spring capsule wardrobe

How to Create a Spring Capsule Wardrobe + 82 Outfit Photos

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Ever feel like you’ve got nothing to wear? A capsule wardrobe can help! Some folks see a capsule wardrobe as a collection of hardworking, versatile pieces you can easily mix and match to make many different outfits. While I agree, I’ve started seeing it as a personalized special collection of clothes you love. These are the go-to pieces you wear all the time in one season. They’re the first things you reach for and your ride-or-die pieces that are versatile, easy to style, and make you feel put together. 

If you’re like me and sometimes buy clothes on a whim only to have them sit in the back of your closet, a capsule wardrobe makes you think more about what you’re buying and why. Everything you have in your closet becomes something you use and love.

In this post, I’ll show you how to make your own spring capsule wardrobe. I’ll give you some questions to think about before you buy anything and tell you about the pieces in my spring collection and why I picked them.

What Should Be in a Spring Capsule Wardrobe?

Your capsule wardrobe should be personalized to your life and your climate. You’ll need your favorite bottoms, like jeans, pants or skirts. You’ll also want tops that you can layer, like t-shirts, button-downs, sweaters, blazers, and jackets. Include dresses or jumpsuits and shoes too. Plan for extreme temperatures if you have them.

How Do You Make Your Own Capsule Wardrobe?

Your capsule wardrobe should feel like you and reflect your personal style. It’s about picking clothes that fit your life and make you happy. You want to pick practical pieces you can wear on repeat and ones you love wearing so you won’t get bored. Getting dressed should feel fun and make you feel good. That begins with including pieces that make your heart jump with joy.

To hone in on your style and what you like, 20 Best Fashion and Style Tips for Women Over 40  has some great tips. When you know your style, you can feel more confident about what you’re adding to your cart. Also, think about these questions, write down your answers, and look at photos of you in outfits you love.

  • How do your favorite outfits make you feel, and why do you feel that way?
  • What styles and colors have you loved for a long time and keep buying?
  • What clothes and colors do you have a lot of?

Discover Your Capsule Color Palette

When I first made a capsule wardrobe, I realized I bought clothes in colors I didn’t have to try to have every color in my closet. That meant I ended up with pants in every color. I had to buy lots of tops to match. Narrowing your capsule wardrobe down to 2-4 base colors with 2 or 3 accent colors allows you to mix and match pieces easily. This capsule is built around khaki, cream, white, olive green, blue, black, and brown.

  • What are your favorite colors to wear, whether they’re trendy or not?
  • What are your go-to colors for pants and tops?

Look at the clothes you wear the most for clues.

Consider Your Lifestyle

  • Think about the bottoms you wear most days. Your bottoms and shoes define your outfit. Your job and daily activities will decide what kinds of bottoms and shoes you wear. 

Think About The Weather For The Capsule Season

  • What’s the spring weather like where you live? Is it mostly cool or warm?
  • Do you need to include pieces for extremes of weather, like very cold or hot, as well as moderate temperatures?

How To Deal With Special Event Pieces

  • Think about any special events you have this spring. Will you include special pieces in your capsule or handle them separately?

Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Buy

I shopped my closet for this capsule wardrobe and encourage you to do the same thing. I show an olive green t-shirt dress, but you can easily substitute a black t-shirt dress if that’s what you have.

Here are some questions to consider before buying new clothes to ensure you’re building a lasting collection of pieces you’ll love.

  • Is this piece special enough that you’ll still love it next year?
  • Will it look worn out and pilled after one season?
  • If it’s for a holiday or special event, will you wear it afterward?
  • For a trendy piece, would you like this even if it wasn’t trendy?
  • Can you make several outfits with a new piece using what you already have? If it’s a new bottom, can you style it with 3 different tops already in your closet and vice versa?
  • Is it very similar to something you already own? If it’s replacing something, make sure it’s a better choice and get rid of the old item.

How Many Pieces Do You Need?

We only wear a small percentage of what’s in our closet. When you start creating a capsule, limiting your number of pieces makes you think carefully about what you love and wear. If you need 7 pairs of pants, you have to think carefully about each pair to decide if it’s truly worthy of a slot. You think closely about why one pair of pants will serve you better than another. You learn more about what you love and why. 

Generally, it’s a good idea to have 5 to 7 bottoms, depending on how often you re-wear the same item in a week. This allows you to have casual jeans and pants, dressier trousers, denim skirts, and dressier skirts.  

Plan on at least 7 tops worn alone or under sweaters or blazers. These may be t-shirts, blouses, or button-down shirts. Having enough is important since we don’t usually re-wear tops without washing them. 

For sweaters and blazers, I suggest 7 to 10. This gives you a variety to choose from so you don’t get bored. 

