If only you had a personal stylist to get you dressed each morning. Wouldn’t that be nice?!
This series has been in the works for you for a very long time, and you might just love it.
While I can’t stand in your closet and pick out your clothes for you each day, I did take some time to put together a work wear wardrobe capsule comprised of 25 pieces. I also created 33 outfit formulas about which you’ll be hearing much more over the next couple of months.
If you’re antsy to see all the outfits, they’re available to newsletter subscribers. So sign up and they’ll be yours.
Not everyone has exactly the pieces above in their closet. But there’s a good chance you have most of them, or some iteration of them. From your own closet, you could probably build most or all of this capsule for yourself. If a capsule isn’t your thing, hopefully you’ll enjoy being inspired by the 33 outfits to come.
To help you make the most of the capsule without buying every piece exactly as shown above, here are some of the basic principles applied to make it cohesive and remixable.
Include a Balance of Pieces
The capsule is comprised of a balance of tops, bottoms, and dresses. Having a good balance creates lots of options for mixing and matching pieces.
Although you can see in the photo above, the capsule includes:
- 2 blazers
- 2 cardigans
- 2 long sleeve blouses
- 2 sleeveless blouses
- 1 neutral camisole
- 2 pairs of trousers / work pants
- 1 pair of jeans
- 2 skirts
- 2 dresses
- 3 pairs of neutral shoes
- 1 neutral totebag
Just a couple of each type of item and you’re set to go pairing pieces like a creative genius.
Start with a Neutral Color Base
Every capsule wardrobe starts with a neutral color base as a foundation. This capsule started with black. Navy, gray and brown also make good alternatives. The capsule includes one black piece in (almost) every category. Because everything else in the capsule matches black, the neutral color base provides a host of combinations, at a minimum, that are quick and foolproof.
Apply Consistent Color Scheme
Lots of color combinations can work based on your preferences, the season, skin tones and hair colors, etc… This capsule was built around burgundy, blush and blue. The burgundy and blush pair perfectly in a host of monochromatic looks. The blue adds a nice pop of bright color.
Just a few other color combinations that could work with the black base are:
- Dark gray + Light Gray + Yellow
- Eggplant + Lavender + Pink
- Teal + Mint + Pale Pink
- Cobalt + Gray + Red
- Maroon + Gray + Bright Pink
This list could go on, but those are just a few ideas when you’re looking in your closet for what you might already have. If you’re trying to start a capsule from scratch, consider checking out this Intro to Color Theory post. It offers some great ideas on pairing colors and can help you find the combination that’s just right for you.
Stick to Neutral Accessories
To keep it simple, the capsule includes only neutral shoes and a cream colored handbag. After building a wardrobe over time, colored accessories make great additions. But if you’re starting to build your work wear wardrobe or intend to keep your closet as minimal as possible, neutral shoes and accessories are key. They match basically everything. It’s so. much. easier.
The capsule doesn’t include jewelry. A simple pair of stud earrings can finish off a look for work. If you have a favorite necklace, certainly feel free to throw it on. But at work, large statement jewelry isn’t really necessary. Particularly in conservative office environments, a classy and chic outfit will say all it needs.
Make Additions Over Time
As time passes and trends change, pieces will need to be replaced. Adding one or two on-trend pieces each season also offers an array of new outfit possibilities when paired with the complete baseline included in the capsule. The infrequent yet thoughtful additions also keep the capsule feeling modern.
One new sweater, for example, in the ‘fabric or pattern of the season’ lends itself to five new outfits when paired with each of the bottoms in the base capsule. A new pair of pants in the season’s ‘it color’ could offer as many as six or seven new outfits if it pairs well with all those tops.
More To Come
With each new season, you’ll see more editions of this Work Wear Capsule series. A few pieces will be added over time to illustrate the growth and increased remixing options just described.
Now, it’s time to go build that capsule. Onward and upward to your closet to remix like a style warrior!