How To Wear Series

How to build a wearable
and workable wardrobe
With Anthea O'Connor

The perfect wardrobe is built on versatile pieces that will go beyond the seasons. Let our resident stylist Anthea O’Connor show you how the new season hero pieces will make getting dressed a breeze.

Suiting

But Not As You Know It

"Every woman needs a line-up of different pant shapes in her wardrobe. In a new season of eased off tailoring, you’ll find reimagined classics that offer style solutions for every day of the week".

Pants
Shop The Look: The blazer, shirt, pant and heel.

Blazers

The Everyday Essential

"No longer just a Monday to Friday corporate cover-up, blazers are an everyday piece that look just as fabulous with a pair of pants as they do with your jeans, a skirt or dress. You can create a whole new look just by swapping out your shoes".

Blazers
Shop The Look:The blazer, t-shirt, pant, belt and heel.

Dresses

The Hardworking Hero

"Dresses are the perfect idea for spring and summer; it’s a one-piece wonder. It’s how to accessorise that gives it its many applications. Elevate the look with a sharply-cut blazer, but dial it down with sneakers and a knit for your day-to-day".

Dresses
Shop The Look: The dress and heel.

Denim

Your Daily Uniform

"Where can you not wear denim? It’s what you wear with it that lets you set the dress code. A structured blazer will dress up a straight leg, while the boyfriend style is our slouchy off-duty hero".

Denim
Shop The Look: The blazer, shirt, jean and shoe.
Anthea's Look
Anthea's LookShop The Look: The shirt, pant and heel.

Read The Transcript

Suiting, but not as you know it

Today we’re talking about building a workable and wearable wardrobe, and of course the start of a new fashion season is a perfect time to take stock of what’s hanging in your closet. Think of these as the style staples you need in your wardrobe line up. Classic pieces that are easy to wear but most importantly, are very versatile. Hero pieces that will make getting dressed every morning a complete breeze.

I want you to rethink how you approach suiting this season. On Chella today we have teamed two key pieces: the Double Breasted Linen blazer and the High Waisted Linen Trousers. The idea is they need to work together but most importantly they need to spin out and work separately. And I want to really focus on pants. You need a lot of them in your line up. They all do different things and that’s the key when shopping this season. What can they offer you in your wardrobe? Where can they be worn? And what added value do they give you?

The high-waisted shape is new for spring summer. I’m really excited about them because I think they’re hugely flattering for a lot of body shapes. You get the right size that fits you, they’ll sit comfortably on the waist, it highlights the narrowest part of the body, it’s really soft over the hips and of course that wide leg just elongates the whole leg silhouette.

I really love the neutral palette of this Cotton Animal Print Shirt. It’s still a statement but it’s still neutral enough to team beautifully with the black and white and also the beautiful feature Goldie Suede Heel in pink.

The key to the season is having a great edit of pants. You need more than one pair – that is for sure! So we’ve talked about the wide leg high-waisted pair, these Belted Cotton Pants are a fantastic option, slightly narrower through the leg - more of a cigarette shape – cropped at the ankle, really easy to wear around the waist, great for weekend wear. Fab with a trainer, great with a loafer.

Staying with our wide legged idea, I love these Yarn Dyed Linen Belted Pants with the belt tie, fabulous pocket, really fabulous to the ankle. Great with a heel or great with a flat for the weekend and a dressed down Monday to Friday look.

Blazers, the everyday essential

Blazers – no longer just a Monday to Friday corporate cover up. They’re an everyday piece that look just as fabulous with a pair of pants as they do over jeans, a dress or a skirt. They go with everything in your wardrobe. And it’s important that they’re versatile because they are an investment piece and a big ticket item.

On Chella we have the single breasted, Stretch Linen Cotton Blend Blazer. The point here is that it’s a suit, but it’s kind of a non “suit suit”. I love the balance of the narrow blazer worn back with the Wide Leg Pull On Pant. The Bessie Slingback Wedge adds a little bit of polish and day time joosh to the whole outfit. But swap out the shoe with the Gayle Leopard Print Leather Sneaker, keep the blazer on with the pants and that’s a whole different look for the weekend.

