Semi-Casual and Frugal Spring Capsule Wardrobe
Looking for inspiration for your first capsule wardrobe? Go ahead and take a peek at the items in my spring capsule wardrobe, and even shop for the same or similar items!
I created my spring capsule with my lifestyle in mind. I’m a wife and mom, and I work from home. Because of this, I have a fairly casual capsule wardrobe. If your lifestyle is similar, check out what’s in my closet this spring!
Although Practigal Blog isn’t really a capsule wardrobe blog, I talk a lot about capsules because they are so helpful when you are wanting to live a more simple or minimal lifestyle. To my surprise, casual capsule wardrobes have quickly become one of the most popular topics on Practigal Blog!
I love sharing my capsules at this point in my life because it shows how doable and inexpensive they can be when you first start out. Since I just started dressing from a capsule wardrobe last year, my capsules are largely inexpensive items that I already owned. It really is a frugal capsule wardrobe.
As I need to replace items in my capsule, I will be aiming for higher-quality pieces. Therefore, I will be spending more money on each item while still saving money in the long run! And, I will afford to do this, because I won’t be buying clothes as much as I used to. 😉
That’s what makes this spring capsule a perfect example for those of you who are new to creating capsule wardrobes. It’s not some unattainable, horribly expensive capsule of fancy clothes. This spring capsule is both frugal and semi-casual, making it easy to dress up or down.
If you need guidance on how to create your own capsule wardrobe, make sure you check out this post!
What is a Capsule Wardrobe?
A capsule wardrobe is a smaller, pared-down wardrobe of only items you absolutely love and are preferably versatile, timeless, and of high quality.
Having a wardrobe containing only items you adore means you don’t have clothing around that doesn’t fit you well, doesn’t flatter your body shape, or simply doesn’t fit your personal style.
Having a capsule wardrobe filled with versatile pieces means you can mix and match to create many outfits with a minimal amount of items.
Creating a capsule with mostly timeless clothing means you won’t spend as much money on clothes since what you have doesn’t quickly go out of style.
And finally, having a wardrobe of quality materials means you can buy less because they don’t wear out quickly.
Doesn’t it sound great to have a capsule wardrobe? I love that I save time shopping and creating outfits every day. It’s a bonus to save money on clothes and has more room in the closet! Having a capsule wardrobe is just one change I’ve made since embracing minimalism and simple living.
Even though this isn’t technically a capsule wardrobe blog, I have a wealth of information to share on the subject. I created my capsule wardrobe from scratch, and I know what works. I also know from experience how to best shop for new items to add and how to maintain your capsule over time.
New to this whole capsule wardrobe thing?! Sign up for my email list to get my FREE e-book: How to Create a Capsule Wardrobe that Works For You! It’s 16 pages of helpful information that actually walks you through the process of creating your own capsule wardrobe.
My capsule wardrobe e-book will help you clarify your style, declutter your closet, decide how big or small you want your capsule and which items to include, shop your closet, go shopping for what you need to complete your capsule, and begin planning your outfits!
My Capsule Wardrobe
I didn’t restrict myself to a certain number of items in my spring capsule wardrobe. I’m not a big rule follower. 😉
When I initially made my capsule wardrobe last spring, I simply decluttered my closet and made a capsule of interchangeable items with what was left. Then, I shopped for whatever was missing to complete my capsule.
I didn’t have a ton of money to drop on additional pieces, so it ended up being a very frugal capsule wardrobe.
In that first spring capsule, I ended up with 37 items. From there, I pared it down even more. My first summer and fall capsules had 30 items. And finally, I had only 28 items in my winter capsule.
Once I started putting my capsule to use, I could more easily see what worked well, and what simply didn’t! You may find that your number goes up and down as you figure out what works for you.
So, the same capsule moves from season to season, with a few items swapped out.
For instance, shorts were swapped out for pants, and tanks were exchanged with long-sleeve tops. Otherwise, many of my basics have remained the same. My t-shirts have moved from season to season and many of my bottoms, dresses, and shoes.
Therefore, if you also checked out my last winter capsule, you will notice some repeated items.
