Not only am I sharing my personal Spring 2023 capsule wardrobe with you today, but I’ve got tips for how to build a similar collection that works for you beautifully. I hope you enjoy this glimpse into my closet, but more importantly, I hope it inspires you to put a little extra thought and intention into your fashion purchases this spring. With a little bit of effort, some creativity and savvy shopping, you absolutely can build a spring capsule wardrobe that helps you create great outfits all spring and into summer.
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What is a Capsule Wardrobe?
A capsule wardrobe is simply any number of pieces in your closet that mix and match together to create outfits. You can create a capsule for a specific segment of your life, such as work, travel or sports, or you can create a capsule from which you create your daily outfits. And the only limit on the number of items in your capsule wardrobe is the limit you give yourself. Some women enjoy having a small capsule wardrobe, while others find more freedom and enjoyment in a larger number of items.
My spring 2023 capsule wardrobe currently has 27 pieces in it (one is not shown in the graphics), but that leaves me a little wiggle room to add a few more items – if I so desire – to create a 30 piece capsule. You could have a 10 piece capsule, 25 piece capsule or 50 piece capsule. You set the limit.
You can create a stand-alone capsule wardrobe which consists of everything you would need for creating outfits. But I choose to follow another common school of thought, which is to create a capsule that functions alongside my wardrobe essentials. So my spring 2023 capsule wardrobe works in conjunction with my essential base layers for spring, which I shared in yesterday’s blog post.
Here’s another glimpse at those essential base layers for spring.
Those base layers my neutrals, but they’re also the more basic pieces. I try to create outfits that have a balance of interesting pieces and more basic ones. I find that that balance looks more pleasing and a little more elegant.
How Do You Build a Capsule Wardrobe?
Here are the basic steps to building your own capsule wardrobe.
- Determine and limit your color palette. It will be much easier to coordinate a wardrobe that mixes and matches beautifully with a very narrow color palette. I’ve limited my Spring 2023 capsule wardrobe to two shades of blue, medium bold pink, Kelly green, white, black and grey. So I have just four colors and three neutrals.
I added several tanks and tees in the colors I’ve chosen for my spring capsule wardrobe. These will work beautifully with the jeans and pants in my wardrobe. But you can choose different styles and colors that will work well for you. I have neutral short-sleeve tees in my base layers, but I will probably add one or two colored short-sleeve tees in the coming weeks.
I’m providing shopping widgets for each category in my spring capsule wardrobe filled with other options. You’ll find a full range of prices and style aesthetics.
- Consider your activities and lifestyle. Make a list of the items you need in your closet to create functional outfits for your real life. I live a very casual lifestyle, working from home and occasionally getting out for church, lunch with friends, outings with my husband and some travel.
Where I live in Ohio, I find myself reaching for long sleeve cotton sweaters frequently through the spring. I’ve included a short sleeve sweater, a three-quarter length sleeve sweater and three long-sleeve sweaters in my collection. But you may have other needs depending on your location, lifestyle and climate.
- Ensure that you have both basic items as well as those with more personality. Or you could say, collect both classics and trending pieces. You’ll be able to create more stylish outfits with a balance of basics and more interesting pieces. Remember, a little “interest” goes a long way. Interesting details include patterns such as stripes or polka dots, collars, ruffles, unusual hemlines, buttons or other hardware, etc.
I included basic shirts and blouses in my base layers. Those are items I keep in my closet all year long. But for spring I added a couple of striped shirts in pretty colors. I also have a bow neck shell (like this lavender one) in the same blue that is shown above in the ruffle neck shell. I didn’t have a photo of mine because it’s old, so I included that one.
- Make sure you have at least a few really special pieces. This is definitely the place to add a few pieces that make you feel like a million bucks. They don’t need to be pricey, mind you. Just unique and full of personality.
- Add a few pieces that are really current and trending. I try to keep these to a minimum, but I do like to add a few garments that stretch me a little.
