Build A Capsule Wardrobe of Minimalist Essentials

Photos: @kendelljenner, @juliepelipas, @sophiaroe

7.19.23

The 90s are back and show no sign of slowing down. The minimalist trend conjures up beautiful images of Jennifer Aniston in simple slip dresses and Cindy Crawford in a basic white tank and high-rise jeans (for those of us who were around during this time). All of the essential pieces from the decade have been redesigned for the capsule wardrobe you need in your closet now. And the good news is you’ll be able to wear all of these pieces for years to come. Minimalism at its core is about embracing quality essentials and fewer items that last.

Today’s minimalism can go by other names you may have heard like “Quiet Luxury” or “Discreet Chic”.....being fashionable doesn’t mean being flashy. Master the less-is-more look with classic pieces that transcend seasonality and look even better when paired together.

Some important things to keep in mind when building your capsule wardrobe:

Neutral Colors are Key:

Try a monochromatic look with a neutral color palette. Stick to black, grey, white, or beige as the basic colors, and try a head-to-toe look in just one of these shades. It's okay to mix them together....just make sure to stick to these neutral shades and don't add any bright colors.

Style Your Way:

One of the hallmarks of a minimalist wardrobe is versatility. You can mix and match these styles and wear them for any number of occasions. Play with proportion and layer items over each other. You can create so many different looks with only a few versatile pieces! It's all about your own individual style.

Quality over Quantity:

Choose quality pieces that you love and that will last. We love brands like The Row and Nili Lotan because they last forever and look chic season after season. Their collections of elevated basics are the perfect minimal capsule wardrobe all on their own. The best way to create your own minimalist closet is to purchase a small number of items that are high quality, go back to many different styles, and last in the long run.

This trend works for every body type:

There are a ton of options to play with within the minimalist style. If you want to show off your legs, go for a little black dress. If you want to accentuate your waist, try high-rise jeans with a white tank. And don't forget to layer a blazer over both to create a chic look for any body shape.

Shop our Minimalist Wardrobe Checklist of key pieces below to create different looks and start creating your own capsule wardrobe.

And always remember that how you put things together should reflect your own personal style. Polished pieces and simplicity are key for this timeless and effortless "trend" that never really goes out of style. Click here to see more Minimalist looks we love.

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The Perfect Tank:

After Prada opened their show with this white tank, every designer scrambled to create their version of the “perfect tank”. With so many iterations, we are all apt to find that perfect one for us. From higher necks to cut-out shoulders, the versions range from sexy to sexier. A good starting point is a white tank to wear alone or as a layering piece.

Photo: @olympiamarie

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The Shirt:

If there is one piece of clothing that stands the test of time it’s “The Shirt”. From classic pieces to oversized to cropped (like the Homme Girls iteration below), you can style a crisp poplin shirt with just about anything. These are the most timeless pieces that never go out of style. Plus, we always love the "borrowed from the boys" look. Try stealing dress shirts from your husband to wear alone as a dress or style with your favorite pair of jeans.

Photo: Pinterest

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3

Pants:

What’s more 90’s than a pair of straight-leg jeans with a perfect wash? Or a perfectly tailored pair of black pants? Below are our top favorite options to channel that 90’s perfection. Try a neutral look, head-to-toe denim, or mix it up. And if you want to try an all-white monochromatic look, our White Hot Edit has beautiful suiting pieces that are perfect for your minimalist summer wardrobe.

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Jackets/ Vests:

Jackets are like the icing on the cake, the most essential items to complete any look. Try adding a tailored jacket, unstructured blazer, or bomber over your tank top or shirt. Or choose an oversized leather jacket to add an instant cool factor to any look. Adding a third piece is also a great way to update your minimalist capsule wardrobe after the summer months as the weather cools down. As for the vest, the "it" item of the moment, you can style it on its own, wear it under a blazer, or style it over a tank like Sophia Roe did here.

Photo: @sasimbvintage

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5

The Bag:

The minimalist approach to bags is classic, timeless, and chic, and has that “Quiet Luxury” sensibility of IYKYK. They have the blend of being perfectly on trend today while also standing the test of time. One current favorite brand of fashion insiders and celebrities alike is The Row. The Olsen twins have mastered the art of the under-the-radar luxury handbag and their bags can be seen on celebs like Hailey Beiber, Gigi Hadid, and Emrata to name a few. We love their North-South Park tote as a beautiful investment piece. Other stand-outs we love and that won't break the bank are from Staud, A.P.C., Wandler, and Advene below.

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The Dress:

The slip dress is an essential part of a capsule wardrobe. It's one of the most versatile pieces you can have in your closet and can be styled in many different ways. Wear it to a wedding on its own or wear it out to brunch by pairing it with sneakers and a blazer. We love the way the Nili Lotan dress below is styled over a white rib tank. The shirtdress is also a classic style that is versatile and can be worn in so many ways: try it belted, with sneakers, or layered over jeans to name a few.

Photo: @shepelevich

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