Creating A Capsule Wardrobe

I mentioned at the beginning of the year that one of my big goals for 2019 is intention (more on that here). I’ve done a lot of closet (and life) de-cluttering the past few weeks and it has given me a lot of clarity. Creating a capsule wardrobe felt like a good way to kick off 2019 and jump-start a new approach to personal style. A few things about this capsule wardrobe. I created this based on what I had in my closet (and kept) after my wardrobe clean out. These are the pieces I find myself wearing again and again, with the exception of the blazer I already have everything included below (I did have a blue blazer but it was too small so I had to donate).

You might be wondering why certain things are left off (heels and dresses for example). I really wanted to hone in on the items I wear most often. I almost never wear heels, and for the most part I don’t wear dresses (aside from special occasions/events or during summer). This capsule wardrobe is meant to be an everyday collection of core pieces that you can tailor to your own personal style. I plan on creating a few smaller seasonal capsules (probably summer, fall and winter) with items specific to that time of year, for example swimwear, a summer dress, straw hat, etc. I’ve written more about each piece, why it’s included, and where you can find it below. I’ll be sharing different ways to style these pieces and how to get the most wear out of them here on the blog, on Instagram and on YouTube. I’ve also done my best to include sustainable brands where possible. I hope you enjoy this capsule wardrobe and have fun making it your own.

Jess Ann Kirby paired down her wardrobe to staple pieces including denim, neutrals and go-to accessories.

Leather Ankle Boots // Cashmere Sweater // Barbour Jacket
Camel Coat // Missoma Horn Necklace // Jean Jacket
Crop Chino // Cashmere Wrap // Crossbody Bag

Jess Ann Kirby's new capsule wardrobe covers casual pieces, like jeans and Converse sneakers, and more upscale items such as a navy blazer and loafers.

Stripe Shirt // Cuff  Bracelet // Leather Loafers
Basic Tee // Boyfriend Jeans // Bandana
Converse Sneakers // Wool Blazer // Polarized SunglassesJess Ann Kirby's summer essentials in her capsule wardrobe include denim shorts, sandals, a silk camisole and white button down.
Silk Camisole // Skinny Jeans // Cotton Sweater
Leather Tote // Signet Ring // Faux Leather Leggings
White Button Down // Denim Shorts // Slide Sandals

Leather Ankle Boots: Probably no surprise these are first on my list. Madewell always makes great ankle boots and this pair comes in a few different colors. This pair is really comfortable and versatile.

Cashmere Sweater: A neutral cashmere crewneck can make just about any outfit look chic. Everlane has a super affordable selection of cashmere sweaters.

Barbour Jacket: One of the oldest items in my closet and undoubtedly the most worn. The Barbour waxed jacket is stylish, durable and classic. I have it in sage but I also love the black. I recommend reading the website for sizing, I have a US 8 which fits slightly oversized (roomy enough to layer).

Camel Coat: A piece I wear again and again, season after season, the camel coat is classic and timeless. This is a chic and affordable option. An easy piece to dress up or down and wear to work or on the weekends.

Missoma Horn Necklace: I wanted to include some of the jewelry I wear everyday like the Missoma horn necklace. I love delicate pieces that can be layered or worn alone.

Jean Jacket: The Levi’s Ex-Boyfriend Trucker Denim Jacket fits slightly oversized. I love the vintage look of the lighter wash. Looks like the jean jacket you’ve had for years. For a less stiff denim, I love this style from Madewell.

Crop Chino: For something other than denim a straight leg cropped chino is a super stylish option that can be worn so many ways. I also love this wide leg crop style from Everlane.

Cashmere Wrap: I absolutely love my cashmere travel wraps. Wear them for a long flight, bundle up for a cold day, bring one as a shawl for a dressed up event, it’s definitely an item you’ll get lots of mileage from. I have the camel heather and misty grey.

Crossbody Bag: You definitely do NOT need a designer crossbody bag. The Chloe Faye was a very rare designer purchase for me, and I use mine a lot, but it’s a big splurge. Another really beautiful style I love is the Sezane Heritage Victor Bag. Both are perfect styles for travel and anytime you’re going out but don’t need a big tote.