What’s Included in my Casual Capsule Wardrobe
I ended up with 35 items in my spring capsule wardrobe. Don’t worry about your number necessarily. It may fluctuate from season to season like mine does. And, it may even get further pared down as you learn what works and what doesn’t over time.
I added some accessories into my capsule this time around per the suggestion of my lovely readers. (Love you guys!!!) It really does help complete the look. I also included a jacket for the first time ever. This is why the number of items in my capsule went up slightly from winter.
In the past, I hadn’t included these types of items because I didn’t have much that I liked, and it was harder for me to decide what looks good together. So I’ve enlisted some help from some of my more fashionable friends. I hope you like what they’ve helped me come up with!
Here are the types of items I’ve included in my spring capsule wardrobe:
- Accessories (jewelry, purses, scarves)
What’s NOT Included in my Casual Capsule Wardrobe
Some people choose to include more than what I did. For me, I wanted to have a casual capsule wardrobe.
My capsule is filled with semi-casual items I can wear when I am working (from home), running errands, and going out with family or friends. Really, my capsule is what I go to whenever I need to look presentable!
So, these are the types of items I chose not to include in my spring capsule wardrobe:
- Lounging clothes
- Exercise clothes
Again, I own all of these types of items not included in my capsule. But, I either wear them so infrequently (like my swimwear) or I didn’t care if they were perfectly matched to the other items in my capsule (like my pajamas and underwear).
I have a few bottoms and tops that I only wear for lounging at home. And I still have a few tops and bottoms for working out, a couple swimsuits, and a few pairs of pajamas for cold and warm weather.
I simply only have as much as I need. I do laundry at least every other day, so I don’t need a ton of clothes outside of my capsule.
And for all of my clothes, inside my capsule and out, I use the one-in-one-out rule. When I buy something new, something old has to go. That way, my wardrobe will never get out of control again!
Shop My 2018 Spring Capsule Wardrobe
Your capsule won’t look exactly like mine, even if you work from home like me. That’s because my capsule represents my style and preferences, and your capsule will represent your style.
But, in case you see something you would like to complete your spring capsule wardrobe, I’ve included links to my items or similar items. (Not everything in my spring capsule wardrobe is new and available to purchase.) Simply click the links to view the item!
For my capsule, I’ve chosen black as my base color. That means I base the rest of my wardrobe off of what looks good with black. My other neutrals also have to look good with black. I use white, gray, and tan as my complementary neutrals.
You’ll notice that the accent colors in my wardrobe also repeat themselves. That helps me be able to mix-and-match and create the most outfits with the fewest items! That’s key so that you don’t start to look like you own two things.
I’ve chosen blush and olive green as my accent colors. You can choose to accent with whatever colors you love!
Tanks and Tees
My spring capsule wardrobe consists of several T-shirts, both short- and long-sleeved, as well as a few tank tops. The tank tops are pulled out in the spring and continue into my summer capsule. I find these tanks and tees the most comfortable and easy for me to dress up or down.
I like to have mostly solid pieces, but to keep things interesting I’ll include some pattern. In my casual capsule wardrobe, I’ve included some striped, floral, and lace pieces. Because they are all in the same handful of coordinating colors, they mix-and-match to create many outfits!
I keep these same short-sleeved T-shirts in my capsule every season. The long-sleeved T-shirts are added in the fall and stay in my capsule until spring.
My favorite places to buy basics like these are Target, Old Navy, and H&M. These places typically have good-quality basics for less money. I don’t like to spend a lot of money on T-shirts because I tend to be hard on them. Life of a mom…
- Black tank top (These are nice and long, which I love!)
- Giraffe tank top
- Floral tank top
- Blush pink t-shirt
- Black/white striped t-shirt
- White t-shirt
- Black t-shirt
- Gray t-shirt
- Black lace t-shirt
- Olive green t-shirt
- Blush long-sleeved t-shirt (These are SO soft and come in a bunch of colors!)
- Gray long-sleeved t-shirt (Same ^^^)
- Black/white striped long-sleeved t-shirt
Tops and Outerwear
The tops I’ve chosen to include in my spring capsule wardrobe are great for layering. They include button-up shirts, cardigans, and a zip-up hoodie. They coordinate well with the tanks and tees in my wardrobe, as well as with the bottoms and shoes you will see below.
