If you’re considering going more minimalist with your clothes, this minimalist wardrobe checklist includes all the classic staples that will allow you to find ease in getting dressed and create more outfits with less.
Before we dive into those key items, let’s quickly cover what a minimalist capsule wardrobe is and some of the benefits of having fewer clothes.
What is a minimalist capsule wardrobe?
A minimalist capsule wardrobe is a small collection of versatile, easily interchangeable clothing thoughtfully curated to maximize the number and variety of outfits you can create. A capsule wardrobe allows you to create many different looks for various occasions with fewer clothes.
Why have a minimalist capsule wardrobe?
Giving away more than two-thirds of my clothes and building a smaller yet more versatile capsule wardrobe has added so much ease and enjoyment to getting dressed every morning. It’s also helped me hone my personal style and experience fun with fashion in an entirely new way.
Here are a few benefits of a capsule wardrobe you might experience:
- More ease and enjoyment in getting dressed. Having a small wardrobe of clothes you love and know how to wear will boost your confidence and make getting dressed fun, fast, and stress-free.
- Less overwhelm and decision fatigue. As ironic as it sounds, many people are overwhelmed by the number of clothes they own yet feel like they also have nothing to wear. With fewer options and clothes that effortlessly mix and match, you’ll have fewer decisions and find more ease in getting dressed.
- More creativity with your clothing. A minimalist closet challenges you to create different outfit combinations and will enhance your creativity in assembling outfits.
- Lower environmental impact. Today fashion accounts for up to 10% of global carbon dioxide output and ⅕ of the plastic produced each year globally. Less clothing means less plastic and fewer chemicals in our water and oceans, less clothing in landfills, and a smaller carbon footprint. Buying organic cotton clothing is another way to reduce your wardrobe’s environmental impact.
- High-quality pieces. When you stop buying clothes you don’t need and start buying things you love and wear often, you’ll have more money to invest in timeless, quality pieces that will last multiple seasons or, in many cases, years.
- Less wasted time and money. Think of the time you’ve spent on your wardrobe over the last few years —shopping, trying on, returning, exchanging, tailoring, organizing, laundering, repairing, and purging. When you have a minimalist capsule wardrobe, you spend considerably less time and money on all those things.
The ultimate minimalist wardrobe checklist
Use this list to first shop your current wardrobe and build the foundation of your capsule with items you already own. Play with these pieces to see how many outfits you can create while noting what you need to update or add to your capsule to maximize every item.
You, by no means, need every single thing on this list. It’s merely a list to reference and consider if you’re overwhelmed, feeling stuck, or don’t know where to begin. Use it as a tool to build your own capsule wardrobe that suits your unique style, preferences, and day-to-day life.
If you like printable checklists, I have the perfect one to help you get started.
Below, you’ll find 32 minimalist wardrobe essentials to consider including in your capsule. Click on a link in the minimalist wardrobe checklist below to jump down to that item’s details —including how many you might want, buying and styling tips, and my favorite minimalist picks for each.
- Layering tanks or bodysuits
- Basic t-shirts
- Graphic or patterned tees
- Knit, silk, or linen tanks
- Short-sleeve tops
- Long-sleeve tops or blouses
- Elevated sweatshirt
- Everyday sweaters
- Basic blazer
- Neutral trousers
- Black leggings
- Classic jeans
- Staple shorts
- Black midi dress
- Casual summer dress
- Basic skirt
- Denim jacket
- Trench coat or light jacket
- Long puffer coat
- Long wool coat
- Neutral sneaker
- Nude heels
- Neutral flats
- Ankle boots
- Knee-high boots
- Strappy flat sandals
- Large leather tote
- Cross-body bag
- Straw bag
- Classic clutch
- Neutral belts
- Timeless jewelry
Layering tanks or bodysuits (x 2-3)
Basic tank tops and bodysuits are perfect for layering under cardigans, button-downs, blazers, and jackets or worn by themselves with a belt and a necklace during warmer months.
Color-wise, I’ve found white, black, and cream/beige work with everything in my wardrobe. Depending on the items in your wardrobe, navy, brown, gray, or a bright pop of color might also be worth considering.
