If You Want To Build A Capsule Wardrobe, Start With These 15 Essentials

From crewneck sweaters to flats.

woman in scarf


Read about fashion long enough and you’re sure to regularly spot two words: wardrobe essential. This concept, beloved by many, is one you’re likely already acquainted with. A wardrobe essential (also referred to as a ‘staple’, ‘classic’, or ‘mainstay’) is a clothing item or accessory that’s imbued with versatility and timelessness. It’s something you can mix and match with anything else in your closet and it somehow always pulls your outfit together.

For days when you can’t cobble together a look to save your life, these staples will be there to rescue you. Or, on evenings when you can’t figure out what to pair with your favorite statement blouse, those well-crafted classic trousers you invested in will do the trick. See what we mean? Consider the 15 clothing pieces below your very own capsule wardrobe. With these in tow, you’ll never have trouble planning your outfit of the day ever again.  

The Crewneck Sweater

Classic Crewneck Sweater
Almina Concept Classic Crewneck Sweater $88.00

Your wardrobe will be better off with a soft, neutral-hued crewneck sweater. Wear it with jeans, trousers, or a silky skirt. Honestly, it goes with everything. Plus, you can wear it in autumn, winter, and spring. 

The Button-Down Shirt

The Deep End
Ayr The Deep End $125.00

The beauty of a button-down shirt is that it works well in an office environment (remember those?) and looks easy-breezy chic on the weekends. While the fit you choose is up to you, we personally love a slightly oversized silhouette. It screams comfortable and modern.

The Trench Coat

Another Tomorrow
Another Tomorrow Trench $980.00

There’s something so cool and versatile about a trench coat. It feels like the ultimate nod to Parisian effortlessness. Throwing on a trench coat over your outfit instantly elevates any look from simple to chic.

The Classic Flat

Troubadour Loafers
Brother Vellies Troubadour Loafers $595.00

Depending on your personal taste, a classic pair of flats can manifest as anything from ballet flats to a penny loafer. It’s an upgrade from your everyday sneakers but doesn’t compromise on comfort.

The Leather Jacket

Smooth Leather Jacket
Veda Dallas Smooth Leather Jacket $978.00

There are so many styles of leather jackets available, which is why this essential truly works for everyone. If you’re more minimal, a leather blazer looks great. If you’ve got modern, downtown-inspired tastes, reach for a moto silhouette.

The Everyday Jean

Closed A Better Blue Pedal Pusher $260.00

No closet is complete without a few pairs of jeans. Available in countless washes and fits, jeans can tie together any ensemble. For us, we're all about a mid-rise medium wash situation at the moment. 

The Simple Tee

Frank Tee
Lacausa Frank Tee $48.00

Invest in a well-crafted t-shirt and you’ll never be without an outfit again. In fact, you might want to get a few colors while you’re at it. A simple tee can be worn on its own or layered underneath other staples like cardigans, leather jackets, or blazers.

The Gold Hoop

Large Celia Hoops
Agmes Large Celia Hoops $390.00

We’re not saying you shouldn’t also invest in playful statement earrings, but keeping a gorgeous, architectural pair of gold hoop earrings within arm’s reach is always a smart idea. Dainty, gold jewelry is the perfect outfit completer.

The Effortless Dress

Sloan Dress
Doen Sloan Dress $548.00

Whether it’s for a spring wedding or simple outdoor outing, there is more than enough justification to include a breezy dress in your wardrobe for days when you want to feel effortless. We suggest snagging one in a vibrant floral print.

The Summer Sandal

Mouna Leather Cognac
Flattered Mouna Leather Cognac $99.00

Where would we be without our summer sandals? While trends shift year after year, you’ll always appreciate a classic leather pair.

The Boxy Blazer

Jacques Jacket
Rouje Jacques Jacket $275.00

The ways you can wear a blazer are plentiful. If you're feeling casual, toss it over a graphic tee with jeans. Feeling fancy? Pair it with a skirt and chunky heels. 

The Tailored Trouser

Gustavo Trousers
Sezane Gustavo Trousers $125.00

If you need to feel polished in a pinch, a pair of trousers will always do the trick. Plus, they look good with everything from sneakers to strappy sandals.

The Silk Scarf

 Centered Monogram Scarf
Toteme Centered Monogram Scarf $260.00

There are so many ways you can incorporate a silk scarf into your look. To name a few: it can be worn around your neck, in your hair, on your purse, or as a belt. Seriously, it’s an underrated wardrobe workhorse.

The Minimal Handbag

Crossbody Leather Bag
A.C.O. Crossbody Leather Bag $150.00

A neutral, high-quality handbag is the definition of a must-have. It's the perfect accessory for any look.

The Slip Skirt

Satin Midi Slip Skirt
Vince Satin Midi Slip Skirt $295.00

If you've been wanting a piece that can seamlessly transition from the office to a dinner date, look no further than a silky slip skirt. 

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