If you’ve been shopping with me for a very long you may have these capsule wardrobe combinations hiding in your closet. This is the best time of the year to declutter your wardrobe and fill it with versatile pieces you love! Over the years the 14 items on my New Wardrobe Checklist have proven to be the most versatile. These closet essentials can create enough capsule wardrobe combinations to last you all year! Save the style boards in this post and you’ll be able to create a lookbook that will give you new outfit ideas for an entire month.
#1 SLIP SKIRT OR DRESS CAPSULE WARDROBE COMBINATIONS
Well, you would have guessed a little black dress would be on the list. I’ve found a slip dress like this one from Vince that fits every woman I’ve seen it on. Its counterpart this washable satin slip skirt can be styled as a dress, when paired with the matching camisole top. I shared several simple street-style slip-skirt outfit ideas in THIS RECENTLY UPDATED POST, but here are two new ones for your look book.
#2 | UNDERSTATED WHITE TEE OR TANK CAPSULE WARDROBE COMBINATIONS
I titled a project in college ” God’s Gift to Women a Little White Tee”. Adding an understated white top to any outfit is the easiest way to look fashionable, but not like you tried to. This tank under $10 is the only item I own in multiples because I wear it that much. Size up to avoid transparency or upgrade to this one in thicker cotton that also comes in petite and plus sizes. This style is buttery soft and looser fit. A halter-style crew neck is universally flattering. If you aren’t a fan of your arms and don’t always want to layer a short-sleeve style like this from ATM works well instead.
#3 NUDE SHOES
Nude Shoes work year-round with any outfit. Choose a shade that matches your skin tone for the most flattering leg line and opt for a pointed toe. When you find a style that matches your overall style, invest in a designer pair. See some of the nude accessory sets I made with matching belts and bags last summer in THIS POST. Nude boots like the ones in THIS POST are perfect.
Worthy of You Wallet
#4 V-NECK CARDIGAN CAPSULE WARDROBE COMBINATIONS
A V-neck cardigan is personally one of my favorite contemporary wardrobe essentials. HERE is an entire blog post dedicated to them. A long cardigan like this surprisingly affordable Gucci style is on a short list of designer pieces that give you the most bang for your buck. I included two cardigans in my Modern Classic Capsule, one in my Cozy Capsule, and one in my Emily in Paris Post. Here are two new ways to wear some of my favorites available now.
#5 SLEEVELESS BLACK TOP CAPSULE WARDROBE COMBINATIONS
Before you stop and “sleeveless” let me tell you why this is one of the most versatile tops you can own, even if you don’t love your arms. Sleeveless tops look good layered under cardigans, blazers, and lightweight jackets. Layering keeps your outfits interesting. A monochromatic base layer like a sleeveless black top and black pants is the foundation for a ton of outfits. I’ve found a quality thin knit tank with a flattering neckline like this one from Vince and this one on sale from Rag & Bone also look great layered over a silky or starchy button-up. See how I styled one like this in my Minimalist Work Capsule Wardrobe last summer.
#6 SLIM BLACK PANTS CAPSULE WARDROBE COMBINATIONS
As a fashion blogger over 40, I know the importance of feeling fit in pants that flatter your figure, whether you’re wearing them with sneakers, slides, or stilettos! Keep this closet essential looking jet-black no matter how many times you wear it by choosing a fabric that has some spandex in it. A variety of styles from leather leggings (these are the best) to quality pull-on pants all have proven track records. This jet-black straight-leg premium denim style is the most versatile and fits 9/10 women. Watch my 5’9″ curvy friend Natalia and I model the same pair HERE on Instagram. Here are two ways you can wear it now.
#7 BLAZER CAPSULE WARDROBE COMBINATIONS
When you look good you feel good. That’s why it’s no surprise this blazer is my blog’s all-time best seller! The right blazer will instantly flatter your figure. The minute you put one on your silhouette transforms from head to toe. It’s kind of my stylist’s secret weapon for improving just about any outfit. The Veronica Beard “Miller” is always available in navy blue and black with gold or silver buttons. The seasonal colors are spectacular too. I love a crisp white blazer in the summer and a neutral tan all year long.
