By Nayna McIntosh, Founder of women’s fashion brand Hope

Nayna McIntosh

Nayna McIntosh

As women progress through their lives and their bodies start to change, many find it challenging to put together outfits that complement their new changing shape, and this can have a big impact on their confidence.

Nayna McIntosh, CEO and Founder of women’s wear brand Hope, believes that every great wardrobe is based on a set of 10 staple items. Here she shares her thoughts on these key pieces, which she believes should form the basis of every mature woman’s wardrobe.

Creating the Right Base

“As your body changes it’s more important now than ever to create a smoothing silhouette by creating the right base to then layer your clothes over. Stretchy lycra or polyamide infused base layers can work incredibly well for creating a foundation to your whole outfit. Women can be reluctant to try fabrics with added stretch, but moveable fabrics with added breathability are incredibly clever and work with your body temperature to keep you cool in the warmer months, and warm in the chillier seasons.”

A Perfectly Fitting Bra

“Your bra size can fluctuate as you get older so make sure you have regular size checks to make sure your bras fit right. It is vital to get the right bra size, not only for support but also to ensure that your clothes flatter your shape. The wrong shape or size bra can alter the appearance of your body shape completely. Make sure you have black, white and nude options to ensure you have the right colour to pair with every outfit choice.”

Smoking Hot Cigarette Pants

“Whatever your age, shape or height a pair of cigarette pants or slim leg trousers suits all. Dressed up or dressed down, teamed with heels or flats, a good pair of tailored trousers will never go out of style. Ankle grazers and cropped styles are a great length for Spring. As the ankle is the slimmest part of the lower body, it’s a great place to draw focus if you’re feeling a little self-conscious.”

Leggings for Everyday Wear

“Another staple garment for any wardrobe is a pair of leggings. Many women, particularly older women, are sceptical about leggings, but I believe a high-quality, thick material legging is a great starting point for lots of outfits. High waisted leggings in a good material can hide love handles, belly bulges and front flab while also providing optimum comfort. They are an essential under layer and are incredibly versatile.”

A Flattering Pencil Skirt

“It can be difficult finding chic skirts with age-appropriate hemlines, by which I mean an inch or two above the knee or longer. Choose knee, pencil or midi for a smart but stylish look. At Hope, our Foundation tube skirts are super versatile. You can keep the skirt knee height or ruche the waist to wear it shorter but layered over leggings to flatter and support the waist and hips, or even wear it long as a maxi. However you wear this piece, it will be your go-to must-have piece. Add a statement shoe for flair.”

A Silk Shirt

“The perfect shirt is an ageless, genderless, and an international wardrobe staple. Transcend crisp structured shirts and opt for silk. The luxury of silk pays for itself in its delicacy and drape which helps to create a relaxed elegant silhouette. Simple yet sensuous, it works brilliantly layered over a base layer vest worn with trousers and knee-length skirts. Beautifully cool and soft on the skin, it will become your go-to shirt time after time.

Luxurious Knitwear

“Investing in one or two key layers per season will allow you to adapt your existing wardrobe items. Wearing natural fabrics will help keep you cooler and pure cashmere or cashmere mix is both beautiful to touch and a dream to wear. Experiment with different colours and proportions – a cashmere poncho is very versatile and will roll up in your bag to pop on when you need an extra layer of warmth, whether that be on an evening out or on a plane, you won’t regret the investment”

A Great Dress

“Simple, elegant and reliable, having a dependable dress that works for every occasion is a wardrobe staple every woman should own! Cocoon shapes work well to disguise the tummy area and hips, and scoop necks are great for lengthening your neck and accentuating your collarbone.”

A Perfect Piece of Outerwear

“The midweight and waterproof Parka is a classic piece, and one that often gets overlooked. Not only is the parka a timeless piece, but it’s also a great transitional outer layer that can be worn in almost any season. Keep it with you folded up in your bag for whenever the weather changes. Complete the look with a bright lightweight scarf and cheery umbrella to combat the unpredictable British weather.”

Always Add Sunshine

“Whilst it's good to keep a base of versatile, neutral colours in your wardrobe, brightly coloured clothes are one of life's great pleasures! Focus on one splash of colour per outfit, keeping the rest fairly neutral. Deep magentas, pinks and sapphire blues can shave years off your appearance helping you to look vibrant and youthful.”

Visit to view the full collection and hear about how their working to make more women across the world feel beautifully confident. Prices start at £45.

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