Investment Pieces You Need To Build Your Dream Spring Capsule Wardrobe, According to a Shopping Editor

Trust me, your closet will thank you when you add these staple pieces to your collection.

By Camila Quimper Apr 03, 2024 10:20 PMTags
Shop Spring Capsule WardrobeE! News Illustration / Photos Courtesy of Banana Republic, Nordstrom, Artizia

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From my many years working as a fashion editor-turned-shopping editor, it's safe to say I know my way around building a capsule wardrobe. While I often dip my toes into timely trends that probably won't be around for very long, my way of investing and experimenting in fashion is by sticking to wardrobe essentials. I can't express enough how many times I've impulsively bought pieces that either A: I let sit in my closet for ages with tags on, or B: wore once then never touched again because I was already on to the next trend. But as one learns, less is sometimes more, and building a capsule wardrobe is your way to stay looking trendy by mixing and matching different core pieces from your closet and always having something to wear. Yup, it'll prevent all those breakdowns many of us have when we "have nothing to wear".

Since springtime is officially here and many of us are in full spring-cleaning mode, it's time to also transition our capsule wardrobe. The best part? You're probably already halfway there without even realizing it since many of these staple pieces can be worn year-round. Just think: classic white T-shirts, white sneakers, cute flowy dresses to beat the heat, and lived-in jeans. But beyond these staples, I'm here to show you a few new fashion trends that'll add that extra special touch to your spring wardrobe. And while they may seem timely, these are pieces you can actually style for many more years to come—like cropped trench coats, modern ballet flats, and chic statement belts.

So, if you're ready to curate the ultimate spring capsule wardrobe with a handful of pieces you'll never want to stop wearing, keep scrolling for my top picks.

The white T-shirt

LESET Margo cotton-jersey T-shirt

The main building block of a capsule wardrobe is a high-quality white T-shirt. Made from 100% cotton, I love the boxy fit on this tee from Leset, making it perfect for every type of torso. 

SKIMS Cotton Jersey T-Shirt

If you're looking for a form-fitting tee, I recommend snagging this SKIMS cotton jersey T-shirt ASAP. Even though I own this shirt in eight other colors, I find myself reaching for this white one to wear underneath oversized shirts during springtime. 

The white sneaker

Superga Unisex Trainers

A pair of versatile sneakers that have both athletic bones and can be worn casually is another wardrobe essential that belongs in your closet. These Superga trainers are the perfect blend of running shoes and everyday wear type of sneakers.

The ribbed tank

Madewell Supima Rib '90s Tank

There's just something about a classic ribbed tank that instantly elevates any outfit. While neutrals are usually the way to go when it comes to building a capsule wardrobe, during spring I love to venture out with a pop of color, like this Madewell '90s tank.

The midi dress

Anthropologie The Tommie Cap-Sleeve Smocked Front-Zip Shirt Dress

As the days start getting warmer, midi dresses should make their way back into your rotation. I'm currently loving this buttery-yellow shirt dress from Anthropologie that'll keep you cool at any formal event.

Abercrombie & Fitch Emerson Off-The-Shoulder Midi Dress

For more casual events, reach for this off-the-shoulder midi dress. It comes in five colorways and can be paired with ballet flats, sandals, or white sneakers.

The straight-leg jean

Madewell The Perfect Vintage Wide-Leg Crop Jean

While bootcut or skinny styles may come and go, there's no cut more timeless than the straight-leg/wide-leg jean. These cropped ones from Madewell are some of the best I've ever worn, featuring a worn-in comfy feel and a butt-lifting design. 

Abercrombie & Fitch Ultra High Rise 90s Straight Jean

These Abercrombie & Fitch '90s straight jeans come in 25 denim washes, and look good with literally anything—whether it's a plain white tee, strappy sandals, denim shirts, or a cute mule.

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The modern ballet flat

Madewell The Greta Ballet Flat

By now, I think it's safe to say that ballet flats are here to stay. Grab a classic pair of black leather ones like the Greta ballet flat from Madewell, they're the perfect pair for those days when you're looking to elevate your outfit without having to wear heels.

