I have never really experimented with capsule wardrobes. I guess I don’t really see the point of working with less than what I have in my closet. Unless I was going to strip my closet back to basics I don’t think I could stay on task. Also living in Canada my wardrobe is effectively broken into seasonal capsules already since we have four very distinct seasons. Another capsule that naturally falls out of my wardrobe is the one for work.
My back to work series from 2014 is how I went about rebuilding my work wardrobe. It is still really relevant if you are going back to work after a long absence or just want to rebuild or rethink your work outfits. I have been a bit bored with my work outfits of late so I thought this exercise might reinvigorate my combinations. This is my Wear to Work Capsule Wardrobe.
Wear to Work Capsule Wardrobe
- Start with a Suit – Even though my office is fairly casual and most of the time I don’t wear a blazer, I still think you should start building a work wardrobe with a suit. The beauty of a suit is that you don’t have to wear the pieces together. Break the suit apart, remix it with other pieces in your wardrobe. The pants will be worn whether you have a conservative or liberal workplace. The jacket can be paired with the pants for presentations or with other items to create more outfits.
- Parker-Fit Multi-Stripe Shirt – Because you can’t wear a suit all by itself you are going to need shirts. I prefer a blue and white stripe as it adds some visual interest. That and I can’t seem to get the while shirt black pants combo out of my head as a waitress uniform.
- Olive Blouse – It isn’t exactly a work wardrobe with only a suit and one shirt. More blouses give more options to the suit.
- Tippi sweater – A lightweight wool sweater is perfect for layering for the office. With a suit, two blouses and one sweater you have 5 outfits right there. A whole weeks worth of looks without trying too hard. Of course most of us aren’t going to wear the same pants every day or tops twice a week but it could work.
- Riviera Skirt – If I am being honest I mostly wear trousers to the office but there is something about a sleek skirt that screams office appropriate. I love the detail on this one.
- Avery-Fit Dot Pant – Most Work Capsule Wardrobes would recommend to stock up on neutral trousers that are easy to mix and match with colourful blouses. But you can also pair fun pants with neutral tops. Or if you are really gutsy mix those prints.
- Suited Wool Trousers – There is nothing wrong with a great neutral trouser, they do go with everything. I love the look of these trousers with the Olive blouse above.
- Le Original cropped high-rise straight-leg jean – I planned this wear to work capsule wardrobe with jeans for Friday. Most workplaces have a dress down Friday. I would suggest a dark skinny jean, trouser denim or straight leg jeans for work. Avoid rips or something too low slung for the office.
- Striped Oversized Top – I mentioned before our office is more casual. And I tend to wear sweaters more than jackets. Layering sweaters in the winter is how I get by through the colder months.
- The Modern Loafer – I haven’t mentioned shoes yet but of course you can’t go to the office barefoot! These are my most worn office shoes. Read my full Everlane Modern Loafer review.
- ‘Zala’ Pump – I love the way clothes look with heels. Even though I don’t wear them as much as when I first started working an office job I still think they are a must have for a work wardrobe. I like the thicker more walkable heel this one has.
- Mohair & Wool Cardigan – Office buildings can be quite cold. I always leave a sweater just in case. I even use it in the summer.
- Mini Floral Print Blouse – As much as I have grown to love a button down shirt I think little feminine blouses really round out a work wardrobe nicely. They also work with a weekend wardrobe as well.
- Icon trench coat – If there is one coat you need for a work capsule is a trench. If you live in a colder climate you can an equally polished look with a gorgeous wrap coat.
- Navy Teddie Tote – If you lug files or a laptop to and from your office a tote like this can be indispensable. It is also roomy enough for a packed lunch. Read my Gigi New York Tote review.
- New vintage cotton T-shirt – It may not seem like something you would automatically think about when creating a work capsule wardrobe but having tees or tanks to layer can add more flexibility to your outfit combinations. Use these on dress down Friday with a blazer and you have an outfit that is work appropriate and relaxed.
- Round locket pendant – I don’t finish enough of my work wardrobe with jewellery. I love the look of this locket as it is both simple and elegant.
- Long Tassel Scarf – Scarves are how I finish off my work outerwear. It is probably one of my most complimented and commented outfit solutions.
- Work Satchel – If a tote is for lugging work items to and fro then a fabulous work appropriate handbag is for everything else.
I think this work capsule wardrobe is a great start for someone looking to rethink their work wardrobe. If you are starting from scratch these four posts are a must read to create a remixable work wardrobe.
What is in your Work Capsule Wardrobe?