Creating a capsule wardrobe gives you much freedom when it comes to dressing. Having a few, key essential items of clothing that never date means that you can pretty much wear the same outfit for a number of occasions, and by pairing it with different accessories, it gives the appearance of a new outfit entirely.
Always look for natural and sustainable materials when creating a capsule wardrobe. Such materials may be more expensive than the cheaper fabrics, but remember with a capsule wardrobe, the idea is to create a wardrobe of outfits you are going to wear often and until they are on their last threads so to speak, and so you are wanting to buy clothes that will last you.
Chances are you already have favorite outfits that are your “go to”. That’s great as these may be ones you can add to your capsule collection. The following is by no means an exhaustive list of what constitutes a capsule wardrobe but is rather a guide to get you started with a capsule wardrobe.
When it comes to color and your capsule wardrobe, stick to the neutrals – that’s the black, the greys and the blues. You may also want to invest in a white piece such as a classic white shirt.
Blacks, greys, and blues are colors that are easy to mix and match with. For instance, when it comes to blues, you may want to add denim pieces to your capsule collection such as an indigo denim jacket, a mid-blue Western-style denim shirt or a mid-blue A-Line denim skirt.
When it comes to dresses, go for mid-length or below the knee. Go for a dress that has a slightly loose fit, giving you a little room. If you want a more fitted silhouette, you can accessorize with a belt. A jersey material dress can be worn smart or casual. Look for dresses in neutral colors.
If you are looking to add a patterned dress, go for the monochrome prints as this can easily be teamed up with a cable knit cardigan in the winter or a denim jacket in the summer.
Shift dresses and shirt dresses work well as year-round dresses since you can add layers during the colder months by teaming with a turtle neck or silk thermals.
A shirt dress is a very versatile piece – it can be worn as a dress or unbuttoned and teamed with a pair of leggings to give a more casual vibe.
An LBD is also a must-have for your capsule collection partywear. If “little” is not your style, perhaps investing in a classic Grecian-style black maxi dress to serve your party needs.
When it comes to shirts, a classic white shirt, and a denim shirt are a must have. You may also want to consider a longer-style top such as a kaftan or tunic.
No capsule wardrobe is without a selection of T-shirts or vest tops that you can pair with skirts or under dresses. When it comes to the colder months, look for a turtleneck jumper or crew neck jumper that can be worn under dresses or underneath a vest top. Thermal underwear or long-sleeved T-shirts also work well for layering.
A fine-knit cardigan makes a formal and informal cover-up. For colder days and for lounging around at home in, consider a long-length cable-knit cardigan. If you like stripes, you may even want to invest in a classic Breton top in fine knit or jersey material.
If you like denim, an A-Line denim skirt is a must in your capsule wardrobe. A black skirt is also a key item of clothing for a capsule wardrobe – look for the pencil-style that can double up as a work skirt or for a night out. If you have a pull-on black pencil skirt, in say a jersey material, this can also work as a circle scarf in colder months.
A maxi-skirt is not just favorable in the summer for keeping you cool, but you can also team it with a pair of thermals or tights during the cooler months.
Cotton leggings in black, navy and grey colors will serve you well. Team them with dresses in the colder months or wear with an unbuttoned shirt dress and T-shirt for a casual look.
Coats and Jackets
A classic, black wool winter coat will certainly be an investment. Look for ones that are warm but also lightweight, as you can always wear layers underneath in the winter.
You may also want to invest in a lightweight black duster coat or a classic trench coat that takes you through the season transitions. When it comes to coats, err on the side of smart.
A blazer or a leather biker jacket is classic jackets that can be worn both smart and casual. You may already own a biker jacket. If not, consider buying a recycled leather jacket or a second-hand leather jacket for more sustainable choices.
For the warmer months, consider a utility jacket which can also be worn as a shirt during the cooler months. A denim jacket adds flair to any outfit – go for indigo or the darker blue colors for all season denimwear, or a light blue denim jacket for the warmer months.
Gilets are also great transitional wear pieces and they look smart too. You may consider getting a gilet that sits below the butt, that works great as a cover-up. You can also layer it with a lighter jacket, say a denim jacket. They can also be worn at home or in the workplace as a replacement for a jumper.
A classic pair of court shoes and flats such as ballerina pumps will have your daily footwear needs taken care of. As will a pair of ankle boots with a low heel or mid heel, and a pair of black knee-high boots. A pair of open-toe sandals or espadrilles may suffice for the summer months.
There should also be room in your capsule collection for those “killer heels” that come out on special occasions.
For a pair of casual shoes that you can run around in or take a long walk in, look for a pair of black mono canvas shoes that won’t look out of place with your outfits.
Accessories are where you can go-for-it in terms adding a splash of color, big bold prints or animal prints to your outfits to make them look unique every time. Consider draping pashminas or shawls over a black dress or wearing like a sash over your wool coat even.
Belts can also add a sense of newness to a dress or a T-shirt and skirt combo.
A bandana can even team up as a headscarf or a scarf could even be used as a turban during the warmer months.
The possibilities with accessories in a capsule wardrobe are endless. Just remember that accessories are your chance to experiment.
About the Author
Rosa Medea is a writer specializing in sustainable lifestyle, green living, natural health, and wellbeing. She also appreciates good tunes, making cocktails, and discovering new places to walk in nature.