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  • Writer's pictureNina Abraham


Capsule wardrobes for working women are becoming increasingly popular in the Bay Area as more people are looking for an easy, functioning, and stylish wardrobe without having to spend big bucks on tons of clothing pieces. And though it may seem difficult to construct, here are a couple steps to help you make the perfect capsule wardrobe for your office style.

1) Pick a color palette. You want to pick 3-4 colors: one that’s darker, like navy or black, one that’s neutral-colored, like cream, white, beige, or grey, and a brighter color and/or pattern based on your personal preference. If you choose to pick a pattern, make it a subtle, like swiss dots or a geometric print. That way, it won’t be noticeable if you're wearing the same top or bottom often. Here are some recommended color palettes, but you can pick your own to fit your personal preferences.

2) Now that you’ve picked your color palette, you get to do the fun part: picking out clothes for your new capsule wardrobe! When choosing clothes to add to your wardrobe, try to pick clothes that match your color palette, fit your work environment (business formal, business casual, smart casual, etc.)  and are versatile. A good rule of thumb is to make sure each top goes with 3 of your bottoms, and each bottom matches 3 of your tops. 

Let’s begin with tops. It’s important to have at least 5 blouses so you don’t have to do laundry more than once a week. I’d consider having at least one black blouse and one white blouse (depending on what your color palette is), because those items can go with anything. If your office is not too conservative, I’d also suggest a chambray or button-down blouse. When picking out shirts, remember the rule of thumb and make sure each shirt matches 3 bottoms. 

In the Bay Area, where the weather can be known to be nice and sunny in the afternoon, but brutally chilly in the mornings and evenings, layers are especially important. I’d suggest picking out a couple light sweaters and cardigans, and at least 2 warm jackets, such as a trench coat or a blazer to wear over your chosen blouses.

Now it’s time to talk bottoms. A pencil skirt in a dark color goes with almost everything, so I’d definitely recommend that. Also, depending on your color palette, checkered trousers are really on-trend right now, so if you’re feeling bold I’d throw that in as well. If your workplace has casual Friday, a pair of dark, non-ripped, denim jeans is also a very versatile piece. But really, as long as they fit your color palette and match at least 3 of your tops, you should be good to go.

You also want to add a dress or two. I’d suggest one nice solid-colored sheath dress as they look very professional and put together. For the second dress, I’d go with a small pattern to add some variety to your collection. It is important to note that all dresses and bottoms must be appropriate for your workplace.

3) Now it’s time to accessorize, including bags, jewelry, hats, and more. This is where you can add more of your personality to your wardrobe. For starters, choose a bag that mostly reflects your personal style but still looks professional and fits your color palette. For other accessories, a few subtle earrings and necklaces and one or two statement pieces should do the trick. In the Bay Area, I’d suggest having a couple of fashionable scarves to keep you warm when there’s a nip in the air.  

For shoes, I’d suggest having 3-4 pairs. You should at least have a pair of flats, heels, and boots, preferably not in your accent color. In addition, you can add one more casual pair of shoes to match your personality as long as it fits your color palette and work environment. 

As you can see, you really do have lots of freedom in choosing what pieces to include in your capsule wardrobe. As long as each piece of clothing fits your color palette, is versatile, and fits your office’s established dress code, forming your capsule wardrobe should be a breeze. Citations B, Leanne. “How To Start A Capsule Wardrobe: 5 Step Visual Guide.” Classy Yet Trendy, 29 Jan. 2018,

Louie, Erica. “Bay Area Fashion Beauty and Lifestyle Blog by YouTuber Miss Louie.” Miss Louie,

Payer, Allyson. “This 23-Piece Capsule Wardrobe for Work Will Change Your Life.” Who What Wear, Who What Wear, 12 Apr. 2018,

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