Have a number of blazers in different cuts and different shapes because they do different jobs. We’ve got the single breasted blazer here today but let’s show how it looks with the chambray Stretch Linen Cotton Double Breasted Blazer – it’s got more definition through the body, it’s slightly shorter in length, and of course it is designed to be worn open, so don’t ever feel you have to move up a size to get it done up. Wear it open – it’s a feature piece and I love how it changes the look of the pants.

Dresses, the hardworking hero

Dresses are the perfect idea for your spring summer wardrobe. It’s the one piece wonder – you put it on and it’s how you accessorise it and switch up the dress that gives it its many different applications.

It’s a great shape, very flattering for different body shapes. What I love about the Cotton Animal Print Dress is if you have a big chest you can conceal it with the buttoning and the placket detail but if you’re a little flatter in the chest it creates volume up top and of course print is your friend.

It very gently falls over the hips with the pleating at the waistband and features my favourite thing – pockets! A dress with pockets is just a match made in heaven. I love it. So it’s a fabulous statement on its own. We’ve teamed it with the Goldie Suede Heath in pink and when you add it in the black Linen Double Breasted blazer, this combination will take you anywhere. From desk to dinner no trouble at all - a great lunch, an event. It really elevates the whole look with the heel and the sharply cut blazer. I love it all together.

So we’ve elevated the shirt dress with the beautiful blazer and the fabulous heel but of course just dial the whole thing down for a casual midweek combo. This dress is so flexible. Put it back with the Milano Crepe Belted Knit Coat and a fabulous white Gayle Leather Sneakers or the Elaine Leather Loafer and it’s the perfect day to day easy to wear dress combo.

Denim, your daily uniform

Where can you not where denim these days? So it’s how you wear denim and what you pair back with the denim that lets you set the dress code and the tone.

Today we’ve got the mid-rise Boyfriend Jean in Washed Indigo and I really love this style because it’s slightly higher through the body, super comfortable to wear, a little looser through the leg so don’t be afraid to move up a size - they are intended to be a slightly more relaxed fit. Best thing of all just do a great cuff yourself. You can cut them, you can roll them up, they can be perfect imperfect, I love the way they finish just above the ankle. It’s a great way to wear your jeans to let the shoes, like the Blake Derbys in pink, be the star of the show. As you know I love a contrast colour shoe! And it’s certainly the rule of three: we’ve got the blue, the cream and the pink. It’s a great balance. We’ve teamed this denim with a beautiful Silk Utility Shirt. It’s narrower through the body so it feels a little more elevated and dressier. It definitely dials up the denim. It’s a great wash – a little bit darker. Fabulous with a flat loafer or easily put a heel with that for a night out on the town. I love the blazer with it, it just pulls it all together and adds that polish. Longer through the body and a great balance to the more relaxed boyfriend jean.

So the good news is, you need a lot of pairs of jeans in your wardrobe for spring. So many options to choose from in store. We’ve talked about the boyfriend now let’s talk about the high raise White Straight Leg Jean. This is my favourite shape. It is so flattering. I love the idea of the high waist. It really holds everything in and you feel really secure. Give them a whirl – you will love them. And of course the wider leg is super flattering and finishes just above the ankle. They’re a must and of course white is your absolute spring update in your denim wardrobe.

The Slim Cropped Jean - not going anywhere in a hurry. It’s a perennial and a mainstay in your wardrobe. Continue to enjoy wearing them. They really do work for different body shapes.

Think about how you’re wearing your proportions – if it’s skinny on the bottom keep the volume up the top. Go for a longer line blazer like the Yarn Dyed Cotton Linen Blazer – that is a perfect pairing, definitely. Go for a longer line top that can just do a half tuck at the front or a little bit layered at the back and get that cover over the bottom. I love a skinny jean cropped at the ankle as well – it’s a really good way to wear them.

So they are the key pieces to creating a wearable and workable wardrobe. Items that work together but also on their own back with things you may already have in your closet.

At the end of the day we want to make getting dressed every day really easy.

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