Took my fabulous young cousin Kate shopping a couple of weeks ago. She’s a great girl and I adore her, but her taste in clothing - Brady bunch tee-shirt anyone? - was clearly not from my side of the gene pool. Kate was only in town for a couple of days and desperate for a new wardrobe before she embarked on her first big career as a primary school teacher. Her wants were simple: to stretch her budget of a couple of hundred dollars give or take, as far as possible without compromising on style and value.
Now, we’ve all heard of the term “capsule collection” right? It’s been around for a while, but probably made all the more famous to us mere mortals when Stella McCartney caused a frenzy with her said collection in Target a couple of years ago. A capsule collection by my definition consists of a small number of items, usually 8-12 that can be inter-changed with other items to create a greater number of outfits. For Kate's CC, we took ourselves to DFO South Wharf and the Table Eight-Barkins clearance store - a small warehouse sized treasure-trove of discount priced everything of reasonable quality befitting a young, hip teacher. We had already brought a circle skirt in white, purple and grey, and contrasting singlet the day before, but it was half an hour later when we really hit pay-dirt:
Two knee-length pencil shirts (a summer tweed weave in chocolate, and a gold satin with paper-bag waist line*) / a dark lavender blouse with vertical ruffles down the front and side zip, and white short cap-sleeve shirt with grey pin-stripe and waist tie / one pair of grey cotton knee-length jodhpurs / one short-sleeve, grey jacket with middle button; and one black cinch belt.
To this we added a sleeveless jacket vest in cream with golden undertones, brown elastic cinch belt and some bling from Jacqui E. Plus a short faux leather biker jacket - also in grey - with ¾ length sleeves for good measure. We had triumphed in a way, neither of us had ever triumphed before. Twelve items (minus the bling) and over two dozen different outfits for a variety of occasions, and only one of them, the cinch belt, in black. Wicked!
CHECK IT OUT: Paper bag waist lines apply to very in, very now skirts, shorts and trousers that look as though they’ve been cinched in to create a paper bag gathered effect above the waist band. Not great for everyone, so try before you buy.