There’s no denying that ‘less is more’ is the quintessential approach for piecing together a chic and polished outfit. So when it comes to putting together a well-curated wardrobe, applying this minimalist concept is the way to go. Enter the capsule wardrobe: a ‘mini-wardrobe’ made up of 30 or less pieces that can be mixed and matched into a multitude of outfits. It’s the perfect wardrobe for the light traveller, modern day minimalist and is the most chic way to avoid wardrobe clutter.
To start, establish what colours you’ll be rocking with. It’s best to have two dark and one or two neutral colours to form the base of your capsule wardrobe —black and dark grey, blush and white are excellent options. On top of that, choosing one or two accent colours or shades is a great way of ensuring variation in your looks. Don’t be afraid to have fun with bright and bold or even metallic accent colours — minimal dressing by no means has to be boring!
Once you’ve chosen the colours to make up the base of your capsule wardrobe, finding some trousers in these shades will form the backbone of your collection. As they’ll be worked into a multitude of outfits, it’s best to go for well-made, simple pieces in a durable fabric. When it comes to jeans, two or three pairs in different shades are recommended in a capsule wardrobe. The best way of keeping your outfits cohesive is to find one particular jean style that you love and that fits well, and then invest in a range of colours of that one style. Simple slim-fit jeans like Lee’s Mid Vegas jeans are great options for this with their minimal décor and quality denim.
Drawstring or paper-bag pants like Ketz-ke’s Fold Pant are another capsule wardrobe saving grace. Not only do they incredibly chic, these versatile pants make for perfect work wear pants, they can seamlessly transition between a multitude of looks when paired with the right tops and accessories. Structured, wide-legged and high waisted trousers like Ruby’s Annie Pant can also be very versatile pieces. Like paper-bag pants, they too can be easily styled for work wear and formal occasions and the high waist creates ample styling options: you can tuck your shirt in, leave it out or make the look pop with a statement belt.
The top department is definitely where the majority of the variation in your collection will come from and you’ll find that your capsule wardrobe will consist of more of these than other types of clothes. With a couple of shirts and blouses, camisoles and tees you can definitely afford to have fun mixing and matching them to your rest of your wardrobe so don’t be afraid to make these the more fun and stand out pieces.
It goes without saying that a range of simple, yet high quality t-shirts are absolute basic necessities to start off your top collection. One black, one white and a small handful of ones in your colours complimentary to the rest of your wardrobe and the odd quirky design or patterned one are essentially what you need in your tee collection. To ensure your tees have a lengthy lifespan, we recommend choosing some in 100% cotton like Leo+Be’s super cute Kendall logo tee.
Tops made of quality chiffon are also incredibly versatile pieces as this chic fabric can seamlessly transition between causal and more formal looks, perfect for your everyday and work outfits. The ultimate chiffon masters at PIA Boutique have a stellar selection of chiffon tops that can be styled into evening and daywear — although we’re crushing on their Danica top with it’s cute sleeves and flirtatious sheer fabric.
Every capsule wardrobe should also contain a couple of shirts: we recommend a tight fitting, neutral-toned one for more corporate occasions and sleek outfits as well as a looser, linen chemise for ‘Sunday style’ outfits. As well as that, a cute camisole like Ruby’s’ Annie Cami will be great for styling into a slinky little night out outfit, under a blazer for a feminine-meets-masculine look or to layer over a crisp tee, as is trend right now.
Nothing says easy to wear quite like a denim skirt does. We’re big fans of Ketz-Ke’s Imogen Mini Skirt for two reasons: firstly, because it’s super cute with a sweet ruffle hem and secondly, because it has pockets! It’s certain that a denim skirt like this one will get a lot of mileage as the casual styling options it lends itself to are next to endless. A silk midi skirt like Ruby Liam’s 6/5 Wrap Skirt is another worthy investment in your capsule collection, as it can be styled into work wear with the help of a chic blazer and pair of heels, be the perfect garden party skirt with the help of a silky blouse, or be dressed down with a smart pair of sandals or sneakers for a casual-cute Sunday look. It’s also an ideal inter-seasonal piece: it will be gorgeously light and airy come summertime and can be paired with a pair of tights and a cosy knit when the temperatures are wind down. Last but certainly not least in the skirt department, is the iconic power-dressing piece: the pencil skirt. Storm’s simple yet super chic Pencil Skirt is ideal for work wear but can also be worked into a cocktail party look.
