On Repeat Lately: My 11 Everyday Style Staples

Minimalist winter capsule wardrobe

When I was in my 20s, I worked hard to be able to buy the wardrobe of my dreams. Now that I'm in my 30s it's the other way around: My wardrobe has to work hard for me so I can get on with my day. I'd rather get dressed in 5 minutes or under when I'm going out and then be able to forget my clothes while I focus on life. The 11 items I've been wearing non-stop lately enable me to do just that.

1. Skinny jeans. My denim of choice is the Madewell High Rise Skinny Skinny ($189.98 to $194.54), which comes in a variety of classic washes. The high rise means no muffin top or exposed midriff, and the denim somehow manages to be soft and super-stretchy but doesn't sag at the bum or knees—even when I wear the same pair for a week straight.

2. Stud earrings. The Madewell shape study earrings ($27.36 on sale for $25.08) add a graphic yet understated gold glimmer to casual outfits.

3. Colourful coat. Minimalism and capsule wardrobes shouldn't be a sentence to sartorial blandness, and one colourful statement item like a coat or bag can elevate a whole closetful of neutrals. I adore my bright blue J. Crew cocoon coat, which I've been wearing non-stop this season. The coat is available in a host of colours ($420) and is the easiest thing to just throw on or layer under.

4. Pendant necklace. Gold? Check. Marble? Check. Adjustable length? Check. The Madewell stonehold pendant necklace ($68.39 on sale for $61.55) is as on-trend as it is versatile. (And in case you haven't noticed, yes, I kind of have a Madewell addiction.)

5. Layering tanks. How is it that the simplest items seem to be the hardest to find? My requirements of a layering tank: no spaghetti straps, a flattering fit, a not-too-low neckline, material that's not too clingy or see-through. I stumbled on the LOFT essential tank ($22.04) by accident last summer and was so enamoured I stocked up in black and navy. Bonus: they're tagless so sometimes I wear them backwards when I want a higher neckline!

6. Everyday tote. I lug everything in my large grey Longchamp tote ($220.23) from gym gear and a portable umbrella to breakfast (yogurt with granola and a banana), my day planner, and dirty drycleaning that needs to be dropped off. The last thing I want when I'm carrying such a heavy load is a leather bag that's heavy with nothing in it! Thankfully, Le Pliage is sleek, water-resistant, low-maintenance, and lightweight.

7. Neutral-ish plaid scarf. Neutral enough to go with everything, but the pattern adds visual interest. I swiped mine from the boy; if you can't do the same, there's this J. Crew version ($71.99).

8. Biker boots. I bought these J. Crew biker boots ($302 on sale for $176.99, extra 40% off with code GETSHOPPING) last winter because I wanted a pair of flat black leather ankle boots I could wear everyday. They're surprisingly streamlined for a biker boot and look as good with skinny denim as they do with leggings and a sweater dress.

9. White Converse. For some reason, white Converse ($75.92) look sleeker and more polished than other colours even though they exude the same casual-cool vibe.

10. Big cozy cashmere sweater. As warm and inviting as a sweatshirt but infinitely more chic and luxe, and if you treat it right it'll last for years. I have the J. Crew cashmere sweatshirt in grey (seen here) and navy. They don't seem to be available now, but the boatneck tunic ($314) comes pretty close, as does the pocket V-neck sweater ($289).

11. Menswear-inspired shoe. When I want a shoe that looks good day to night without the pain of a high heel, I reach for a good oxford or loafer. I still love the tri-colour Camper oxfords I bought last spring, but if I were in the market for a new pair of shoes I'd be very tempted by Madewell's new Orson loafer ($224.93).

What are your style staples?

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  1. I'm trying really hard to create the perfect capsule wardrobe (without breaking the bank). I wish for a wardrobe that works for me, fits my lifestyle and makes me feel great! There are so many great pieces there, I'll definitely be considering adding a few to my list :)

    1. Capsule wardrobes seem to be all the rage lately, don't they? I'm far from being a minimalist and I still have a fair amount of "clutter" in my closet (i.e. pieces I only wear sporadically), but my closet is a long ways from where it was at this time last year. Good luck with your goal!


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