There isn’t a woman around who wouldn’t want her wardrobe and style to be described as chic. Chic is beyond just the clothing that exists in a a closet. When we think of a chic woman, we think of someone who is powerful, in command and confident, who isn’t overwhelmed by nonsense or extraneous things. There is a simplicity to a chic woman’s wardrobe. Yet, despite this simplicity, it manages to be far from boring at the same time. Just how does she do it?
Today I decided to create a chic wardrobe capsule to give some of my thoughts on how to not only create a tight cohesive wardrobe but one that is stylish and can be mixed and matched at the same time. Let’s take a look.
How to Start a Chic Wardrobe Capsule
From the photo above, you can see all the pieces laid out that I am going to be using. Here they are broken down and why they were selected.
The Base Pieces
Here are the base pieces, a grey sheath dress from MM.LaFleur, skinny jeans from Lucky Brand, a pair of black skinny cotton ankle pants from Vince Camuto and navy blazer from Reiss. As you can see, all of these pieces are not only classic, they’re like blank canvases. If you want to create a small, chic wardrobe capsule, the more versatile your base pieces are the better. You an do more with them.
Again, for the sake of versatility, I chose these three tops for their ability to be blank canvases, a white t-shirt from Boden, white button down shirt from Hugo Boss and slightly novel top in blue from White House|Black Market. When it comes to choosing tops for your chic wardrobe capsule, you aren’t stuck choosing colorless, boring tops. However, when you choose tops that are a bit more interesting, make sure they can still be worn a variety of ways. Also make sure they work with the accessories you choose in color and look.
This brings me to my next point, your accessories. This is a crucial step in creating a chic wardrobe capsule because this is how you will be able to do more with less. You’ll use your accessories to create more variety. If you are just getting started with a chic wardrobe capsule, here are some pieces to consider.
I want to start with this scarf from Lulla Collection. It’s not only pretty but it’s a great road map in terms of colors that you can add to your chic wardrobe capsule. If you’re struggling to figure out what colors you can add to the capsule you are building, look to something colorful, like a scarf, a piece of jewelry or a printed piece of clothing. From there pull the colors from the print and use those colors to add additional accessories.
Don’t like prints or a lot of color? It’s okay. If you want to add just a small amount color, choose shades that harmonize well with each other so you can mix them together in your outfits. Using a colorful printed piece, however, is just a nice little cheat if you need some extra guidance.
Next, I chose these earrings in coral from Simon Sebbag for obvious reasons. There is a lot of coral in that scarf.
The rest of the jewelry I kept incredibly neutral in order to create ultimate mix and match ability, including this bracelet from Ann Taylor, gold hoops from Julie Vos, statement pendant from gorjana, and watch from Michael Michael Kors. To keep this capsule chic, I went with timeless pieces that will remain stylish for years to come.
Lastly, I chose this cognac bag from Longchamp for a very specific reason. If you want to keep your chic wardrobe capsule tight, it’s important to choose one bag that can work across the board. If you look up at the base pieces you’ll see that they are grey, black and navy. Had I chosen a bag in black or navy the mixing and matching would not be as easy. This shade will work with everything, plus, this is a very elegant and chic color for leather.
Lastly, shoes. For the sake of versatility because, remember you are looking to keep this chic wardrobe capsule tight, I started with these tan pumps from Cole Haan for the same reason I chose the cognac bag from Longchamp; they will go with every color of your capsule. I also chose these metallic flats from Dr. Scholl because of this too. I like metallic flats for their ability to be versatile and interesting at the same time.
For color, I went back and referenced the colors found in the scarf and added these Cole Haan loafers in purple and blue strappy heels from Ivanka Trump. Personally, I love adding pops of color through the shoes. If this isn’t your preferred method you can add more color through your jewelry and/or scarves and even your handbag.
Now, obviously, your chic wardrobe capsule may be comprised on different pieces, but for the sake of example, I chose these items to give you an idea of how to start. To show you how much you can get with so little, I mixed and matched 20 different outfits below using different pieces as the starting point.
The black skinny pants outfits
I love how easily these pants can go from work to weekend with just a few tweaks.
The navy blazer
I love how the blazer can be dressed up with a dress while also creating a chic casual look with the jeans.
The grey sheath
I love how grey and shades of cognac look together.
I selected the trench because it can be dressed up or down. However, you don’t even need the trench to create even more stylish looks. All of these can stand alone without it.
This cardigan is the perfect topper piece for work and weekends.
Wardrobes are always in flux and it is likely that a chic wardrobe capsule this small will get boring after a while if something new isn’t added. However, as you expand it, keep the simple formula in mind of buying versatile wardrobe pieces that are easy to mix and match while peppering it with fun accessories that can add some flavor.