How to put together a capsule wardrobe

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According to fashion law every truly stylish woman should have a capsule wardrobe. So, if you're wondering what a capsule wardrobe is, and whether or not you accidentally own one - it's a timeless collection of clothing that you can rely on to take you anywhere.

'A capsule wardrobe ensures you walk out the door looking your best,' says Tess Giberson, Design Director of TSE (the New York based cashmere company) 'Its main purpose is to eliminate the last minute, panic driven sentence: I've got nothing to wear!'

The hit list for key fashion items (you probably own some of these already):

Little black dress (LBD)

Classic trench coat

Crisp white shirt

Tailored jacket

Flatter-your-bum black trousers

Luxurious cashmere sweater

Gorgeous leather handbag

The perfect jeans

A knee-length skirt

Perennial shoes

Of course, there are other things you could add to the list - t-shirts, driving shoes, underwear, fashion accessories - but with these 10 timeless basics in your closet, you'll never have another style dilemma. OK, so you might have to update things from time to time - swap a wrap dress for a shift, replace skinny jeans with boot-cut - but a capsule wardrobe of reliable basic fashion items will help simplify your life.

If you feel a frump alert coming on, don't panic. Being stylish is about developing your own look based on what suits your body shape, then adding carefully chosen fashion items - a ruffle shirt, some chunky beads, a super-sized tote bag - to update an outfit.

Three golden fashion rules

Spend as much as you can on the basics
See them as an investment, they form the backbone of your wardrobe and are worth splashing out on. As for the fashion items - don't go overboard, you'll probably throw them away at the end of the season.

Accessorise
Owning a capsule wardrobe doesn't mean you have to look like you work in a bank, a simple outfit can be transformed with the latest fashion accessory - try a belt, vintage necklace or scarf.

Choose neutral colours

Black, camel, white, navy - neutrals look classy and are versatile and easy to coordinate. Just think of the ageless colours seen on the Armani catwalk season after season, and you'll get the picture.

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