I have loved fashion my whole life, and when it comes to my style, I always reach for the classics. Fashion items that will last for years and that are not too trendy. Don’t get me wrong, I keep up with the trends, but I only choose a few pieces and then pair them with my classics and that also includes my jewelry choices.
It was not too long ago that I heard the term “Capsule Wardrobe.” I wasn’t sure what it meant, so I had to look it up. Once I found out the definition, I realized that I am the poster girl for owning a capsule wardrobe.
Capsule Wardrobe – a term coined by Susie Faux, the owner of a London boutique called “Wardrobe” in the 1970s. According to Faux, a capsule wardrobe is a collection of a few essential items of clothing that will not go out of fashion, such as skirts, trousers, and coats, which can then be augmented with seasonal pieces.
A capsule wardrobe is something that is essential when putting together the best pieces for your career. These pieces can be interchangeable for job interviews, meetings, work events, or just day-to-day. You want pieces that look professional, are interchangeable and that you feel good wearing to work or any professional situation.
However, building an entire new work wardrobe can be expensive. That is why it is important to get the key pieces that won’t go out of style any time soon, but that can also go with selected pieces that are trending.
A career capsule does start with lots of basic colors of black, gray, white and beige, but that is what is your foundation. You can use many of those pieces and add some seasonal colors and jewelry to help fit the season, and to not look or feel so bland.
1. Buy what you need. – Make a list of what is essential to your wardrobe and make sure not to deviate from it.
2. Quality and quantity. – This is very important when it comes to building your capsule wardrobe. It is easy to buy the cheaper stuff, but you are build this wardrobe to last for years to come. Quality of these items is important to last and still look nice.
3. Buy what fits. Make sure that you buy for now, not for what you want to look like when you lose 15 pounds. I do this all the time, but wearing ill-fitting clothes actually make you look larger than you are. This is important when it comes to buying shoes. Cheap shoes look cheap after a few wears and will start to make your feet smell and then fall apart. High quality leather shoes will last for years. And the up side is that our feet don’t change size!
4. Buy what you feel good in. Of course you want to feel like you look good because that will build confidence and that is what looks great on everyone.
Here is a list that I work with. Feel free to work off of my list, or make your own list of what works for you and what you need. My capsule wardrobe is about 29 items. I then work around them and mix and match pieces. Keep in mind, this is just my career capsule wardrobe. I then mix and match all types of jewelry to match and other items of colors. For example, maybe a emerald top to go with my slacks or skirt.
Career Capsule Items:
1. black purse
2. cream/white purse
3. brown purse
4. black heels
5. black flats
6. black boots
7. brown boots
8. tan heels
9. white blouse
10. black blouse
11. black blazer
12. gray blazer
13. gray slacks
14. black slacks
15. black dress
16. gray sweater
17. black sweater
18. ivory sweater
19. white tank top
20. black tank top
21. ivory tank top
22. black v-neck top
23. white v-neck
24. black skirt
25. gray skirt
26. maroon skirt
27. black skinny belt
28. black trench coat
29. ivory or tan or gray coat/trench
What is on your must-have career capsule list?
Samantha Angell says
This is such a great list! Once I start working again I’ll have to look into getting more and more of these pieces. Thanks for sharing!
Rebecca Swenor says
These are great tips for building a career capsule wardrobe. I don’t have a career capsule wardrobe. I wear mostly just jeans and sweatshirts. I do get clothes that go with each other to mix and match as well as shoes. Thanks for sharing.
Fi Ní Neachtáin says
Wow, there’s so much to buy for a career capsule wardrobe but it’s great that everything can be mixed and matched. Thanks for the tips on what to buy.
John Lopez says
All woman should have this one! You look fabulous when you wearing a dress like that. I tjhink my wife could read this.
This is a really great post. I don’t ever think much about my wardrobe since I’m an online student and just wear jeans every day, but eventually I’ll graduate and have to start working again. Having a wardrobe like this would be great for that transition. I have several of the items on your list already, but I should start picking up a couple of the other recommendations over the next year and a half so I can be prepared to jump back into the real world.
It’s so funny because i was thinking of exactly this as i really need to separate my wardrobe I don’t have the wear at home only or wear at work only i wear it all everywhere and today after a wardrobe malfunction.
I see so many of these awesome capsule wardrobe posts. I really want to try it out, but then I get to my closet and can’t seem to whittle it down! I like the idea of focusing on one aspect of life (work, casual, etc) and creating a capsule wardrobe for just that function. I think I’ll try that!
This is such an awesome list!!! So very helpful :) always a big fan of dark colors :)
Terri Ramsey Beavers says
What great tips, I wish I had this list of tips when I was in college. We had to dress professionally every Wednesday. After I graduated, all I ever wore were nursing scrubs. I still like to dress up though.
Thank you for such wonderful tips and lovely photos to accompany them! This will definitely come in handy if I ever rejoin the work force!
I most definitely needed this advice. I teach and I wore one dress so often the children asked me if it was my favourite or only dress! Ha ha!
Eileen Chow says
This is a great list of career wear clothes. They all have a classic feel, but you can dress the up or down!
Local Adventurer (las vegas blog) says
love the pieces you picked! i definitely love having a capsule wardrobe, and i’ve been doing project 333 for a while where you have 33 pieces to wear for 3 months.
Franc Ramon says
You really have to invest in timeless collections when it comes to capsule wardrobe. By focusing on quality over quantity, you ensure that they would be patronized for a longer period of time.
Paula - Buenos Aires says
I used this concept as well, having classics with a few dashes of the “in” colour or signature jewelry. The point I struggle the most is #4, looking for things that look good/feel good takes a loooooot of time.
Enjoli Collums says
What great post! Being a stay at home mom I don’t work out side of the home but I feel like I can use all of these great tips as well thanks alot!
Kat B. says
Great list! This is what we try to do with the Career Closet to help people get jobs. They borrow clothes to do interviews in if they cant afford them. So we try to get pieces like this.