The number of jackets you need depends on your weather and lifestyle. For spring, I’m including 5 jackets (including a denim jacket and blazer). 

Include around 7 pairs of shoes, although the amount you decide on depends on your climate and your bottoms. If you include very long and also cropped jeans in your capsule, you may need heels for the long jeans and be fine with flats for the cropped jeans. I include 6 pairs in my collection.

The Process Of Creating A Capsule Wardrobe

Now, you’re ready to pick your pieces. Ask yourself these questions to come up with about 30 items, including coats and shoes. I don’t count workout gear unless it’s part of my daily outfits.

  • What are the key pieces you wear across 3 seasons? They’re tried and tested and are easy pieces to consider including. 
  • Check out last year’s spring favorites. Are they still in good shape, and do they fit? Should they be in this year’s collection?
  • Start making outfits in your head, with a spreadsheet, or by trying them on. Do you have everything you need to make those outfits work? Are there holes in your wardrobe or pieces you need to make outfits? Is there anything you need to buy?

My Spring Capsule Wardrobe

Without further ado, here’s what’s in my spring capsule. As you use this list to inspire your capsule, shop your closet for similar pieces.

SHOP THE CAPSULE

Tops

A striped t-shirt

Stripes are great for adding visual interest to any outfit. Wear this shirt alone or layered under the white button-down shirt, white blazer, or denim jacket.

Similar t-shirt or Similar t-shirt

A cream short-sleeve sweater

A short-sleeve sweater is a great option for in-between weather. Layer it under a blazer or jacket on cooler spring days, and easily pair it with casual and formal bottoms. 

Similar Sweater or Similar Sweater

This sweater is from last fall and is sold out, so I’m linking a similar option.

A white button-down shirt

A white button-down is a classic that’s been trending for some time. I love a white button-down. Wear it to work or casually with jeans. Layer it under a sweater or blazer or over a t-shirt. Leave it open and untucked with shorts or jeans. 

Button-Down Shirt | Similar Button-Down Shirt

A white short sleeve t-shirt

A staple in any wardrobe, a white t-shirt can be dressed up with a statement necklace and layered under a cardigan, pullover, blazer, or button-down. Wear it alone with shorts or jeans. It’s essential for countless outfits. 

A gray short-sleeve t-shirt

A gray t-shirt offers a neutral base that complements a wide range of colors and patterns. Layer it like you would the white tee, or wear it on its own for a minimalist look. I love light gray with olive green, cream, and light brown accessories. 

A white long-sleeve crewneck

A white long-sleeve shirt is another versatile piece that works well under sweaters or jackets for added warmth or as a stand-alone top with skirts or pants for a clean, chic look. Choose from a crewneck or v-neck.

A white tank top

A white tank top is ideal for layering under sweaters, cardigans, or button-down shirts without adding bulk. Wear it alone with shorts or skirts during warm spring days for a cool, casual look.

Sweaters

A cream Breton stripe cardigan

This short, fitted striped cardigan brings a touch of charm and visual interest to any outfit and is perfect for layering over tops and dresses for added warmth and style. I have this sweater in two colors. It makes any outfit.

Cardigan or Similar Cardigan

I’m wearing an amazing Amazon dupe of a J.Crew sweater. I’m linking them both here for you.

A gray V-neck sweater

A v-neck sweater is a versatile layering piece that can be dressed up with a collared shirt underneath for work or worn casually over a t-shirt, tank top, or even alone. This one has a relaxed fit.

Gray V-neck Sweater

A white crewneck sweater

A white crewneck sweater pairs well with everything from skirts to jeans for effortless styling. Look for one with texture or cabling to add instant visual interest. A shorter hip-length sweater like this one is easy to wear with high-waisted jeans, pants, and skirts. 

Similar Sweater

This sweater is sold out, so I’m linking a similar option.

A cream tweed sweater

Tweed short cardigans offer texture and sophistication to any look and can be easily dressed up for work or down with white jeans or pants for weekend outings.

Similar Cardigan | Similar Cardigan

This one is from last year. I’m linking a gorgeous alternative that’s in the stores now.

Bottoms

Olive pants

Olive pants are relaxed yet sophisticated. The olive color pairs well with neutrals, earthy tones, soft pastels, and jewel tones, making it a versatile color you can wear in any season.

Similar Pants | Similar Pants | Similar Pants

These pants are old, and I’m linking 3 similar options.

See 25 Outfits: What to Wear with Olive Green Pants for more styling ideas.

Denim midi skirt

A denim skirt is a versatile piece that can be styled casually with a t-shirt and sneakers or dressed up with a blouse and heels for a more polished look. It’s a great piece that also works for a business casual workplace.