We all know that coats and jackets have moved well past the point of being a mere warm layer — they’re fashion statements in their own rights. A gorgeous, eye-catching piece of outwear can be the sartorial glue that completely pulls an outfit together. Who hasn’t refused to take off their blazer despite being boiling on the inside simply because it made their outfit look absolutely on point? It’s moments like these that make outwear extremely important and versatile components in a capsule wardrobe, so choosing them carefully is a must.
A well-tailored, structured and lapelled blazer like Moochi’s Sharpened Blazer is an excellent investment for your capsule wardrobe. It’ll naturally lend itself to your work wear looks to reign in the power-dressing vibes and it can also be used to easily glam up a cute tee or singlet, skinny jeans and heel ensemble for a casual-chic evening look.
Also essential in your outerwear collection is none other than a trusty leather jacket. Ask any leather jacket owner and they’ll tell you that once you find one you love, you’ll be left wondering just what you wore before that jacket made it’s way into your life. A simple, zipped jacket like Commoner’s Flare Sleeve Biker Jacket is just the kind of jacket that is perfect for not only keeping you warm in-between seasons but also for adding a touch of edginess to your look. From a slinky little evening dress to a crisp cotton tee, there’s practically nothing that a cute leather jacket can’t be paired with.
Last but certainly not least on the outwear must-have list is a long coat. Naturally, coats are the best way to keep yourself warm when things get chilly or, as we’ve established, completely pull your look together. Neutral or dark toned pea, trench or duffle coats are best for maximum versatility like Harman Grubiša’s Rosa Trench. However a fun, brightly coloured coat is an excellent way to add instant “wow factor” to your look, especially if the base of your capsule wardrobe is already very neutral.
Dresses + Ensembles
When it comes to versatile dresses, we absolutely can’t go past Miss Crabb’s gorgeous range. A relaxed-fitting and flowing dress like the Summertime Dress is a beautiful piece for formal and even more occasions. It’s adjustable straps and sash allows you to shake up the shape and it’s simple style and colour makes it easily able to be dressed up or down with the right shoes and accessories. Matching ensembles like Ruby’s Angelica Blouse and Anjelica Miniskirt are another a great investment that are perfect for helping you get the most out of your capsule wardrobe. Not only can the gorgeous pieces be worn together for a uniformed look, they can be mixed and matched into a range of their own outfits. Another quintessential dress in a capsule wardrobe (or any wardrobe, for that matter) is a fitted shift dress that can easily be worn at the office, a cocktail party or anywhere in between. We love Juliette Hogan’s Jagger Dress for a sleek and chic, easy to wear staple.
The cherries on top (or rather, on the bottom) of your capsule wardrobe are shoes. A shoe collection containing one pair of heels, sneakers, flats, boots and sandals will have you covered for every season and every occasion. Shoes, along with accessories, are the secret weapon in a capsule wardrobe that can take your outfit from day to night and vice versa seamlessly so it pays to invest in a range of comfortable, well made soles that you can wear ‘till the end. When it comes to formal footwear, a pair of heeled sandals, courts or plain stilettos are the way to go. A simple pair that has a little something extra on them like beading, stones or metallic detailing like Karen Walker’s Dali Heels are a great option if you want to invest in something that’s subtly unique, glam and able to worked into several outfits.
A good pair of booties is a great staple for winter and inter-seasonal times. Simple, well-constructed leather boots with a little bit of a heel on them like the Stolen Girlfriend’s Club’s Lulu Boot, are an ideal pick because they can be worn for virtually any occasion. Whether it’s a night out on the town, a concert, or brunch with your friends, heeled leather booties are the winner when it comes to looking chic while protecting your toes from the elements for any occasion. Plus, they can easily be spruced up with a polish when needed, which is ideal for getting the mileage you want from them.
For casual day wear, a nice pair of loafers, sneakers, brogues or ballet flats will be your best bet — especially if they’re in a dark or neutral tone like Kathryn Wilson’s gorgeous blush Tallulah Brogues. The golden rule when choosing footwear for a capsule wardrobe is to go for high-quality construction and durable materials — they’re meant to be worn on repeat, not gathering dust in your shoe rack, after all!