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The Bare Necessities to Start a Perfect Capsule Wardrobe

For the first time in forever, Toronto is not covered with a giant blanket of snow in April, and we can leave the house without piling on two extra winter jackets. It might be tempting to add things to your cart and accidentally spend a fortune on what’s trending, but then you’ll probably find yourself in the dilemma of feeling like you have nothing to wear.

This is because a lot of pieces we see trending are beautiful and stand out on their own, but they don’t actually pair well with other things we have in our closet. The capsule wardrobe aims to promote shopping intentionally and is all about focusing on a select number of pieces that can be mixed and matched. I’ve listed six items that I always find myself gravitating towards no matter what else is in my wardrobe.

1. Black/white tee and long sleeve top

This pairs well with almost every piece of clothing of any colour or print. If you’re a little daredevil, you can try different spins on the typical white top such as considering a white Henley, a black turtleneck, or a white fitted V-neck. You will literally wear these tops until they’re pilling, stained and losing their shape – spoken from true experience.

2. A go-to pair of jeans

This is one of the best investments to make. See what type of jeans fit your preferences and your body type the best. If you’re petite, purchasing a pair of high-waisted jeans will make you appear taller and potentially stop people from using your head as an armrest. If you’re unsure, a pair of straight-leg jeans is flattering on all body types. Always make sure to try them on in person because when you choose the right pair, you will never want to take them off.

3. Trench coat or leather jacket

There is no feeling in the world more badass than the feeling of putting on a trench coat or leather jacket and pretending you’re strutting down the catwalk (and most importantly: pretending we are not broke young adults). If you’re from Canada, you’ll probably need a decent jacket for most of the year to avoid hypothermia, so you might as well invest in one that pairs well with everything and will actually make you feel like a million bucks.

4. Black mini skirt

This shouldn’t even be a question. If you pair it with a black camisole, it becomes a little black dress. If you pair it with a black turtleneck, you have a turtleneck dress. You don’t need a mathematician to tell you how many combinations and permutations you can create out of your wardrobe with this piece alone. Don’t be afraid to use that logic to help you feel less guilty when you add that black mini skirt to your shopping cart.

5. Camisoles

Camisoles are the holy grail staple of all holy grails out there. They’re ridiculously cheap – one midnight UberEats order could buy five camisoles at once. They’re found literally in every store possible, so you have options and don’t have to settle. And finally, they’re the foundation for layering pieces and combinations.

6. Ankle boots or white sneakers

This completely depends on what your own style is and what you value. Both will pair well with basically any outfit, but ankle boots give you that extra height whereas white sneakers are a little more comfortable for excessive walking. Pick your poison wisely (but don’t worry, they’re both phenomenal choices either way so it’s a win-win situation).

Bonus: Something that screams “you”

The best part about investing in the basics is that they act as the foundation of the house so that you can buy the furnishings, aka picking which trends speak to your heart. So, do you love floral dresses, knit jumpers or graphic tees? Analyze what clothing style sparks joy for you and then think about how it will fit in your wardrobe. If you invest in basics like the ones listed above, it shouldn’t be hard to mix and match different outfits around the pieces of clothing you choose!

Whether or not you’re a minimalism enthusiast or a shopaholic that is desperately trying to find a way to make your wardrobe fit together, hopefully this curated list will provide the building blocks for a perfect closet!

Melissa Wang

Wilfrid Laurier '21

Melissa is a fourth year business student at Laurier with a huge passion for writing and sharing stories. In her spare time, you can find her running a 5km, taking a personality test for the tenth time, binging a novel when she really should be studying or deeply analyzing everyone around her.
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