8 Essential Capsule Pieces

8 Essential Capsule Pieces

Most of us have dreamt of a walk-in closet the size of our bedroom. But today, when less is better than more, it is fashionable and considerate to use what you need. The truth is we don't need a Kardashian-size closet to be happy. And maybe it makes life easier to have less to choose from. A limited wardrobe represents more time and energy for the things that really matter. It's part of a growing movement to simplify, appreciate, and focus. 

A capsule is an edited wardrobe of versatile, essential pieces that compliment each other. It simplifies getting dressed for every occasion and shopping for trendy items. The start to your capsule is cleaning out your closet, deciding which items you love and which have to go. For new items it's best to create a color palette to work with. Include tops, bottoms, dresses, outerwear, and shoes. Use a rule of three for each category: one casual, one statement, and one in-between. 

Pieces that stand up to wear and tear while looking effortless in the process. Classics that stay sharp no matter the season. Great button-ups are essential to any wardrobe. We all want pieces that will work for us when we hate everything else in our closet. What takes a classic to the next level? The amount of care shown in creating great products is reflected in the quality and attention to detail. There is a clear difference between a shirt bought at a chain retailer and one purchased from your favorite local brand. Consider adding American-made essentials to your capsule collection. 

01. Tee Shirt

T-shirts today come in endless styles, fits, and fabrics. Choose tees that are softer, simple, and more saturated for longer-lasting color. Don't forget to throw in a graphic tee for good measure. My personal favorite is The Ada Brunswick, a military-influenced washed green in a super soft 100% cotton.
02. Chambray Button-up

You can count on a chambray shirt. It's the everyday essential, always there when you need it, and appropriate for every adventure. Today chambray is available in every color under the sun. A solid chambray shirt becomes better with wear, softening at it's edges over time. #chambrayeverydamnday
03. Sweatshirt
It's seems everyone has embraced casual clothing. No piece is more laid back than a great sweatshirt. Try a heather grey crewneck or a solid navy hoodie for classic layers that have been in style for decades. Think Ivy league prep John F. Kennedy mixed with a little Steve McQueen.
04. Dark Jeans

A favorite of fashionistas to tomboys, a dark indigo denim jean weathers any season, any year, and any trend. Try variations of raw, unwashed, selvedge, unsanforized, slub, nep, left vs right hand weave, and in weights from 10 oz for summer wear up to super heavy 21 oz. Find your favorite American made denim companies who source from North Carolina's Cone Mills.

Pro Tip: Wait to wash your favorite raw denims after a few months of daily wear to reveal the natural wear patterns of your denim as they conform and fade to your body (Seriously, don't wash your raw denim jeans after each wear).

05. Jacket

A chore coat brings fall right into your wardrobe. The hard wearing Robyn chore coat is elegant, subtle and versatile, an effortless match for your other staple pieces. Made from 100% cotton, it’s made for a life well-lived and well-loved. It’s water resistant for the days you get caught in the fall rain, and is double stitched to keep the chills out. We've also added a noteworthy detail on the inside cuff of each jacket, a nod to the liberty patch and inspiring women who 'Wear It Well'.

06. Sweater  

A symbol of the fishermen’s rope and dedicated to the ocean and harbor, a cable knit sweater is made to withstand those cooler conditions of our wintery towns and cities. Made from wool, the cable knit sweater has been modernized with an updated fit and details for increased wearability, like this men's version from Ohio Knitting Mills.

07. Boots 

High quality, well-made, leather boots are an investment piece and will be in your capsule wardrobe for many years. You may even hand your boots down to your children some day. Take care of them and they will take care of you when you need to fall back on your most reliable piece in your capsule. My favorite from 150 year old American heritage brand Frye's are the Ray Belted Bootie. When I go camping or hiking I bring my Mountain Light Cascade's from Portland's Danner Boots. They are the best hiking boots I've ever worn.

Pro Tip: Treat and clean your leather boots regularly with high-quality conditioner to prevent flaking and drying out. You will not regret this 20 years down the road.

08. White Oxford Shirt

This timeless shirt is as popular today as it has ever been. You can count on this season-spanning favorite no matter how you throw it on. That's what happens when you combine quality oxford cloth and an unbeatable fit. The white oxford shirt is an impeccable, sturdy, and an uncompromising piece for every woman's closet. 

In my opinion, the white oxford button-up shirt is the most essential, classic, and timeless addition to any capsule wardrobe.