16 essential pieces for your spring capsule wardrobe

a rack of clothes that form a spring capsule wardrobe

The turn of the seasons is the ideal time to do a wardrobe audit and reboot; and the fresh energy of spring is perhaps the best time of all. When spring is on the horizon we begin to dream of time outdoors, and lighter brighter colours and prints are on our wardrobe wish lists.

I put together a spring capsule wardrobe of 16 pieces; a mix of items already in most wardrobes plus some new additions to freshen up your look. Use this capsule as a guide rather than strict instructions – your colour choices might be different to mine, but the principles of a capsule wardrobe are the same.

What is a capsule wardrobe?

A capsule wardrobe is a collection of garments that work together, offering mix and match options. Your capsule should contain hard working wardrobe items that you will wear over and over again. The majority of your capsule will be wardrobe basics. That’s not to say you shouldn’t have some bling in your capsule – after all bling loudly speaks spring fun – but your bling pieces should work with other pieces in the capsule. What we are trying to avoid is having those items which you wear once and then never again because they are big statement pieces that only serve one occasion.

4 images of a woman wearing a floral skirt with 4 different tops as part of her spring capsule wardrobe for 2022
One skirt 4 ways, add a jacket or blazer and scarves for different looks

Selecting items for spring – starting your capsule

The place to start your capsule is definitely with what’s already in your wardrobe – take everything out and look at it with fresh eyes. That’s one of the things I love about the change of season – suddenly all your favourites emerge and feel new after being hidden away over winter. Once you have everything out of your wardrobe, review each piece carefully. These tips on editing your wardrobe will guide you through this process.

Once you know what you already have, you can do a gap analysis and make a list of the pieces you are missing or otherwise wanting to add to bring new life to your wardrobe. Make sure each new piece works with at least three, preferably more, other pieces.

As you consider what pieces to add, definitely focus first on basics and stay away from commitment pieces – particularly one occasion pieces and big prints. These can come later once you have all the basics in place.

Why bother creating a capsule wardobe?

I’m guessing that right now some of you are saying this sounds like a lot of work and I don’t want to be so locked in and restricted? If that’s you, let me tell you why you won’t regret the time you spend now – in fact your future self will definitely be very grateful. Why?

  • You will no longer feel that you have nothing to wear – because the pieces in your wardrobe all work together, you will have many combinations to play with
  • You will save money – again because your wardrobe just works
  • Getting dressed every day will be quick and easy because you will no longer need to fossick through loads of items you don’t love
  • It’s better for the environment – a capsule wardrobe is the perfect step away from fast fashion. You will have fewer pieces but more outfits – how good is that!
  • It’s fun – you will discover how to play in your wardrobe, creating new outfits.
a womsn wears a cardigan with 2 different bottoms
Don’t think of your cardigans as only a layer, they can work as a top as well

Ideas for your spring capsule wardrobe

Spring is definitely a time of changeable weather and depending on the climate where you live your needs will vary, but most of us will definitely want layers, and particularly if travel is on our agenda.

2 pairs of jeans, 2 scarves against a white background
Jeans and scarves are both great workhorses for variable weather.

I suggest you consider these pieces for your capsule wardrobe – the majority are classic pieces and will be in your wardrobe for years to come. Of course you might want to vary your mix – replace some jeans with more dresses or skirts for example, or add more dresses. But a caveat on dresses; they don’t offer the flexibility and mix and match variety of separates.

Here are my top choices for your spring capsule:

  • 1 pair of coloured jeans – choose a colour that will work with most, if not all, the tops in your capsule. Stalk the options at places like The Iconic and Birdsnest. Green is a trending colour this spring, but only go there if you love green clothes and have pieces to work with them. Your jeans should work back with every top in your capsule, as well as jackets.
  • 1 pair of white jeans – of course you can choose blue denim, but white has that freshness we look for in spring. This pair from Blue Illusion are a great option or these from Blue Bungalow. Again the jeans should work back with all your tops, and jackets.
  • 1 pair of linen pants – choose a colour and style that works for you and that willl mix and match with your choice of tee shirts and your blazer. I love these from Styling You The Label.
  • 3 tee shirts – I have chosen block colours – white, navy and chambray – but stripes are a great option and graphic tees can be too. My tees are all from Styling You The Label. Depending on your climate you might wish to add tank tops to your mix. Make sure each top can work back with your jeans and skirt/s
  • 1 long sleeved tee – again I have gone with a block colour that goes back with my jeans and my skirt. I’m a fan of these modal tops from Seed.
  • 1 white shirt – there are several great options available at Blue Bungalow. Wear your shirt back with your jeans and skirt, but also as a layer over your tee shirts.
  • 1 midi skirt – a great option that can easily be worn with tights and boots when spring hasn’t quite kicked in, but is equally comfortable with sneakers or sandals as the weather warms. Mine is from Costa Vita Purolino and it is a piece I choose to wear over and over.
  • 2 dresses – one block colour, one print. I love print, but when you are trying to keep your wardrobe on the smaller size a wardrobe full of prints can be challenging. Block colours or stripes can be more flexible as they will easily work with a choice of scarves. There are so many dress options to choose from and it’s likely you will always have some great ones in your wardrobe.Preferably they will work back with your blazer too.
  • 2 scarves – these are wonderful additions to your capsule and if you choose carefully they will work with every other piece in your capsule. Wear them in a variety of ways. Look for lighter options in cashmere/cotton/linen mixes for just that right amount of warmth. Try Cara Cashmere for warmer options, and Blue Bungalow for a huge number of choices.
  • 1 blazer, 1 denim jacket – both these will work back with every other outfit. A great denim jacket can be the hardest working piece in your wardrobe. There are many sources for blazers, just make sure you purchase one that not only works with your other wardrobe choices, but also has some stretch and give to allow you to move. The same goes for a denim jacket, I like this stretch denim one from Birdsnest
  • 1 light cardigan – wear this as a layer over your tee shirts and dresses, or keep buttoned up and wear as a top. I’m a fan of the light merino wool pieces from Uniqlo, but they may not be available this late in the season. A lighter option is this cotton/rayon cardigan. A fun layering look with a cardigan can be throwing it around your shoulders and knotting the sleeves together – a timeless classic look.
a woman wears two different dresses
A print dress makes a statement, a block colour dress works with all accessories. Add a blazer or denim jacket to either of these

Other considerations for your capsule wardrobe

You will have noticed there are a couple of scarves in my suggested mix, and accessories are so important for adding even more variety to your wardrobe. I talk about shoes in this post and other accessories in this one. Click through to find out some of my favourite brands.

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