Spring Capsule Wardrobe

June 10, 2017

Clockwise from left: Burberry Westland Sateen Trench, Zara Batwing Sleeve Sweater, J. Crew Tiered Shift Dress in Raindrop Lace, Zara Textured Tweed Frock Coat, Ann Taylor Cashmere Cardigan, Zara Ruffle Front Blouse, Kate Spade Jolie Silk Skirt, Ann Taylor Kate Refined Flare Trousers, Ann Taylor Mila Leather Pumps, Tory Burch Robinson Convertible Leather Shoulder Bag, Banana Republic Watercolor Floral Skirt, Rebecca Minkoff Mini Quilted Affair Bag, Club Monaco Pamera Pleated Skirt
That capsule wardrobes must comprise only "classic" items is a popular, but misguided, convention. Sure, a striped top is all-purpose, but a capsule wardrobe can flourish without it. In this post, I share 15 outfit ideas created using 13 items that are more distinctive than the 12 "basics" from before that are more archetypal of capsule wardrobes.

I use the catchall, generic term "Spring" to describe this capsule wardrobe because it contains pieces easily adaptable for transitional weather, and features elements typically associated with the season: lighter colors and lively prints.

One central tenet of capsule wardrobes is choosing a color palette and adhering to it. It's possible to experiment with a wider palette, but the more colors you incorporate, the more challenging it becomes to reuse an item. This axiom underlies the black/white theme that dominates many capsule and minimalist wardrobes.

While you can create capsule wardrobes with a high top-to-bottom ratio, I try to hew closer to a 1:1 ratio. These are the thirteen items that I chose: (1) tan trench coatcotton or silk; (1) cream tweed coat; (3) skirts and (1) pant—choose bottoms with some interest, like pleats or prints; (1) dress; (1) sweater, (1) cardigan, and (1) blouse—best if they have an unusual detail, like jeweled buttons or batwing sleeves; (2) bags—in the size and shape that best suit your lifestyle; and (1) flesh-toned shoe—choose the height you are comfortable with (while one pair will suffice, it doesn't hurt to add to this category: consider ankle boots, heeled sandals, or accented flats in the chosen color scheme).


I like to evaluate the strength of a capsule/travel wardrobe by how easily the pieces fit into a rolling carry-on, and this group beat this test handily. 

While every piece is essential to the puzzle, there are two items that I find especially valuable. First is this light pink tiered lace dress, which I've featured prominently before. It's an item I like to pack for trips during the warmer months: It can stand alone, but can also be easily transformed when worn with any top or skirt.

The other item that I want to highlight is this pale blue-gray ruffle front blouse. It's useful because of how effortlessly it adopts the personality of the pieces that you pair it with. It's sweet when you wear it with a lace skirt, but nonchalant with denim.

Here are the 15 outfits created using the thirteen pieces listed above:

Related posts:

 The Ultimate Capsule Wardrobe: Basics
 The Ultimate Capsule Wardrobe: Work

The Ultimate Capsule Wardrobe: Casual Infusion
The Ultimate Capsule Wardrobe: Fall Update

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