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As much as we love our chunky knits, there’s nothing quite like shedding off the heavy winter layers and tossing the fur-lined boots to excitedly welcome spring. With days feeling longer, snow piles melting, and temperatures slowly rising, these telltale signs that spring is on its way make it the perfect time to freshen up your style.
And though most people might think freshening up your style means buying all new clothes, when you go the route of a spring capsule wardrobe, you can add a few new strategic pieces to your closet to be worn in different ways that will allow you to create endless chic outfits all season long. Here’s my spring capsule wardrobe checklist to get an idea of what you need as well as 25 outfit ideas to get you started!
No matter the season of your capsule wardrobe, there are always a few capsule wardrobe philosophies to keep in mind.
First, you want the majority of your capsule wardrobe to make up a neutral color scheme. If all the colors are cohesive in your wardrobe, then this is less time you have to spend in the morning trying to make sure your outfits match.
However, don’t think that neutrals mean you have to wear black all spring! Lighter neutrals for spring could be white, beige, light grey, or sage green. Minimize the navy and blacks in your wardrobe if you want to have a visually lighter appearance.
With a wardrobe base of neutrals, you can also add in a few accent colors to liven up your look, if that’s what you desire. For spring, I love blush or army green. Lavender is a popular spring color as well.
I’d recommend no more than 5 colors, including your neutrals and accents. Alternatively, you can also pick a base color to plan your spring wardrobe around.
In my past capsule wardrobe posts, I always put a few of the same items on my capsule wardrobe list every year such as a utility jacket and denim jacket, and frankly, I don’t really even wear those pieces that much anymore!
These days, I would much rather reach for my trench coat instead. Point is, keep in mind your personal style when shopping for your spring capsule wardrobe. Just because it’s on a list doesn’t mean you should buy it. Only add something to your wardrobe if you love it and can realistically see yourself wearing it several times.
Lists like the ones in this post are great for ideas and inspiration and maybe you do want to “add to cart” everything because you love it, but if it doesn’t fit your style it doesn’t fit the vibe check.
(Is that what that phrase means? Just trying to be cool. K bye.)
And just as our body and life change over time, so can our personal style. There’s no point in holding onto items that don’t serve you or your wardrobe anymore. That’s why it’s a good idea to evaluate your spring wardrobe every year to make sure it’s fully optimized for the new season!
Not everything you own has to be a forever type of piece, but capsule wardrobes are worth investing in as these are items you plan to wear again and again, all season long, for years to come.
Unsure about a certain style and just want to try it out? In those instances, it’s actually a better move to spend less money on these items, as well as spend less on trendy pieces. If you tried out a new style and ended up loving it, then perhaps next season you could find the quality equivalent to add to your wardrobe.
Getting Started With a Spring Capsule Wardrobe Checklist
So how do you even start when building the perfect capsule wardrobe? It may seem like a lot of hard work to get started. But with the right resource and style tips (hint-what you’ll find here!), it’s not as hard as you may think to get started.
The first step, take into account your average weather. If your springs are usually really hot, then you’ll probably need fewer jeans and instead, you’ll opt for more flowy fabrics and strappy sandals to add to your wardrobe.
If your spring weather is always changing, then you’re probably going to want more layers.
Knowing what your usual temps are will clue you into what type of clothing you need.
If you’ve put capsule wardrobes together in the past, evaluate what worked and what didn’t work. For example, maybe last year you barely wore your leather jacket. Perhaps this year you don’t include it in the checklist!
Also, comb through your inspiration and Pinterest boards and ask yourself if there are some new styles that you want to try out.
Even though you want your wardrobe to be full of classic pieces, you can still add a few newer items that can create different looks and inspire you to experiment with fashion.
Spring Capsule Wardrobe Checklist
So, how many clothing items do you need? Unless you’re short on space or really want to challenge yourself, I don’t think you need to cap yourself at a super strict number, such as the “10 clothing item wardrobe challenge”. But some people may run with the idea of having as much as you want haha, so here is a general idea of how many clothing items you could have:
Amount of Clothing Items in a Spring Capsule Wardrobe Checklist:
- Tops (5-7)
- Bottoms (3-5)
- Dresses (1-2)
- Outerwear (3-5)
- Shoes (4-6)
- Accessories (5-7)
Total: Approx 21-32 clothing items, including shoes & accessories
With time, you’ll find the right amount for you. Too few (like 10 items) and you’ll probably get really bored really fast! Too many (35+) and your capsule wardrobe just got really large, potentially taking away from the streamlined benefits of a simpler wardrobe. More clothes equal less space you have, more things you have to think about, more to clean, and more stress!
This season, here’s what I’m going to have in my spring capsule wardrobe as well as my spring outfits. I hope it inspires you as you build or refresh your own wardrobe this season.
Lightweight Cashmere Sweater– The lightweight cashmere sweater is the spring equivalent of a chunky knit you’ll wear in fall and winter. It’s classic and classy, yet better suited for the warmer weather. A sweater like this is a great piece to wear on its own with your favorite pair of jeans, but it can be a great layering piece as well. Wear it under a slip dress, over a floral dress, or draped around your trench coat.
Striped Tee– This classic print adds the perfect amount of interest and Parisian chic to your outfit. Whether you layer it or wear it alone, with a dressy outfit or a casual look, the striped tee can be worn with all. Though black and white is timeless, feel free to look for a striped tee with colors that match your capsule wardrobe or brighten up your look, such as blue and red stripes.
Ribbed Knit Sweater– Layers are still the name of the game in spring, so it’s more than worth it to have chic options. A ribbed knit sweater with buttons is interesting enough to jazz up your everyday casual look.
