woman in white long sleeve shirt and white skirt standing on wooden bridge

15 essential pieces to create a capsule wardrobe

woman in white long sleeve shirt and white skirt standing on wooden bridge

Classic shoulder bag

Although the ‘Itbag’ label may seem like a one-season wonder, it’s actually a collection of timeless pieces worthy of being considered cult classics. Think iconic shapes like Gucci’s curvaceous Jackie, which has stood the test of time, as well as contemporary classics like Bottega Veneta’s puffy, padded Cassette in glossy black, and Loewe’s origami-inspired Puzzle, both perennial fashion-editor favorites. Saint Laurent’s exquisite creations are the best in quiet luxury. The Parisian label’s elegant “Manhattan” is an all-rounder for day to night that will be your constant companion for many seasons.

Shop the trend:
  • SAINT LAURENT Manhattan leather shoulder bag
  • GUCCI Jackie 1961 small, leather-trimmed, printed coated-canvas shoulder bags
  • LOEWE Small leather puzzle shoulder bag
  • BOTTEGA VENETA Shoulder bag in intrecciato leather Cassette padded

The little white dress

A little white dress, much like its dark evening counterpart, is a reliable choice that will be the foundation of your spring/summer wardrobe. This season, there are many styles and silhouettes available. The bell-sleeved florette by Cecilie Bahnsen will be a favorite of many. Those who prefer crisp shirts and tailored cuts can give Ganni’s collared cotton poplin mini a try. Take a playful approach when finishing touches. An all-white piece allows for a bold-colored bijou bag or statement heel to shine, following the fashion trend of street-style. You can also give floaty, feminine dresses urban flair by pairing sleek black accessories with them. For example, Chloe’s Broderie-anglaise maxi with a slim belt and block-heeled boots will look great.

Shop the trend:
  • CHLOE Scalloped broderie anglaise linen maxi dress
  • CECILIE BAHNSEN Florette gathered matelasse mini dress
  • BOUGUESSA Chris cold-shoulder cotton poplin midi dress
  • GANNI Mini dress in organic cotton-poplin, shirred

Straight-leg jeans

The days of skinny jeans seem to have passed. For your capsule wardrobe, you should consider straight-leg styles that are timeless and classic. All-American labels are worth the investment. They have a loyal following due to their flattering cuts and natural washes. L’Agence and Goldsign, both based in California, are two of my go-tos. Wandler’s midrise ‘Carnation” jeans are versatile. Wear them with a boxy shearling jacket, a block-heeled Chelsea boots (a la Freja Beha Erichsen), and then switch to a barely there ’90s sandal and a fitted black blazer for the evening.

Shop the trend:
  • L’AGENCE Milana Stovepipe cropped high-rise slim-leg jeans
  • WANDLER + NET SUSTAIN Carnation organic straight-leg mid-rise jeans
  • SLVRLAKE + NET SUSTAIN Her organic high-rise straight leg jeans
  • GOLDSIGN The Morgan high-rise slim leg jeans

An elegant and timeless watch

A timepiece that is trusted will be a lifetime investment and can be passed down through the generations. Jaeger-LeCoultre’s “Rendez-Vous Night and Night” is the perfect choice for the ultimate heirloom. Day’ blends modern design and precision, while Cartier’s delicate rose-gold “Pasha de Cartier” is the embodiment of elegance and refined simplicity. Elsewhere, you’ll find classic creations that are nonetheless packed with personality – consider IWC Schaffhausen’s silver-plated ‘Portofino’ with a forest-green alligator strap for a guaranteed conversation-starter.

Tailored pants

You’ll be able to find the perfect pair of tailored trousers and keep them in your rotation. They are flattering in fit and polished, which is why they’re the perfect piece to boost confidence. You can also switch out your sneakers or sandals for sophisticated heels. Simon Porte Jacquemus created a pair of wide-leg, crisp white pants that will look great on vacation and in the city. Don’t be afraid of straying from the blacks, grays, and beiges. Oroton’s beautifully cut high-rise pants come in a neutral shade of toffee and will last you through fall.

A classic white shirt

White shirt is a wardrobe staple that can be trusted. It is one of few garments that exudes authority and style in a flash. There are subtle changes to the classic silhouette this season, including the feminine curved collars with mother-of pearl buttons at Parisian label Sebline and Bottega Veneta’s large flap pockets that make the shirt feel more avant-garde. It can also be a good idea to stray from the standard cotton poplin. For example, The Row has a silk-twill shirt that is durable and can be worn after dark. Loro Piana’s Fabienne Solaire, in a lightweight, luxurious linen, is a great choice for warm weather.


The classic black dress and blue jeans are long-held as timeless staples. However, the white sneaker is an inductee to the list of wardrobe essentials. It’s no longer a sporty option, but a versatile everyday wearable. An elegant tennis-style shoe is always a good choice. The Adidas Originals Hall-of-Fame ‘Stan Smith,’ which can be paired with anything from wide-leg pants to floral sundresses, will serve you well. For a stylish high-low contrast, pair Reebok + Maison Margiela’s feel-trimmed sneakers with Toteme’s leather-and-suede style with crisp tailoring, and a T shirt.

