I’ve always dreamt of being able to create the perfect capsule wardrobe but I think I’ve come to accept that I love clothes and shopping way too much to only have a closet made up of 50 pieces. What I have learnt over the past year however, is how to nail the basics so that everything else is just fun, trend-led additions and pops of colour. Getting the basics right is essential for any capsule (ish) wardrobe. So, I’ve put together this guide with my top 10 staples to kick-start a capsule wardrobe and get your cleanse off to a flying start.
The Leather Jacket
First up, the leather jacket. It goes without saying, the leather jacket is an all-time classic. Just as perfect as it is over a simple white tee and jeans, as it is over a feminine dress, the leather jacket is the ultimate outerwear to help add a cool edge to any look. My best advice? Invest heavily in your leather jacket. See it as an investment piece which you’ll get wear out of time and time again. Mine cost an eye-watering amount but do I regret it? Not one single bit as I’ve worn it to death and it still looks as good as new (much unlike my high street PU versions unfortunately).
The Basic Tee
Simple yet essential for your capsule wardrobe, the basic tee is your go-to for those days when you just don’t know what to wear. Pair with jeans or, (more lockdown appropriate), sweats and dress up with a chunky gold necklace.
Obviously. But finding the right pair can be extremely difficult. It can take a lot of trial and error so when it comes to jeans, I also recommend trying them on in store first. To kick-start your capsule wardrobe, I would always say to invest in a good pair of black skinnies, perfect for dressing up or down, and light blue wash straight leg jeans – great for styling with boots and a chunky knit.
The Lounge Set
Pre-2020, the lounge set would never have graced a post on building a capsule wardrobe but umpteen lockdowns later and here we are. Now, you’d be crazy if your wardrobe didn’t contain at least one luxe lounge set, perfect for those dress down days where you still want to feel good. I just feel like there’s something self-indulgent about expensive loungewear, and I’m completely here for it. Whether you’re going to don head to toe cashmere or opt for something slightly less expensive but still as gorgeous, a lounge set is a must for any capsule wardrobe. For more loungewear options, make sure you check out my How to Style Lockdown Loungewear post.
A niche addition to my capsule wardrobe but one I think is often overlooked – the shacket. A shirt jacket hybrid, the shacket is the perfect transitional piece for spring and autumnal dressing. This was definitely a tough choice as I was torn about including a classic camel coat since I wear mine to death however I think shackets are a lot more versatile when it comes to transeasonal dressing! Wear yours over a jumper or tee and team with jeans and chunky boots for a simple yet chic daytime look on those days when the weather just can’t seem to make its mind up.
The Classic Shirt
There’s nothing quite like a crisp shirt to instantly upgrade any look. Whether it’s a classic white shirt, or a blue and white striped number, a good quality shirt is a must-have for your capsule wardrobe. Wear with jeans, smart trousers or even skirts – the styling possibilities are endless with this one and I can guarantee, it will never go out of style.
The Wear-Everywhere Dress
Perhaps the easiest wardrobe item to wear (your top and bottom covered in one piece – yes please!), we can’t forget to include a wear-everywhere dress into our capsule wardrobe. Think a classic LBD or even a stylish jumper dress. Either way, dresses are the best friend you must never neglect, they always have your back when you don’t know what to wear.
The Chunky Boots
A quality pair of chunky boots will see you through the seasons for years to come. For me, the chunkier the better. I love adding an edge to my outfits, offsetting more feminine pieces such as midi skirts with a pair of chunky soled boots. Not a fan of super chunky boots? Opt for a pair of classic black Chelsea boots or elegant knee highs.
The Cosy Knit
If like me you live in a notoriously chilly country, a cosy knit (or 50 in my case) should make up a part of your wardrobe. The bigger the better in my eyes, I much prefer oversized knits. Styled over anything from jeans and cycling shorts to mini dresses and midi skirts, a cosy jumper is a sure fire way to keep warm whilst looking effortlessly chic.
The Tote Bag
Last but certainly not least, we have the tote bag. Stylish yet practical, the tote bag allows for a great amount of storage (yes, even the kitchen sink) without the need to lug around a giant rucksack on your back. The ideal bag for shopping as well as for the office, the tote bag is a classic shape that will never go out of style.