White Tee– A basic tee is the workhorse of your wardrobe! It’s fabulous both worn on its own or as a layering piece. I like a white tee for the warmer weather, but other neutral colors such as grey and beige can work too.
Chambray Shirt– This top simultaneously adds a little bit of texture and color to your wardrobe. This top can be worn with everything in your wardrobe, yes, even your jeans! You can wear this top to work as well, dressing it up with dress pants and a blazer. And then for after-hour cocktails with your friends, you can ditch the blazer and slip into some strappy sandals.
Striped Sweater– For the days when a striped tee isn’t warm enough, break out this classy striped sweater. Whether you want to class it up even more with pearl earrings or wear it in a fun way with leopard print accents, this versatile piece deserves a place in your wardrobe.
White Button-Down– With a slightly oversized and relaxed fit for spring, you may surprise yourself with how much you wear this staple item. Though at first glance you may wonder where you’ll wear something like this, you can wear this open over a slip dress, tucked into jeans, and even with your casual wide-leg pants.
If a white button-down is just not your style, swap it out for a pretty white blouse instead.
Moto Jacket– A traditionally thought of “tough girl” piece like the leather motorcycle jacket can add some edge to your spring wardrobe, especially if you tend to wear a lot of flirty florals, drapey silhouettes, and feminine colors this time of year. An item like this makes for a great casual weekend look or date night outfit.
Cardigan– Though not a groundbreaking piece, it’s a staple item to have in your wardrobe for extra layering, warmth, and style.
Oversized Blazer– An oversized blazer is perfect for nailing the casual-chic style. Wear with anything from slim-leg jeans to faux leather leggings. Additionally, this blazer looks great with casual footwear like sneakers all the way to classy leather sandals.
Trench coat– Not many things are more iconically Parisian spring than a trench coat. If you want to add a touch of chic and classic to your spring outfits this season, consider adding a trench coat to your wardrobe. Wear with stripes (obvious but classic), a floral dress, jeans, leggings, and well, pretty much anything!
Slim Mom Jeans– A pair of jeans is essential. Skinny jeans are great, but why not try out a new silhouette this season? If you’re wondering what style to get for spring, try straight-leg jeans, cropped flares, or slim mom jeans. Mom jeans are a great option because the slightly more relaxed and baggy fit is perfect for the new relaxed season. Look for jeans in a lighter wash and save the dark wash jeans for the cooler months (or a night out).
Wide-Leg Pull-On Pants– Everyone needs a pair of comfortable yet nice-looking pants in their wardrobe. A pair of wide-leg pants with an elastic tie is just what you need. Pair with anything from your white sneakers to your classy mule slides.
Leather Leggings– Faux leather leggings add a little bit of edge to your casual weekend looks. Wear with a baseball hat, white button-down shirt, trench coat, and mule slides for a look that is casual yet chic at the same time.
Quilted Shorts– The quilted pattern adds an interesting dimension to your outfits. These can be casual or dressy, though I love the way they look with tall lug sole boots for spring.
Floral Wrap Dress– It’s not spring until you have at least one floral piece in your wardrobe. And what better way to ring in spring than with a feminine and flirty floral dress? Wear it with sneakers on the weekends or with ballet flats to work.
Slip Dress-From winery brunches to date nights, a slip dress is an elegant and versatile piece. Feel free to experiment with color and pick a slip dress in a spring hue such as pale pink, chartreuse, or lavender.
Tall Black Lug Sole Boots– A trendy take on rain boots, this pair of shoes add an interesting and playful look to your outfits, especially when worn with leggings or shorts.
White Sneakers– Every wardrobe needs a pair of white sneakers. They are especially handy in spring, when you still need to cover your toes but don’t want to rely on running sneakers or chunky snow boots.
Related: The 12 Shoes Every Woman Should Own
Mule Slides– These are the ideal shoes for spring because you get the best of both worlds: open back and closed toes. Perfect for the changing seasons. If you’re new to this style, you may quickly find that they’ll become your go-to with everything. The ideal transition shoe, wear with anything from jeans to shorts to dresses.
Ballet Flats– Classy and Parisian, this shoe choice adds a feminine and flirty look to your outfits. That’s what spring encapsulates after all, right? Wear these shoes to work or even to jazz up some leggings.
Black Ankle Boots– Though perhaps not the most exciting shoe choice in your arsenal, black ankle boots are a must-have for every woman. Tough enough to brave the cooler spring elements and stylish enough to make you look chic while doing so.
Brown Leather Sandals- When the sun comes out and the weather warms up, you’ll want a classy sandal option. Enter the brown leather sandal. Chic yet timeless, a versatile piece like this should replace all your plastic flip flops!
Accessories & Extras
Sunglasses– Necessary but practical. Why not get sunglasses in a bright white instead of your classic black? This classic-yet-feels-new color will brighten up all of your spring outfits.
Socks– Not the type of socks you wear with your sneakers to be hidden, though those are great too. A pair of calf ribbed socks can purposefully be worn with sneakers and flats for a nerdy-chic-meets-trendy look.
Striped Tote Bag– A stripe detail on a canvas bag is the perfect casual spring bag for your warm-weather looks.
Straw bag– A straw bag adds texture and warmth to your outfits. It’s the perfect spring and summer bag!
Baseball Hat– Your style doesn’t have to be sporty to rock a baseball hat. Wear with a classic item like a trench coat for a stylish outfit juxtaposition.
Black Tote Bag– Sleek and timeless, the black tote bag can be worn on the weekend or to the office.
As an added bonus, here are ways you can style some of these pieces!
Hopefully, the frigid temps are behind us now, but if you need help with your winter wardrobe, then you’ll love this Winter Capsule Wardrobe That Will Never Go Out of Style!