8 Items you need to start a capsule wardrobe

items to start a capsule wardrobe

Do you want to simplify your closet and get your wardrobe under control? Does the idea of a capsule wardrobe intrigue you, but you don’t know where to start?

This simple list will help you drill down to the basic components of a beautiful and useful wardrobe starting today. I have assembled the list of the 8 basic items you need to start your capsule wardrobe.

We once (OK, twice) made a cross-country move with 2 toddlers. It was a job change for me and I decided to sharpen up my wardrobe. Through my research, I became intrigued with the idea of a capsule wardrobe.

I knew that something super strict or restrictive would not be for me, but the simplicity of it is what drew me in. So I started working on my version of a capsule wardrobe and I made great progress quickly. Some mistakes slowed me along the way and my wardrobe is by no mean perfect, but I love how it works for me and I wanted to share what I have learned with you.

You can read about my tips to start a capsule wardrobe and the mistakes to avoid here:

The Surprising Ways People Fail with a Capsule Wardrobe and the Must-Know SECRETS

capsule wardrobe

Items you need to start a capsule wardrobe

Your 8 Key Pieces

1. Jeans
2. Tank
3. T-shirt
4. Basic Pants
5. Blouse or Tunic
6. Cardigan/Sweater
7. Jacket/Blazer
8. Dress/Skirt

Before we get begin, start in your closet for the items needed for your beautifully curated wardrobe. A capsule wardrobe should simplify your life, not create drama and stress. Begin building the foundation of your ideal wardrobe with items you already own. Over time you can replace and upgrade, but keep it simple now. Use this list of 8 items and its companion, my Capsule Wardrobe Secrets post to guide you.

Further, I encourage you to remove the items that are not serving you. As part of my decluttering series, I’ve created prompts to ask to help you. Stuff to Get Rid of Now, Part 1: Shoes and Clothing

stuff to get rid of now shoes and clothing declutter prompts
stuff to get rid of now shoes and clothing declutter prompts

1. Jeans

Because jeans are versatile, stylish, and easy to wear, they top the list. They can be dressed up or dressed down. Jeans can be worn with most styles, any color, and just about any shoe from a sneaker to a heel. They make such a great base for any modern wardrobe.

I have three pairs of jeans. Two darker washed jeans that are easy to dress up when I want to. And a looser, lighter pair that are great for comfier outfits. Finding jeans can be difficult for some body-types, so do not get discouraged.

StyleCraze has a nice post about jeans styles to help you name what you like to help you define your successful search for your best jeans for your capsule wardrobe. Once you find a fit you like that is high quality, consider buying two!

2. Tank top

Tank tops are the ultimate layering piece of clothing. They can be worn alone in warm weather, or layering under a cardigan, sweater, or blouse as it gets cooler.

You can add a simple pop of color under neutrals or a long layer under a cropped top. Tanks are the unsung hero of the versatile wardrobe world.

3. T-shirt

T-shirts are a workhorse clothing article that can be layered with a sweater or blazer, dressed up with a scarf or necklace, or worn alone for a simple, clean look. A capsule wardrobe needs a few t-shirts.

T-shirt is a broad term that covers several different kinds of tops. From long sleeve to short, and from crew to v-neck, there are many options, cuts, and styles. The primary criteria one should think of when choosing which one is right for you is based on a few things:

1. Is it comfortable and washable?
2. Do the colors work with your wardrobe and does it flatter you?
3. Is it a quality piece that will last?
4. Are the length of the sleeves and the weight of the fabric appropriate for your needs?

4. Simple pants

Ankle pants can be worn with everything from a tank top to a blouse. A black pair in a flattering cut for your body can be worn from the office to brunch, or out for date night paired with the right top.

Your basic pants should be in a neutral color or a coordinating color for the interchangeable color pallet you have chosen for your wardrobe. This simple pant will stretch your wardrobe by making multiple combinations simple and easy choices to make. For tips on choosing a color pallet, go to Capsule Wardrobe Secrets post here.

5. Blouse or tunic

Add polish and charm to any look with a crisp tunic or blouse. The tailored look of tunics and blouses takes any outfit up a level. I know, you are a mom and your clothing priorities go like this 1. comfort 2. easy 3. cheap and a distance 4th style and the right easy-wear blouse and tunic make the list.

A structured shirt in the correct size is just as comfortable as a t-shirt and in many cases not any more expensive. A tunic can be worn with leggings, ankle pants, or jeans. (You can pull it over your head just as easy as a hoodie).

6. Cardigan, sweater

Songs have been written about cardigans and sweaters. They are that important. Kidding aside, if you live in an area that has season, then adding warm or even light layers are both practical and cute.

7. Jacket/Blazer

After a few years a way from college, I returned my senior year to finish. I would throw on fashionable blazers and jackets over my jeans worn with a t-shirt or tank.

I know it wasn’t necessary or fancy, but it added just enough “I care” to my look that helped me feel confident and pulled together.Later, some of the girls that I got to know told me that it made an impression on them and helped them want to up level their game.

Hear this, clothing is not anywhere near the most important thing in life, but we can use it as a tool to send a message about our worth to others and ourselves. I am not saying that you must do it my way, but I am with passion saying you must do it your way.

8. Simple dress

The blank canvas of the clothing world is the basic neutral dress or skirt. A flattering simple dress or skirt that fits well and can coordinate well with several pieces is one of the most important items a woman can own to create a masterpiece of a feminine ensemble.

It is last on the list because for many women, a dress or skirt have no place in their lifestyle and so she can go simpler still.

However, I submit that a flattering simple dress or skirt are power items to add confidence to command some of the most important events a woman may face. From presenting to hosting and from mourning to attending, the confidently worn dress bolsters a woman’s poise.

A simple dress can be dressed up with accessories. Adding a statement necklace, nice heels, and a coordinating clutch can take a basic dress to an evening wedding.

You may also choose to go casual with a basic dress by layering it with a denim jacket, cardigan, long necklace, and coordinating flats or canvas sneakers.

Bonus pieces

Depending on your life style and local climate, you may also want to include some of these items also:

Athleisure (workout clothes)
Business suit

To sum it up

Do you want to simplify your closet and get your wardrobe under control? My list of 8 basic items you need to start your capsule wardrobe will help you on the way to the closet of your dreams. Now you have just the place to start with this list.

1. Jeans
2. Tank
3. T-shirt
4. Simple Pants
5. Blouse or Tunic
6. Cardigan/Sweater
7. Jacket/Blazer
8. Dress/Skirt

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About the author, Jaime

Jaime Ragsdale
Jaime Ragsdale from AltogetherMostly.com

Here at Altogether Mostly, you will find grace, compassion, joy, and beauty. I use empathy and a little tough love to bring out the best in people. I live in the Midwest United States with my loving husband and awesome children. For more about me and Altogether Mostly, please visit my about page here.

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