Stripe Shirt: I love the classic style of a Saint James minquiers tee. I probably own a few too many striped shirts to admit but I wear them often. I love this style from Sezane, especially the button detail. This is a really cute and affordable style that’s great for layering.

Cuff  Bracelet: Are you noticing a trend here? Aside from the heirloom pieces I’ve inherited Missoma is pretty much the only jewelry brand I wear everyday. This classic cuff is gorgeous alone or layered with others like this Malachite cuff.

Leather Loafers: I can’t say enough good things about these Sam Edelman Loraine loafers. They are SO comfortable and a great price point. The Modern Loafer from Everlane is also really stylish and the leather is super soft.

Basic Tee: It’s hard to beat the cotton crew from Everlane for the quality and price. I also like Reformation tees, they have a lot of cute styles (and they’re sustainably made).

Boyfriend Jeans: Madewell is always a favorite for denim. My other go-to brand for relaxed fit denim is AG, especially the Isabelle and Phoebe fit (my favorite wash is on sale!). While they don’t really promote it, they actually have sustainable production and are great quality.

Bandana: A silk scarf or cotton bandana is a super versatile accessory to have. Wear it in your hair (video here), tie it around your neck or loop it onto your bag. I love this version from Madewell.

Converse Sneakers: This pair of converse is actually slightly different than the regular chuck taylors. The All Star 70s oxford sneakers are a bit more comfortable with extra cushioning for your feet, and the style is a nod to the originals.

Wool Blazer: You just can’t go wrong with a classic navy blazer. Wear it with denim, a cropped chino, or to work. I’m on the hunt for one as mine was too small and this one by Club Monaco caught my eye. I like the tailored look and gold button.

Polarized Sunglasses: I actually bought these sunglasses while we were in Portugal because they were on major sale (like 50% off). I normally wouldn’t buy designer sunglasses because they’re rarely worth the price, but these were comfortable AND polarized. Another pair I love is this style from Smith (also polarized) and super lightweight.

Silk Camisole: I have this silk camisole in green and black which looks great layered under a cardigan, blazer or jean jacket. The Everlane clean silk cami comes in several nice neutrals and this style from Reformation has adjustable straps.

Skinny Jeans: I can’t stop wearing these skinny jeans from Everlane. They are so comfortable and flattering. I also love this pair from Madewell and this style from Sezane(see my review here) is really comfortable and great quality.

Cotton Sweater: This is a great classic style from Everlane. It’s a chunkier knit with a boxy fit (I recommend sizing up). If you like cardigans this is also really cute.

Leather Tote: I’ve had the Madewell transport tote for years and it has held up really well. This one from Cuyana is also beautiful. Both are a great size for everyday and travel.

Signet Ring: My signet ring is an heirloom piece I inherited that I absolutely cherish. This style from Missoma is a beautiful modern version that you can have engraved.

Faux Leather Leggings: Honestly I’m surprised that I included leggings in a capsule wardrobe but I got this pair a few months ago and they do not disappoint.

White Button Down: Sezane’s take on the classic white button down is feminine and timeless. I love the round collar. Pair it with white chinos for a chic monochromatic look or with a pair of skinny jeans.

Denim Shorts: I couldn’t leave out my AGolde Dee denim shorts. They are so comfortable and flattering with a high waist fit and slightly longer hem so you’re butt isn’t hanging out.

Slide Sandals: A more seasonal style but had to include this pair of slide sandals because I lived in them all summer long (and they’re great to bring along on your warm weather getaway). These sandals are crazy comfortable (the leather needs a little breaking in, the suede you can wear right out of the box) and come in a few different colors.

Feel free to use the below as a “Cheat Sheet”

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  1. Katie Gill wrote:

    LOVE this post! This is exactly what I needed to help piece together what I actually need vs what I default tend to default purchase (…another black t-shirt ha!)

    Looking forward to see more posts on how you style the pieces listed here.

    Thank you!

