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capsule wardrobe | minimalism | Organization

8 Essential Pieces to Start Your Capsule Wardrobe

Ok, let’s chat Momma.  

I know you better than you think I do.  


I have seen your closet.  It’s a hot mess am I right?  You are hanging clothes upon clothes and you still have things in that closet from high school.  Yikes girl. You need to get that under control.  


Just trust me and let me help you.  In this post, I am going to walk you through 9 essentials you need for your capsule wardrobe to get started.  This is going to be the foundation of your capsule wardrobe.


How do I know what your closet looks like? I know your closet because I used to have one just like it.   I decluttered like crazy last year and then I decluttered some more when we moved to our new house.  It was revitalizing. Let me tell you why you should start a capsule wardrobe.


First, because it is fun.   I started mine over a year ago and at first I was super intimidated to do it and then when I jumped in, I realized it was the best fashion decision I have ever made.   It gave me my closet space back.  It is so organized and functional that sometimes I look at it and think that there is no way that my closet is that clean… seriously.


If you are looking to start a capsule wardrobe, you can check out the guide I created here.  I hopped on Facebook live recently to go over some of my capsule wardrobe must haves and you can check that out here.   If you don’t feel like watching the video, no problem.  I gotcha covered.  I am going to break it down below and get a little more specific.  


I am going to talk about winter capsule wardrobe essentials. If you are just starting with your capsule wardrobe, you will need elements for every single season (unless you live in California in which case, you are super smart and probably won’t need much winter clothing).


Actually, you may already have some of the items I am about to list which is a huge plus! If you have some of these items but you have lukewarm feelings for the pieces that you have, consider getting rid of them over time.  You don’t have to purge every single thing from your closet right off the bat, but if you haven’t worn it in over a year, consider tossing it or donating it.


When I started my capsule wardrobe, I kept even a few items that gave me that “meh” feeling just because we are watching our pennies (and because I am super picky when it comes to clothing).  It gives you some time to shop around for the EXACT items you are looking for that you absolutely LOVE. Ok, without further ado, let’s get to it:




Black Pants

Again, I consider these a staple.  You can buy any type of black pants you would like, but I happen to prefer skinny black pants.  They can be worn with short boots, long boots, with short tops or long tunic tops… the possibilities are endless.  These are a must have item for sure. Here are a couple of styles to choose from:


The top picture has more of a straight ankle at the bottom.  The bottom picture is a skinny type pant.  These are very similar to the ones I have and I LOVE them!

Black Cardigan

If you aren’t a black fan and prefer white, totally fine, but a cardigan is a must.  Even in the summer months, the weather will cool off at night (at least in Ohio… maybe not out west or in the south) but in the Midwest, cardigans are ESSENTIAL!  The cardigan below is one I have and I LOVE!  

Utility Vest

Layers are essential to a capsule wardrobe too.  You must have layers and a vest like this can be worn in the spring, summer, fall or winter.  I live in mine and I love it!  You don’t have to wear green, it can be any color but this green is considered to be a neutral.  You can wear it over tunics, tank tops, sweaters, or turtlenecks.  STAPLE ITEM.  Get my drift?  I got mine at Target for $29.99.  Not too shabby

Chambray Shirt

This is a must have for a capsule wardrobe.  You can wear it so many different ways.  You can put a tank top underneath and leave it open.  You can leave it closed and layer a cardigan over top.  You can tie it over a maxi dress.  The options are endless with just this one item.  I wear mine ALL THE TIME and I still get compliments on it. I got my shirt at Kohls in the Juniors section.  I often will wear it with my black pants and a statement necklace.  It would also pair well with a black skirt (especially if you have a leather skirt:)



Do you like Converse?  Leopard flats?  Black flats?  Red flats?  Whatever floats your boat in the flats department, get a pair.  Mommas know that flats are essential.  

To be completely honest, I would go with a neutral cognac color here because they will literally go with anything.  I had a pair last year that I wore out, so this year I will buy another pair.  You can choose to go expensive or cheap on these.  I tend to favor the cheaper route and buy a new pair every 1-2 years.


A Flashy Necklace

Every girl needs a statement necklace.  You can have more than one if you would like, but you at least need one statement necklace.  If has to stand out somehow.  Make it pop and be proud.  


I tend to favor statement necklaces that are neutral meaning they are either gold or silver and can go with anything.  If you like multicolored necklaces, that is fine too.


This is just an example, but it would work as a statement necklace.  Take your time and find something you absolutely LOVE!   I have 2 statement necklaces and I wear them all the time.


A Long Necklace

These are still very popular and I can understand why.  I like them a lot.  They are kind of toned down and give an outfit an entire different look.  They are great and they are pretty inexpensive.

Nice Jeans

Every girl has to have a pair of nice jeans.  You can dress them up or down and literally you can wear them at any time of year.  If you live in Ohio like me, you can wear them just about every day (sarcasm…. We do get nice weather part of the year….. I am just over the snow).  The above are a nice pair of jeggings.  You don’t have to buy jeggings, but I want you to understand that a pair of nice jeans means there isn’t any holes in them.  It also may take you a bit to find a pair you love so be patient.  If you have jeans now and you don’t love them, plan on getting rid of them when money allows and when you find something you LOVE.     Jeans are seriously a staple to your wardrobe.  Make sure you have a pair that you absolutely love (did I say that already?)

General Tips

This is a list of some of the foundation pieces you will need. Obviously it isn’t comprehensive with every season, but it is the base of what you will need in your capsule wardrobe.  Other pieces that aren’t mentioned here are tank tops or shirts that may go under your clothing.

 I usually just buy a white, black and gray shirt of some kind.  They are either tank tops or cap sleep shirts.  You can also choose colors besides neutrals if you would like.  Totally up to you. I also didn’t mention leggings.  Black leggings are also a must for Mommas on the go.  


They pair well with sweaters, tunics or whatever you want to throw on.  I don’t keep these kinds of things in my closet.  I limit the number I have and confine them to one drawer in my closet. Bottom line, know what you feel comfortable wearing.  


My style may be completely different than yours and that is completely ok.  Just know what style you have and buy clothes that are you and that you love.  


Don’t dress to current fashion standards if you can help it unless you really love the clothes and you would wear them 5 years from now.  I feel like I have wasted so much money trying to keep up with the latest fashion and now I realize it isn’t really necessary.  


Capsule wardrobes have pieces that are pretty classic so you don’t have to worry about being off trend.  Yay! Let me know if you start a capsule wardrobe!  I would love it if you would share this on Facebook or Pinterest if you found it helpful!


This post contains affiliate links to products.  I only share products that I believe in and use myself.

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