On the Run – A lacy skirt worn in a daytime outfit plus a little bit of Mango and a Grazia article

I haven’t posted an outfit for a while – time hasn’t really permitted it, which is ridiculous as clearly I am still getting dressed on a daily basis. I think that the starts have been earlier than usual and when I get home I am so desperate to get into my Cath K pj’s that I just chuck everything off in a heap.

This photo was taken a few days ago, when the rain stopped briefly.  I am wearing a lace Mango skirt with a bright Boden lightweight jumper and Jigsaw shoe boots.  The lace skirt is stretchy so very comfortable and the knit kept me cosy. You can find similar skirts at Great Plains, Jigsaw and Boden – and Mango has a black one in stock at the moment but it is quite a bit shorter. 

Whilst on the subject of Mango, I was in there today with a lovely lady during a Shopping Day.  We concluded that the jeans would probably fit a lady who was 6ft tall, or thereabouts, so, for all of you tall ladies who find it difficult to find jeans to fit, Mango may just have the answer. The Martina style is great too, a very dark wash and very wide at the bottom, they make legs look as if they go on forever.

Like most of you no doubt, I have had a fantastically busy week this week so haven’t had chance to blog much, or for that matter look at other blogs.  The article in Grazia magazine that 33 pieces = the perfect wardrobe has probably been discussed to death – but I’m going to talk about it anyway.

Apparently, according to April Glassborrow, head of womenswear buying at Harvey Nichols:  A woman needs a capsule wardrobe of everyday hereos which should be updated with key pieces each season.  It should also be updated with a key piece each season and be kept organised to save time when getting ready.

I don’t think that many would dispute that – unless we were meant to buy them all from HN and then our Wardrobes may have 3, instead of 33 pieces in them.

So, what are the 33 pieces we should have in our Wardrobe? 

10 tops – 2 silk shirts, 1 breton top, 1 grey and 1 white T-shirt, 1 great white shirt, 1 silk vest, 1 trophy top, 1 cashmere knit and 1 lightweight knit

10 bottoms – 3 jeans, 3 skirts, 3 trousers and 1 every wardroe needs one pair of leather pants (I personally prefer the idea of leather trousers to leather pants but even then I am not convinced!)

2 bags – 1 great day bag, 1 clutch

3 jackets – 1 leather, 1 trans-seasonal and 1 jazzy (leopard, sequinned or printed offering work to bar glitz)

3 dresses – 1 cocktail, 1 structured power and 1 shirtdress

5 shoes – 1 ankle boot, 1 black stiletto, 1 nude stiletto, 1 fancy shoe, 1 daily flat

The most amazing fact about all of this is that apparently it is possible to get 3,090 outfits out of this little lot. Really?  Is anyone out there able to tell me in simple terms what mathematical formula is used to arrive at this number – not that I am disputing it – I am just not sure how the number is arrived at.

For what it’s worth, I think that the above article is great. It’s a fantastic starting point from which to work. Personally I wouldn’t have the white or grey t’s but would include other tops instead. Others might choose more jeans and less dresses, the possibilities are endless. 

I once read an article in Red magazine along the same lines where I am sure that the magic number of pieces was 38 – so not far off this one. I carefully cut it out and was determined to keep it safe somewhere – which I did, kind of. It’s in one of about ten files stuffed full of articles from magazines and I can’t, for the life of me, find it. So, in referring to it in on the here, whilst it’s not exactly original material, it will make it easy for me to find for furture reference and hopefully for you too.

After a bit of an enforced leave of abscence from blogging, it’s nice to be back! Hope to see you tomorrow.



  1. MrsS
    May 17, 2012 / 8:08 pm

    Interesting article. Whilst I can understand the benefit of having some key pieces and spending as much on these as you can afford, surely the joy of fashion is buying other things and mixing it up a bit? Even with the number of outfit combinations they suggest, I think I would still get bored of wearing the same items constantly. And, as my budget definitely doesn't stretch to HN, I'm not sure the items would stand up to it either!

    • StyleGuile
      May 20, 2012 / 7:48 pm

      Hello! As a friend of mine said today, she doesn't like to spend too much on any one item as she has a low boredom threshold – I think that's true for lots of us.

  2. Anne
    May 17, 2012 / 8:22 pm

    Hi Beth! Lovely photo…your black lace skirt looks fab with the hot pink jumper:) I own a lot of the key pieces listed above but one item I will be doing without is leather trousers. Think I'm gone well past the age to get away with wearing them :)~Anne

    • StyleGuile
      May 20, 2012 / 7:49 pm

      Hi Anne, lovely to hear from you. I don't think that I will be donning leather trousers any time soon either!

  3. Anonymous
    May 17, 2012 / 8:56 pm

    There's a new magazine out for the summer 'Good Ideas' I think it's called – anyway, that has a great article on a holiday capsule wardrobe. Of course it's not all to my taste, and certainly not my budget but it's brilliant for ideas.

