How to build a modern capsule wardrobe, part 1

 

Madewell leather jacket | Fidelity denim | Leopard shoes | White tank

How to build a modern capsule wardrobe, part I

The start of a new season is the perfect time to review your essentials and get your closet organized. A solid wardrobe foundation not only makes getting dressed easy and effortless, but also helps you be prepared for any occasion. There’s a lot of chatter, about capsule wardrobes right now, and if it’s not done right, it can come off a little … boring. This is why I believe in building a modern capsule wardrobe: sophisticated, elevated, modern pieces that when combined, make the most stylish outfits ever!

Throughout my career, I’ve probably helped thousands of women in the dressing room. And you know what? One thing happened over and over again: they often found too many things they loved! Thankfully I’m pretty good at narrowing down choices, and at selecting the best pieces that will create many, many different outfits. This is why I’ve finally decided to share my take on a “capsule wardrobe.” I recently wrote a post called “Are Capsule Wardrobes Even Worth It” where I explore the concept that capsule wardrobes can be a little ‘unexciting’ unless you add in some fun stuff. But, the starting point is actually the most important one: you have to make sure you have the right pieces!

Today’s post is part I of a very important post (part II coming soon). For now, part I features the capsule wardrobe I’ve created, and all these items are proven, meaning they’re best-selling, well-fitting and worth every penny. I hope you like it!

Susie xx

 

Susie’s Capsule Wardrobe

Trust me, it was really hard to narrow this down (!!) but the pieces below are ones I’ve talked about over and over again. In order to create an amazing wardrobe, you have to start with the basics. Without the basics, it’s really difficult to create good outfits! Once you have the basics covered, the best way to keep things fresh and updated is by adding new, cool and maybe even colorful accessories every now and then.

Row 1: Trench coat | Camel cardigan | Denim jacket | Utility jacket | Leather jacket | Black blazer

Row 2: Silk camiWhite tee | White shirt | Paris tee | Cotton tank | J.Crew Hoodie | Stripe sweater | Black blouse

Row 3: Flare trouserWhite jean | Faded jean | Black jean | Vince slim pant | Jogger | Vince slipdress

Row 4: Chain necklace | YSL bag | Gucci belt | YSL tote | Scarf | Sunglasses

Row 5: Veja sneaker | Nude pump | Rag & Bone boot | Schutz sandal | YSL sandal | Gucci loafer | Strappy sandal

 

 

Jackets

One of the main items of every great wardrobe

Trench coat | Camel cardigan | Denim jacket | Utility jacket | Leather jacket | Black blazer

These jackets will get you through most any social situation! For example, the trench coat could be substituted for a flowy version like this, or a more reasonable option like this. These J.Crew cardigans are SO good, and black, camel or light gray are all really versatile options. Denim and utility jackets can be worn most months of the year, and any day the $54 version will be available again. As for leather, Madewell and AllSaints make my favorite jackets — both run a little small. Finally, blazers are a super hot item right now (read this post for more info)!

 

Layering pieces

You only need a few to complete your outfits

Silk camiWhite tee | White shirt | Paris tee | Cotton tank | J.Crew Hoodie | Stripe sweater | Black blouse

Sometimes people ask me how many white t-shirts I own. The answer is TWO!! A few good layering pieces will cover you for all occasions. For example, I love a black blouse and black jean outfit for a Friday night, and it can also be super chic with a trouser (my two faves are this one and this one). Other great layering pieces include Anine Bing tees — they’re just so cool! A silk cami is a great year-round item that works under denim jackets, cozy cardigans and any blazer. Also, a white shirt is a classic staple, but this Frank & Eileen is special. It’s a little oversized and a little crinkly — perfect! Lastly, a striped sweater and hoodie are extra pieces to consider depending on the climate where you live.

 

Well-fitting bottoms

The starting point of every outfit

Flare trouserWhite jean | Faded jean | Black jean | Vince slim pant | Jogger | Vince slipdress

Ideally, owning three pairs of jeans (white or écru, faded denim and black) will cover you in the wardrobe department. The Vuori jogger is the perfect weekend option, and Vince slim pants are great basic black pants. Finally, I added a flare trouser to mix things up a bit — they could be black too. By the way, the Vince slip dress was a personal favorite purchase all year — it looks good on everyone!

 

Stylish accessories

The key to completing your outfits

Chain necklace | YSL bag | Gucci belt | YSL tote | Scarf | Sunglasses

Fun, stylish accessories elevate all your outfits, and I recommend investing in the best bag you can. For example, the YSL puffer bag has been my favorite purchase of the year, along with this tote that’s perfect for running errands as well as traveling. Sunglasses always add a glamorous touch, and having one pair you feel really good in works wonders!

 

Shoes, shoes, shoes!

Not much to say, except who doesn’t love new shoes?

Veja sneaker | Nude pump | Rag & Bone boot | Schutz sandal | YSL sandal | Gucci loafer | Strappy sandal

Neutral shoes go with everything and are usually my suggestion for many outfits. A great nude pump just kind of disappears and makes your legs go on forever. A sandal like this favorite by Schutz is perfect for spring outfits — and believe it or not, it’s really comfortable! As I mentioned in yesterday’s newsletter, I finally decided to take my own advice and purchase these Gucci loafers. And I plan on wearing therm all the time — they’re the perfect shoe for transitioning seasons.

 

 

Trench coat | Veronica Beard blazer

 

Trench coat | Veronica Beard blazer

 

Trench coat

outfit 1

outfit 2

outfit 3

 

Veronica Beard blazer

outfit 1

outfit 2

outfit 3

 

 

Denim jacket | Utility jacket

 

Denim jacket | Utility jacket

 

Denim jacket

outfit 1

outfit 2

outfit 3

 

Utility jacket

outfit 1

outfit 2

outfit 3

 

 

J.Crew cardigan | Madewell leather jacket

 

J.Crew cardigan | Madewell leather jacket

 

J.Crew cardigan

outfit 1

outfit 2

outfit 3

 

Madewell leather jacket

outfit 1

outfit 2

outfit 3

 

Thank you for reading! xx

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11 Comments

  1. Thank you Susie for all your hard work and skill, these are wonderful boards and give me so many ideas. You are so generous, big shout out to you !!! Cheers.xo

  2. SO GOOD, SUSIE!!
    Such great pieces, and certainly not boring! Modern, interesting & so versatile! Love the outfit combinations.
    Thank you for taking the time and thought (& talent!) to put this together and share with us. Love this so much! XO

  3. Hi Susie,

    This is great! I have so many of your recommendations already!

    Could you please re-do the links for the optional trench coats? They didn’t take. It’s the one item I don’t have and living in San Diego, don’t know if I need it. It could be nice when I travel again. What do you think?

    Thanks,
    Tammy

  4. Is there any way to make the outfit boards printable so that we can have these in our closet? That would be amazing!