My absolute favorite top was a surprising one for me. I read somewhere that a chambray shirt is actually considered neutral and matches well with a ton of clothing, so I bought one. To my surprise, it is the most versatile thing that I own!
My chambray shirt can be worn with almost anything in my wardrobe. Most of my other items can coordinate with 3-8 items. However, I can wear my chambray shirt (#1 below) over 16 ways and in any Minnesota season!
Check out all the ways you can wear a chambray shirt in my e-book, “How to Create a Capsule Wardrobe That Works For You” when you sign up for my email.
A new addition to this year’s spring capsule is my olive-green anorak jacket (#5 below). I love that it coordinates so well with everything in my capsule, and makes me look more put-together when I’m out and about.
I tried out the jacket with my casual capsule wardrobe for the first time this winter when I visited family in California for Christmas. It would be chilly in the mornings and evenings in California, or anytime I was out of the sun, so it was nice to have an extra layer to throw on. I got so many compliments on it!
- Chambray shirt (This is my all-time favorite shirt because I love how it looks and it’s so versatile!)
- Black cardigan
- Gray cardigan
- Gray zip-up hoodie
- Olive anorak jacket
Since mine is a casual capsule wardrobe, I don’t include a lot of formalwear or a lot of dresses. In my spring capsule wardrobe, I have one casual tunic dress and one black dress.
I like having a casual dress, because it can be worn with or without tights/leggings, with boots, flats, or heels, and with a cardigan or jacket when it’s chilly. This means that I can easily dress it up or down depending on where I am going! Also, it hides a multitude of wrongs.
I always own one black dress, because it’s also easy to dress up for fancier occasions like weddings, but can also be worn for a fun night out. Again, versatility is key for capsule wardrobes!
My all-time favorite place to buy stylish and comfortable tops and dresses is H&M. They have such a wide variety of styles there, so I always find something I love.
- Black floral tunic dress
- Black dress
The bottoms in my spring capsule wardrobe are pretty basic and go with almost anything. My casual capsule wardrobe includes two pairs of jeans (one light, one dark), a pair of black pants, a pair of colored pants, and a pair of black leggings. With just these 5 bottoms, I can put together a multitude of outfits.
I tend to spend a little more on my bottoms since I don’t own as many and I want them to last. I LOVE Express for jeans and pants. I’ve been lucky enough to score these a few times at second-hand stores!
My favorite leggings are from LuLaRoe. My black leggings are so soft they feel like butter, and they aren’t see-through like so many leggings are. If you love leggings, dresses, and long, comfy (yet stylish) tops, you have to check LuLaRoe out.
- Black leggings
- Blush pants (having a colored pants keeps my capsule from feeling boring or getting old!)
- Black pants (didn’t fade like all my other black pants did!)
- Light blue jeans
- Dark blue jeans
These 6 pairs of shoes are all I need to make an outfit look put together. They allow me to take an outfit from day tonight. And they help me dress up my casual capsule wardrobe when I need to get a little fancy!
The black rain boots go with everything so well. I can even add a liner or boot socks to them to make them warm enough for winter. And I love how the tan boots look with anything olive. Otherwise, I’m more of a sneaker girl. I like a comfortable, casual style more than anything.
- Tall black rain boots
- Short tan boots
- Black sneakers
- Black ballet flats
- Black high heels
- Nude high heels (Did you know that wearing nude heels makes your legs look longer? And this girl needs all the help she can get.)
This is the first time that I’ve added accessories to my capsule. I had accessories before, I just didn’t have a select few picked out to coordinate with the rest of the clothing in my capsule. For my spring capsule wardrobe, I decided to go with a couple of necklaces, and two purses (one small and one large).
- Silver pendant necklace
- Blush pink floral statement necklace
- Small gray purse (available in many colors!)
- Large black purse (available in several colors)
My Spring Capsule Wardrobe Through The Years
So, now that you’ve seen my spring capsule wardrobe, you may be wondering a couple of things. First, how long will I wear only the items from this capsule? I will wear this capsule as long as the weather permits…probably around 3 months before the summer heat begins.
