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8 Clothing items you need to mix and match all week

The ever-ready wardrobe

We all know her: No matter what circumstance she finds herself in, she turns up on time looking flawless, fashionable and on trend. How does she do it?
Woman looking at dress

The answer is simple. She is the proud owner of a capsule wardrobe -- a small but versatile collection of clothes designed to take her from the office to a night out with the gals. Here's how you can develop your own capsule wardrobe and create a multitude of outfits from a few well chosen staples.

A few simple rules

Start by choosing a base color. This can be gray, black, white, or navy. Ensure that 75 percent of your wardrobe is made up of plain-colored clothing, and the remaining 25 percent is in prints.

Limit the number of dresses you have. Instead, concentrate on accumulating a collection of separates.
Most of us wear only 20 percent of our clothes, 80 percent of the time. If this applies to you, it's time to get ruthless. Clear out and give away all the clothes you have not worn in the past six months.

If you live in a seasonal area, pack away a few essential items that you know you will wear later in the year. Clearing space in the closet is essential for creating your new capsule wardrobe (not to mention good karma).

Consider your lifestyle. Are you a stay-at-home mom or high-flying career girl? Do you work outdoors on in? Design your wardrobe with your circumstances in mind.

Now the fun begins! Go shopping with a list of items needed to create your limited-edition re-invention.
Steer away from the items you have already. Remember: The aim of this type of shopping is to purchase a few well-made classic pieces that will cover all eventualities.

The essential eight

So what are the actual, essential eight pieces necessary to start your new wardrobe?

  1. Top of the list has to be a classic trench. Lightweight and functional, a three-quarter style cinched at the waist not only gives great shape, but also goes well with skirts and pants.
  2. Not surprisingly, a fantastic pair of jeans is next on the list. Truly versatile, these wardrobe staples will take you through many scenarios. Just be sure to avoid mommy jeans, and go for a well-fitting pair instead.
  3. Ever tried to buy a plain, white blouse that fits well? We all know how difficult this can be, so follow the advice of fashion pros and choose a man's white shirt instead!
  4. A classic white t-shirt to wear alone or under a shirt is a basic with which you can never go wrong.
  5. Tailored trousers are next on the list. Go for a good cut in one of your chosen base colors.
  6. Don't forget a little black dress to die for. We all need one of those!
  7. High heels you can walk in! A touch of cashmere lends a luxurious feel to your minimalist collection.
  8. Don't be afraid to add color and texture with accessories and jewelry.
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