    2.4.19 | Reply
    • Jessica wrote:

      Yay! So glad. It was fun putting it together and also realizing I have all the things I need to love what I’m wearing but also switch it up and not feel bored.

      2.4.19 | Reply
  2. Megan wrote:

    I am so excited about this post! I’m rethinking my entire wardrobe as my husband and I prepare to move from Florida to Pittsburgh, and—as we are doing in the rest of our life—I want to simplify and focus on sustainability, quality vs. quantity, etc. Thank you so much for putting this together! xo

    2.4.19 | Reply
    • Jessica wrote:

      Yay! Congrats on the move as well.

      2.4.19 | Reply
  3. Young wrote:

    These are such great staples! I plan to add some pieces from your list into my wardrobe.

    The Style Intermission

    2.4.19 | Reply
  4. Ariana O'Neil wrote:

    Thanks for posting this! This will come in handy when I pack for my future trips because I loathe having to check a bag.

    The Everlane black jeans that you’ve been wearing do you own the regular or ankle style?


    2.4.19 | Reply
    • Jessica wrote:

      Definitely, I am the same way. I got the ankle length and I am 5’6″

      2.4.19 | Reply
  5. Monia wrote:

    These truly are staples! Excited to realize that I actually do have so many of these pieces already and that I honestly don’t need to buy anything (or much) else! Thank you!!

    2.4.19 | Reply
    • Jessica wrote:

      That’s what I hope many will find with this. You really don’t need to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe, hopefully most have this in their closet already. xx

      2.4.19 | Reply
  6. Anna wrote:

    LOVE THIS! Thank you for taking the time to put this together, and for including the “cheat sheet” – so helpful!

    2.4.19 | Reply
  7. Jeanne wrote:

    Your Converse, do you have them in the parchment color or white color?

    2.6.19 | Reply
    • Jessica wrote:

      The ones I linked to (the ones I have) only come in parchment.

      2.8.19 | Reply
  8. Lynn wrote:

    This Capsule wardrobe is so great! I’m in great need of cleanng out my closets and my drawers. You did an amazing job! The only problem that I had was getting into trouble finding on SALE my favorite of yours the striped travel pastel wrap from White and Warren for 70% off in SAKS. I’m so happy I’m jumping up and down literally !!! Now that was not the purpose of this post , but I can’t look at houses in lovely Vermont, so I’ll use it for sure on the plane on my trip to Atlanta next month. I love your hair and the outfits in St. Pete. Good luck with the house hunting. . I am pretty sure I know which one. You both will make it amazing!!

    2.16.19 | Reply
    • Jessica wrote:

      That is a REALLY good find Lynn, those scarves are the absolute best, especially for travel. Safe travels to Atlanta. xx

      2.17.19 | Reply
      • Lynn wrote:

        Jess thanks!
        I was really floored and thrilled when after losing the Anthropologie chance to buy this scarf on the one day sale at a higher price, I found it on the Saks site. It arrived several days ago and it is so very pretty and soft. I had loved it immediately. I will wear it on the plane next week as I comfort myself from all that plane talk of grounding airlines. I’ll be armed with my recommended creature comforts and style. Lol. Have fun with your Family❤️

        3.14.19 | Reply
  9. Kara wrote:

    Hi! I remember you made a recommendation in the Agolde shorts between the Dee and the Parker (I think), but I can’t remember which you recommended and how you size them. Can you point me in the right direction? Thanks!

    3.22.19 | Reply
    • Jessica wrote:

      I like both. I have both but if I had to pick one it would be the Dee. They run tts in my experience. The Parker run one size big.

      3.22.19 | Reply
  10. Joanne Yang wrote:

    This is AMAZING! Please please updating this post with further suggestions!!!

    5.13.19 | Reply
  11. Alyssa Kobernick wrote:

    My favorite winter capsule item are the nisolo Chelsea boots! These boots per your recommendation have been such a staple I went ahead and bought two pairs. They work well for early fall days and I will be able to wear these through winter and we’ll into spring. Your fashion advice and perspective is so refreshing. It is something I look forward to each new season for advice and cannot thank you enough!

    11.4.19 | Reply