#8 | WHITE BUTTON UP CAPSULE WARDROBE COMBINATIONS
This classic is here to stay. Keep your arsenal fresh. Replace this staple when it isn’t white or gets a stain. I’m not going to tell you how many versions I own. My year-round favorite is a style made with flexible fabric, like this $59 style, that is easy to layer and care for. Synthetic blends make a button-up washable and easy to iron. An oversized silhouette is the most modern and can even be worn wrinkled for an effortlessly casual look over distressed jeans or as a swimsuit coverup. My newest edition is the “Kayla” from The Nordstrom 6’s Jan Drop. It’s roomy and long, has cool side slits, and has sleeves that can be adjusted to three different lengths. This classic style from Nordstrom is great and looks good on most body types. My much bustier 5’8″ friend and I are modeling it here. For the ultimate tailored fit try this sustainable style with darts and stretch that keep it tucked in and from gaping at the bust. I love the way the collar looks layered.
#9 | JEAN JACKET CAPSULE WARDROBE COMBINATIONS
This is that piece that transcends just one generation and instantly adds a cool casual vibe to any outfit. Premium denim, like this style from Fidelity, looks great over a sexy slip-dress. Once you have your classic style covered, expand your jean jacket arsenal with colored or embellished styles. A cropped, oversized, or vest style are all fun silhouettes to have. I just got this cropped style from Target. Try an oversized jean jacket now over stylish sweats or this spring with a dress.
A white jean jacket is one of 9 key pieces in my recently updated Ageless Spring Capsule Wardrobe.
#10 | NEUTRAL PRINT PIECE
Adding prints and patterns is the best way to keep your outfit combinations interesting. The most popular print is one that works no matter your style. I call these neutral prints and you’ll find them in almost every capsule wardrobe I make. Get more versions of my recently updated Modern Classic Capsule Wardrobe (Above) that incorporates neutral prints HERE. See how to mix neutral stripes with florals in my Emily in Paris-inspired capsule wardrobe. Do you want some tips on how to use neutral prints as inspiration for your next capsule? READ THIS. Neutral prints are the easiest prints to wear with other patterns for a fashionable look. THIS POST has 3 neutral prints that are easy for anyone to add to an outfit.
#11 | NICE BAG
A designer handbag is the best investment piece and a secret to high-low styling success. Check out a short list of Winter Wardrobe designer brand upgrades, including a bag, in THIS POST. Find out The Best Luxury Bag brands A-Z & MOST Affordable Purses – HERE. Before you buy consider the 4 L’s. Recreate these high-low outfit combinations that hinge on a high-end bag.
#12 | ANKLE-LENGTH JEANS CAPSULE WARDROBE COMBINATIONS
Jeans are the single most loved and most hated item in most women’s closets. The perfect-fitting pair of jeans will make your day, not just your outfit. Less may not be more when it comes to denim, but at least start your wardrobe with the Jeans that Work Best on Your Body. You can find them online with my denim directory and in Jen’s Jean Shop coming this February 2023! A straight leg or bootcut style that stops right around the ankle and has “at least” a 12″ opening will go with any shoe you choose. Make sure you buy The Best Boots for Outfits With Jeans.
#13 | SNEAKERS
Fashion sneakers have become a stylish wardrobe staple and work with way more than jeans and a tee shirt. Wear a pair #streetstyle with a dress or skirt. A classic converse style sneaker is an ageless style staple every closet needs. See why I rank on the first page of google with THIS POST I shared on how to style converse sneakers.
#14 | TWO-TONE JEWELRY
Two-tone jewelry goes with everything! Layer all the pieces in a two-tone capsule, or use one piece to mix your metals. I recently purchased this two-tone ring and I wear it every day. It makes it easy to throw on any earring, necklace, belt, bag, or shoe I want. My favorite two-tone jewelry pieces are David Yurman. Shop the full selection here.