Jane Lewis founded the British fashion label Goat in 2001. What started out as a cashmere brand for the fashion cognoscenti, is today a supremely elegant ready-to-wear collection that’s much loved by the likes of the Duchess of Cambridge and Gwyneth Paltrow.
Celebrities aside, as a working mother of three, it is Jane’s aim to create clothing for real women and to focus on something every woman needs: a working wardrobe.
With this in mind, we asked Jane about the foundations of her own capsule wardrobe. Here she delves into the essential items she personally relies upon to keep her looking impeccably stylish on-the-go, day and night.
Q: Please tell us about yourself
A: “I am the founder and creative director at Goat. I started it without any formal training from home in 2001.”
Q: How would you describe your personal style?
A: “My style is quite simple and paired back. I prefer to dress in an understated way and focus on one element, be it colour, shape or length. I always believe less is more.”
Q: How important to you is the idea of investing in limited pieces that really last, as opposed to quick, throwaway trends?
A: “I advocate style over fashion and in that vein I try to invest in versatile pieces that I can update where possible. That’s not to say that I don’t select a few ‘fashion’ pieces per season, rather the balance is tipped towards quality over quantity.”
Q: Is your clothing storage curated into different sections and if so what?
A: “Yes, in a very basic way. Jeans are in piles according to shape (crop, flare, straight…), then there are silks tops and blouses, trousers, long hanging clothes such as all-in-ones and long dresses. Then there are fine knits and chunky knits set aside for winter.”
Q: What’s important to you when buying clothes such as versatility, quality and the ability to last or fit well?
A: “All of the above. I try to invest in pieces which will be as adaptable and versatile as possible. Fit is key of course. I would always advise to buy the best quality you can. It will serve you well in the long run.”
Q: What are the foundations of your capsule wardrobe, the hero pieces that you can build upon?
A: “Great jeans, always. Then a cream silk shirt, black trousers (our Duchess flare and the Cooper crop), a wool crepe top (I like our Cosmo style). A beautifully tailored coat and/or a cape are also a cornerstone for me as well as a black, small crew neck. And last but not least a midi dress and an all-in-one. “
Q: Is your capsule wardrobe colour coordinated?
A: “I confess I do wear a lot of black although a fair portion of my dresses are in fact in quite strong bold colours.”
Q: Which are the hardest working pieces in your wardrobe?
A: “For Winter it would be a great coat. It covers a multitude of sins and of course is a necessity. I tend to have a favourite dress per season and as I said, a really great pair of trousers or jeans and a black sweater are essential.
The reality is that I spend the majority of time in my studio and therefore I need my clothes to be practical for the day ahead.”
Q: How important is it to you that your clothes multitask, that you can mix and match so if you’re travelling you can take fewer things but always look great?
A: “When travelling I take a combination of both dresses and separates. Dresses are key for me – a lovely and relatively effortless item to dress up or down.”
Q: Do you have clothes that can take you seamlessly from day to a night and if so what are they?
A: “I adore all-in-ones and currently I have been wearing the Joey Crop trousers and the coordinating top.”
Q: What would be your capsule shoe collection – can you pick 3 pairs?
A: “That’s hard. I have so many… but if I have to choose then it might be black pointed flats, flat long boots and flat lace-ups.”
Q: What are your personal rules on eveningwear – which garments could you not live without?
A: “My rules are to keep it simple. I often wear a very simple ivory silk all-in-one or perhaps a full-length lace dress (with flats) and perhaps a vintage statement cuff. I try, where possible, to not carry a bag with me.”
Q: What underwear is essential for you?
A: “A seamless flesh coloured bra and 90 denier tights. I like Falke.”
Q: Are there any other basics you feel everyone should own?
Q: Do you have a winter and a summer wardrobe (and spring and fall?!) or is it all transeasonal?
A: “Mostly transeasonal apart from very high Winter and Summer clothes.”
Q: What is your approach to accessories – which key items do use again and again?
A: “I always wear my large gold hoops. I collect sunglasses and love using them as a way to update my outfits season to season. As for bags, I wear a lot of Celine Trio cross body bags.”
Q: What advice would you give to other women looking to filter down their clothes into a more thoughtful, curated edit?
A: “Ask yourself truthfully if you think you may ever wear certain items again. Fashion changes so often, however if you have invested in really good quality pieces, chances are you can revisit them again.”
Q: In brief, if you had to leave for New York tomorrow for a 3-day trip (for work and seeing friends) and you only had a carry-on, what key items would make the cut?
A: “Jeans, the white Joey trousers and top, Prada velvet clogs and gold woven loafers, a cashmere crew neck, a long sleeve T shirt, a white T shirt, a coat, a cape, sunglasses x3 and one long dress.”