Lifestyle & Wellness

15 capsule wardrobe essentials to simply your life

Investing in capsule wardrobe essentials is the best way to simplify your life and make things easier in the morning. I live in a small flat with hardly any storage and have to have a minimalist approach to my wardrobe. The key to a successful capsule wardrobe is choosing classic items you can wear again and again and which can be combined well together. You need classic items that are timeless, flattering and work across seasons.

capsule wardrobe essentials

1. Floral dress

One of my favourite things to wear is a floral dress, during any season. Various versions of floral dresses are always in style. I love a midi or maxi floral dress in bright or dark colours. I used to associate them only with summer, but now I throw on boots and a leather jacket with mine for colder months too.

2. Blue jeans

Of course, no compact wardrobe essential list would be complete without a comfy yet gorgeous pair of jeans. I’m not going to suggest a particular type as jeans are personal and say so much about our own individual style. Finding a good pair of jeans isn’t easy, but stick with it, if you are currently searching. Once you find your perfect pair, you’ll wear them endlessly.

3. Blazer

It’s always good to have something tailored to smarten up an outfit if needed. Whether it’s a work or social event, you’ll find adding a blazer will make you look sharp. You can even throw it over jeans for a casual smart look by day. Choose one in a darker colour and you’ll get plenty of use out of it.

4. Maxi or midi skirt

I love a long skirt, whether it be midi or maxi. They feel so elegant, yet are easy to throw on with a t-shirt and trainers or sandals. When I’m not feeling brave enough to bare my legs yet (say at the very start of summer), it’s great way to stay cool without feeling exposed.

5. White shirt

This is a true timeless classic and can look sharp and smart, or cool dressed down too. I am generally quite afraid of wearing white (and getting it stained) but there’s no denying how good a white shirt looks. It can make an otherwise average outfit look effortless, yet well put together.

capsule wardrobe essentials

6. Black t-shirt

A black t-shirt works with most things and again, can be casual or paired with a skirt and blazer for a smart look. It should be a nicely fitted shape in a stretch cotton with a neckline that suits your body, whether that be rounded, v-neck or square.

7. Beige mac or trench coat

This is a capsule wardrobe essential for those in-between season occasions, when you need a light cover up. A beige mac or trench has remained on trend for decades and always looks good. You could go for single or double-breasted, belted or buttoned.

8. Vest top

Another simple must-have. OK, I have several as I’m sure you do too! Whether it’s for summer days or layering up in winter, vest tops are super handy across seasons. I have them mainly in black and a white one. They are a good cover up under wrap dresses or other items where you might suffer a wardrobe malfunction!

9. Black leggings

Many people are still divided on leggings if they associate them with yoga or around the house gear. Like many things in a capsule wardrobe, you can mix them up with a long jumper or under a dress in colder months. I love leggings beyond the comfort factor. Always go for full ankle-length rather than cropped which aren’t as flattering. It’s worth getting good quality leggings since you will wear and wash endlessly.

10. Leather jacket

A good quality black biker jacket will serve you for many years to come. I love the way it can roughen up a pretty dress so I don’t feel too girly. It’s the only good thing about the weather getting colder. I drag out wearing my leather jacket (paired with a scarf) as long as possible until it’s time to put on a proper coat.

capsule wardrobe essentials

11. Cosy jumper

A cosy jumper can hide a lot but you don’t have to go for a bulky version. A light jumper (or cardigan) is a must and perfect to travel with too, when you aren’t sure if it will be cooler in the evenings. Some people swear by cashmere for their knitwear but that’s not essential. You do want it to be soft and comfortable though, so try it on beforehand to check it’s not itchy.

12. Cropped or wide leg trousers

It’s good to have an alternative to jeans and skirts. Depending on your style, a cropped pant or wide leg trousers are a good bet to cover your needs. They can be dark, bright or patterned, so experiment to see what suits. A good range of styles and brands can be seen at John Lewis.

13. Every occasion dress

This might be a simple black dress or something dressier. It’s always good to have an easy to wear dress for special occasions or formal wear. You could smarten it up even more with a blazer, or make it more edgy with a leather jacket.

14. Dressy top

You should have a dressy top to pair with your jeans or trousers to pick them up for a night out or other nice occasion. Whether it’s main feature is unusual sleeves or a beautiful colour, it should make your outfit pop.

15. Classic coat

Coat fashions will come and go but you should have a stable classic that you will wear year after year. Whether it be plaid, military or wool, ensure you invest in a beautiful coat to wrap up in each winter. Have it dry cleaned each year to keep it looking tip top. Get some ideas here.

These capsule wardrobe essentials should make getting ready easier!

Having a core capsule wardrobe of essential items should help you be more efficient putting outfits together. Make your wardrobe work for you, instead of filling you with dread that you have nothing to wear.

As we want our capsule wardrobe essentials to stand the test of time, take good care of them. Wash with care and check the labels. Also store them well, especially if they will be out of action for a half or more of the year.

If this has inspired you to rework your wardrobe then consider a good declutter first, and you’ll be set for a compact and efficient wardrobe. Which other capsule wardrobe essentials could you not be without?

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