What are your basics? There is no right or wrong answer to this question, but I think a lot of people think there is a specific list of times that you MUST have in your wardrobe which I don’t think is true for everyone.
Admittedly, I shop a lot. Do I need it all? No, probably not. I’m often what I call “shifting’ my clothing by either giving it away to family, donating it, or selling it. I usually go through what I have once a month to shift what I haven’t worn in a while, what I don’t love, and what I don’t need anymore.
I have what I call the essentials that I either always keep, or update. They are the pieces in my closet that I can’t live without, wear the most often and are the most versatile pieces in my wardrobe. These are the things that I think you need to have to build on for your own personal style, and I think those particular items vary from person to person.
A capsule wardrobe is your core clothing that you can wear every day, every season. It keeps life simple – it’s your go to. What you can layer on top of, or just wear on your way out the door. These items never go out of style.
It may take a little while to develop your capsule wardrobe, but it gives you a certain amount of freedom. If you always have these basics, you will always have something to wear.
Creating or curating your capsule wardrobe is also a great way to rid yourself of all of the outdated clothing you don’t wear anymore. There are things I will always keep whether they are practical or not. I have a ridiculous amount of tulle skirts that I wear sporadically and will stay with me forever. BUT will I wear those flared jeans again? Yes they are back in style, but will I really wear them? These are things you need to really think about when you are doing a closet clean out.
Here are the things that are a part of my basic capsule wardrobe! I have added high and low options as well – usually all of my pieces are a combo of both.
My advice is to pull these pieces from your wardrobe, and start your closet clean out from there. My essentials may not be your essentials – what you need to figure out is what are your basics? Start from there, pull them, and then keep what you will wear again, and get rid of what you won’t.
The Basic V-Neck T-Shirt
This is something I literally live in. Every time I go to Target in the US I used to buy their Mossimo t-shirts, but now that they are gone I grab their Universal Thread t-shirts.
Who else makes this great basic? Madewell, and Muji make my other favourites. Z Supply (I picked up one from Hush Life Boutique) also have a great v-neck t-shirt.
What do you need it for? Layering under sweaters and sweatshirts, pairing with jeans and a jean jacket, moto jacket or leather jacket. I also love pairing them with fancy skirts to tone them down. THE most versatile item in my closet.
Your Best Fit Jeans
They can be any style (mom jeans, boyfriend jeans, skinny jeans, high waisted jeans, ect.) – but they are your favourites. Mine happen to be a pair of cropped skinny jeans by J-Brand that look good with everything. Invest in your jeans. You can high low this – the high would be J Brand or Frame for me, the low would be Zara. They have great fits, great stretch, and lots of different colours, fits and styles.
Leather Jacket + Jean Jacket
For me, jackets make most of my outfits complete. My classic v-neck t-shirt looks completely different when it’s paired with my leather jacket, moto jacket, bomber jacket, jean jacket, ect.
Personally I think that not only do you need a good leather jacket, but also a great jean jacket (mine is from J.Crew). I think I have every kind of jacket imaginable, but my jean jacket and leather jacket get the most use and can be dressed up and dressed down in the most versatile ways.
Another item that is all about layering. Does it matter so much what is underneath? Probably not. A cami or a t-shirt really only matter slightly – it’s the blazer that dresses it up either way.
My favorites come from H&M. They always release new colours and patterns each season, and I usually pick up a new one periodically for fun, but I have a basic white one I can’t live without.
There are some that are a bit more of a show shopper with patterns and bold colours, but I can wear a blazer to a meeting or on the weekend for lunch with my girlfriends – a blazer pulls you together.
High or low, they finish off a look in a surprising way. I wear my sneakers all the time with skirts and dresses. There aren’t a lot of places I won’t wear my sneakers. Even with a tulle skirt, they work. My high are these Gucci one’s, and my low are these gold Stan Smith Adidas shoes.
The Black Heels
For years I wore Nine West black heels because they were the perfect height and were so comfortable! I went through two pairs, and then eventually I went to a higher price point with my Christian Loubouton Décolleté pumps. These are my go-to shoes – I will wear them with any dress I own, or with a pair of jeans and my leather jacket or blazer. So versatile – I think everyone needs a favourite pair of black heels because they are easy. They match it all.
Basic White Sweater
I like mine over sized because it’s not just something I can pair with jeans. I love wearing my huge white turtleneck sweater with maxi skirts, and even layered with a cardigan, or especially with one of my jackets or coats as a whole look. Sweaters are my jam – I have a lot of them, and although I love a good cardigan, a classic white sweater is easy to throw on to go with anything.
Little Black Dress
Well, it doesn’t need to be little, but I think it should be black! Here’s the thing – I rarely wear black. There have been many times when I need to head to a last minute event, and I am so thankful I have my favourite dress. Mine happens to be from Club Monaco.
I am a girl who owns a lot of dresses, but having that classic black dress has saved me so many times.
The Perfect Camisole/Tank Top
Under a blazer, on its own with white jeans in the summer – it’s something that can be layered or worn on its own, and it’s essential. Even just wanting to dress up a cardigan is easy with the perfect camisole rather than a regular tank top. My favorite is very affordable from Dynamite, and the good news is they update this one every season.
My go-to accessory is one that is on the pricey side of things, but for me it’s an investment piece. My Chanel brooch (similar here) can be added to a sweater, blazer, scarf or even a t-shirt, and it changes everything. If you are looking to invest in a higher-end item that you can wear over and over again, this is something I would suggest.
For my every day I’m always wearing studs, and although I have so many statement earrings, more often than not I’m heading out the door in them.
I have a lot of sunglasses, but usually I have a pair I wear daily, and the rest are just for occasional use. I wear sunglasses every single day. They are an accessory I don’t even think about!
What about everything else?
For me, when it comes to shoes I have my favourite pair of ankle boots, running shoes, sandals, flats and knee-high boots. The rest is great, but not essential. I’ve had the same favourite pair of ankle boots for 4 years now – I would consider that an investment. They are a pair I will continue to keep, and then I pair down the others I have I’m not wearing when I purge my closet.
An investment piece for me are these Tory Burch Miller Sandals because they are a high price point, but I wear them casually and in a dressy way as well. I wear them all summer long and continue to add colours because they are versatile for me. Most flip flops I through away at the end of the summer, but for me this investment is worth it.
Most of the other items in my closet are easily replaceable. I have dresses I rotate in and out depending on the style of the season, sweaters come and go, and some of my tops last longer than others, but really all of these items are not essential for me.
Finally one thing I haven’t talked about – purses! If there is one thing I really invest in its purses. I could be wearing a pair of Zara jeans and a t-shirt, but often my bag makes the outfit. Most of my wardrobe budget is spent on bags which are an investment for me. There are all kinds of high and low options, but I tend to stick with tote bags, cross body bags and handbags. Bags from brands like Poppy & Peonies come out with some really great options, and H&M really hits it out of the park sometimes with their summer wicker bags and faux leather purses.
What do you think your capsule wardrobe consists of? Is it similar to mine, or do you have other go-to items that can’t leave your closet?
Items in this post may have been provided to me for review, but all opinions are fabulously my own.