I’ve been meaning to write this post for a long long time.
If you look at my Instagram, you can notice that I wear a lot of the same basic pieces in many different ways and it has a lot to do with the fact that without even noticing, I’ve been building a capsule wardrobe for the past 2 years.
It all started when we started saving money for our trip around the world for 2 years (More on that here) and we had to cut down on our spending and starting to adjust to the idea of being happy with less things. Let me tell you, it’s the best decision we’ve ever made! I love not having a massive closet. It makes life so much easier.
There are so many pieces I would say you “need” (I think a good capsule wardrobe would probably contain around 50 pieces), but these 15 are my favorites based on versatility. It’s a good way to start if you don’t know how to do it.
- Denim jacket: I prefer light denim, but it’s really up to you and what you like. This is my most worn piece ever. I used to have a really expensive $400 denim jacket that I left on a train and no one returned it and after that I just got this $44 one from Old Navy.
- White sneakers: A total must. You can wear them all year round and they look good with anything… Jeans, dresses, skirts, shorts, jumpsuits…. Anything!!
- Striped T-shirt: Another must! You can wear it all year round and dress it up or down. Even for Winter you can layer it with a long sleeve top underneath.
- White T-shirt: After my denim jacket, this is my favorite piece. I always have 3 on rotation because I literally wear them every single week. These are great when you don’t know what to wear. They go great with anything!
- A little black dress: OK, I honestly have 2 LOL. One for Summer and one for Winter.
- A neutral jumpsuit: I got this black jumpsuit from Gap this past Summer and it’s so perfect that it’s packed for my trip around the world already. I swear in it’s a suitcase. I don’t want to use it and ruin it and I’m afraid I won’t find the same one again. Don’t judge me, I know I’m crazy.
- A long, cozy cardigan: I love a good long cardi because you can use it all year round pretty much (at least in Chicago). I have this one and a thicker one for those cold Fall/Winter/Spring days ahead of us LOL.
- Black skinny jeans: Love a good pair of skinnies because they are good for work, to go out and when you dress casual. Such a staple!
- Good pair of jeans: I like dark skinny jeans, but I recommend having a lighter wash too. Brands I like: Citizens of Humanity, Madewell and Old Navy.
- A midi skirt: I only have this one and I’ve had it for 4-5 years and I love it. It’s from The Limited. I also wear it during Winter with tights, booties and a sweater.
- Crewneck or V neck sweater: You can choose a neutral one, a bright one or a printed one. I have a couple of these and I always try to choose the ones that have an extra detail, like these sleeves and a pop of color.
- A striped sweater: My favorite sweater! I chose a black and white striped one because it goes good with most of my closet and also because it pairs great with leopard print. Also notice how I style my denim jacket for ‘mild’ Winter days or Fall.
- Chambray shirt: Another staple. You can choose between light wash, medium wash or dark wash. I’ve had all 3 since I can remember, but this is the one I wear the most. Also great for layering and you can dress it up with a necklace, pants or a blazer and use it for the office or to go out.
- A black or boyfriend blazer: I don’t wear blazers much, but I have this one that I love. I included here because most people work in an office and I think blazers are so great for work. I also have a black one, but I couldn’t find any recent photos wearing it, which proves that I don’t really use it that much.
- Strappy sandals: You can go with black or nude here. I have them both, I love them both. The only reason I have them both is because they were gifted by Ann Taylor (which are the comfiest ever!), but if I had to choose just one, it would definitely be nude.
Of course, you’ll have to add some seasonal basics. Here are some ideas:
- For Fall: A nice trench (do a light color so you can also wear it on Spring), a good pair of booties, a moto jacket, a blanket scarf, sweater and a couple of sweaters.
- For Spring: A lightweight jacket, white denim, espadrille wedges, a striped dress and a floral dress. (one of them can be a maxi dress)
- For Winter: A good puffer jacket and vest, tights, a flannel shirt and snow boots.
- For Summer: extra t-shirts in neutral colors (2), a couple cute tops, neutral pair of flat sandals, denim shorts and 2 sundresses.
As I said before, a decent capsule wardrobe would contain around 40-50 pieces that cover all the seasons (if you live in a city with 4 seasons). If the weather where you live is nice (lucky you!) there are so many of these you can skip. Once you’ve built your closet with all these basics, you’ll see the benefits of having less stuff.
Ideally, you would refresh your closet a couple times a year by intentionally adding 4-5 new pieces (yes that’s it!), and these would usually be tops and dresses (Maybe a pair of pants/shorts). Remember that if you buy high quality pieces (they don’t have to be expensive!), they will last you for multiple seasons and since they are so classic, I promise you, they will never go out of style. This is how your closet would look like:
Tops: 1 white t-shirt, 1 striped t-shirt, 2 neutral t-shirts, 3-4 cute tops to go out or hangout. Here are some examples:
Shirts: 1 white, 1 chambray, 1 printed.
Jackets: 1 denim, 1 moto, 1 utility.
Coats: 1 puffer coat, 1 trench coat and 1 dark one you use to go out.
Pants: 1 light denim, 1 dark denim, black skinnies, 1 light colored or white, 1 pair of really comfy pants.
Shorts: 1 denim, 1 white (or any neutral) and one printed. (You can do 2 neutrals if you don’t like prints).
Sweaters: 2-3 neutrals, 1 striped, 1 fun or printed, 1 cozy cardi.
Dresses: 1 LBD, 1 LWD, 1 striped, 2-3 printed (one of the printed ones, can be a maxi dress)
Skirts: 1 midi, 1 black, 1 denim.
Jumpsuits: 1 black, 1 printed or striped.
Shoes: white sneakers, neutral booties, black booties, snow boots, rain boots, espadrille wedges, neutral sandals, neutral flats and strappy sandals.
Others: Tights, a good pair of leggings, a nice necklace, going out earrings, a neutral clutch bag, a hat, a backpack and an everyday bag.
Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments below! This post is meant to help you make better choices next time you have to shop for something, it doesn’t mean you have to get rid of everything you own.
Hope it helps you to build your capsule wardrobe. Remember that by having less things you are helping the planet, you’ll shop less (which means saving money for travels and important stuff!) and it will be less difficult to make the decision of ‘what to wear’ every single day.
Thanks so much for stopping by 🙂