Ever heard of the fabled capsule wardrobe? Consider it the intersection of fashion and functionality, where everything plays well together. A capsule wardrobe for work retains the key mix-and-match methodology, but adds in an element of polish for a professional look.
If you think that getting dressed in the morning is a time-consuming drag, the capsule wardrobe eliminates having too many options. If you think that you have enough clothes but nothing to wear, the capsule wardrobe gives you better ones.
Ahead, we break down the clothing you need to create an easy capsule wardrobe for work this summer.
Have a linen blazer for when the office AC is too much but it’s hot outside
Usually capsule wardrobes call for a jacket, blazer, or coat. Try to have at least one layering piece to keep you warm when evening comes or the AC is far too cold. A linen blazer, like this one from J.Crew, gives you an extra layer to work with that’s not too heavy.
A quality t-shirt in a breathable fabric will become a go-to basic
A basic t-shirt will forever serve as a core item in your closet. To make sure it’s work-ready, look for one with details like a pocket or trim. A t-shirt in a breathable fabric, like this one from A Day Made, will keep you extra cool during the summer.
Sleeveless blouses will keep you cool but professional
Sleeveless tanks are a no-brainer when the temperature is high. To make yours office-appropriate, look for a sleeveless blouse in a fabric other than cotton. This one from Theory has a high neckline for added interest.
A chambray shirt will help you dress down more formal oufits
Chambray shirts, like this one from J. Crew, are a great piece to layer on as a lightweight jacket during the summer. A button-down shirt easily transitions from casual (worn unbuttoned) to polished (worn buttoned).
Long-sleeve blouses in fun patterns help add a dose of personality
If you want a mix of pattern or color, try it in a long-sleeve blouse. A blouse like this one from Topshop can easily be tucked into a pair of pants or skirt or worn more casual with rolled sleeves.
A swingy skirt in a neutral color is interesting but understated
When choosing a skirt for your capsule wardrobe this summer, opt for one that allows for movement. You’ll feel much more comfortable and be able to dress up or down with ease. This skirt from Topshop is a perfect example.
Wide-leg pants are suitable for warmer days while still being professional
Slim, cropped trousers might be your usual go-to item at the office. For summer, consider a pair of wide-legged pants in a neutral color like this one from ASOS. Make sure the fabric isn’t sheer or wrinkle-prone for added polish.
An A-line dress is great on its own or as a base for other looks
Nothing will ever beat the classic A-line dress. Aim for one that’s fitted on top so that you can easily layer on another blouse or jacket without feeling bulky. A dress like this one from Reformation maintains the kind of streamlined silhouette you want.
Quality loafers are a great comfortable, transitional piece for between seasons
If your office allows sandals, feel free to swap a pair in here. If not, opt for a pair of leather or stacked loafers in a neutral color. A pair like these from Everlane will seamlessly take you from summer to fall.
Stacked heels in a fun color will add a dash of personality to any look
You’ll get major mileage out of a pair of stacked heels for the office. (Comfort is key!) While keeping your heels in a classic silhouette, feel free to have some fun with colors and patterns. These blue heels from Steve Madden offer a chic update to a classic style.
That’s it! Feel free to mix and match your pieces and layer items as you wish. When autumn arrives, you can revisit your capsule wardrobe and tweak the fabrics and cuts for cooler weather.