How to take your classic capsule wardrobe to the next level

By Celine Aagaard
Celine Aagaard

Photo: Ole Martin Halvorsen

You can sparkle all the way from the office to the bar (or Christmas party) just by adding a few sustainable statement pieces – all designed in Scandinavia – to your ensemble

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Capsule wardrobes have long been on the sustainability agenda, but how do we dress up the basics? There are many ways to go, and it only takes a short time to transform your look from everyday classic to a party uniform, without having to purchase something new. Dress to impress in versatile items made to last.

The black suit is a timeless classic, so why not give it a something a little extra by styling it with a brooch for the evening, or pimp a white shirt with a string (or two) of pearls? Here, a few Scandinavian designers you need to know about. They all offer versatile, genderless, and unique pieces, all crafted in the most responsible way possible.

Brooches and pearls

Oslo-based Pearl Octopuss.y knows statement pieces. The Pearl Octopuss.y universe and webstore is a must-visit for those looking for inspiration on how to give a little boost to an ordinary wardrobe piece. Founded by designer Cathrine Boerter, the collections consist of earrings, necklaces, brooches, rings, bracelets, and sunglass chains. It is, however best known for the exquisite diamond snake bracelet and brooches. The silver pearl brooches are versatile and can be worn in multiples. Made from silver plated squaredelle, rondelle crystal beads, the freshwater pearl is organic and will therefore be different on each piece. The silver pearl brooch is the perfect addition to elevate a blazer or silk scarf – add to the blazer cuffs or use as a closure around the neck.

Pearl Octopuss.y is available at Net-a-Porter, Vasquiat, and select concept stores such as Moniker in Oslo, Norway.


Silver-plated, crystal and faux pearl brooch

Genderless and versatile jewellery

Danish Maria Black just launched an exclusive fine jewellery collection with impact sourcing commitment. Each style from the new collection is named after relatable movie titles.

The signature Vertigo earrings are iconic pieces designed to be reversible and an everyday go-to - they can also be worn as a necklace charm. The chains are adjustable and versatile, too – choose from different locks for the closure to create a fun look.

All designs in the collection are made from impact gold and lab-grown diamonds. The criteria for responsible gold and diamond sourcing must be based on its positive impact for the indigenous producer communities, both environmentally and socially.

Maria Black

Vertigo 12 Earrings

Belt it up

A belt or a corset can drastically change a look without much effort. If you have a loose-fitting dress, wrap a belt around your waist to alter your silhouette, or turn your blazer into a chic dress by cinching your waist. A statement belt can also give new life to your everyday winter coat.


Leather rope belt

Show your bra

Bring back the 90s and the year 2000 by donning an elegant bra under a dress or blazer – simple styling but something which offers something ‘extra.’

There are some nice bra options out there with sequins too, or hunt for vintage.

The lace wire bra from Swedish brand, Arket, is made from recycled polyamide and is a timeless, elegant piece to wear, even under a blazer. H&M have also designed a top in econyl – a fabric made from recycled nylon. Instead of buying a whole new outfit, this top gives you a chic look to ring in the New Year.


Lace wire bra

Cuff on

For practical reasons or just for the look – arm cuffs can be a smart way to dress up your blouse during the party season. The Danish designer brand, By Malene Birger, makes timeless statement jewellery in sterling silver. Wear a necklace as a chocker around a turtleneck, or style one bracelet on each cuff on your black blouse, dress or knit.

By Malene Birger

Sarras bracelet

Put your best shoe forward

Up your shoe game with some statement vegetable tanned leather boots or if you have some classic heels in your wardrobe, add some jewellery or strap details to pimp them up. Swedish brand, Acne Studios, has some great boots and ATP Atelier have a few heels in vegetable tanned leather.


Macerata black mules

Get shady

A pair of sunglasses can change your total vibe and Acne Studios show us how it’s done year-round. Transparent acetate sunglasses and thick sunglasses in black/brown, made in Italy are tops, regardless of whether the sun is shining or not.


Thick sunglasses