My Capsule Wardrobe Staples

Word on the street is that capsule wardrobes are still going strong. What is a capsule wardrobe exactly? It is a collection of carefully curated items in one's closet that fit your body perfectly, are of high-quality, and can easily be mixed and matched with one another to create the maximum amount of outfits possible.

Over the past couple of years, I've invested time into really dialing in my personal style. I'll chat more about my signature style in an upcoming post, but today, let's talk about capsule wardrobe staples.

Just a heads up, this is what works for me personally -- your style, career, and daily activities may require a collection that looks quite different than mine and that's totally okay. I don't really classify my clothing into "work clothes" and "play clothes" since working in a design / advertising agency setting generally welcomes a casual yet stylish dress code. I also generally wear the same types of outfits on the weekends that I wear to work during the week.

I love clothes, but I don't love sifting through lots of clothes when I'm trying to get ready in the morning. Whenever I noticed an article of clothing isn't worn on a regular basis, it either gets handed off to my cousins or dropped off Plato's Closet or Goodwill. I don't own an excessive amount of clothes, but every single article of clothing in my closet + drawers is one that I truly love. Also, all of the clothes in my closet are of complimentary color palettes and patterns -- making almost everything mix and matchable.

I included links to items I own (or similar) under the checklist areas to help you stock up on staples to complete your capsule wardrobe.


Shirts (2-3 different colors)
Button-down shirts -- I love these because you can wear them alone, wear them unbuttoned with a tee underneath, underneath a sweater, etc. Personally, I love a good gingham print because it's a fun and easy way to add a little pizazz to an ordinary sweater. 

Checklist: J.Crew has the best button-down gingham! 

Sweaters (5-10 in an assortment of cuts, materials, and sizes)
I love J.Crew's Tippi sweaters because they're fitted and so easy to layer since they aren't bulky. They're also nice and warm since they're made of merino wool. I also love Banana Republic's collection of sweaters. I like having sweaters in all different materials and lengths: cashmere, wool, cotton, 3/4 sleeve, and long-sleeved, etc. I typically only purchase sweaters that are made of quality materials (aka no polyester in my sweaters) so that they last longer and wash and (hang) dry better.

Checklist: Say hello to Tippi. Don't forget about her long-sleeved friends and cousins.

Tees (5-6)
Basic tees (v-necks) in neutral colors: white, gray, black, navy. I also love long-sleeved tee's for layering under vests, jackets, and cardigans. Adding in a few striped tees is an easy way to mix things up a bit, as well! 

Checklist: These are my favorite tees in the world. These are great for a season if you go through white tees faster than colored ones.

Tanks + Cami's (3-5)
In the summer months, I love pairing a basic solid or striped tank with jeans, shorts, or a cute skirt. Throughout the rest of the year, these tanks serve as great base layers for your favorite sweaters and tunic tops.

Checklist: I go through these quickly, so I typically purchase these inexpensive ones.


Denim (3-4 different styles and colors)
I'm very particular when it comes to denim mainly because I typically wear it at least four days out of the week. I personally prefer the boyfriend fit and skinny jeans, so I have a few pairs of those in different washes: light, medium, and dark. I love distressing on my jeans, but also have a couple pairs without any in case I need to dress up a pair of skinny jeans for an event.

Checklist: My favorite jeans ever. My go-to summer jeans. The perfect pair to wear with tall boots.

Skinnies (1-2 different color options)
I love having skinnies in a few neutral colors: black, olive green, gray, and navy. These mix and match with all of my sweaters, tees, and tanks -- which results in more outfit combinations.

Checklist: Best cropped pant that literally goes with everything. These moto jeggings.

Skirts (1-2 different fabrics and color options)
I love J.Crew's high-waisted sidewalk skirts for all seasons. I have them in a variety of fabrics -- from cotton to linen to wool, making them appropriate for any time of year. In cooler temps, I'll pair them with sweater tights, but they're also long enough to be worn with bare legs in the spring / summer. I love pairing them with a basic v-neck tee, long-sleeved tee, tank, or sweater. 

Checklist: Meet your new favorite skirt.

Jackets (2-3 different options)
Jackets are my love language. Okay, maybe not really but I love jackets like some girls love shoes. I love pairing jackets with any of my shirts to change up an outfit and be prepared for our crazy Minnesota seasons. I'm almost always freezing in the winter months, so a lot of times I'll plan my outfit with a jacket that's appropriate to wear all day (such as a soft leather jacket).

Checklist: This cute leather jacket. This is the denim jacket for all seasons. This classy little army jacket.

Note: A lot of "capsule wardrobes" include items that are recommended to the general public, but I find myself not needing a lot of the items that they recommend. For example, blazers -- I have a few of them but I don't love the blazer look, so I rarely wear them unless it's for a formal meeting with a new client or a work event. Use your best judgement and do what is best for you -- you know yourself and your style best! 

What are your wardrobe staples?
What's one item you need to add to your closet this next season?