Welcome to your 15-piece spring capsule wardrobe for 2022. I’ve had quite a few requests to do this again, so apologies that it’s taken a while. I should really have done this last month but it’s a meaty one so I hope this makes up for its lateness. There won’t be anything groundbreaking here, and you can always refer to last year’s post for a few more variations but, really, a good capsule wardrobe won’t change hugely over the years as a lot of items will be timeless. See Breton top. I mean, I think I include one in almost every post because they work with so many things. See also good jeans, khaki trousers and trainers, but there will be a few new ideas here that you can add to the things you already own.
This is also how I pack for a trip. Picking out key pieces and working out how you will put them together saves a lot of stress when you’re away. Use this as a guide for a week away. Not somewhere hot though – this is squarely aimed at our weather right now. In the next few months I will do a summer capsule wardrobe guide that should help for hot holidays. If all goes to plan, by the time you read this I will be heading off for our first holiday abroad since 2019. I won’t feel confident of getting there until that plane is fully in the air. There won’t be a post next week but I hope this one satisfies until I’m back.
Let’s firstly have a look at the 15 items I’ve chosen for your spring capsule wardrobe this year, then we’ll see eight outfits they can make. As ever, I have added alternatives at various price points and, of course, I’m certain that you will have many of these things in your closet already…
A GOOD PAIR OF JEANS:
I’ve said on many occasions that you don’t have to spend loads of money on fancy designer jeans. I’d say all but one of my favourite pairs are from the high street. The exception being the Raey ‘Dad’ jeans that I do love (size DOWN). For today’s post I have picked the Albaray boyfriend jeans because they are the ones I’ve been reaching for more than any other recently. I like their shape, the feel of the denim, the button fly and the length. I turn up the hem slightly. Take your regular size in these.
PRINTED OR PLAIN T SHIRT
A really good white T-shirt is a must. The best I’ve found – and this is just me, please do let me know if you’ve found some good ones too – is the ‘heavyweight’ T-shirt from Arket. Absolutely not see-through (a pet hate of mine), not lady-fit (also a bête noire), but just a quality, classic-shape, short-sleeve T-shirt. Take your regular size.
BRETON STRIPE TOP
I mean, surely you ALL have one of these. There are so many to choose from. You can go for a full stripe, long sleeve, mid sleeve, in any colour you fancy. Today I’ve gone for the more traditional version with the white block above the stripes. This one is from Uniqlo and it’s slightly oversized with a longer length so you can wear tucked in or out. If you’re looking for a more boxy shape, then I can recommend this Whistles one too.
BLACK MIDI DRESS
You could choose any dress really, I’ve just gone with black this time as it’s an easy ‘blender’ with all the other items. But check out the spring dress edit for many more frocks. I chose this one from Cos because it’s nice and soft, lightly fitted and can be so easily dressed up or down. I tend to take my regular size in Cos. This dress also comes in cream and plum if black isn’t your bag.
CHINO / KHAKI TROUSERS
Almost as much of a wardrobe essential as a pair of jeans or a Breton top. Khaki trousers go with everything, except perhaps more khaki, but you get my drift. They work really well with your summer denim jacket when the time comes, so I’ll probably include a pair in my summer capsule collection too. This pair from Cos are probably my favourite pair. I’ve had them for about five years and they still sell them every year, so that means they are a true classic. Take your regular size. They also come in beige and in a more relaxed style, although tbh I can’t tell the difference much between the two.
TRAINERS OR HIGH TOPS
Usually I advocate a simple white pair of trainers when compiling a capsule wardrobe, but this time let’s go with something a bit more colourful. The New Balance 237 are SUPER comfortable. I have them in a different colour-way from a couple of years ago and they are perfect for all-day wear. One to pack if you’re on a sightseeing city break. Go half a size up as they tend to come up a little small.
CLOSED TOE SANDALS
Now this is a new one for me, and one I already know will be quite divisive. I even advocate wearing them with socks while the weather is still cool. Again, not something for everyone, but I’m into it. Also good for anyone who’s not keen on their toes.
I had a request to find a really good tote bag that can accommodate a laptop, so I had a hunt around and I think this one from Bellroy fits the bill. It’s got a really good internal design so your things don’t get all mixed up, and it also has a zip closure and comes in five colours. I know it’s not mega exciting, but if you want a proper functional bag, it’s a really good one.
I also had a request for tops that work for those with large boobies. I’m not a trained stylist so I can never be sure exactly what will work for each individual, but I do know that too many frills, ruffles and high necks can be tricky for my big-breasted brethren so, for today, I’ve selected this cheesecloth blouse from ME+EM. I have a black short-sleeved version from last year and I wore it loads, it’s such a great top. This should be good for boobs as it has a V-neck shape and a subtle ruffle. You can wear it loose or tucked in. Take your regular size. It will work right though summer too as it’s super-light and breezy.
I have to admit, I have a penchant for an expensive sweatshirt – my favourites being by Isabel Marant or Anine Bing. That said, H&M often do some good ones that wash well. But I get good wear out of the pricey ones. I’ve had my Izzy M one since 2014 and I still wear it often. Not shrunk, got out of shape or gone bobbly. This one is similar to the one I have (you can use code KATE15 for 15% off and free delivery); take your regular size or size up if you wear your sweats looser. For Anine Bing, I tend to size down as they are already oversized.
PAIR OF FLATS / LOAFERS
I tend to err on the side of loafers in this category, but there is something to be said for a good pair of flat ballerina-style shoes. They make you look more dainty and they go with tons of outfits. Boden do some great flats, so I’ve picked this black suede pair from there. I usually go up a size in pointed flats to avoid the toe squash.
We need a little blast of colour in our capsule wardrobe so I’ve added that in the form of a cardi. This orange one from H&M is a great budget option and I love the colour. If you’d rather a wool version, then I can recommend this one from Whistles too.
NAVY WOOL JUMPER
The last two items I’ve picked are for chillier days. I take that saying ‘Ne’er cast a clout till May is out’ to mean ‘Don’t put your woollies or coat away until June’. I can recall many times when I’ve had to pop on the thermals in May AND June, so it’s good to have something on hand. I always advocate a good navy sweater. My top favourite is this one from Navygrey. One of the most worn jumpers in my wardrobe.
Finally, a quilted jacket, which I kind of hope we won’t have to be wearing for much longer, but I had to include something for warmth. For more spring jacket ideas, check out this post. I like this one from All Saints, and Mango also do a more purse-friendly cream version with a khaki interior here.
from All Saints, and Mango also do a more purse-friendly cream version with a khaki interior here.
OUTFIT IDEAS USING YOUR 15 PIECES
Now that we’ve got our 15 items, let’s have a look at 8 outfits they can make. There’s probably way more combinations too. Think of these items as a bit of ‘Fashion Suduko’, almost all of them can go with each other and that, in my mind, is the key to a really successful capsule wardrobe. I’ve used a tiny bit of artistic license with a couple of extra accessories, but I don’t think sunglasses or socks really count in a capsule wardrobe do they.
JEANS, BRETON & CARDI
BLOUSE BLAZER & JEANS
BLACK DRESS & BRIGHT CARDI
SWEATSHIRT, JEANS & TRAINERS
NAVY JUMPER, KHAKIS & BRETON
DRESS, BLAZER & SANDALS
KHAKIS, WHITE T-SHIRT & FLATS
DRESS LAYERED OVER BRETON
Phew, thanks for getting to the end of this post, I hope it was useful. See you in 2 weeks. Unless we fail the covid test, then I’ll be back next Sunday…