Capsule Wardrobe – A Killer Minimalist Style

Have you ever felt that lists of New Year’s resolutions and commitments make you anxious? 
Slow down. Remember – no one is judging you and UPTOSTYLE is here to prevent your next morning storm when you think you have nothing to wear. Instead of complicating your life with new promises, let’s dig into the heart of essentialism and bring clarity to what you already have. 
Today’s topic is all about the Capsule Wardrobe. In other words, a ready-to-wear skeleton of essential garments. All its carefully selected contents will work perfectly together and make your mornings easier.
This text is an 8-minute read. We promise that within long you will start looking at what you own – and what you’re planning to own – in a completely different way.

Intrigued? Let’s get started!

A Capsule Wardrobe is a term given by a London boutique owner Susie Faux in the 1970s. According to Faux, a Capsule Wardrobe is a collection of a few wardrobe essentials that do not go out of fashion. Susie believed that women only need the following items to dress and look well:

  • 2 pairs of trousers
  • 1 dress or a skirt
  • 1 jacket
  • 1 coat
  • 1 knit
  • 2 pairs of shoes 
  • 2 bags

The concept was brought to popularity and globalised initially by American designer Donna Karan. In 1985, she released an influential collection of interchangeable garments, consisting of just seven pieces. On the runway, Donna Karan demonstrated all casual and night-out outfits created around a single black bodysuit and tights.


3 general principles for a 2019 Capsule Wardrobe:

  • Neutral Colors: focus on colours that will work well together. Prioritize neutral tones such as beige, ivory, black, white and gray. As you find confidence in your basics, you can later accentuate your personal style by adding selected bright colours.  Usually three colours per outfit is enough.
  • Minimalism In Details: in order to save yourself the headache of putting together a two-three piece outfit, we recommend avoiding complex patterns, details and prints. It is inherently easier to pick and style the bottom complementary piece for a one-color shirt, than for a – say – flowered one. The straight silhouette is always preferred.
  • High-quality Fabrics: choosing high-quality fabrics is important for your look, skin and – believe it or not – also for your wallet. High-quality fabric will last significantly longer. It does not have to be a high-end brand. Listen to what your body needs, and that is rarely 100% polyester!

It is time to crawl inside your closet and see if you have the basics to build a skeleton for your everyday look.

10 Capsule Wardrobe essentials:



A crisp white t-shirt can compliment pretty much anything. Jeans, trousers and skirts go well with a white t-shirt.

Your perfect t-shirt should be: 

One size bigger: over-sized t-shirt will make you feel more comfortable 

With well-fitted sleeves: the sleeves should end between the upper third of your arm and be loose

Made from natural fabrics: choose organic cotton, which is harmful neither for the skin nor for the environment


Turtleneck Sweater

The fit for a turtleneck sweater is very much up to your taste. Go slim for a classic look, or oversized for cosiness. Team the oversized option with a dress or a skirt, and the tight one with a shirt on top and your favourite jeans or trousers. All you need to remember is that the sleeves shouldn’t be too short. They have to cover your wrists while standing straight.



A classic shirt is a garment you will never regret buying. Seek inspiration in Audrey Hepburn’s timeless style and go for a straight-cut silhouette. Roll up your cuffs and wear it tucked into trousers or skirts. If you are more into glamorous looks, choose an oversized long shirt. Your capsule shirt does not have to be white. Play with ivory or light blue colours, but keep it basic.


The best investment for your capsule is a wrap dress, because it will work in every season. During Spring/Summer, wear the dress with a t-shirt underneath and a pair of sneakers for a picnic. Or rock your wrap dress with kitten heels and feel great on a date. When Autumn/Winter comes, put a pair of jeans under the dress for a layered look. In addition, you can style a wrap dress with your turtleneck to feel cozy on a chilly day.

Kitten Heels

You might think a classic heel or pump is mandatory. However, at UPTOSTYLE we recommend kitten heels due to their great comfort and stability. With a kitten heel, you can romanticize a classic business outfit, and at the same time being able to dance all night.

Structured Jacket

A jacket is a crucial element in a Capsule Wardrobe. We recommend one that is structured since the fabric makes sure the shape stays sharp. Make sure that your jacket is fitted across the shoulders and skims the middle of your hip bone. Throw it over a dress or any outfit that needs some structure.

High-Waisted Jeans

Why specifically the high-waisted jeans? Because they flatter pretty much every body shape. The perfect pair sits at or slightly above the natural waist. It gives you a sense of comfort and power at the same time. A great tip to rock high-waists is not to hide the waist. Add a belt and wear your t-shirt, shirt or a tight sweater tucked in.


White Sneakers

A pair of white sneakers is a Scandinavian classic. Look for some without eye-catching details. That way you will make sure they fit any light dress and high-waists.

Chelsea Boots

Iconic to British culture, Chelsea boots are ankle-high boots that easily compliment and accentuates your otherwise light outfits. For the bold and trend-savvy, replace the Chelsea styled with a pair of short cowboy boots and wear them as a statement piece with simple outfits. 

Trench coat

A trench is a go-to coat and a perfect item for layering. There are many of them at different price levels, and it might be a bit overwhelming to pick the right one.

A few pointers for choosing the right trench:

  • The length of the coat should not be finished at the widest part of your silhouette. There are two paths to take from here. Choose either the one that slightly covers the knees or the one that is mid-thigh length.
  • As for the belt: tie it, do not buckle. Respect the traditions of classic trench coat maker Burberry and be inspired by its casual attitude. Add looseness to your structured outfit and wear your trench open with the belt, tied at the back.
  • Bonus tips for the bad-asses: button the tailored trench up and wear it as an exceptional dress. No doubt, it will turn heads.

We can not wait to see what your personal capsule is going to look like. Tag #UPTOSTYLE when sharing the next photo rocking your basics.

Text: Julia Aleksandrova