Second, what happens next spring? Actually, as soon as I’m ready to put away this year’s spring capsule wardrobe, I will take a moment to evaluate. I will ask myself what worked well and what didn’t. In other words, I will think about what items didn’t get worn much…or not at all and consider selling or donating them.
Even more, I will inspect my clothing for wear and tear. If anything has lost quality over the course of the season, I will make a note of it on my shopping list so I can pick up a higher-quality replacement. This evaluation process is precisely what alters my spring capsule wardrobe from year to year.
In addition, I may occasionally choose to freshen my wardrobe with a new item I love. I simply use the one-in-one-out rule, so I know that means if I choose a new item for my capsule, something else has to go.
This helps me make a wise decision in regards to quality and versatility when picking up new items. If it doesn’t make the cut, I don’t buy it.
Other Capsule Wardrobe Examples
Remember, you need to create a capsule wardrobe that works for you. Don’t forget to take your personality, style, lifestyle, and climate into account. Otherwise, you will end up with a capsule that bores you, or one that looks great but isn’t actually functional.
I hope you found this post helpful if you are thinking about creating your first capsule wardrobe, or are just beginning to switch your existing capsule over to spring. Having a capsule wardrobe really is the best way to keep the clutter out of your closet AND save you time and money in the long run.
Theresa Bedford is a syndicated freelance home and travel writer with regular contributions to the Associated Press wire and MSN. She helps everyday people love the life they have through simplicity, organization, and prioritization.
I have been thinking about making my own capsule wardrobe and this list is so cute plus a great place to start at. I love your tip about staying with in a color scheme so you can mix and match.
I’m so glad that you found the list helpful! Having a color scheme definitely makes it easier to create a versatile wardrobe. If it isn’t versatile, we tend to become bored with it AND we still have the problem of never knowing what to wear!
I have been thinking of creating a capsule wardrobe myself. I just feel like I own so much stuff and none of it goes together. I want to get better at that.
That was me too! And because of it, I was ALWAYS in a rut with what to wear. I’m not a fashionista by any means, so putting outfits together doesn’t come naturally for me. The capsule has helped immensely with that!
Those black sneakers are longing to be in my closet!
Haha! I love them too!
I love the idea of having a wardrobe where each piece in interchangeable and plays off of other pieces. My closet is a little all over the place, it would take me a while to get to this level of organization!
I know what you mean! That was me too, but it actually didn’t take very long for me to pare down my wardrobe into a capsule. I was surprised by how easy it was, and by how much I love it!
I love those blush pink pants. So perfect for spring!
I know, right?! I never bought colored pants before because they felt like an impractical splurge. But since they coordinate with so many pieces in my capsule, they were a fun add-on!
I am exploring the idea of a capsule wardrobe, especially for my kids. I think I’ve settled on more of a uniform- jean shorts and graphic tees (plain tees for “dressing up”)
A capsule for your kids is a great idea! I like to keep my kids’ wardrobes small, even if just for the fact that they outgrow things so quickly. 😉 Your uniform is a great way to do it as well! I’m so glad that you’ve found something that works well for you.
Great post. Very detailed and informative. I think a capsule work wardrobe would be great for a lot of women
Thanks! I’m glad you found it helpful. I think you’re right! A capsule for work is a great idea. Thank you for taking the time to comment, Michelle!
I love a good capsule wardrobe! I make sure to have at least one black pants, a nude one and a blue jeans. I also must have a black and a nude ballet flats. For work, a black blazer is a must!
That’s a great method, La Shell! That definitely makes for a versatile wardrobe. I love it. 😊
Yours is the best capsule wardrobe I’ve seen. I’d love to get started with my own and look forward to seeing your summer capsule so I’ll have a reference 😃
Wow! Thanks, Korrinne! Let me know how creating your capsule goes and if I can do anything to help. Did you get my free ebook? (There are links within the post). Also, my summer capsule post will be published soon, so be on the lookout!
I have silver/white hair with my dark eyes and medium coloring. I have a lot of black, navy and gray in my wardrobe. My fave color is cobalt, and I wear silver or white-gold jewelry. A basic camel trench would make me look muddy. How on earth would I build classy, understated, French-inspired capsules? I’m at a loss. Help! Thx