My favorite minimalist layering tanks and bodysuits
- I have this Seamless Rib Bodysuit from Abercrombie in black, white, and beige. I love the strap width and that it’s thick enough to wear alone when it’s too hot for a second layer.
- The Rib Tank Top from Arket is very soft and good quality for a more casual base layer.
Basic t-shirts (x 3-5)
Basic tees are a true workhorse and essential pieces in every capsule wardrobe because they are versatile and easy to layer. You can wear a short-sleeve tee year-round, but if you live somewhere with long, cold winters, you may also want a couple of long sleeves in your winter wardrobe.
Here are a few neutral tees worth having:
- Basic white tee
- Classic black tee
- Ecru, taupe, camel or gray tee
Capsule-conscious tip: Quality t-shirts made from slightly thicker or softer cotton fabric are more opaque and drape better. They make an outfit look more polished than tees of thinner, lower-quality materials. I find thicker tees also look better when you want to dress them up with jewelry and accessories.
My favorite minimalist tees
- The Conrad T-Shirt from Sezane is my favorite casual crew neck. I love the looser, oversized fit around the center, and the slightly longer sleeves you can roll or leave as-is. Most importantly, it looks great just tucked into a pair of jeans!
- If you like a more drapey t-shirt, the Mae Drapey Tee from ABLE is dreamy. I own it in 3 colors!
- Regular Fit Heavyweight Tshirt from COS is a great heavyweight white tee.
Graphic or patterned tees (x 1-2)
In addition to your basic solid tees, having a t-shirt or two with some graphics or patterns can add interest and let you be more creative with your capsule.
Styling tip: Layer your graphic or printed tee under a loose cardigan, blazer, or jacket for a more trendy vibe.
My favorite graphic & patterned tees
- The Nashville Graphic Tee from Able is my absolute favorite graphic tee. It’s soft and has the perfect oversized fit. I wear it with everything!
- This Relaxed striped tee from & Other Stories is also a great option.
Nice Tanks (x 2-3)
Nicer tank tops are another foundational piece in a minimalist capsule wardrobe. A knit, silk, linen, or Tencel tank will elevate a look more than a basic cotton tank, whether you wear it alone or with something layered over. Black and cream are my go-to colors for my nicer tanks since they go with everything.
Capsule-conscious tip: Consider the width of the straps when choosing tank tops. Sleeveless tops with slightly wider straps (½-inch to 2-inches) will work for various occasions even without anything layered over.
My favorite minimalist tank tops
- The Textured Shell from Vetta is made from Tencel, which gives it an elevated feel but the comfort of cotton. Its two different necklines make it the ultimate capsule tank.
Short-sleeve tops (x 2-3)
Having a couple of versatile, short-sleeve tops will give you some great outfit options when you’re going out or want something a bit more dressy than a t-shirt. In terms of fit, you can go loose and flowy or tighter fitting. I like to have one of each, a tighter top to pair with flowy, wide-leg pants and a looser short-sleeve top to pair with skinnier bottoms.
My favorite minimalist short-sleeve tops
- The Girlfriend Shirt from Vetta will be the next addition to my spring/summer capsule
- The Valencia Blouse from Sezane
Long-sleeve tops and blouses (x 2-3)
For cooler months, you’ll want 2-3 nicer long-sleeve shirts or blouses that can be dressed up or down, worn alone, or layered with other pieces. Again, I like to have one closer-fitting long-sleeve top to balance wide-leg pants or flowy skirts and a looser, flowy one to balance more form-fitting bottoms.
A crisp white blouse and linen button-up are great for layering under or over other items.
I like to pair my white linen shirt with denim shorts in the summer. Because it balances the length and casualness of the shorts, it creates a slightly more put-together look than a cotton t-shirt or tank would. It also provides a bit more sun protection but helps me stay cool.
Below are a few staple capsule tops. Stick with the styles that you feel most comfortable in and will wear the most.
