Fashion


Welcome to “The Perfect,” ELLE.com’s weekly roundup where we lay out exactly what you’ll need for the perfect outfit, shopping list, Saturday night, or whatever it may be.

The allure of a capsule wardrobe is understandable, especially when you hear the way Larkin Brown, user researcher and in-house stylist at Pinterest, defines it. “The epitome of the curated capsule wardrobe is one that sits on a beautiful freestanding clothing rack—no cluttered closet with items that get stale or forgotten,” she says. If an elegant standing rack seems like a pipe dream, there’s still something to the idea of only owning pieces you’ll wear regularly, making your small collection better, and picking high-quality pieces that hold up over time.

Guided by some of the insights she’s picked up from studying, well, all of us as we pin and search and click, we’ve collected a starter guide to building your capsule wardrobe.

1

Trousers

Of the revised classics Brown’s noticed becoming more popular recently, wide-leg trousers top the list, but you should choose an item you’ll wear frequently whether it’s a roomy cut or cropped cigarettes.

Wilfred Talin Pants, $145; aritzia.com

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2

Statement Piece

Search terms surrounding the idea of capsules started peaking in 2015, when it was all about minimalism. Since then, we’ve all gotten louder, with statement pieces incorporating embroidery or unique hemlines becoming pieces you can wear on the regular.

H&M Embroidered Blouse, $60; hm.com

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3

Blazer

“Most capsule wardrobes break down into several categories. For warmer layers, blazers are definitely a popular piece because of their versatility, as are denim jackets and trench coats,” advises Brown.

J.Crew Regent Blazer, $198; jcrew.com

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4

Neutrals

You don’t need to be monochromatic with your shade selections. “Sophisticated neutrals add visual interest beyond the classic black, white, and gray,” Brown suggested when asked how color comes into play.

LOFT Striped Shell, $45

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5

Bag

A bag is a necessity (unless you travel super, super light and are pocket-exclusive). Your core style should be timeless in shape and color, plus roomy enough for work but structured so that it keeps its shape even if it’s only a quarter full.

Senreve Maestra Bag, $895; senreve.com

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6

Ankle Boot

Per Brown, “the comfortable but stylish black bootie is the workhorse of many wardrobes.” It’s completely understandable why ankle boots are big on Pinterest and IRL: They’re maybe the most versatile shoe around. Pick a well-constructed pair and you could wear it daily for a year without any problems.

Thursday Aria Boot, $160; thursdayboots.com

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7

T-Shirt

Think about wear-it-everywhere classics that range on the scale from casual to more dressed-up. White tees and silk button-downs are common favorites that Brown notices populating many people’s capsule roundups.

Calvin Klein Men’s T-Shirt, $40 for 3; nordstrom.com

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