I have the more classic pant and jean silhouettes covered in my essential base layers, but I’ve add a few more modern silhouettes to my spring wardrobe here. These are silhouettes that may not be around as long, so I made sure I purchased them on good sales. I enjoy trying new styles.
Current trends to try include wide legs, patch pockets, utility & cargo pants, cinched hemlines, patches, drawstring waistbands and bold colors.
- Add completer pieces to your capsule wardrobe that will work with multiple tops and bottoms. Spring is such a great time to complete your outfits with a third layering piece, even if it’s very lightweight.
Several of my completer pieces are in my wardrobe year round, including my blazers, denim jacket (which I neglected to include) and trench coat. I did update my trench this year, but I’ve worn a similar one for years. My linen blend camel Veronica Beard jacket is no longer available, nor is the exact blue blazer I have. The blue dickey blazer I subbed in for mine below is a Veronica Beard and it is available. I’ve had the black VB scuba blazer in my closet for four years now, but I love it and wear it frequently.
Don’t forget essentials such as windbreakers and trench coats, but also include pieces that fit your style aesthetic. I like blazers, but you may prefer bomber jackets, field jackets, cardigans, etc. I’ve included all sorts of completer pieces in the shopping widget below. Remember, in all of these shopping widgets only one color is showing. Most items are available in multiple colors and neutrals.
- Finally, and perhaps most importantly, make sure that everything you bring into your closet works with at least three or four other items to create multiple outfits. That said, I do think it’s perfectly okay to have one or two items in your closet that are unique, special and really only serve one purpose. Remember, you get to make your own rules here!
You may have noticed that I don’t have any skirts or dresses in my spring capsule wardrobe. It’s true. I just haven’t found the right ones to add yet. But I do have spring dresses and skirts from previous seasons that I’ll be reaching for. I don’t wear them as much as I use to, so I don’t prioritize them. But I am looking to fill those holes.
Thanks so much for stopping in today. Tomorrow I have a video up on YouTube, but I’m also sharing the first in a new series of monthly posts, “HOT at DFMD.” Then Thursday check back here for my Spring 2023 Wardrobe Accessories. And Friday I’ll have lots of style boards up with inspiration for styling the items in my wardrobe, but also your wardrobe. You’ll see what I mean. It’s a great week!
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Blessed for My Day
When was the last time you experienced a real high? The good, clean kind that is! Maybe you had your entire family gathered together for a rare celebration. Or perhaps you took the trip of a lifetime, accomplished a major goal after much work, completed a home renovation project, or welcomed a new grandbaby into the world. Wasn’t that a blast? But then what happened next? After you came down from the mountain top of adrenaline and high emotions and full hearts, did you crash and burn? Lash out at others? Sink into a funk?
The Bible even gives us examples of how we should and should not come down from those mountaintop experiences. Best of all, we can follow in Jesus’ footsteps and practices. When He came down from the highs of life, He got away by Himself, got some much needed rest, spent quiet time with those who knew and loved Him best, ate and prayed. I think this is a great pattern for how we too should come off the mountaintop experiences we enjoy.
And He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a little while.” (For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.)…And after saying goodbye to them, He left for the mountain to pray. ~ Mark 6:31, 46
15 thoughts on “How to Build a Spring Capsule Wardrobe”
What a great post! Armed with this and the neutrals post I feel ready to go through my closet and actually plan my Spring wardrobe purchasing this year! Thanks for giving me an idea about organizing this effort.
Wonderful to hear, Deirdre. Thanks so much for letting me know that it was helpful. You’ve got this!
Hi Kay. I’ve followed you for a few years now and really admire and appreciate your style. This is the first time I have commented; I felt I needed to because this is such a helpful and informative post. I have many things in my wardrobe that can work together but I forget that and continue searching. This has really reminded me that I have most of the necessary elements in my closet, I just need to put them together. Your comment about a few special pieces reminded me of a really nice sleeveless top I have that would look nice with my white linen blazer I got last year from Talbots and a pair of simple jeans. a great outfit for Italy in April. Thank you for the time you spend putting these posts together.