- Loose fit Dolman top
- Slim fit knit top
- White linen button-down
- White cotton button-down
- Denim button-down
Capsule-conscious tip: When it comes to tops and blouses, there is so much variety — from cute cotton tops with a ruffle shoulder to slim-fitting knits and beautiful silk blouses. I absolutely love Sezane’s frilly, feminine blouses but know they’re not realistic for this work-from-home mama of two. It can be tempting to shop for the person you want to dress like, but you’ll get more out of your wardrobe by sticking with pieces that suit your current lifestyle and that you know you’ll wear.
My favorite minimalist long-sleeve tops
- Slim-fit Soft Knit Top by & Other Stories
- The Dolman Top by Vetta
- White cotton button down from & Other Stories
- Oversized white linen top from Zara
Elevated sweatshirt (x 1-2)
If you want to look effortlessly cool and still be comfortable, an elevated sweatshirt is a good piece to have in your wardrobe. It’ll keep you comfy and warm on chilly days, but can also be layered to make a cool, casual outfit —like with a white button-down, jeans, and a pair of mules, or tucked into a slim-fitting midi skirt with ankle boots or sneakers.
Styling tip: Contrast is key in dressing up this casual piece —so try pairing it with different bottoms and layering something unexpected underneath.
My favorite minimalist sweatshirts
- Striped Oversized Sweatshirt from Arket —my current fave!
- ReNew Fleece Raglan Sweatshirt from Everlane. I’m obsessed. Size up 1-2 sizes for a slightly looser and longer fit.
- Off-white Oversized Sweatshirt from Arket
Everyday sweaters (x 3-5)
The right sweater will add warmth and interest to any outfit. They’re also important pieces when the weather changes between seasons. Toss one over a summer slip dress with boots, and you’ve got a new outfit for fall.
You will likely have different sweaters for different seasons —lighter, flowy cardigans for warmer weather and thicker, chunkier knits for colder months.
Depending on where you live, Here are some basic sweaters you might want to have in your closet.
- Lightweight knit
- Light cardigan
- Slim-fitting, ribbed knit turtleneck
- Everyday cotton cardigan
- Mid-weight wool cardigan
- Thick cotton crewneck sweater
- Chunky wool knit
Styling tip: When choosing your capsule sweaters, plan your outfits around the shape of your sweater, so the pieces balance each other out. For example, oversized sweaters work well with slimmer bottoms like a midi skirt or skinny jeans. Fitted sweaters, like a ribbed knit turtleneck, will look best with looser bottoms like roomy trousers or a flowy skirt.
My favorite minimalist sweaters
- The Convertible Chunky Sweater from Vetta is currently blowing my mind —it’s a turtleneck, crewneck, and cardigan in one. I am hoping to get it in the walnut color when it comes back in stock!
- The Marlene Cropped Cardigan from ABLE is another beautiful, classic knit.
- I also love this Alpaca Blend Sweater in grey or beige melange from Arket.
Basic blazer (x 1-2)
You can style a blazer in any season and in many ways. For example, it can be a sophisticated jacket for the office or elevate a casual graphic tee or sweatshirt for Sunday brunch. Chances are you already have one in your closet; if not, they’re a great item to thrift.
Tip: A linen or wool blazer can be a great seasonal statement piece, but a midweight cotton or cotton-blend blazer will be less season-specific and likely more versatile throughout the year.
My favorite minimalist blazers
- I love the relaxed feel to this Flowy Suit Blazer from Mango.
- This Oversized Wool Blazer from & Other Stories would be a great fall/winter one, too.
Neutral trousers (x 2-3)
Trousers used to be just an office look for me, but in the last year, I’ve discovered how great they are for making easy, everyday outfits. They’re comfortable yet sophisticated, even with your favorite faded graphic tee.
Some neutral trousers you may want to consider in your capsule wardrobe:
- Linen trousers for late spring and summer
- Culotte trousers for a seasonless style
- Pair of black pants or wide-leg trousers
Tip: Culotte trousers can be worn year-round and feel less formal than full-length trousers. Pair them with slim or chunky boots in fall and winter and pointy flats, mules, pumps, or open-toe wedges when spring and summer are in full swing.
My minimalist picks
- These high-waisted culotte trousers from Zara are my most–worn pants at the moment. I also own them in the ecru color.
