With many of us returning to the office (sigh), this means retiring the sweatpants and baggy t-shirts for real workwear again. Lucky for you, this means a workwear wardrobe update! Specifically, a work capsule wardrobe that will set your closet up for success for years to come.
By investing in high-quality basics, as opposed to trend-centric items, you will be able to build a wardrobe that will serve you without ever worrying about being out of style. Below you will find everything you need to know about building a work capsule wardrobe. From tailored blazers to comfortable (yes) trousers, I’ll show you how to create a stylish and functional wardrobe that will make getting dressed in the morning a little less daunting.
Before we dive in, I have some important advice: don’t think about it too hard. No matter the way you spin your work capsule wardrobe, you’re sure to rock it. Now let’s get into it!
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting my site! Read more about my disclosure policies here. All prices are accurate at the time of the article and are subject to change.
What do I need for a work capsule wardrobe?
There are 8 key categories to master a work capsule wardrobe. As a working professional who has mastered my capsule wardrobe over the past few years as a working professional, these are the key categories that as must-haves.
Click on a product below if you want to skip right to that section, otherwise keep reading!
The Best Brands for a Work Capsule Wardrobe
There are quite a few brands you can shop for to build a successful work capsule wardrobe. The products below are a mix of Everlane, Quince, and Amour Vert which are my favorite high-quality, yet affordable capsule wardrobe brands.
If you’re looking for something even more affordable, I highly recommend you check out H&M for classic work styles.
Here you’ll see one silk button-up blouse, one short-sleeve t-shirt, and one long-sleeve t-shirt. These options can easily be dressed up or down. You can also style them in so many different ways, including a french tuck (tucking in the front) and even layering, specifically with the t-shirts and the blouses.
My favorite here is the silk blouse because it’s such high quality, you’ll be surprised to hear it’s only $70. All of the options you see above are also offered in a range of colors, which allows for a diverse selection to suit whatever your wardrobe needs.
A blazer and cardigan are the must-have items for a work capsule wardrobe because they are incredibly multi-functional. You can layer them over different tops and dresses to create a polished look with structure and sophistication.
If you want a more casual look, opt for the knit blazer seen above or a cardigan that’s perfect for cold offices (cause it feels like every office is freezing, right?). Versatility is what makes blazers and cardigans such essential pieces for any office look.
I’ve included denim within “pants” because I feel that most workplaces are modern enough to allow denim (other than on Fridays). Denim can be worn with a blazer, t-shirt, and sneakers for a more casual look. The trousers seen above can create a range of outfits suited for the office, making them a go-to option for many professionals.
In all honestly, I don’t love the pant options from Quince so you’ll have to look for yourself to see if there’s anything you like. The two above are exclusively from Everlane and Amour Vert.
Skirts are one of the most adaptable pieces for a work capsule wardrobe. You may be thinking that skirts are only good for spring and summer, but they’re good for any season! For the winter, I recommend checking out these fleece-lined tights on Amazon and for transition months, you can check out this 6 pack of tights. I own the silk skirt seen above from Quince and can speak from first-hand experience that it’s one of the most flattering items in my wardrobe. Plus, it’s washable silk which makes for easy cleaning.
Similar to Quince/pants mentioned above, I didn’t find many skirts from Amour Vert that I felt were worth mentioning here. But take a look for yourself, there may be something you like!
Above you’ll see a leather jacket, a trench coat, and a leather shirt jacket. They’re all timeless pieces that are suitable for both formal and informal settings. No matter your office environment, these are must-haves for your commute or if the office is a bit chilly. The above options allow for an edgy and versatile choice to add a touch of personality to your work capsule wardrobe.
I was unable to find any coats or jackets that I like from Amour Vert. But take a look to see if there’s anything you like!
There are 3 classic shoes perfect for a work capsule wardrobe: a white sneaker, a loafer, and a boot. All of these options are versatile, comfortable, and professional that add a touch of either casualness or sophistication to any outfit. Shoes can make or break an outfit but with these three options, you’re set for multiple looks.
I find that Everlane outperforms every other brand when it comes to high-quality, accessible work shoes. They have such an amazing selection of sneakers, boots, flats, and heels.
A tote bag, shoulder bag, and backpack are the perfect bags. The shoulder bag seen above is the perfect size for fit your laptop or any other work materials, similar to a tote bag. The backpack is a practical and hands-free option that can also accommodate other work essentials. I personally always choose a backpack because it allows for even weight distribution and makes commuting easier.
Amour Vert does not offer any bags at the time of this article but you can check back by clicking the link below.
I’m going to do something a little different for the accessories section. If you want to find high-quality accessories (primarily jewelry) for work, I highly recommend you check out this article on the 18 best Etsy jewelry shops for any budget.
However, if you want to place on big order on the brands I’ve been mentioning so far, I’ve linked their accessory shops below.
How many clothes should be in a capsule wardrobe?
There’s really no hard and fast rule for how many items should be in a capsule wardrobe. It depends on what you already have and your own personal style, lifestyle, and needs. Some people prefer to keep a very minimalist wardrobe with 10-15 pieces while others may have up to 40.
At the end of the day, minimalism is what matters the most within a capsule wardrobe. You want to focus on quality over quantity and pieces you’ll wear for years to come. Having a minimalist wardrobe you’ll also spend less time deciding what to wear which will help reduce decision fatigue.
What is the 333 rule capsule wardrobe?
The 333 rule is a great way to simplify your wardrobe and reduce the decision fatigue I just mentioned. What you do is choose 33 items from your wardrobe to wear over a period of 3 months. During this time, you can put your other clothes in storage. After 3 months, you can reassess your wardrobe and choose a new set of 33 items for the next 3 months.
This is a really great way to simplify your wardrobe and reduce clutter. It also helps you figure out which items you love and are willing to wear most often and which items are simply taking up space in your wardrobe.
What is the capsule wardrobe 5, 4, 3, 2, 1?
This is another minimalist capsule wardrobe approach. It works by choosing 5 sets of clothing, 4 pairs of shoes, 3 bags, 2 accessories, and 1 coat/jacket to fill your wardrobe. This is another great way to simplify your wardrobe by having core items you can mix and match, making your wardrobe both functional and stylish.
Establishing a work capsule wardrobe is one of the most efficient ways to simplify your morning routine and look stylish and put together. By choosing versatile pieces you can create a variety of outfits that meet the demand of your workplace. A work capsule wardrobe is the perfect way to support sustainable practices by reducing clothing waste and promoting conscious consumption.
With love or whatever,