Perfect. That’s exactly what I hoped to hear, Sally. I love sharing new items that women may want to add to their wardrobes. I mean, who doesn’t get excited about new things??? But I really love it when readers begin to see their own closets full of clothes a little differently because I’ve organized things in a way that puts it all in fresh light. Really you can create the absolute best outfits out of the most simple garments. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts today.
I’m so enjoying these spring capsule posts. They are like a good book and I can’t wait for the next chapter! I just found you in the late fall. I’m trying to up my game in getting ‘dressed for my day.’ I’ve already ordered several things for my spring/summer wardrobe. I’m looking forward to putting outfits together as I relearn how to dress.
Wonderful! that’s exactly what I like to hear. I’m so glad these posts help you reimagine your own wardrobe and plan for purchases smarter.
Oh Kay, this post is definitely a keeper along with yesterday’s basics capsule. Thank you for this valuable Spring to Summer fashion guide❤
I can’t wait for the accessories ! 👛👜📿
I don’t see the BFMD today but here is one for you
Proverbs 16:3 Commit your activities to the Lord and your plans will be achieved.
All your hard work is definitely appreciated. 👏
Ahh, thanks so much for that verse, Helena. I’m pretty sure I did post a Blessed for My Day, but I’ll double check that. In fact, I know I wrote it 😉 So I sure do hope I saved it!
Another great post, Kay. Over the years I’ve collected a number of pieces, but lately I’ve been whittling my closet down to what I really need and, importantly, enjoy wearing. I do follow the concept of having everything make at least three outfits with other articles of clothing. This is where scarves really come into their own as they can tie together lots of different colour combinations. (Will you be mentioning this in your Accessories post tomorrow?) I try to follow the “one new piece in, one (or two) things out.”. It seems to be working!
Yes! You beat me to it, Elizabeth. But I actually do have one very magical scarf in my wardrobe for spring. And I may add another. They both work in different ways to tie outfits together beautifully. I’m anxious for you to see them!
Thanks so much Kay! i have slowly been building my wardrobe after following you, and I truly appreciate ALL the great finds. It takes so much time to find all the great treasures in the different brands! You have taken a lot of the work out of trying to find a great black pant, workout pants, tops, etc. I love all the attention to detail you provide. Thanks again for getting us ready for spring/summer!
You’re so welcome, Mary. Yesterday a sweet reader suggested that I might want to cut back a little on my posts and make them smaller. I know her intentions were loving. But this is the kind of blog post that truly excites me, and seeing the responses from you ladies makes me feel like it is all worth it. I LOVE these posts and want to bring you all lots of value with every one that I put up. Thanks so much for your kind and affirming words.
I pray you are catching up on much needed rest as you mentioned you worked maybe too much this past weekend.
I so enjoy your posts each day and am especially drawn to your BFMD. They very often are just what I need to ‘hear’ as your honesty rings out to what many can relate to and your inspired Bible verses are food for the soul.
Thank you for creating this outreach!
Thanks so much, Karen. I’m doing quite well. I know these posts look like a lot of work, but I’ve got some great young women helping me with them, too. And really these are my greatest joys to put together. You mentioned the Blessed for My Day. I wrote one this morning; it was a personal favorite. But for some reason it disappeared when I posted it. So I have corrected that now. Thanks so much for sharing.
I love capsule wardrobes. I have one, it’s a year around capsule. About 2 years ago i had more clothes than I could ever wear. a closet with a double hanging bar 2 chest of drawers and a rolling garment rack, all packed full. . It didn’t help that I worked for target in clothing. So I decided to do a closet/ drawer purge that took me a little over a year and 15 big garbage bags later to get the clothes and colors that I love to wear, and since I’m semi retired I finally have time to wear them. I need to add some spring button up shirts for more layering options and some cropped linen pants. You have some great options for those.
Have a bless day!