Nothing to wear, but way too many items in your closet? We know the feeling! Last week, we introduced the concept of a capsule wardrobe. Designed to make your style decisions easier, these curated clothing collections start with timeless staples—like skirts, pants, and coats—that can be effortlessly mixed and matched with select seasonal items to create dozens of unique looks.
Capsule wardrobes are a great way to streamline your closet, save money, and define your style—but you might not know how to get started when it comes to creating your own capsule. Your exact requirements will depend on your lifestyle (do you have a more formal office, or a lot of special events to attend this season?), but these 12 essential pieces are the perfect capsule for a casual office environment, daily errands, and stylish evenings out.
1. A Neutral Tee: A successful capsule collection starts with the basics—like a classic t-shirt in a neutral shade such as black, white, grey, or navy. Select a simple cotton or linen tee that’s fitted enough to serve as a layering piece.
2. A Lightweight Sweater: Capsule collections are all about versatility, so stick to a simple crew or V-neck sweater in a neutral shade that you can pair with jeans and work wear alike. Lightweight cotton or cashmere is ideal for spring layering.
3. A Versatile Dress: Like sweaters, dresses in capsule collections should be chosen with versatility in mind. Look for a timeless silhouette, like an A-line or shift, in a fabric that can transition from the office to dinner with ease.
4. A Relaxed Cardigan: A casual cardigan is likely to be the most important layering piece in your capsule. Toss it on atop a tee and jeans, pair it with your everyday dress, or layer it over a blouse and pants for a work-appropriate outfit. Look for an understated color and a swingy silhouette that won’t bunch, no matter what you’re wearing underneath.
5. A Structured Jacket: A well-fitting blazer or jacket is an office wear staple, and can be used to dress up more casual pieces, too. Wear a sharp jacket with a blouse and pants for a day at work, or throw on a blazer over your jeans and tee for the perfect dinner ensemble.
6. A Classic Pair of Jeans: No wardrobe is complete without a great pair of jeans, and that’s especially true when it comes to capsules! Stick to a dark wash in a classic straight leg or skinny silhouette, and keep embellishments or distressing to a minimum. Perfect for casual Fridays, lunch with your gals, or weekend errands.
7. An Office-Appropriate Pant: A chic pair of black pants—or a pencil skirt, if you prefer—is our top office essential. Match this item with your lightweight sweater, cardigan and t-shirt, or a blouse for a polished and professional look.
8. A Colorful Blouse: We’ve talked a lot about neutrals so far, and they’re critical for creating a functional capsule collection; too many statement pieces will limit your options. However, there’s still room to have some fun! Spring is a great time to add a splash of color to your capsule with a bright blouse in a seasonal floral print.
9. A Polished Pair of Flats: While we love a good heel, a pair of comfy and stylish flats is far more practical in a capsule collection. Stick to black or brown leather (based on the neutral pieces you chose above) in a classic almond or pointed-toe silhouette
10. A Chic Pair of Sneakers: When it comes to sneakers, draw inspiration from those super-cool French fashion bloggers that are everywhere on Instagram. Look for a low profile pair in clean, white leather that you can throw on with jeans or a dress for a day around town.
11. A Leather Tote: No wardrobe is complete without a go-anywhere tote bag that can take you from the office to the farmer’s market. We love a structured option (preferably in a shade to match those flats you picked out above) for a put-together look.
12. A Few Colorful Accessories: While you’ll likely keep your staple pieces (like jeans, cardigans, and work pants) for multiple seasons, accessories are a great way to refresh your wardrobe. For spring, we adore statement earrings, stacked bracelets, and a floaty floral kimono to brighten up all those neutrals.
Will you be trying out a capsule wardrobe this spring? Share your essential pieces in the comments!
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