    • StyleGuile
      May 20, 2012 / 7:50 pm

      Hello and thank you for that top tip. I tried to find it yesterday but couldn't so will have another go again tomorrow. Sounds a great article.

  4. Anonymous
    May 17, 2012 / 8:59 pm

    Sorry to post as 'Anonymous' but wasnt' sure how else to do it (it reads rather rudely unfortunately!) I also meant to add that I've found that my maternity wardrobe was a brilliant capsule collection – carefully selected pieces that could be worn in several different outfits and I'm not trying to replicate that to an extent, 12 months on. It's a good way to think carefully about what you buy and ensure that you'll get flexibility from each piece.

    • StyleGuile
      May 20, 2012 / 7:53 pm

      Hello "Anonymous" – don't worry about posting anonymously, I don't mind at all. So pleased that you found that a capsule wardrobe worked for you – for some its great, for others less so but we are all so individual aren't we when it comes to clothes?

  5. kathynewlyn
    May 17, 2012 / 9:09 pm

    hi bethInteresting… Not sure I could manaage with 33 pieces! Be good to try though.I'm also too old for leather trousers, and what's a trophy top?I've been struggling thelast few days, with what to wear. It's been warmer, but not warm enough for out and out summer outfits, sandals etc, but it feels odd to wear dark tights, heavy shoes etc. Any tips for adapting existing outfits?Kathy

    • StyleGuile
      May 20, 2012 / 7:55 pm

      Hi Kathy – it's a no no too for me when it comes to leather trousers. A trophy top is a sort of "special" top – glitzy, brightly printed – so not a neutral basic. Hopefully the sun is now on its way so you should be in your full summer outfits this week. Fingers crossed!

  6. About Last Weekend
    May 18, 2012 / 1:03 am

    You look lovely in that pink sweater. Our weather here in the East Bay California is so variant we need many, many more cardies. Cashmere is King here. Anything sleeveless needs something over the top (I have pretty much given up on buying or wearing sleeveless dresses) so this list would not totally suit. Also never wear the silk tops I have….love VInce shirts and Splendid tops too

    • StyleGuile
      May 20, 2012 / 7:56 pm

      Hi, oh East Bay California – how lovely that sounds right now. You're right, the list won't work for everyone but for those who just don't know where to start, it would be really useful. Love the sound of the cashmere.

  7. Lula Belle
    May 18, 2012 / 4:46 am

    I do love the idea of a capsule wardrobe and it's something I've been working with for a few years now. However I do have an issue with only 2 handbags and only 5 pairs of shoes! There's got to be a bit of choice somewhere. I have just discovered Breton tops and 1 would not be enough, although I am slightly obsessed with them at the moment.

    • StyleGuile
      May 20, 2012 / 7:58 pm

      Hi Lula Belle – I agree! I would happily trade some other pieces for more shoes and bags, as they can so readily change the look of an outfit. Yep, Breton tops are fab aren't they?

  8. Gill Wall
    May 18, 2012 / 10:21 am

    I'm sure it was a rhetorical question but…3000 is the combination of 10x10x2x3x5 (tops x bottoms x jackets x bags x shoes) and the additional 90 is 2x3x3x5 (dresses x jackets x bags x shoes).

    • StyleGuile
      May 20, 2012 / 7:59 pm

      Hi Gill – thanks for that. It partly was, partly wasn't – if that's possible. It's one that I could have worked out had I had the energy to apply my mind to it – so thank you!

  9. PlumJam
    May 18, 2012 / 10:56 am

    Loving the maths! Aside from that I read this article and whilst I agree with the idea of good basics as the backbone of a wardrobe for me the idea of only 33 pieces would be so boring.Fashion is meant to be fun surely. It's great to have a perfectly tailored black jacket (hello Zara) but at the moment the pieces in my wardrobe that are giving me most joy are:A neon yellow Top Shop jerseyA pink and red across the body bag – total New Look bargainand a fantastic pink floral shirt which is actually an old Monsoon pyjama jacket that I picked up in a second hand shop.33 pieces? No thanks let's live a little!

    • StyleGuile
      May 20, 2012 / 8:01 pm

      Hi PlumJam – loving the sound of the fun pieces – you can't beat a bit of neon can you?!

  10. Sue
    May 18, 2012 / 12:54 pm

    I love those articles but no thank you to 33 pieces. I couldn't if I tried. I was thinking about doing a cull on my wardrobe after reading too many blogs on clearing down your clothes but to be honest – it could get a little bit dull and boring if you spent everyday looking at the same old things over and over no matter how much you love them and how many combinations you can get out of them. Besides what would we have to blog about after we've finished talking about our 33 pieces?

    • StyleGuile
      May 20, 2012 / 8:03 pm

      Hi Sue, great comment. It's a question of preference isn't it? I like a bit of choice, others spend more on fewer pieces, wear them to death and then move on. I find all approaches fascinating but have to admit that I like a bit of variety – like most ladies here it would seem.

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