In today's video and post, I want to demonstrate the power and versatility of a few carefully selected pieces that all share a cohesive color palette. If you've been here before you know how much I love capsule dressing and I credit it with helping me to truly hone in on my personal style in a way that conventional dressing never did. After years of working to minimize my overall wardrobe and get it to a point that feels right for me, I am able to have a little more leeway with my choices and trust myself to not go crazy and let my closet get out of hand.
That said though, I often think back to my first take at a capsule wardrobe and remember the many obstacles that I had to work through in order to come up with an approach that worked for me. For example, I like color in small doses and most capsules tend to utilize only neutrals. Also, I LOVE accessories and have found that the right shoes, accessories and outerwear are critical to keep me from feeling bored with a smaller closet. For this reason I often exclude these pieces from my capsule each season but today I want to walk you through the pieces I would select for a 21 item capsule including all of these items.
In this post and corresponding video I'm going to walk you through the pieces I've selected and why, along with over 30 ways to style them.
Before we get into the nitty gritty, let's go over the color palette I've selected because I've found that is a great place to start.
For this capsule I've selected base colors of black, white and blue. Black and white are always great options because they suit everyone and I've found that most people already have plenty pieces in these colors. Plus, they help create the perfect base for a variety of accent colors.
My third base color is blue and this will be represented in the denim. Again, I chose this color because I'm sure we all have some denim in our closets and for me, jeans and a denim jacket are two things that I wear all year. For my accent color, I've chosen pink because I personally love pink and when chosen in a color that suits you, it's a great color that can be worn all year.
Now let's go over the pieces I've selected and why starting from left to right.
For this capsule I've selected 2 pairs of shoes - a dressy option and a casual option. The first, is a pair of cap toe sling backs that I love for dressing up or down. The small heel and slim silhouette with a closed toe make them perfect for work or the weekend and the neutral tan and black go with my color palette perfectly.
My second pair of shoes is a classic pair of black espadrilles. I chose these because I love to have a casual shoe option and I find that espadrilles are great for this time of year. They come in a variety of colors, heel heights and silhouettes to suit your wardrobe and personal taste.
For tops, I have three white tops because I've found that your base colors should be found in the majority of your pieces and I love white for this time of year. First up is a simple white cotton t-shirt in a classic silhouette. I find that this is an absolute closet staple for me and when chosen in a timeless silhouette like this, you can even wear a white tee to the office.
My next white top is a white linen tee. I've selected this piece because linen is my favorite fabric for spring and summer and I find that this silhouette is very flattering and easy to layer up or down and works with a variety of different necklaces, earrings and scarves.
Even though it's so similar to the white cotton tee, I find that the linen offers just enough difference to give me versatility.
Next, I've included a blue and white striped top in a lightweight cotton because it can be dressed up or down and again, features two of my main colors. I love this piece because in my experience, a few printed pieces are essential for adding interest to an otherwise simple wardrobe.
The only thing to keep in mind when choosing prints, is that they can limit your mixing and matching slightly which is why I've chosen to include only solid bottoms here. I find that the printed top and printed blazer are enough for a small capsule like this because they add interest but don't limit my mix and match options too much.
The last two tops I've chosen are t-shirts - a plain black tee that can be worn scoop or off-the-shoulder, and a striped tee. These are wonderful layering pieces and you really can't go wrong with either. The black tee is a light jersey that's wrinkle-resistant which makes is so easy to just throw on, and the striped tee is a lightweight cotton that I can wear all year (minus a few insanely hot summer days). For bottoms I have a pair of white linen shorts that are "finished" enough to not feel too casual but still breathable and easy to wear for spring and summer. Next, I have a pair of jersey blend black pants that are so comfortable and can be dressed up or down. Depending on your climate you can swap these for a cotton pair, linen pair, wool pair or wool blend pair but I think a pair of black pants are essential. Jeans are a no-brainer and for a dark wash or medium blue are ideal for wearing year-round. Here, I've chosen a medium blue. My last bottom is a classic black pencil skirt. I love a black skirt and find that it's something I wear all year. This pencil style is incredibly flattering, virtually wrinkle-resistant and so easy to dress up or down - as you'll see below.
