We all have our favorite items in our closet. The items that no matter what, we wear again and again. These are the must-haves that help you build your wardrobe and create outfits. I’m sharing some of the must-haves you should have in your capsule wardrobe in order to make creating those outfits even easier. I’ve even broken it down by category. Let’s go…
tanya’s capsule collection suggestions
First, you’ll want to have a good variety of tops in your closet. The four categories I suggest or tees, tanks and camis, button downs, and blouses.
Depending on what you prefer, your tees can be v-neck, crewneck, boat neck, or whatever you want. Just make sure you have the basic colors so that you can style them for those casual days. White and black are must-have tees for every closet!
Next, are tanks and camis. You’ll want the obvious camis and tanks to wear under your shirts so that they’re not see through. But it’s also nice to have some other tanks that you can wear under jackets, blazers, cardigans, etc.
Button downs are a must-have because they’re so versatile. You can wear them to work, with jeans, with skirts, etc. You should have at least one in either silk, cotton, or linen…and better if you have all three. I must have 10 white button down shirts in various fabrics.
Lastly, blouses… You can change up what kind of blouses you have in your closet. I wouldn’t say that there’s one specific style you HAVE to have. But having at least one nice white blouse and black blouse is always great to be able to pull out of your closet when you’re not sure what to wear. If you work in an office, get blouses that can be worn to the office AND out to dinner. If you don’t work in an office, get creative with what styles, patterns, and colors you want.
Since it’s starting to get warmer, sweaters aren’t as big of a must-have right now. But you should still have some options in your closet. Some of the essentials in my closet include a crewneck, v-neck, and turtleneck. Depending on what you like to wear, these sweaters can be black, camel, white, navy, etc. Just make sure they’re a versatile color that goes well with the other pieces in your closet. You’ll also want a lightweight cardigan for spring. Again, keep it neutral so it goes with everything.
Jeans & Pants
In regards to jeans, make sure you have a pair of skinny jeans in black, blue, and white. If you never wear skinny jeans and hate them, that’s fine. Just get your favorite jean style in those three colors. I like skinny because they’re easy to pair with any type of shoe. They’re great with heels, booties, flats, sandals and sneakers!
If you like to dress pretty casual, you’ll also want to have leggings in your closet. It’s a good idea to have a plain black pair. But it might be fun to add some faux leather with these popular Spanx leggings. I’m telling you, they are abolutely worth the money! And they are machine washable.
Lastly, you should have trousers. Even if you don’t work in an office, it’s good to at least have one pair. If you do wear a lot of trousers, I suggest skinny or straight, cropped, and/or wide leg. Color options can include black, navy, white, and/or gray. Add pattern or print with your blouse.
Jackets & Outerwear
There are so many jacket styles out there that it can be hard to decide which ones you really NEED. Here’s what I think… you have to have a good leather jacket and a good blazer. It might be fun to add a denim jacket or edgy suede jacket. And I’m not advising against it but the blazer and leather jackets are the first thing you should have and the most important. You should have both of these in either black or beige. There are lots of styles out there so try to focus on getting classic fits. Once you have them, you can add more exciting styles like a leather moto jacket or oversized blazer. One other item I’d suggest is a lightweight trench in a neutral color. This will serve you well.
When you’re shopping for dresses, think about your lifestyle and how you would wear them. Will you be wearing this to work, to lunch with friends, to date night, all of the above?
For spring and summer:
I suggest you have at least one white and/or black cotton dress. It can be midi, maxi, and/or mini…whatever you like. I like to have a variety of pretty white dresses to wear throughout the spring and summer. But it can also be fun to add printed, colorful dresses. These should really show your style and who you are. Let your personality shine through!
Next, you should have a sheath dress and shift dress. These styles are very chic and sophisticated and can be worn to pretty much any occasion. Also, a shirtdress is another good option. it’s not necessarily a must-have but I do think it’s nice to have as a casual option or for vacation.
Quick note: I don’t want to talk too much about fall/winter because we’re just now escaping the cold, but you should definitely have a black, gray, and/or camel colored sweater dress.
I wanted to create a category for this on its own because I feel like cocktail and evening dresses are something that a lot of women struggle with. Finding a dress for a special occasion can be difficult. To make it easier, make sure you have the must-haves so it’s easy for you to pull something out of your closet when you can’t find something new or aren’t sure what to wear.
I suggest you have at least one little black dress. More than one is always better. But have at least one. The best thing about little black dresses is that you can change the way they look with simple accessories. Shoes and a statement earring can completely change the way a black dress looks. If you don’t like black dresses, have one in a color you know looks good on you. Make sure you have a cocktail dress that’s not black or white so you’ll have something to wear to weddings.
Now on to evening…If you’re like me, you have a lot of black tie weddings, galas, and events to go to. That means you need to have one or two floor-length gowns in your closet. When shopping for these events, try to pick out classic, flattering styles in colors you know look good on you. Dresses that are timeless will serve you well.
For shoes, I want to focus on pumps, sandals, and flats. Since we’re moving into spring, I’ll do a different post on boots and booties you need when it’s that time of the year again. Maybe will do a fall/winter capsule collection later this year…
Pumps are probably my favorite shoes to wear. You can wear them with jeans, skirts, dresses… everything. I have so many pairs in different colors and I love them all. If you haven’t already, you need to get black and nude pumps. I prefer a pointed toe and think it’s the most classic.
Next, sandals. First, you’ll want to have nude or gold heeled sandals. These are good for spring, summer, and fall and can be worn with different outfits and for occasions. Then, you’ll need some casual sandals like slides, a pretty dressier pair, and a pair for the beach or pool.
Lastly, you’ll need flats. I recommend, mules, loafers, ballet flats, and sneakers. Mules are easy to wear with everything and can be dressed up or down. Ballet flats are good if you work in an office, like more support around your feet while running errands, etc. And sneakers are a must-have for casual days with leggings and jeans. I like having several pair of fun sneakers.
You don’t have to have every single one of these bags, but I do think it’s nice to have a few of them. When you’re buying a handbag, I think it’s important to invest in one you love and will carry every day. Since you’ll be carrying it every day, make sure you buy a neutral color like black, beige, gray, or white. These are the bags I think are important to have…
Totes for everyday use, running errands, etc.
Clutches. Having a nice clutch for weddings or events is important. I also think it’s fun to have a cute one to take to lunch or on vacation. And speaking of vacation…make sure you have a cute tote bag for the beach/pool and a fun bag to take to lunch or dinner while you’re on vacation.
Last but not least… accessories.
The number one must-have is a belt in a neutral color. I love my black Hermes belt and it was an investment, but I wear it almost every day. Did you know that I can reverse it and the other side is taupe? Just make sure you find one you can wear every day and feel comfortable in.
Sunglasses instantly change your look. I just bought these and love them. But you can change out your sunglasses with whatever you’re wearing to add chicness and/or sophistication.
Lastly, make sure you have quality, every day jewelry. This may include some simple studs, a pretty bracelet, and a dainty necklace. They can be silver or gold, whatever you prefer. I’m not much into trendy jewelry but I know that you might find this a fun way to accentuate your look. Do what’s right for you.
Did I miss anything? Can you think of any more must-haves for your closet? Let me know in the comments below!
xoxo – Tanya