Denim Skirt

Cream wide leg pants

I love wearing my winter cords in early spring. They have a ribbed texture that adds visual interest. Long wide-leg jeans are perfect for creating a sophisticated, airy look. These pants also come in twill for spring. I’m linking them both below.

Cords | Similar Pants

White cropped wide-leg jeans

White jeans are a staple in warmer months. They act as a bright base for any outfit and are easily matched with neutral, colorful, or patterned tops, sweaters, and blazers to make a statement.

Similar Jeans | Similar Jeans | Similar Jeans

The jeans are sold out from J.Crew Factory. I’m linking 3 similar options.

Black cropped flare pants

Black pants are a wardrobe staple that offers endless styling possibilities, from professional looks with blazers to casual outfits with a t-shirt or sweater. I’m wearing cropped flare pants that show off your shoes.

Pants

Black shorts

Essential for warm spring days, they can easily be paired with a variety of tops for casual outings or dressed up with a blazer for an evening event.

Shorts

The Loft shorts I’m linking have a 6-inch inseam, which I love because they’re short without being too short.

See 15 Best Black Shorts Outfit Ideas to Copy This Summer for styling inspiration.

Wide leg cropped cuffed jeans

Cuffed jeans are very on-trend, and I’m here for it. The cuff adds a fashion-forward twist to casual outfits and draws the eye to your footwear.

Jeans | Similar Jeans

These jeans sold out fast. I’m holding out hope they’ll come back in stock. I’ve linked an alternative as well.

A black silk midi skirt

A silk skirt adds a touch of elegance and femininity to your wardrobe and is perfect for special occasions. Even wear it with a casual white t-shirt for an elevated casual feel.

Skirt | Similar Skirt

Dresses and jumpsuits

A black shirtdress

A shirtdress is my current favorite style of dress. It’s versatile and can be dressed up with a blazer and heels or down with sneakers or loafers and a denim jacket for a laid-back vibe.

Similar Shirtdress | Similar Shirtdress | Similar Shirtdress

This black shirtdress is from last summer. I’m linking two similar options.

Get styling inspiration at 18 Best Cute + Chic Shirt Dress Outfit Ideas for 2024.

An olive green t-shirt dress

A t-shirt dress combines comfort with casual style and is perfect for easy daytime outfits that can be accessorized with a denim jacket and sneakers. Or add statement jewelry, ballet flats, and a blazer, trench coat, or leather jacket for a more put-together look.

Dress | Similar Dress | Similar Dress

When you wash this Amazon t-shirt dress, air dry it flat to help maintain the shape.

See 35 Best T-shirt Dress Outfit Ideas for Midsize Women for styling ideas.

A chambray denim dress

A chambray dress brings a classic denim vibe, is ideal for casual spring days, and can be layered with a jacket, blazer, or cardigan.

Similar Dress | Similar Dress

This J.Crew Factory dress is from last fall and is sold out. I linked a few similar options.

A black jumpsuit

A jumpsuit is a brilliant concept for everyday and fancy events. Since the top and bottom are attached, you have fewer decisions to make about what to wear. And they’re super comfy since they don’t have a binding waistband.

Jumpsuit

For more ideas about how to wear a black jumpsuit, read 15 Fresh Outfit Ideas for How to Wear a Black Jumpsuit.

Blazers and jackets

A white blazer

When taking photos for this post, this white blazer was the piece I grabbed the most. It adds a crisp, elevated touch to any outfit and is perfect for transitioning from day to night. You can wear it to work and in casual settings and with dresses, skirts, and pants. I didn’t show it here, but it looks amazing with an olive green t-shirt dress.

Similar White Blazer

This J.Crew Factory blazer is sold out. I linked a similar option.

For ideas about how to wear a white blazer, check out 15 Outfits: Stylish Ways to Wear a White Blazer.

A classic wash denim jacket

A denim jacket is a casual wardrobe staple that adds a laid-back vibe to dresses or skirts and pairs well with trousers for a relaxed yet put-together look. A lighter-wash, relaxed-fit denim jacket works for spring, too.

Denim Jacket

Check out 30 Cute Denim Jacket Outfits: Best Jean Jacket Ideas for outfit inspiration.

A brown leather jacket

A leather jacket instantly adds edge to any look and is perfect for layering over dresses or tops for a chic, transitional outfit. A brown leather jacket is a bit more classic and less edgy than a black leather jacket.

Similar Brown Leather Jacket

I picked up this jacket second-hand. I linked a similar option.

For ideas about wearing a leather jacket, check out 15 Really Good Outfits: How to Wear a Brown Leather Jacket and 18 Outfits: What to Wear With a Black Leather Jacket.

Trench coat

A trench coat is a timeless piece that elevates any outfit, offering protection from spring showers while maintaining a polished look. Wear it with dresses and skirts, jeans or pants.