- For spring and summer, I love these linen trousers from Abercrombie. They are lined and come in a few different lengths.
Classic jeans (x 2-3)
A good pair of jeans is another foundational item in a minimalist capsule wardrobe. Having a few different styles and washes will give you maximum versatility and allow you to dress up or down depending on the day.
While I own a few different styles, slim, straight-leg jeans that hit 2 inches above the ankle are my tried-and-true go-to’s. They’re flattering and work with nearly every shoe —from chunky ankle boots and everyday sneakers to strappy sandals and pointy stilettos. Their classic shape also never goes out of style.
To find the style of jeans that works best for your body type, try on a bunch and see what works. I highly recommend going to a few stores (or ordering multiple brands, sizes, and styles online) and trying on as many as possible to figure out what brands, styles, inseams, rises, and washes you like best.
Capsule-conscious tip: If you find and can afford a pair or two of premium denim, they’re worth the investment. I find they keep their shape and fit significantly better than cheaper denim made with lower-quality fabric.
Citizens of Humanity, Sezane, AGOLDE, and Everlane are my personal favorites for premium denim. Mango also has very affordable quality denim.
Here are a few pairs of denim you might want to consider for your capsule wardrobe:
- Dark slim, straight-leg, or skinny jeans for more dressy looks
- Medium-wash straight-leg or mom jeans for everyday jeans
- Light-wash wide-leg or destroyed denim for more casual looks
- Black, white/ecru, or beige/taupe denim
My favorite minimalist jeans
- The Brut Sexy straight leg jean from Sezane is my current go-to.
- Chrissy High-rise Skinny from Citizens of Humanity
- Wide-leg Sailor Jean from Rollas are a go-to for summer
- High-Rise Comfort Mom Jeans from Mango (They stretch so I recommend sizing down if you can)
Black leggings (x 1-2)
Even if you don’t work out regularly, a good black legging is another great capsule foundation for making cute, comfortable outfits with minimal effort.
- For a balanced look, pair black leggings with longer, looser tops like an oversized graphic tee, sweater, blazer, denim jacket, or sweatshirt.
- Pair them with pointed ballet flats or heels, loose, chunky boots, pointed boots, or stylish sneakers with hidden socks.
- Boots that are the same color will elongate the leg.
My minimalist favorites:
- The Ultra-High Rise Elation leggings from Athleta are buttery soft, not the slightest bit see-through, and hug you in all the right places. I’m 5’ 4,” and the ⅞ length is perfect for me. They’re my go-to for workouts and cute everyday outfits.
- I also have several friends that love the Perfect Black Pant and Faux Leather Leggings from SPANX.
Classic shorts (x 2-3)
I never used to love wearing shorts, but since moving to Spain —where they’re pretty much necessary five months of the year— I’ve discovered some styles that flatter my petite, athletic frame, and they’re now a favorite part of my summer uniform.
Three things I look for in summertime shorts:
- Breathing room around the leg: A-line shorts with wider leg openings give your quads more breathing room and are typically more flattering than something tight around the thigh.
- High-waisted or paper bag-style: High-waisted bottoms of all kinds —shorts included— lengthen the leg line and bring attention to the waist. The paper-bag style is my favorite because they’re super comfortable and look great with a simple white t-shirt or tank top.
- Breathable fabrics: Linen is my favorite material for summer shorts because it’s so airy and has a barely there feel. Denim is a bit heavier but still perfectly comfortable as long as there’s some breathing room around the thigh.
My minimalist favorites:
- Relaxed linen shorts from & Other Stories
- The A-Line Denim Short from Everlane
Black midi dress (x 1)
Some might argue everyone needs a little black dress, but I am going to say for a capsule wardrobe, a black midi-length dress is more versatile and worthy of a place in your closet.
It all comes down to versatility. A sleek, black midi dress can be worn in an office setting, to important business meetings, to dinner, to a cocktail party, or even to a funeral. A little black dress likely won’t work in all of those scenarios, so I say the black midi is the ultimate black dress for a minimalist capsule wardrobe.
Capsule-conscious tip: A long sleeve black dress will be good for cooler weather, but a black sleeveless or short-sleeve dress can be worn year-round —alone or layered under a cardigan, blazer, or jacket during colder months.
