I’ve long been an advocate of less-is-more, especially when it comes to curating an ideal capsule wardrobe. Though life as a fashion blogger has an influx of new fashion pieces arriving to my door on nearly a daily basis, a majority of these items are donated or given to my close friends shortly after arrival. Why? First of all, I feel beyond blessed to have had the opportunity to share with you guys my inspiration in fashion, travel and life in general. Giving back is one way I feel like I can keep that incredible encouragement you provide to me, flowing on to the next person. Second of all, one only has so much space in their wardrobe! My value in life is placed on experiences, and surrounding myself with the people I love. Minimizing is an important step to reducing clutter, saving time, and maximizing on the things that are most important to you. Thirdly, I can now officially announce to you guys – I’m moving! There has never been a better time to talk about reducing capsule wardrobe essentials. The past few weeks I’ve been weeding down my wardrobe even further in preparation for the move.
So how to build a capsule wardrobe with fewer pieces without feeling like you’re missing out on anything? Start with your core essential basics. These are the pieces that you’ll be rotating throughout your wardrobe in so many different ways. Often the pieces most taken for granted – a worn out pair of blue jeans, a T-shirt we picked up at a thrift store, a basic blouse that’s our only button-down so it get’s worn for ever relevant occasion. You know what those pieces are in your wardrobe. In this fashion post, we’ll review some key items you should be focusing on in order to have a well-balanced minimalist wardrobe, with enough pieces and variety to keep your looks fresh and updated, without feeling the clutter of extra stuff.
Why invest in luxury essential basics – Buying for cost-per-wear
Before we get started, my recommendation on these pieces is always the starting point for wardrobe investment. So often, we spend the most on an evening gown we plan to wear to one occasion. Event clothes, fast fashion trends and impulse buys are all fast ways to deplete your shopping budget. Instead, plan to invest the most money on the simple things. I promise, it will pay off in the end. Consider the cost per wear. If you spend $400 on a party dress and wear it once (no matter how long you end up keeping it in your wardrobe), your price per wear was $400. We justify it by telling ourselves that we needed it. But in fact, you could have rented the dress, or borrowed one from a friend for little to nothing.
Spending $400 on a T-shirt is something that’s often mocked in luxury fashion. But if you wear that t-shirt at least once a week, and it lasts into the next year, your cost per wear could be as low as $5-8 per wear. A luxury T-shirt is made with a higher level of craftsmanship and materials, and it’s going to wash better than a low-cost T-shirt. Luxury fashion also tends to be more timeless. The design itself will work into current fashion trends longer. I’m not saying you need to spend $400 on a T-shirt. But I am saying you should consider your most worn items, and invest accordingly. An investment piece may only cost you $20 if that’s the item that genuinely fits you best and serves the quality you can re-wear. What I encourage you to do with investment capsule clothing is not to make compromises, or you’ll end up buying it again.
Essential basic #1 – black jeans
Let’s talk about item on a capsule wardrobe checklist that will definitely be worth the investment – your favorite pair of black jeans. I have a confessed 20-plus pairs of black jeans, all of which get rotated through my wardrobe at least on a monthly basis. However, there are 1-2 pairs that I favorite, and the others only get grabbed as I laze on my laundry responsibilities. One pair was a designer pair of Rachel Comey jeans I had purchased over a year ago, and remains one of my favorite pairs. They have a classic, high-waist silhouette, fray hem, and iconic non-stretch denim material. I have washed them at least 30 times, been less-than-careful with their treatment, and they’re still good as new. In fact, I’ll probably have them another several months at minimum. They were priced pretty high for denim, but their price-per-wear is probably change at this point.
Black jeans like the ones I’m wearing in this look are timeless and effortless. It’s cliche to say they can be worn with anything, but they truly can. Wear them with thigh-high boots and a lightweight cashmere sweater and you’ll be ready for a fall day-to-night look. Pair them with a silk cami and pumps and you’re ready for cocktails. Pair them with a sweatshirt and you can grunge all day. Throw on a blazer and you can play off the athleisure hoodie-layer trend. I could make an entire post just talking about what to wear with black jeans. You get the point. The possibilities really are endless. Invest in this essential basic on a pair that fits you comfortably, washes well, flatters your body type, and has a classic timeless cut for the maximum cost-per-wear. Some of my favorite brands for essential jeans are Levi’s, AG Jeans, and J Brand. I’ve shortlisted a few of my favorites below.