Similar Trench Coat | Similar Trench Coat

This Amazon Essentials trench coat is sold out. I linked similar options.

For ideas about wearing a trench coat, check out 20 Stylish + Chic Ways to Wear a Trench Coat Right Now.

Quilted jacket

Thanks to the stitching, a quilted jacket has visual interest. This jacket is lightweight, making it perfect for spring. Olive green is a versatile color that pairs well with neutrals like white, black, beige, and gray, as well as brown, navy, and burgundy.

Similar Quilted Jacket

My coat is old from Old Navy and I’ve linked a similar one that is also a four-season lightweight coat.

Shoes

Cap-toe flats

These Chanel-inspired cap-toe flats are a classic that’s on-trend right now. Their two-toned appearance adds visual interest to the most simple outfits. I love pairing them with a trench coat and a black purse.

Cap-toe flats outfit

Similar Flats

I’ve had these flats for years and am linking a similar pair.

Suede bow mules

I love these flat pointy-toe suede black mules for how they elevate any outfit. They are easy to walk in and add a rich and upscale look to whatever you wear them with.

Suede bow mules outfit

Bow Mules

Brown ballet flats

These brown Ralph Lauren ballet flats are timeless and also on trend. They’re endlessly versatile and comfortable and easily pair with dresses, skirts, or pants for a variety of looks.

Brown ballet flats outfit

Ballet Flats

Cream espadrilles

My espadrilles are the first thing I want to wear when I need a little height with a long pair of jeans, and they also look cute with cropped jeans. They’re charming and have a laid-back elegance.

Cream espadrilles outfit

Espadrilles in oatmeal | Similar espadrilles

Stan Smith white sneakers

White sneakers are classic and add a casual, sporty edge to any outfit. They’re great for days when comfort and style are key.

Stan Smith white sneakers

Sneakers

Read 23 Fresh Looks: How to Wear White Sneakers All Year Long for styling inspo.

Black patent leather loafers

I wear my black patent leather loafers every season with everything from shirt dresses to t-shirt dresses, shorts, and jeans. The shine of the patent leather adds a fun pop to any look and gets endless compliments.

Black patent leather loafers

Loafers

Read 30 Best Classy + Cool Loafers Outfit Ideas (2024) for outfit ideas.

Bags

A black rectangular crossbody bag

A black rectangular crossbody bag is a versatile bag that feels elevated thanks to the structured rectangular shape. It holds your phone, a small wallet, keys, and sunglasses. It’s also practical and hands-free thanks to the crossbody strap.

A black rectangular crossbody bag

Similar Bag

This bag is sold out, so I’m linking a similar one that I just ordered for myself.

Madewell Zip Top crossbody

This casual zip top crossbody has long and short straps making it convenient to wear and stylish. It’s great for keeping essentials close while adding a trendy touch to your look.

Madewell Zip Top crossbody

Bag

Accessories

Brown and black reversible belt

This good-looking reversible Amazon belt with a gold buckle is the affordable version of a Boden belt that I love. This belt is reversible, and I’ve been reaching for it as much as the more expensive belt.

Belt

Bauble necklace

If you want to take your look to the next level, a statement necklace will do that. I love to pair this gold bauble necklace with my gold mother of pearl clover necklace that’s a knock-off of the pricey Van Cleef necklace.

Bauble necklace

Necklace

Clover necklace

This necklace adds a subtle charm to any look. It’s ideal for layering with other necklaces or wearing alone.

Clover necklace

Similar Clover Necklace

Gold hoops

These chunky hoops are timeless and can be dressed up or down. They’re an amazing match with the gold bauble necklace.

Gold hoops

Hoops

A spring collection of quality staples that you can mix and match makes getting dressed for elevated and casual occasions a breeze. Feel effortlessly confident and polished throughout the season!

Hi, Friend. I'm Marya. I'm so glad you're here!

I’m here to help women feel good inside and out through approachable everyday style inspiration and encouragement for midlife. Once upon a time, I worked as a therapist and coach. Now, I’m a holistic style blogger studying style coaching! Be So You celebrates leaning into who we were meant to be! 

Read about my  journey to self-discovery at 40. Follow me on Instagram here and Pinterest here. Send me a quick question through my contact page here.  

Fit Note: I’m midsized at 5’6″, 160 pounds, with size 12 jeans.

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8 Responses

  1. I absolutely love your style! I have so much trouble putting things together and you have been more than helpful. I have a trip to Italy in April and I will definitely be using many of your outfit ideas. Thank you so much for sharing Marya!!! Love your blog!!!!

  2. Hi,
    I am wondering if the stripped cardigan from Amazon is white and black or the apricot and black.
    Thank you,
    Stacy

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