By Anthropologie Floral Cutout Flats

With spring around the corner, ditch the socks-and-flats struggle with these charming leather floral cutout flats featuring adorable buckle detailing—keeping your feet cool and stylish all season long.

The trench coat

Artizia Babaton Finch Trench Coat

Whether you're dealing with spring's downpours or an extra windy day, you're going to need outerwear that'll protect you from the elements—that's why I love sporting trench coats during this time of the year. This Aritzia Finch trench coat isn't too light or heavy and keeps you looking stylish. 

Nordstrom Crop Stretch Cotton Trench Coat

On days when it's slightly warmer outside, reach for a cropped trench coat instead. This Nordstrom one comes in pale mint and a tan color.

The button-down shirt

Nordstrom Poplin Button-Up Shirt

Button-up shirts are some of the most versatile pieces you'll ever have in your closet. They can be tucked inside any bottom or layered over a cute tank. I'm especially loving this striped poplin one from Nordstrom right now, since it can be worn as a set or over a pair of baggy jeans for a more laidback look.

H&M Linen-blend Shirt

Spring obviously calls for linen thanks to its light and airy feel. Wear this linen-blend shirt from H&M as a beach coverup or throw over a one-piece swimsuit. 

The floral dress

Reformation Balia Linen Dress

Florals for spring? Yes please. Get ready for all your special springtime events with an on-theme floral dress like this Reformation one. She's pink, she's flowy, she's everything. 

Abercrombie & Fitch Emerson Waisted Poplin Mini Dress

If you prefer a shorter length when it comes to dresses, opt for this poplin mini dress from Abercrombie & Fitch. I genuinely can't resist adorable puffy sleeves for springtime fits.

The long denim skirt

H&M Denim Skirt

With long denim skirts making a comeback, I can't resist snagging this slit-hem one from H&M. Not only does it have a budget-friendly price tag, it's also available in a denim blue and dark gray wash, and would look gorgeous when paired with a puff-sleeve blouse.

The chunky earrings

Anthropologie Double Stone Drop Earrings

For a while now, I'd say we're in a golden era for big, chunky earrings—and this has to be one of my favorite trends that's here to stay. Elevate any simple outfit with a gorgeous pair of double-stone drop earrings from Anthropologie. When in doubt, always add an eye-catching earring to your fit!

Anthropologie The Petra Mini Drop Earrings

Turn your little black dress into an editorial look with these huge chunks of metal earrings from Anthropologie (my go-to for accessories!!). Choose from four metallic colorways.

The off-the-shoulder top

Mango Off-the-Shoulder Knitted Sweater

After a whole winter of covering every single inch of your body, it's time to finally soak up the sun by wearing sexy off-the-shoulder tops that show off your décolletage. it's my favorite sultry top that shows off just enough, while still keeping it classy.

Banana Republic Cotton-Modal Off-Shoulder Top

If you love the wide bandeau look that's been trending recently, opt for this top from Banana Republic. The best part? It's designed so you can wear the cross at the front or back.

The relaxed trousers

Nordstrom Flat Front Wide Leg Pants

Wide-leg pants were once tied to officewear, but nowadays they can be styled up or done on any given day. These flat front ones for Nordstrom feature a stretchy waist, making them perfect for everyday wear. Pair them with a boxy white tee and walking sandals on your day off. 

Everlane The Linen Way-High Drape Pant

Keep cool and professional with these linen drape pants from Everlane. They'll keep you cool during springtime and can be paired with an oversized blazer and loafers for a chic office look.

The statement belt

Free People Waltz Waist Belt

When styling your capsule wardrobe and making it work for any time of the year, it all comes down to accessories—that's when statement pieces like a luxe belt play a major part. Reach for a boho chic waist belt like this Free People one to instantly upgrade your look.

Looking for more Editor-approved fashion finds? Upgrade your closet with these cool & trendy spring street style essentials.