Have you all heard of capsule wardrobes before? There are infinity definitions of them online, but essentially, the concept originated in 1970s London (what a time and place to be alive!). According to the creator, Susie Faux, a capsule wardrobe contains a few essential and timeless items that can be supplemented with seasonal or trendy pieces.* The base pieces are the basics every woman “should have” in her wardrobe that form the base of her wardrobe and can be built upon. Common pieces included in a capsule wardrobe: Trench coat, blazer, white blouse, denim jacket, (printed) sun dress, slip dress, little black dress, (denim) shorts, midi skirt, pointy toe pumps, black ankle boots, white sneakers**. Your capsule wardrobe can be anywhere from 10 pieces to 50.
I realized recently, this is basically how I build and plan my outfits already, so why not take it one step further and really commit? Envision what I want my summer style to look like, pick a few pieces from my wardrobe that check the boxes, and plan outfits with only these pieces, but pulling in whatever accessories I like along the way? OK, so I didn’t actually commit, but I did a fun experiment and pulled the “basics” from my wardrobe, using a lot of pieces from the Back Rack, and styled 7 outfits for you all. I could have done more, and might!, but ran out of time during nap time.
For my capsule, I chose the following pieces: a BLUE trench coat, a summer dress, a GREEN suit, a blazer, a vest, a button-down with a FUN PRINT, two blouses, a NEON ORANGE pencil skirt, shorts, sneakers, flats and a pair of sandals. The best part of all of this, is yes, it is suggested to include these specific items, but no-one said they HAVE to be boring. I’m obsessed with suits, and what’s better than a plain, neutral colored suit? A suit in a fun color! I’m still searching for the perfect secondhand summer suit (I have several winter ones), but in the meantime, this green one from Zara is in constant rotation. It’s summer, so I leaned in to complimentary BRIGHT colors, plus white - it’s light, bright and reflects the sun, plus provides a GREAT contrast to all of these fun colors. My accessories included scarves, rings (to “tie” my scarves) and sunglasses.
This was so much fun, I might actually do it for real! We’ll see :)
Full suit, plus an eyelet blouse = instant cool biz professional vibes
Suit: Zara; Blouse: the Back Rack; Sandals: J.Crew; Sunglasses: H&M; Scarf: Dollar General; Ring: Forever21
Using the trousers from the suit, I styled the rest of this outfit in all white to let the pants stand-out. All of these pieces are show-stoppers on their own, but paired together, they make a great business casual option for the office (if we ever go back).
Trousers: Zara; Blouse: Jean+Lou; Vest: Maplewood Boutique; Flats: Target; Sunglasses: Noto; Scarf: Dollar General; Ring: Forever21
If you can’t tell, business casual is my happy place, so putting another spin on that theme using this beautiful white blouse. I paired it with a bright orange pencil skirt, and a blue trench from the Back Rack, for an easy, breezy biz casual lewk. Blue and orange go so well together because they are complimentary colors, but if that makes you uncomfortable, pull in another item that includes both colors to tie everything together - like a thrifted rainbow scarf! Blue sandals finish off the look for those casual summer vibes.
Pencil skirt: J Crew Factory; Blouse: Jean+Lou; Trench: The Back Rack; Sandals: J Crew; Sunglasses: ReDress; Scarf: thrifted; Ring: H&M
OK, but what do you/I wear if I’m not going to the office, which I haven’t been to for several months now? Easy - how about an all white monochrome outfit? I’m clearly obsessed with this white top, so wanted to “dress it down” for a weekday/weekend adventure (or work from home life). Paired with a white vest, white shorts and white high tops, this outfit is everything I want in my “off-duty” style (“off duty” from work, but “on duty” for time with my family). A scarf, because that’s my go-to accessory right now, plus leopard print sunglasses, and I’m ready for whatever we encounter on this imaginary adventure.
Shorts: Ralph Lauren - thrifted; Blouse: Jean+Lou; Vest: Maplewood Boutique; Sneakers: Converse - thrifted; Sunglasses: Express; Scarf: Dollar General; Ring: Forever21
I wasn’t ready to put away these white shorts, so I styled them with this incredible button-down from the Back Rack, and brought back the blue trench from earlier (also from the Back Rack) for another easy, casual, but still video conference appropriate look. Sandals and some simple aviators, and I’m good.
Shorts: Ralph Lauren - thrifted; Button-Down: the Back Rack; Trench: the Back Rack; Sandals: J Crew; Sunglasses: H&M; Scarf: Dollar General; Ring: Forever21
Now for my pick for the Summer Dress staple in my capsule wardrobe: I swapped this white, prairie dress last year. It’s nothing I would normally gravitate towards, but there was something about it’s flowy, effortless style that intrigued me (plus it has MAJOR Robin Sparkles “Sandcastles in the Sand”/Catherine Zeta-Jones and Antonio Banderas fencing in “The Mask of Zorro” vibes). I’ve been brainstorming ways to wear it ever since I swapped it, but I think this way is my favorite: paired with a light, linen blazer, flats and a cool summer hat.
Dress: swapped; Blazer: Thrifted; Flats: Target; Hat: Noto; Sunglasses: Urban Outfitters
And here it is again, styled with only high tops and sunglasses. Because dresses really are the MVPs of our wardrobes (dresses and jumpsuits, but that’s another story for another time).
Dress: swapped; Sneakers: Converse - Thrifted; Sunglasses: Noto
What do you think - Will you give a capsule wardrobe a shot? If so, let us know - We’d love to hear about it! OR if you are curious and have any questions - send them our way! Your closet is a great place to start, but if you need some inspiration, the Back Rack is a close second (below are some of my picks for a good start to an amazing capsule wardrobe). Have Fun!