My minimalist favorites:
- The Ribbed Tank Dress from Everlane
- Tyra Knit Dress from Reformation (Available both in petite length)
- The Cashmere Midi Dress from Everlane is a worthwhile fall/winter splurge
Casual summer dress (x 1-2)
Having a casual summer dress is another must if you live in a hot weather climate. Anything short- to mid-length will help keep you cool and can easily be dressed up or down with different shoes and accessories.
I have a white A-line linen dress from Oysho (Zara’s more casual sister store here in Spain) that I wear on repeat all summer long and even into fall with boots and a jacket. I’ve linked some other great options below.
My top picks for minimalist summer dresses
- The Jessi Linen Dress from Reformation is very similar to my go-to white linen dress. This would be great for dressing up with espadrilles or wedges or paired with flat, strappy sandals for a more casual look.
- Linen Mini Dress from & Other Stories
- I also love the open back on this Vacay Perfect Cotton-Linen Midi from Free People
A classic neutral skirt can be an excellent capsule staple because they’re comfortable, can be dressed up or down depending on what you wear it with, and work year-round.
Here are a few classic year-round skirts you may want in your capsule wardrobe:
- A-line skirt: With a fitted top and gently wider bottom, this skirt is flattering on many body shapes, as well as comfortable and versatile.
- Pencil skirt: Narrow, straight, high-waisted skirt that hugs the body and tends to fall at or below the knees. It’s flattering all many body shapes and, while it can be quite formal, can also be dressed down with a t-shirt and casual shoes.
- Midi skirt: Midi skirts have a hemline that falls between the knee and ankle. Because of its length, it makes a great year-round piece in mid-weight fabrics
- Maxi skirt: An ankle or floor-length skirt typically made from loose and flowy fabrics. Maxis have a more summer vibe, but those made from denser materials are great for colder months. They look great on pretty much every body shape and can be easily dressed up or down for numerous styles and occasions.
- Tuck in your top or add a belt to play up your waist.
- Balance slim, high-waisted skirts with a looser, cropped top or sweater.
- Try pairing your skirts with more casual wardrobe pieces, like a t-shirt, loose linen or denim button-down (tied), and sneakers.
My favorite minimalist skirts
- I have the Soft Skirt from Zara and love love how it pairs with everything.
- The Elie Skirt from Sezane would make a great year-round skirt and can be easily dressed up or down.
- The Fitted Midi Pencil Skirt and Slim Midi Pencil Skirt from & Other Stories also have endless outfit potential.
No matter the current trends or the season you’re in, a classic denim jacket is a timeless staple that you’ll be able to wear pretty much all year long.
My minimalist picks
- The Jean Jacket from Madewell
- The Bailey Classic Jacket from Able
Trench coat or light jacket (x 1)
A timeless trench is refined but practical and can elevate even the most casual outfits. They’re lightweight, which makes them perfect for spring and fall or cool mornings and evenings, but they can also be great fall-transition coats with a couple of layers underneath.
If a trench just isn’t you, there are lots of other light jacket options out there.
Capsule-conscious tip: Whether you like camel, stone, khaki green, navy, or black, a neutral jacket will go with everything. Choose a color that pairs well with your most often-worn shoes, bags, and belts for maximum versatility. Also, consider how easy the buttons and belt are to fasten before investing.
My favorite minimalist trenches
- & Other Stories has great quality trenches in various styles, lengths, and colors.
- This Trench Raincoat from Madewell is a beautiful mix of two very classic and functional jackets.
Long puffer coat (x 1)
A long puffer coat is the ultimate winter coat and a must if you live somewhere with frigid temps and gusty winds. They’re stylish yet super warm and will stand the test of time and trends. I added this one to my capsule this winter while traveling in Germany and Austria and wished I had invested sooner!
Capsule-conscious tip: Look for a long puffer with a detachable hood —it’s a nice option in bad weather. Also, wear a thick sweater when you try them on so you know you can layer up underneath when needed.
