 xxxx
Esther, loving this series so much! Bit of a hoarder (understatement!) still holding onto ridiculously small skinnies thinking one day they will fit again… WROnG!! I’m a 52 yr old mama FFS and the appeal of the elasticated waist grows ever stronger! So loving the jogger and have a nice pair from Gap. Generous sizing and fab with birkis and tshirt. Ordered the Hush one you recommended and was in Fat face today for a millisecond but saw that they have something similar to the Hush for about £22. Lovely soft cotton and not too thin.
More more more please! You’re doing a public service and should be nominated for an OBE or something similar
Thank you xx
Yes JAYNE I THINK SO TOO!!! chuck those skinnies out. they’ll just hang about making you feel sad when you ought to be looking to the future!
cindy fried says
Love this series too, Esther – so useful.
Almost looking forward to autumn so I can buy a XL grey crewneck (how sad – my 20 year old daughter will crack up when I tell her). I normally buy a few L V-necks there (always navy and grey, every time I get other colours they get worn once, twice tops).
My big tip for anyone going to France is Monoprix. I bought a fab linen tee, some navy linen trousers and a sweet nightdress. So inexpensive and well made. Talking hubby into ‘romantic’ trip to Paris in autumn so I can see what I can accrue in the line of ‘money saving clothes shopping’ for AW.
Will you do bags please? How many of those we collect…we really only need a few surely? This is an area where expensive mistakes can be made, and we need to be Coren-ised.
bags are the DEVILS WORK. I will deal with them in due course.
I am such a longtime reader of yours, Esther, first on Recipe Rifle (when I too was grappling with young kids) and now here. I LOVE this series! Have just bought some culottes from Zara, I’m quite excited as I would never otherwise have dared, so thank you. Question re boyfriend jeans: I think they look fab on people with slim legs, but I have thick thighs and my legs are disproportionately short compared to the rest of me (I’m quite tall but all the length is in my torso). They are simply unflattering on me! Wondering if I’m doing it wrong. Am I wearing the wrong size? Have I just not found the right ones? Or should I give up altogether?
Nikki I would say if you have tried on 3 different pairs and they all look awful, then they are possibly not for you. But – persist in finding some jeans which are actually comfortable and not skinnies, like maybe a straight leg or other relaxed fit. It’s all about creating options other than the skinny trouser. let me know how you get on with the zara culottes x
Hee hee thank you. You are a wise sage! Can I also add to the requests for holiday capsule wardrobe.
And if you or any other Spikers have any ideas for what to wear at Disney Florida in August (arg) without flashing knickers to all and sundry I will be eternally grateful!! X
ARG! wear the culottes!!!
Gotcha – I think my problem is I haven’t spent enough time trying on different styles. Off to do some market research, and will report back!
But seriously if you try on 3 or 4 different pairs and it’s just not working, don’t flog yourself xxx
I found some I love!! Boyfriend jeans, that is. I’m so excited! From Lucky Brand, in a dark wash, and they *almost* look on me the way they are supposed to look and do look on non-pear shaped people. Thank you for encouraging me to persist! Also, reporting back: the culottes from Zara are awesome! They have a slight paper-bag high waist and the best swing and sway to them: https://www.zara.com/ca/en/collection-aw-17/woman/trousers/culottes-c269187p4920025.html.
Total wardrobe rejuvenation!
Nikki I’m genuinely a bit tearful. This is amazing news x
Please don’t dismiss the possibility of mad trousers. I have an armful of mad trousers I wear to work with heels and white shirt in the summer, plain navy or black sweater in the winter. Surprisingly work-friendly, and extremely useful when not at work with supergas or any other flat of your choice.
As a first-time mum to an 18-month old tearaway of a boy I am honestly bloody delighted about this whole capsule thing! Esp as I’m currently in Gap girlfriend jeans. Turning 40 this year so have decided instigating a capsule wardrobe is my present for me. Which, let’s face it as he gets up at 5 and slept no more than 2h at at time for the first 6 months I totally deserve (manic/deranged cackle)
Thank you so much Esther x
oh god nicky that’s not funny. sam was a crappy sleeper too – still up v v early – sends you bloody deranged.
It’s the pits -commiserations to you too! Apart from the early starts he’s really good these days but deranged is the right word…
Don’t know about you but am bloody dreading autumn/winter. Another dose of capsule inspiration/therapy required by then please!
It’s never a really fun time, clothes-wise, but I will work hard on a few great solutions…
Do not buy the J Crew pants – you will NEVER take them off.
ha ha! get two pairs!!! one for best!!!
Hush Amie joggers are en route! Most excited. Will report back. Drove an uncomfortably skinny-jeaned friend wild with envy in my Gap green girlfriend chinos yesterday, btw.
Oooh Sarah that’s what I like to hear xxx
So, I got my latest Hush items in the post yesterday a la capsule order and tried on my Amie ‘smart’ joggers. I’m thinking “yes, rather nice, yes..good cling to ankle..zip detail most pleasing..can dress up or down …perfect with new v-neck t’s” Husband appears in hallway. Ask husband what he thinks of new trousers. Husband surveys, takes time.. (usually means “a comment” is forthcoming), says, “they’re ok but they could be tighter.” I HAD to laugh, thinking of seemingly ALL Spike husband prefs for tight jumpers, skirts etc. etc. THEY ARE ALL THE SAME. Tight does not always mean good. lol 🙂
ALL THE SAME MEN ARE AAALLLLL THE SAAAAAAAAMMMMMMME