RIVER ISLAND has done all the hard work for us with its essentials collection, picking out the best pieces to create the ultimate capsule wardrobe.
From smart blazers to flattering cardigans and seriously on trend cargo pants (we don't know about you, but we can't move for cargo pants on our social media), this collection pulls together everything you need for a sleek, on trend wardrobe.
- River Island Essential Collection – buy here
There's been a real rise in capsule wardrobes over the last couple of years, with minimalism taking over from overly stuffed closets that house items that you'll never wear for one reason or another.
River Island's essential collection taps into this ideology, putting together pieces that will work to create multiple different outfits.
In essence, the aim is to never look at your full wardrobe again thinking, 'I have nothing to wear'.
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Built on being suitable for different seasons, there are items that are great for layering as well as jumpers, boots, suits, camisoles, bags and much, much more.
Okay, we know what you're thinking, this all sounds pretty expensive.
Well, worry not, because you can nab yourself some super useful and versatile t-shirts and vests for as little as £9 each.
In fact, the most expensive item in the collection is the Yellow Faux Leather Longline Trench Coat which is still a stretch under triple figures at £89.
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Although we really do want all of it, these are our absolute essentials from the essential collection. Capsule wardrobes assemble…
1. White Boucle Blazer
No wardrobe is complete without a really good blazer. They're versatile, work in formal and informal settings and are a great piece for between seasons (which is basically always in the UK).
The texture of the white Boucle Blazer is reminiscent of a jacket from the 1960s or, more recently, like one Cher Horowitz might have sported in 90s classic rom-com, Clueless. As if.
There's a single button for securing the blazer closed and the long line of this cut gives it a slightly relaxed feel while still radiating style and refinement.
The fact that it's white makes it feel appropriate for spring/summer as well as autumn/winter and will fit beautifully with clothes that also draw from a fresh colour palette. Clean girl aesthetic, is that you?
- White Boucle Blazer, £59 – buy here
2. White Oversized Long Sleeve Shirt
The staple of all staples, contrary to popular thought, it is actually very easy to get a white shirt wrong.
Why, you might ask? It's all about the cut.
The essential collection long sleeve shirt passes the test, opting for an oversized shape which means it can be tucked in for a sleeker finish or left out if you fancy radiating an 'I woke up like this and I still look amazing' vibe.
Or make like the French and go for their signature tuck – one side in and the rest hanging loose which is the ultimate cool girl trick.
White shirts go with everything and are easy to layer, so if you haven't got one in your wardrobe yet, we'd recommend having a look at this pronto. Seriously, it's a game changer.
- White Oversized Long Sleeve Shirt, £29 – buy here
3. Blue Knit Stripe Short Sleeve Top
Stripes have been seriously in for the last few years and they don't look like they're going anywhere.
This blue and white number has a lovely silhouette with extended short sleeves for the illusion of length and elegance.
It's ideal paired with jeans because it requires no effort at all but will still look put together and considered.
- Blue Knit Stripe Short Sleeve Top, £26 – buy here
4. Khaki Wide Leg Cargo Trousers
Cargo pants are everywhere right now. And we mean, everywhere. Open TikTok or Instagram and the fashion set are loving them, and we can't blame them.
Adding a little more to the wide leg trend that has been pushing its way to the fore over the last few years, utility pockets around mid-thigh give extra texture and detail.
Unlike many of the styles you might spot on social media, these, thankfully, aren't low waisted and do still give that impression of length that we've all grown to love from high waisted trousers.
We can see these becoming a regular part of our day-to-day outfits as an alternative to jeans.
- Khaki Wide Leg Cargo Trousers, £30 – buy here
5. Black Stripe Knit Long Sleeve Cardigan
Breton stripes never really go out of style and this super flattering cardigan puts its own twist on the trend.
Often associated with the French – and for good reason, Breton stripes were first designed for French navy seaman in Northern France – the pattern looks elegant, considered and, to keep with the French theme, chic.
Black and white means it will go with most non-patterned trousers, although we're not averse to clashing patterns if done right.
We reckon you'll reach for this piece time and time again, and for £33, you'll certainly get your money's worth.
- Black Stripe Knit Long Sleeve Cardigan, £33 – buy here
6. Khaki Quilted Puffer Jacket
You can never have too many coats, and puffer jackets are an absolute fundamental in the colder months.
Padded and quilted, it does up with poppers and is sure to keep you warm while looking a million dollars in chilly weather.
Plus, £69 for a coat isn't bad at all. In fact, we'd say it's pretty good.
- Khaki Quilted Puffer Jacket, £69 – buy here
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Or if you're into the current mini skirt and knee high boot trend then these are the best women's tights to complete the look.
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