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With nearly four in ten of us saying we put on weight during the pandemic – according to new research from John Lewis – it's understandable that many of us genuinely do need some new, better-fitting summer clothes.
Plus the return to office-based life, and the fact that our social lives are starting to get back to pre-pandemic levels, means that the days of wearing tracksuits and slouchy loungewear 24/7 are definitely over.
However, the skyrocketing costs mean everyone is having to find ways to cut back. So it's no surprise that a key trend emerging from a recent John Lewis study is that over a third of the brand's customers want to save money by starting a 'capsule wardrobe'.
That means there's a real desire for quality, versatile items that can be mixed and matched with existing pieces shoppers already own. It's all about maximising the number of outfits that can be created from a handful of key pieces.
The John Lewis research found that shoppers are more price-savvy than ever, with 73% saying that when it comes to clothing, affordability is their key priority. But 66% rated comfort highly and nearly half (49%) said quality is key, too.
So what's the best way to begin building a capsule wardrobe?
John Lewis suggests starting with a pair of well-cut and high-waisted black trousers that can be dressed up or down.
While you do need the classic staples, such as a white tee and jeans, don’t underestimate the versatility and importance of prints, such as a skirt emblazoned with an eye-catching motif.
Lastly, have a few great easy-to-throw-on pieces, such as jumpsuits and dresses, which take the stress out of outfit planning when you don’t have the time to mix and match.
To help you create a capsule wardrobe with pieces that are comfortable, versatile and timeless, we've curated some great quality, affordable John Lewis styles that'll work for you in several different ways.
Our John Lewis 'capsule' wardrobe edit
John Lewis & Partners Jersey Wide Leg Trousers | £35 from John Lewis & Partners
John Lewis & Partners Animal Print Midi Dress | £42 from John Lewis & Partners
John Lewis & Partners Hoxton Mom Jeans | £30 from John Lewis & Partners
Kin Plain Crew Neck T-Shirt, White | £15 from John Lewis & Partners
John Lewis & Partners Crop Linen Trousers | £35 from John Lewis & Partners
ANYDAY plain patch pocket soft jacket | £38 from John Lewis & Partners