The transitional blazer

It was only natural that Silicon Valley’s most powerful people would wear hoodies to work. This is an example. The blazer has transformed from a workwear staple to a must-have for your capsule wardrobe. Nanushka is a Hungarian brand that has reinvented the classic blazer with its vegan leather and a rope-style belt. This will make it look sophisticated even after work. A few designers have reduced the ‘boardroom’ look of the blazer, rendering it in simple fabrics and boyish cuts. Max Mara’s striped, linen-blend Alloro’ and Frankie Shop’s unstructured version are both worthy choices for your summer weekend wardrobe.

Stylish sunglasses

While sunglasses may be the last accessory to an outfit, that doesn’t diminish their importance. They are your stylist savior. They can be used to balance the drama of feminine dresses and add refinement and polish to low-key looks. It’s essential to have a variety of styles. However, if you are just starting out, it is a good idea to start with the basics. Bottega Veneta’s square and cat-eye designs will work with any look, and Givenchy’s square and round designs will work well with all your clothes. Loewe’s large glossy black frames will help you show off your fashion skills.

Penny loafers

The penny loafer, once a college staple, has seen a transformation. It is slowly losing its strict, scholarly image and becoming a fixture in every envy-inducing outfit. The key to nailing this look is in the styling. Traditional, conservative designs like those from Tod’s and The Row will work well with casual pieces. Saint Laurent’s shiny patent two-tone version of the loafer will give outfits a high fashion feel. Gucci has been a champion of the loafer for many years. Its horsebit-detailed “Jordaan” is a timeless style that will never go out of fashion. Add a pair in black to your collection that’s equal parts cool and classic.

A Breton knit

The Breton knit is one of a few French-girl favorite items, along with a bohemian basketbag and a ladylike ballet slideper. The charmingly Gallic stripes give a subtle silhouette a little more intrigue and a wear-with-anything appeal. The Breton formula has been applied to a variety of shapes this season, including Khaite’s short-sleeve polo and Alex Mill’s athletic-inspired Polo. La Ligne, however, has abandoned the traditional colorways to create an oversized cashmere knit with a tasteful tan.

Transatlantic styling: Use Manhattanite polish to give the most Parisian pieces a Manhattanite look with a cross-body accessory and black frames.

A tote bag

Practicality is the best way to achieve classic status. In accessories, you can’t get much more practical than a large tote bag. Mansur Gavriel’s unlined “Everyday” bag is a great option for minimalist dressers who prefer clean lines and are looking for a professional look. A crisp beige is a stylish and subtle choice. Layback canvas and buttery soft suede are great options for weekend wear. In warmer climates, Chloe’s fringed, bohemian ‘Woody” and Metier’s carryall-style, ‘Incognito Cabas, are particularly appropriate. You can also upgrade to a bag that brings everyday fashion to your look – Khaite’s glossy ‘PuffyAmelia’ will give even the most casual outfits an instant high-fashion edge.

Everyday ornament

When curating your capsule wardrobe, don’t forget the details. Even though they are small in size, a striking earring or dazzling necklace can make a big impact and elevate your everyday look from simple to extraordinary. An elegant pair of gold hoops will always be a good choice. A-list jeweler Jennifer Meyer gives a modern twist to her chain-linked Edith earrings. For a daytime touch of gems, Mizuki’s charm necklace is a subtle and elegant choice. Suzanne Kalan’s white-gold and diamond cuff makes a stunning addition to your evening outfit. An everyday outfit can instantly be elevated by gold hoops or eye-catching jewelry.

Trench coat

For maximum style, you should look for unconventional riffs on the traditional blueprint when it comes to finding the perfect trench. Chloe’s double-breasted, glamorous design has been created by Gabriela Hearst, creative director. It is made from a luxurious cream-silkboucle, and features fringed detailing. Frankie Shop’s chic Eugene coat, which elevates the classic cotton-gabardine coat to a more masculine, oversized fit. Bassike’s trench in a sun-soaked yellow shade is sure to make heads turn with your outerwear.

Shop the trend:
  • CHLOE Double-breasted fringed, silk-boucle trench coat
  • SAINT LAURENT Trench coat in belted cotton-twill
  • FRANKIE SHOP Eugene large belted cotton-gabardine trenchcoat
  • BASSIKE NET SUSTAIN Oversized belted stretch cotton twill trench coat

Chunky sandals

Seasons past saw barely-there, ’90s-esque designs dominate the shoe of choice. However, this spring/summer the sandal is a popular choice of street-stylers. Brands are promoting utilitarian-inspired styles with high fashion twists, such as Arizona Love’s hiking-inspired sandals in summer-ready raffia, or Brunello Cucinelli’s minimalist leather sandals with subtle beads embellishment. Valentino’s leather slides are a standout, with large gold-tone rock-studs that catch the light beautifully. You can pair them with anything, from loose-fitting sundresses in the prairie to a slouchy suit made of linen.

Shop the trend:
  • Valentino Garavani One Stud Leather Slides
  • EMME PARSONS Evvie leather slides
  • BRUNELLO CUCINELLI Sandals made of leather with beads
  • ARIZONA LOVE Raffia sandals
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