Essential basic #2 – a tailored blazer
Speaking of a blazer with black jeans, a blazer is also an equally important essential basic in a capsule wardrobe. Even though they’ve recently become more trendy this year than ever before, they’ve always been a timeless layer. This year, the focus has been on plaid and herringbone prints. Solid blacks, grey and nude are also great essentials that you can mix-up so many ways in your wardrobe. Pair them with your new essential black jeans for the most classic take on business casual attire. Following athleisure fashion closely? You can pair your blazer with joggers and a cute cropped T for daytime errands.
Daring? Pair your blazer over biker shorts and a sports bra for a Bella-inspired look that’s flattering and oh-so risqué meet’s classy, sporty, cool. Or, pair it over a leopard-print dress to incorporate your basics into fast-fashion trends. Blazers are fun because there are so many colors and patterns that somehow still work as basics. Check out the best of the best I’ve shortlisted below to shop.
Essential basic #3 – a luxury belt
If you haven’t considered accessories as a part of your essential basic wardrobe, you’re making a mistake. When this double GG belt first hit the fashion scenes, those that invested early have definitely gotten a great price-per-wear by now – because this trend is going no where. In fact, even some of my less-than-fast fashion friends have picked up on the look, and incorporate their own Gucci belts into their weekly attire. A luxury belt is a statement piece that takes a long time to go out of style – and trust me, that’s a rare gem in the fashion world when it comes to statement luxury items. The beauty, even though the double GG is a fashion trend, at the end of the day it’s also a great basic black belt with gold buckle. Even after the GG phase dies, you’ve still got a great piece that can last you for years.
Wear the GG or other luxury belt with your essential jeans, blazers and trendy fashion pieces. You can cinch it at your waist over a flowing dress for a more feminine look, or with paper bag pants for a tailored minimalist statement. I recommend shopping direct from the designer websites to ensure the authenticity, and get exactly the measurements and design you’re looking for.
Essential basic #4 – athleisure sneakers
Whether or not you’ve embraced the athleisure trend to the degree I have, sneakers are one essential you’re not going to be able to get by without in any kind of remotely active lifestyle. If you’re more into fitness and aggressive workout routines, your running sneakers are just fine. Just invest in a pair that suits your needs and supports your body as they were intended to. Fashion sneakers were not made for the gym, but gym sneakers work just fine into fashion.
There are a lot of different sneaker silhouettes from active running sneakers to high top street sneakers and iconic styles like Golden Goose sneakers or the new Balenciaga chunky sole sneaker. Decide which pair best suits your personality and lifestyle needs and invest accordingly. If you take good care of your sneakers, these could last you for years. Wear them with (you guessed it) everything. The point of these key capsule wardrobe collection pieces is just that – they can be worn with anything, ensuring your price-per-wear is low, and providing you with endless outfit combinations on just a few key items. I’m sneaker-obsessed, so it was difficult for me to narrow them down, but you can shop a few of my favorites in the links below!
Essential basic #5 – basic T-shirts
Ok, you didn’t really think I could mention spending $400 on a luxury T-shirt without including a T-shirt in my top 5 essentials did you? In fact, this may be one of my lowest cost-per-wear items, since after they age out, they still suit just fine for outdoor activity wear, or comfy PJ shirts. What I look for in investment capsule collection T-shirts is how they wash. Since you’ll be wearing (and presumably washing them) a lot, anything that gets overly wrinkly or linty just doesn’t cut it for me. These are hard things to know before buying, so take a close look at the materials with your zoom, and don’t forget to check the material combinations. Cotton basics wash well, and steam wrinkles out easily.
T-shirts are also trendy! So you can get a combo of fast and timeless fashion with this investment. All major luxury designers have been taking advantage of the trend, and you can find some great selections on Shopbop, Farfetch or other luxury retailers. My collection now includes staples from Balenciaga, Givenchy and Gucci – all staples I wear on a regular basis, and have proven themselves as essential basics. Solid white and black T’s are also great staples if you’re less of a graphic person. Same applies to selection as black jeans – pick a style that compliments your body type and fashion choices. Not all T-shirts are created equal. Shop some great staples below!
With just these 5 essential fall capsule wardrobe pieces, you can truly create so many combinations to rotate mixed with your favorite trendy pieces. Get your trendy pieces on a bargain, and invest in your quality staples to get the most out of your wardrobe budget. Happy shopping!
In accordance with the FTC regulations for Influencers, this is a sponsored post in collaboration with Shopbop. dayinmysreams.com occasionally receives Shopbop sponsorships for mentioning their products and services. All thoughts, comments and musings are made of my own opinion and honest, personal experience with the products reviewed or mentioned. I hope you’ve found this post informational and inspiring!