My favorite minimalist puffer
Long wool coat (x 1)
Another winter staple, a long wool overcoat adds class and warmth to any winter outfit. I also added one of these to my capsule this winter. I love it for school drop-off because I look acceptable even with sweaty workout clothes underneath!
Shopping tips: Choose a wool overcoat with a high neck and double-breasted for ultimate warmth.
My favorite minimalist wool winter coats
- This is my Wool Blend Oversized Coat from Zara. I’m crossing my fingers they bring it back for future seasons because it’s so good!
Neutral sneakers (x 1-2)
Days you want a more casual, comfy look, a pair of neutral sneakers will offer you numerous outfit options. Pair them with jeans and a blazer or a tee and trousers for an interesting contrast.
Capsule-conscious tip: Look for a pair with a few neutral colors —like black, beige, and white, or beige, white, and brown— as these will mix and match with even more items in your wardrobe and work with different belts, bags, and accessories.
My favorite minimalist sneakers
Nude heels (x 1-2)
If you’re going to own one pair of heels, let them be nude. Visually, a nude heel becomes an extension of your foot that elongates your leg and pairs with pretty much everything—neutrals and bright, bold patterns, sleek dresses, and destroyed denim jeans.
Some nude heels you may want to add to your capsule include:
- Closed-toe heel (rounded or pointed, depending on your preference)
- Strappy nude heels for warmer weather outfits; wedges are great for summer and super comfortable
My favorite minimalist heels
- The Hazel Pumps from Sam Edelman are very similar to mine from Zara and come in a few different nude/tan shades depending on your skin tone.
- I recently snagged these strappy nude leather sandals from Mango for more elevated spring/summer looks.
- Kenneth Cole also makes cute and comfortable summer wedges.
- The Grace White Vegan Leather Sandals from Alohas are super minimalist and look so comfortable.
Neutral flats (x 2)
Another minimalist capsule wardrobe staple, neutral flats are infinitely versatile and quick to put on, allowing you to look put together even when you need to run out the door at a moment’s notice. A trusty pair of nude/tan/stone and black flats will work year-round and get a lot of wear.
Capsule-conscious tip: Pointed-toe flats elongate the leg and will dress up an outfit more than rounded-toe flats.
My minimalist picks
- The Pointed Toe Flats from Rothy’s are my absolute favorites. They come in many colors (including black and a few different tan/nude options); get this —you can wash them in the machine.
Ankle boots (x 1-2)
Ankle boots add versatile style for everyday wear and can be worn from the first hint of fall through late spring, making them a great piece to keep in your capsule. Because of their height, they are one of the easiest boots to wear and pair well with slim-fit and wide-leg bottoms, as well as long skirts and dresses.
- Pointed or square-toe boots will elongate the leg and give your outfit a more elevated, timeless look than a rounded-toe ankle boot/bootie.
- Look for pairs that hit roughly 2 inches above the ankle and are looser around the leg, as these will work nicely with slim trousers and jeans tucked in. Shorter, ankle-hugging boots won’t be as versatile.
My minimalist picks
Knee-high Boots (x 1-2)
Neutral knee-high boots are one of the most versatile items for cooler (or freezing cold) days. They’re a great summer-to-fall transition piece that’ll carry you right into spring. A pointed or square-toe boot will have a dressier vibe, while a rounded toe will feel more casual.
Here are a few different ways you can wear knee-high boots throughout the year:
- With a light summer dress and a scarf or jacket for the summer-to-fall transition
- With a short sweatshirt dress on a cool spring day
- With a midi skirt and chinky knit in winter
- With black leggings, a turtleneck, and an oversized sweatshirt or sweater on freezing cold days
My minimalist picks
- Love these classic leather riding boots from Mango
- These two-tone Poppy Tall Lug Sole Boots from Madewell have leggings and slim trousers written all over them
Strappy Flat Sandals (x 1)
A strappy flat sandal is a summer “must” in my book. A nude-colored pair works with everything from shorts and trousers to skirts and dresses.
My minimalist picks
- Ancient Greek Sandals make my favorite minimalist, strappy sandals. They’re an investment, but each pair I’ve owned has lasted several seasons —a worthwhile purchase in my book.
