The majority of the items within this capsule wardrobe work for male, female, and non-binary dressers. Use this list as a guide when shopping for your own wardrobe essentials.

  1. A great piece of outerwear: Whether it’s a trench coat, an overcoat, a denim jacket, or something heavier-weight, make sure you have a great piece of outerwear.
  2. A leather jacket: A leather jacket is cool, it's easy, and it shows style without making any real effort. It also doesn't have to be real leather; it can be vegan leather if you prefer.
  3. Button-up shirts: You may not want to wear a button-up shirt every day, but, eventually, you will need a button-up shirt. And it can be used in a very casual, fun way; it doesn’t have to feel super-corporate. So invest in a couple. Go for a white and a black, or other colors that make you feel like you, for example, a navy, a brown, and beige. Stick with neutrals. It's a lot easier to play around with those.
  4. A great-fitting suit: This does not have to be expensive. You can get something relatively inexpensive and have it tailored. But make sure it fits you to perfection. Again, choose a neutral color: It can either be a darker neutral (like black or gray) or a lighter neutral (such as beige or cream). It does not matter if you don't have a job that requires you to wear a corporate suit. Break the suit up into a blazer and black pants or a pencil skirt, and you can wear it in so many different ways beyond your work wardrobe.
  5. Knitwear: You will eventually need knitwear at some point of the year. Stick with something relatively neutral that really flatters your body shape. If you like a crew neck, go with a crew neck. If you are slightly shorter, go with a cropped sweater. If you embrace a longer length, go with something longer. You only need two pieces: Consider one cardigan and one pullover.
  6. T-shirts: A T-shirt is something that is so simple you can get it from pretty much any store. Go for whatever feels like your neutral color: black, white, brown, gray.
  7. Denim: Denim is a major component of your capsule wardrobe. Decide on the shades of denim you like. Decide on the fits of denim you like by trying on multiple options. And then, once you've narrowed it down to a pair of jeans that you know that you will appreciate for many years to come, get a couple of pairs of those jeans, in different colors, such as a black that will go with almost anything, and a pair of blue, which is universal. Denim is easy to dress up and dress down.
  8. Footwear: You’ll want at least two pairs of shoes. A white sneaker will never go out of style because it goes with everything. For work or special occasions, you might want something dressier. If you are the kind of person who likes a heel, go for a heel, but in a more neutral color, such as nude. For those days when you don't feel like walking around in a heel all day, try a dressed-up flat that isn't a sneaker. Go for something neutral, again. A black is perfect: It's going to go with pretty much everything in your closet.
  9. A belt: Every now and then, you'll want to jazz up your outfit. A statement belt does exactly that. If you need the belt to hold up your pants, consider buying pants in a different size or getting your pants tailored. The statement belt isn’t about function; it’s about fashion. Look for something that you know you'll wear for years.
  10. A dress: Keep it super simple. You can go for a little black dress or a little green dress. Choose a color that makes you feel confident, something that goes well with the other pieces in your capsule. Look for a classic shape, like an A-line dress with spaghetti straps—which is a fit you can rework endlessly—in a high-quality, classic material, like satin.