How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe with 11 Closet Essentials

How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe with 11 Closet Essentials

     You can build an entire wardrobe that you LOVE by investing in a few foundational pieces that stand the test of time. Sophia Lustig is passionate about helping every person enjoy a wardrobe that truly works for them and their real life, so if you want a knowledgeable partner to go with you on this journey we are here for you! Give us a call, drop in at the store or schedule an in person closet consultation to kickstart the Year of You. 

If you are on a budget, we encourage you to choose quality over quantity. If you really look back on how much money was spent on trendy clothes in our 20’s, 30’s and 40’s or on fast fashion that doesn’t make it out of the dryer alive, one word: Ouch. But, let’s not dwell. Let’s leave all that behind in 2024 and figure this out together.

So, what is a Capsule Wardrobe?

     In short, a capsule wardrobe is a collection of basic pieces that allow you to mix and match to create your own personal style. The collection should include your most essential high-quality clothing pieces. These wardrobe building blocks can be layered with trendy, seasonal and less expensive pieces to come up with unlimited looks or you can build entire looks just using pieces from your capsule wardrobe. There are many benefits to making the time and investment to build out your capsule wardrobe. 

What are the Benefits of a Capsule Wardrobe?

Investing in a capsule collection will make it so much easier to get dressed every day because you will always find your look and personal style in your closet. This makes getting dressed a joy, makes you feel more confident and simplifies styling your look. Do you feel this way when you are getting dressed? You can! Let’s look at the benefits.


  1. Versatility - Having the right pieces in your wardrobe allows you to mix and match every day for a fresh look. You can use the same pieces over and over without feeling like they’ve been over worn. Yes, it may be a bit of an investment up front or something you need to build on over time, but a well-built wardrobe should last you for years, so all you have to do is sprinkle the occasional refreshing piece to spice up the seasons. We are here to help you navigate the must-haves.

  2. Simplicity - Having your wardrobe basics ready to go in your closet not only saves you a ton of time, it can prevent decision fatigue. No one ever looked at the tried-on pile of clothes on the bed and said, “That was time well spent… or what a great day to start my morning” No one. Ever.

  3. Longevity - Your wardrobe essentials should outlive personal style changes and trends and should work for any age. The items in your closet are investments that should be timeless. In the long run, you do end up saving money by not falling into the trap of fast fashion and it is much better for the environment.

    11 Essential Items to Include in Your Capsule Wardrobe

    This list is a guide you can use when shopping for your own wardrobe essentials whether male or female.

    1. A Cool Jacket - Of course, leather comes to mind first because it looks stylish with very little effort. It can be vegan too if you prefer. A  jacket with the perfect fit for your body type should feel comfortable and complete your outfit with ease. Jackets

    2. The Perfect Black Pant - Everyone must have at least one pair of black pants that are versatile for work or going out for cocktails. A no fuss black pant that accentuates you in all the right places. Pants

    3. Denim - A great-fitting pair of jeans is a universal must. We can’t think of an article of clothing that gets more use throughout all the seasons. It pairs so easily with just about any top and can easily be dressed up or down, but remember, fit is everything so it’s worth trying them on. Talk to one of our stylists to get pointed in the right direction. We don’t go for trends, we go for timeless and sophisticated. Denim

    4. Button-up shirt - If you don’t own one already, eventually you will need a white crisp shirt. It can be used in a fun, casual way or styled for corporate wear. The layering possibilities are endless. You can even use the right button-up over a swimsuit as a coverup. The versatility of a white-crisp shirt makes this an essential item in our list. Example: Hinson Wu - Diane Fitted Cotton Shirt in White

    5. Sweater - At some point in the year you will need warmth in your closet, but you really only need two pieces as part of your capsule wardrobe, so consider splurging on a cozy cashmere pullover and a cardigan. Go with the length that you like. So, if you don’t like the cropped sweater trend, skip it and go with something a little longer. Kinross Cashmere is a great place to start for timeless and sophisticated sweaters. Go with a neutral color. Sweaters