Large leather tote (x 1)
A large leather tote bag is a great year-round wardrobe piece and is especially handy when carrying things back and forth between work and school or when you’re going out for the day. Though they’re a bit of an investment, leather totes will withstand the wear and tear of everyday use and last for years —a well-worth investment in my book.
My minimalist picks
- I’ve owned the Classic Zipper Tote (stone color) from Cuyana forever, and it’s still one of my favorites.
- The Classic Easy Tote is a newer minimalist style I love.
Cross-body bag (x 1-2)
Before I became a mom, I never owned a cross-body bag —and now I can’t live without one. I need all the hands I can get these days! Aside from being a mom essential, cross-bodies are timeless, and their size makes them a great everyday bag.
My minimalist picks
- My go-to crossbody is the Arpege from Cocinelle in black pebbled leather. Sadly, this specific bag seems to have been discontinued, but the saddle style is timeless, beautiful, and functional if you can find something similar!
- The tri-color Number One Nano from Polene has also been on my wish list for nearly a year. The tri-color would pair perfectly with tan, brown, and cream-colored accessories.
Straw bag (x 1)
I love my leather bag nine months of the year, but a lightweight straw bag can make a casual summer look when the warm weather hits. A simple straw cross-body is perfect for everyday errands, while a tote can be handy for farmers’ market trips and double as a beach bag.
Classic clutch (x 1-2)
When you want to be minimalist in what you’re carrying, a classic, neutral clutch is truly the perfect bag.
- A black and cream/white clutch works in almost every situation, from a formal event or fun evening out to a casual brunch with friends.
- Look for a clutch with a detachable, adjustable strap, and you’ll have two bags in one.
My minimalist pick: The Diletta Clutch from Cocinelle is buttery soft and has a detachable strap.
Neutral leather belts (x 2-3)
A classic belt is truly an essential building block of a minimal wardrobe. It adds so much interest and emphasis to even the most simple looks.
Styling tip: Adding a belt and coordinating color shoes instantly pulls an outfit together.
My minimalist picks:
- I love Arket’s minimalist leather belt (true to size) and wide leather belt (runs small). I’m still on the hunt for an ecru/nude leather belt, though!
If you don’t often wear jewelry, you’ll be amazed how a simple gold necklace or a small pair of chunky gold hoops can dress up casual basics and make a simple outfit look complete. It’s like the icing on the cake, the exclamation point on your look.
My minimalist picks:
- Simple Chain Necklace from & Other Stories
- Croissant Dome Earrings from Mejuri
- Boyfriend Bold Bracelet from Mejuri
Tips for creating a minimalist wardrobe
If you’re ready, follow my simple 3-step framework to create your first capsule today!
Here are some additional tips to keep things simple and maximize your wardrobe with fewer items.
- Add interest with layers. Layering lets you play around with the pieces already in your closet. Experiment with different textures, fabrics, weights, patterns, and colors, and see how many new outfits you can create.
- Choose quality items. Higher quality clothes will withstand frequent wear and washes, which is important because you’re wearing the same items more often. By having fewer clothes, you’ll be able to invest a bit more in good basics when the time comes.
- Keep the core neutral. A neutral color palette will maximize the number and type of looks you can create. Add accent colour with a fun top, shoes, and accessories like scarves and jewelry.
- Take good care of your clothes. Use a gentle laundry detergent and wash on the coolest setting when possible. Air dry whenever you can —drying clothes in the dryer fades clothes just as much as washing. Use a sweater comb, lint roller, and iron to keep items looking their best.
- Put thought into new pieces. Think about what your wardrobe is missing or what might need to be replaced. Before buying new clothes, get outfit inspiration from Pinterest to explore the different outfits you can create with a particular piece. Try out different brands, styles, and sizes, and read customer reviews whenever possible. Return items that don’t check all the boxes.
- Don’t focus on a specific number of items. Instead, focus on curating versatile capsule wardrobe basics that easily mix and match and suit your current lifestyle.
Other capsule wardrobe articles you might like
- My 3-Step Guide for How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe
- How to Create a Kids Capsule Wardrobe
- Kids Capsule Wardrobe Essentials (with my free printable kids capsule checklists)