Now that all the base pieces are out of the way, let's jump into the fun stuff that will help stretch the longevity of our base and keep things visually interesting. First up in the jacket category is a classic denim jacket. I love a jean jacket and wear it year-round but you can easily swap this for another blazer, a sweater or cardigan or even a field jacket if you prefer. Just make sure that it's in a color that will compliment the majority of your closet. The next jacket I have is a timeless, white linen blazer. You know how much I love blazers and a white linen option is a must for me this time of year. I love it for dressing up or down and when done correctly, I can even wear this into the fall as well. Last but not least is a printed blazer that features my accent color of pink. Just like the printed top, this blazer adds interest and can be worn to work or on the weekend. If you're looking to add a printed blazer to your minimized wardrobe, choose one that features at least one of your accent colors and you'll be good to go.
For accessories I have two scarves because I love scarves and none of my wardrobes would be complete without a scarf. For this capsule I've chosen solid scarves in my accent color, in lightweight silk and chiffon. The small square one is ideal for wearing around my neck, in my hair, on my bag etc and the larger one is great for adding length and can even be used as a wrap. Last but not least, for jewelry I've included a delicate necklace that I can wear with everything dressy or casual, a statement necklace of pearls that I can wear long, doubled up or tied for a variety of looks and a classic watch. For earrings I've chosen to include hoops because I love hoops but you can swap these for studs or even just skip them entirely. As long as you have interest in the rest of your outfit I find that earrings aren't always necessary and I'm still able to feel dressed and "done" without them.
Now that we've gone over our color palette, the pieces I've selected and why, let's hop into the looks. Here's I've mixed and matched these for over 30 different looks but when you're doing this on your own have fun! I find that the possibilities are truly endless and you should use a streamlined wardrobe as a way to showcase your creativity and really nail down your personal style.
From L to R
- black tee, white shorts, small scarf, cap toe shoes, watch
- black tee, white shorts, small scarf, cap toe shoes, blazer, watch
- striped tee, white shorts, denim jacket, cap toe shoes, hoops, delicate necklace, watch
- wrap top, white shorts, cap toe shoes, watch, hoops, delicate necklace
- linen top, white shorts, denim jacket, espadrilles, hoops, watch, delicate necklace
- linen, top, white shorts, cap toe shoes, printed blazer, long scarf
- striped tee, white shorts, long scarf, espadrilles, watch, hoops, delicate necklace
- striped tee, black pants, espadrilles, watch, hoops, delicate necklace
- white tee, black pants, denim jacket, small scarf, cap toe shoes, watch
- white tee, long scarf, black pants, espadrilles, watch, hoops
- white shirt, long scarf, black pants, cap toe shoes, watch, delicate necklace
- white shirt, long pearls, black skirt, cap toe shoes, watch
- white shirt tied, black skirt, denim jacket, espadrilles, delicate necklace, watch
- white shirt tied, black skirt, espadrilles, watch
- white tee, small scarf, black skirt, watch, espadrilles
- white tee, delicate necklace, denim jacket, black skirt, watch, cap toe shoes
- white tee, linen blazer, long pearls, black skirt, watch, cap toe shoes
- white tee, jeans, linen blazer, long scarf, delicate necklace, watch, cap toe shoes
- white tee, printed blazer, long scarf, jeans, cap toe shoes, watch
- white shirt, jeans, small scarf, watch, cap toe shoes
- white shirt, hoops, printed blazer, jeans, watch, delicate necklace, cap toe shoes
- black tee, black skirt, printed blazer, small scarf, watch, cap toe shoes
- black tee, black skirt, long scarf, printed blazer, espadrilles, watch
- wrap top, black skirt, watch, delicate necklace, hoops, espadrilles
- wrap top, black skirt, denim jacket, delicate necklace, hoops, watch, cap toe shoes
- striped tee, linen blazer, black skirt, tied pearls, watch, cap toe shoes, watch
- striped tee, linen blazer, black skirt, espadrilles, watch
- striped tee, small scarf, black skirt, espadrilles, watch
- linen tee, denim jacket, long scarf, black skirt, espadrilles, hoops, watch
- linen tee, long scarf, jeans, espadrilles, hoops, watch
- black tee, long scarf, jeans, espadrilles, hoops, watch
- black tee, linen blazer, jeans, long pearls, watch, cap toe shoes
- black tee, small scarf, printed blazer, jeans, watch, cap toe shoes
- striped tee, small scarf, jeans, linen blazer, cap toe shoes, watch