    6. The Little Black Dress - Books have been written on the topic. You should  always have that one dress that makes you feel sexy, put together or event-appropriate. This is an essential in any woman's closet. Sophia Lustig can help you find the perfect fit and give you styling tips so you can use this dress over and over for years to come by accessorizing for the occasion. Dresses

    7. Outerwear - Invest in a great piece of outerwear, whether it is a trench coat, denim jacket or overcoat, it should last the test of time. Keep it classic, functional and high quality. There is nothing worse than getting dressed in that cute outfit only to top it off with outerwear that sneakily takes away from that first impression you were hoping to make upon entering. Seasons come every year. Be ready. If you want to add a little self-expression to your look, consider accessorizing with a scarf. Styling possibilities are endless! All Outerwear

    8. Glow - Beautiful, natural skin is in and what is beautiful at 40 is different at 60. It is all about a healthy routine in all the stages. While this happens in the powder room for most, we include it in our essentials as it is such a crucial part of getting dressed. Give your skin the care it needs. If you are not sure where to start or you’ve been meaning to, schedule a free consultation with Maureene our skincare guru. Natura Bissé Skincare

    9. T-shirts - Most of us have a lot of T-shirts. Where did they come from? Why are they here? How do they fit into my life other than hogging space? Go for at least one luxe t-shirt that stands the test of time and feels like butter on your skin. Go with a neutral color that feels like you, black white or gray and you can honestly say goodbye to all the others. Majestic Filatures Silk Touch V-Neck T-shirt

    10. A Statement Belt: Belts are meant to accessorize and add style to your outfit. If you need the belt to hold up your pants, consider buying pants in a different size or getting your pants tailored. Look for a quality belt that you know you will wear for years. Neutral colors are a safe bet, but if you really love animal print or something bolder, go for it! Belts

    11. The Everyday Bag - Versatility and beauty in design is what you are looking for here. It’s great to have options, but what your wardrobe really needs the most is a high quality everyday bag that you love. It easily transitions from day to night and fits your lifestyle. MZ Wallace Bags

    How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe

    What makes something a capsule item? It's something that is classic and relatively neutral, that can be worn time after time and reimagined. When creating your own capsule wardrobe, whether you're buying all-new pieces or looking through what you already have in your closet, choose components that are simple. Remember, they are the foundations of your closet.
    1. Try On Everything - This is the hard part for anyone who doesn’t like to spend a lot of time in the dressing room. We can help cut this time in half by picking items in our store we think will work with your body type. If you’re going to wear something all the time, it should fit well and feel comfortable. Make sure that you like the cut whether it’s a soft v neck or a crew cut. Don’t force a style that doesn’t feel right. Everyone's body shape is different, so we love finding the items that truly flatter your body and feel comfortable. This is so important.
    2. Choose Muted Colors - This is your foundation. You want to make sure that your capsule pieces are timeless. Colors are often trendy and can date your clothes. Keep your capsule collection very neutral because the colors in there should never go out of style. Once you have the essentials in place, then you can add some color and a few seasonal pieces to your collection that express who you are. When we go to market throughout the year,, we keep our clients in mind and pick pieces that we know you will love and work with your existing wardrobe.
    3. Invest in High-Quality Pieces - The capsule items are things that should never go out of style. Most of your capsule items are worth a splurge—high-quality shoes, suits, and outerwear can last for years. Since the capsule collection is meant to be worn over and over, the idea is that you won’t have to constantly replace low-quality items. If you are limited in budget, make sure you spend money on the wardrobe essentials.

    We hope you found this blog useful. If you have any questions about building out or completing your capsule wardrobe, please reach out to the experts at Sophia Lustig. Our stylists are eager and happy to help. Sophia Lustig has been passionate about making women feel their best over 80 years and we hope to keep the tradition of dressing timeless and sophisticated women through all stages of life.

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