My 11 Piece Capsule Work Wardrobe I Wore All Summer

I‘m intrigued with the idea of minimalism. When it comes to my closet that means pairing down to the essentials.

Since running Ambitious Attire from my home office full time, the tendency is to get right to work in the easiest outfit, typically athleisure wear (full disclosure!), and my productivity suffers when changing gears to dress for clients and other business appointments.

It’s not just me either. More women are requesting my help with their work-from-home wardrobes. According to the New York Times, about 43 percent of the U.S. workforce performed some work remotely in 2016. As the lines blur between work and home life, wardrobe management becomes a critical aspect of that lifestyle.

How important?

Take political candidate Cynthia Nixon, the Sex In The City actress known as Miranda Hobbes. Nixon tells Elle Magazine in this month’s issue that there are only two things she’s regretted about being public with her personal life since running for New York Governor, and one is wishing she’d picked out what she was going to wear a little more carefully before leaving the house.

A capsule wardrobe is a great solution to dress for your work life with minimal time and effort. I tried a capsule wardrobe on myself this summer, and here’s a simple formula to create a simple work capsule for yourself.

First, here is the summer capsule work wardrobe I came up with:

How I Created My Capsule Work Wardrobe

At the beginning of summer, I made a list of the items required for my work capsule, based on my business activities:

11 Piece Simple Work From Home Capsule:

  • 1 lightweight blazer
  • 1 lightweight pant
  • 1 light neutral color shell
  • 1 dark neutral color shell
  • 1 sheath or A line dress
  • 1 trench dress
  • 1 (printed) knit top
  • 1 lightweight sweater
  • 1 neutral color pump
  • 1 color pump
  • 1 flat

I headed to my closet to “shop”. The foundation of my summer capsule wardrobe was the lightweight cornflower blue suit (discovered at Banana Republic early this year), and two dresses. My Iris Setlakwe trench dress was perfect because it doubled as a vest. I used the trench dress as either a dress or a completer piece, depending on the business situation. Both the trench dress alone, and the suit-shell combination worked nicely for more sophisticated business looks.

Since the only time I needed a blazer was for air-conditioned spaces and formal meetings, one blazer option filled my requirements.

For casual Fridays, or any other smart casual occasion, I simply inserted a pair of jeans in place of the blue dress pants.  That immediately took the look down one level of formality.

Finally, by hanging my 11 pieces together in my closet for the season, I created easy accessibility and inventory management.

The Result

Armed with my capsule work wardrobe this summer, I felt confident every time I left the house for business, with very little time and effort. Why? Because my capsule hung in my closet ready to go. Creating the capsule empowered me with more time, and less decision fatigue – I knew exactly what to wear.

The best part: getting dressed took all of five minutes.

Parting Thoughts

According to minimalist Courtney Carver’s Project 333, the next official capsule wardrobe season starts October 1, but if you want to create a capsule work wardrobe for yourself, you can start anytime.

Do you plan to create a capsule wardrobe for fall?  Any tips if you have created, a capsule wardrobe for yourself? Share with us in the comments.



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