January is all about getting a fresh start! And I for one could use closet clean out. We got a ton of messages asking for what items to get rid of and what items to keep. I try to go through my closet a few times a year, typically every season, and get rid or store some things that I just haven’t worn. I like to donate lightly worn clothing, but I do store seasonal items (for example maxi dresses and shorts) to make room for other seasonal items (for example chunky sweaters and boots).
There are definitely items in my closet that are on constant rotation and for me they are the base to what I would consider a capsule wardrobe. I’ve put together a list of 20 items that I would consider my “basic” items. These are the go-to pieces that can stand the ground for a great outfit. And as trends come and go, these items will filter in and out of my closet. A capsule wardrobe does not have to be super basic, in fact there are many ways to inject your own personal style into each piece. The key is to have a good base of items that you can mix and match together. Stay with me until the end of this post to see some of these pieces styled!
Here are the 20 items that make up my capsule wardrobe…
1// Office appropriate top – A simple and conservative blouse (maybe in splash of color or texture) is an easy way to feel instantly put together. Pair a blouse with denim, dressy pants or even a skirt. It is important to have a go-to blouse for those occasions that suddenly pop up where a t-shirt just isn’t in the cards.
2// Versatile LBD – Yes. I still think that every woman needs a little black dress. It’s an easy date night go-to or even that wedding you totally forgot about! Why is a black dress so great? It is basically a blank canvas, dress it down with a denim jacket or dress it up with heels.
3// Scarf – A scarf is that accessory that most people forget about, but it can totally transform a basic outfit. It can add a fun print or texture to any look. If you aren’t a scarf girl, maybe swap this item for a vest or even kimono!
4// Everyday Tote – I only know one woman who rarely has a bag. My little sister who only takes her keys and phone with her #minimalist. So for the 99.9% of other women a great handbag is a must. This is another place to show some personality, whether it be a statement color or a interesting shape. But for me the most important factor to a great handbag is space and versatility. For most readers this bag doubles as a diaper bag and there are so many great options out there that don’t scream….”I am a diaper bag!”
5// Simple Necklace – Couldn’t do a capsule post without including an item I literally wear every day and don’t take off. A simple piece of jewelry can be something nostalgic or an heirloom, either way it is that little something special and personal.
6// Pullover Sweater – For me it’s all about the layers. A great pullover sweater or even sweatshirt is another item I just can’t live without. And while I love a good graphic sweatshirt, a pullover sweater is a bit more refined and might I add… chic.
7// Dressy Denim – I hear you! Distressed denim isn’t for everyone! And while I for one love it, have it, wear it everyday I totally understand that it may never be office appropriate (unless you work for a start up in New York). Dressy denim… also known as black, grey, coated or even colored denim.. is a wonderful alternative to distressed that will show some attitude and can totally be worn on casual Friday’s.
8// Sunnies – I may not be the only one tempted to try on a pair of sunglasses while waiting in the checkout line, but I do believe that spending a bit more on sunglasses goes a long way. They not only hide the #nosleep #teethingchild #sendhelp .. but also add that finishing touch to you know…. #bloggerstatus.
9// Shirtdress – The shirtdress is a style that for me will never go out of style. And while the designers of the world invent new options each season the overall idea remains the same. Whether you like a fit and flare shape or a simple shift there is a shirt dress for everyone. The one we chose for the capsule can be worn as a dress or a tunic.. and hey, this girl can never resist a 2 for 1.
10// Statement Shoe – Also known as the outfit maker. For me it’s this pair of over the knee boots that I consider worth every penny, but for some its a patterned mule or 4 inch heel that makes their heart go pitter patter. In all seriousness a pair of shoes can be the icing on the cake to a super simple outfit.
11// Casual Sneaker – Because comfort is key and running in heels is not! I love a good lace-less sneaker because who has time to tie their own shoes!
12// Blazer – My father is known to wear a blazer on every flight he goes on….and most of the time he wears a t-shirt underneath. But hey, you never know who you are going to sit next to, so you might as well look good. If you aren’t a blazer girl swap this item out for a denim or leather jacket. My other all time favorite is a utility jacket which adds just the right amount of edge.
13// White Button Down – When in doubt throw on a white button down (maybe iron it?) with denim and go.
14// Jogger – For those days when… well you know what I am talking about. When you just don’t want to wear jeans or leggings or anything tight. Not quite on the jogger train yet? Maybe try these. Also pair them with that white shirt, casual sneaker and sunnies and people may just think you are a celebrity.
15// Cuff – Ok so 2017 was all about the statement earring and don’t worry they aren’t going anywhere…..but is 2018 the year of the cuff? This underplayed accessory could possibly make a comeback.
16// Dressy Earring – Yes! They are still around and 2018 will bring even bigger and better versions! And the runways were full of mismatched earrings, so there’s that.
17// Not so basic top – This top is a mix between a blouse and a tshirt. It has the comfort (and ease of care) of a tee, but the attitude and refinement of a blouse. Again this is a great way to show your personal style.
The next three items I’ve deemed the quality essentials. Meaning you probably have these things in your closet or something close to it. Maybe your not a denim girl or even a bootie girl, but you could probably name three items you couldn’t live without. These items for me are the base of any easy outfit.
18// Staple White Tee – I tend not to spend too much money on white t-shirts because I go through them fast. I do a have a few favorites…
19// Skinny Denim – Denim to me is like coffee to some people. I don’t feel awake until I have my jeans on. Yes I mostly own distressed denim, but here are a variety of styles I love..
20// Everyday Bootie – I feel like booties have taken over… but I understand if you haven’t hopped on the wagon yet. I get a lot of questions about whether to tuck or roll. Honestly it really depends on the jean length and bootie height.. so send me a picture if you are stumped! While we are at it, yes, here are just a few favorites…
And a few ways to style these pieces…
Classic Go-to Outfit
Staple Dress Two Ways
Work and Weekend Staples
Okay so if you are still with me…. any questions?!