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How to Create a Work Capsule Wardrobe

How to Create a Work Capsule Wardrobe

Office wear is one of the most misunderstood elements of fashion. Finding something both office appropriate and fashionable can be a daily challenge.  The good thing is, it can be accomplished.  Creating a capsule wardrobe for work is a great way to accomplish this challenge.

A capsule wardrobe is a small group of clothes that you can mix and match to create a multitude of outfits.  Don’t worry about your wardrobe looking repetitive. The right mix of nice accessories and shoes will give you the options you need.

Here’s the basic principles of a capsule wardrobe:

-Choose a base or neutral color (black, blue, grey, beige, etc). You can wear these over and over.

-Choose an accent color. Try to use colors within the same family (cool, warm, or bold colors)

-Be careful with prints. Printed tops will go with more than printed pants.

-Create options by changing up pieces so you can have maximum versatility. Purchase long sleeves, short sleeves, pencil skirts, cardigans, jackets, and cropped trousers.

-Avoid buying multiples of the same colors. Try not to buy multiple tops in the same color. This way you will not feel like you are wearing the same things over and over.

-Add accessories. Having a wide range of accessories will help with maximizing your wardrobe. Accessories can completely change the way an outfit looks.


A work wardrobe capsule should consist of the following basic pieces.

  • 2 blazers/cardigans

  • 4 bottom pieces (trousers/skirts)

  • 6 tops (shirts/blouses)

  • 2 dresses

  • Classic pumps (black and nude)

  • Flats (black and nude)

  • Boots (black and brown)

  • Classic Trench Coat

Once you have the basics, you can build the rest of your capsule around them.  A rule of thumb with your basics: each piece must be able to go with all of the other basic pieces.  For example, each top must work with all of your bottom pieces. 



Begin with your neutral base whether that is a pair of black or khaki slacks and work your way up by adding your next layer.  That should be blouse or shirt.  Once you have your base, depending on the weather, add a nice cardigan or blazer.  Try to add color in some form to liven up your outfit.

The purpose of building your wardrobe basics, is to create a functional wardrobe. With a solid wardrobe foundation, you should be able to repurpose the same pieces over and over again. The goal of a capsule wardrobe is to cut down on shopping to add new pieces and to start shopping your own closet.

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