My 2020 Capsule Wardrobe Essentials

The pieces I go back to every single year…

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A photo of Anna walking down the street in a brown turtleneck, jeans and her Loewe bag.

Since moving into my parent’s spare room and bringing an extremely limited wardrobe with me, it’s got me thinking about the pieces that are truly the essentials. They are items that I go back to every single year, that I’m always excited to be reunited with once the relevant season rolls around and most can be adapted and worn throughout the majority of the year. Some I’ve had for 12 months in my wardrobe and others I’ve owned for years, but all are things that I’ve hung or folded onto the rails or into the drawers of my parent’s spare room. So today I’m sharing the items that are, and will forever probably be, my capsule wardrobe essentials…

A photo of Anna walking down the road in her knitwear.
A full length picture of Anna walking down the road.


I’m still on the hunt for the *perfect* t-shirt, but I feel like I’m getting close and have honed in on what really impresses me. I like a garment that has a bit of structure to it, with a longer sleeve than most and doesn’t attract dust. It goes without saying that they are the ultimate workhorse in my wardrobe and something I reach for year round. The closest I’ve come to finding my perfect t-shirt is the ARKET Heavy-Weight T-Shirt*. Don’t be put off the name – it’s still suitable for summer wear – but the added weight gives it a more structured feel and the arms hit a little longer than others I’ve tried. I own the cream, black and white in an M.



I LOVE KNITWEAR! Seriously, any kind of knitwear gets me hot under the collar quite literally. But there’s one category that I reach for the most and that’s a mid-knit. Of course I love a chunky and there’s a place in my hear for a thin knit too, but something that’s just in the middle? They are by far my most-worn type of wooly jumper. My favourite is a Theory Wool Blend* one that I picked up last year which is unfortunately no longer available, but this ARKET Bell Sleeve Alpaca Jumper* looks very similar (and the Lilac* one looks incredible!). Perfect with a pair of blue-wash denim and chunky boots.



Who knew I would channel my bestest Art Teacher chic all summer and live in un-tucked linen shirts, straight-leg jeans and slip-on sandals? It fast became my uniform of the summer and I don’t see that changing for summers to come. Previously I was all about the silk shirts – which I still love, but more as a winter thing – but a linen shirt just screams summer and does double duty as a beach cover-up/smart shirt if needed. The ARKET Oversized Linen Shirts* were my favourite style (I own the black, white and beige in a 36), although if you want to push the boat out the With Nothing Underneath ones are lush and have washed so well. I love buying them oversized and wearing untucked with jeans and Birkenstocks*.



I mean come on, OF COURSE these had to be included. I haven’t worn anything other than a straight leg jean denim-wise on my bottom half for around four years now. A classic, modern shape that hugs and elongates and just generally flatters – I have them in black washes, mid washes, blue washes, white washes, cream washes – the lot. Smart or casual, summer or winter – there’s a 99% chance that these are what I’m wearing. If you’re not sure where to start, then may I suggest my Denim Buying Guide Blog Post? That should give you a bit of a helping hand. But the CliffNotes version is that I have two favourite styles: the Topshop Raw Hem Straight Leg Jeans* if you fancy something that ticks all the fit boxes, but has a little comfy stretch to them, or if you’re looking for an investment piece the RE/DONE High Rise Stove Pipe Jeans* are my favourite, favourite style of them all.


A close-up photo of Anna walking down the road.
A close-up of Anna's jeans and sandals.


Short or long. Colourful or neutral. I just adore a wool (or wool-blend!) coat. They keep you warm and look as chic as hell. Obviously they are not something that I reach for in the summer, but from October time to the moment that summer dawns, this is what I wear as my outerwear layer. I’d recommend investing in a black one, and then perhaps a camel or a beige to mix it up a little – it will be something that hangs in your wardrobe for years. Guaranteed. I would argue that Whistles* do the best wool coat selection and I have coats from there that I’ve had in my wardrobe for years, but also check out places like The Outnet* or Vestiaire Collective* for discounted or pre-loved designer goods. For example The Outnet currently have a tonne of heavily reduced Theory Coats* from last season, like this Midnight Blue Brushes Wool & Cashmere Blend Coat* for practically half price and this Neutral Wool & Cashmere Blend Coat*, again for almost half price. Bargain.



I am currently looking down at the gigantic blister that I grew during an eight mile walk this past weekend and feeling extremely grateful for the slip-on sandals that I bought with me to my parents. Not only are they the real MVPs when the backs of your heels are torn to shreds, they are summer E-S-S-E-N-T-I-A-L-S. Whether you need something quick to slip on to take the bins out, or you’re actually leaving the house, they’ve become the standouts of my summer wardrobe. I mean Birkenstocks* rule the roost here don’t they? And the EVA Sandals* have been one of my best buys this year. I laughed at Mark when he bought them two summers ago and look at me now. I wear them basically everyday at the moment. Who has the last laugh now, eh?



I never thought I was cool enough to pull off the leather boot trend that emerged a few winters back and you know what? I’m definitely still not cool enough, but I wear them anyway and now I can’t believe that I spent so many seasons resisting them. I’m still not there when it comes to chunky trainers, but chunky boots? Well, they are practical in icy and challenging terrains and they create a modern, clean silhouette. I adore my pair. The exact ones I have are no longer available, but they are super similar to these & Other Stories Lace-Up Leather Boots*. I like them because the leather isn’t too shiny, they aren’t too high (or too low) at the ankle and the detailing around the eyelets is minimal. I do like the idea of a pull-on version too – something that’s between a Chelsea boot and a chunky boot – like these & Other Stories Sole Leather Chelsea Boots*.



It’s no secret that my Loewe Small Puzzle Bag in Midnight Navy* is the most worn bag of my collection (check out this video for more on that). But a theme amongst all my most-worn bags is that number one, they are leather and so super long-lasting, and two, they are multi-tasking in that the strap is fully adjustable or removal-able, therefore making it possible to be worn in a multitude of ways. A high-street find that ticks all these boxes though is the & Other Stories Duo Tone Leather Cross-Body Bag* that looks a little like a Loewe number and a little like a Marni number. Definitely something that’s practical, but clean and simple at the same time.



Photos by Mark Newton