I love Talbots. That’s no secret. And apparently you, my readers, do too. Almost every month, without fail, Talbots is the most popular retailer on the blog. Hands down. So, we’re gonna try something new today. I’ve spent the past few days combing through Talbots’ Spring new arrivals, and I’ve put together a capsule wardrobe. From 14 different items, I’ve put 5 different outfits together. The items include:
Here are the rules I tried to follow when selecting items:
Most of you are familiar with what I mean by “classic”. Think lots of neutrals, fits, cuts, and styles that defy trends. While bold and bright colors are in this year, I shied away from them today in favor of whites, blacks, and tans for example.
So without further adieu, let’s see what I came up with.
Nappa Wedges | Perfect Tote | Nappa Loafers | Espadrille Flats | Vachetta Mule | Bateau Neck Tee | Drawcord Shirt Jacket | Twill Knit Blazer | Denim Shirt Jacket | Button Detail Popover | Smocked Blouse | Wide-Leg Pants | Relaxed Jeans | Slim Ankle Jeans
The first outfit stars a navy twill blazer. A navy blazer is part of any classic wardrobe and works perfectly with the simple combination of an olive drab neck tee and slim jeans in a medium wash. And how about these leather mules? Absolutely loving them.
Twill Knit Blazer | Bateau Neck Tee | Slim Ankle Jeans | Perfect Tote | Vachetta Mule
The second outfit begins with a neutral base: I paired a black and white smocked blouse with black wide-leg trousers. The trousers are about as “edgy” as this wardrobe gets today, but I have been and will continue to be a fan. The wedges continue the matchy-matchy feel of the outfit.
Denim jackets are true heroes of any classic transition wardrobe, including this one. So to add visual interest, I added a light-wash denim shirt jacket. It lightens the outfit up dramatically. (Imagine the difference if I were to have gone with a dark-wash.)
Denim Shirt Jacket | Smocked Blouse | Wide-Leg Pants | Nappa Wedges | Perfect Tote
The third outfit is preppy through and through. I’m bringing back the navy twill blazer from outfit 1. This time, though, I paired it with a blue popover and white denim. Add a pair of navy loafers and you’re a full-on prepster, if only for a day.
Twill Knit Blazer | Button Detail Popover | Relaxed Jeans | Nappa Loafers | Perfect Tote
Outfit 4 demonstrates keeps the base from outfit 1 but swaps the jacket, shoes, and bag. It features a tan utility jacket and snakeskin espadrilles. (Remember, animal skin functions as a neutral.) This outfit really demonstrates the impact accessories and outerwear can have on an outfit.
Drawcord Shirt Jacket | Bateau Neck Tee | Slim Ankle Jeans | Espadrille Flats | Perfect Tote
Compare outfit 3 with this one: the only thing different is the jacket. Instead of a blazer, I’ve gone with the utility jacket. And what a difference it makes. The outfit stops feeling “preppy” and starts feeling more, “I’m ready to take on the world thank you very much.”
And that’s the fun of capsule wardrobes, really. If you begin with a small but classic set of tops, bottoms, shoes, and jackets, you can create so many different combinations that vary minimally but are dramatically different!
So have some fun with my capsule wardrobe and think about how you would do it differently.
Drawcord Shirt Jacket | Button Detail Popover | Relaxed Jeans | Nappa Loafers | Perfect Tote
If you’re looking for more classic wardrobe ideas, make sure to check out our essential series:
Make sure to catch up on our DAILY LOOK. We post a dedicated photo to our daily outfit every Wednesday-Sunday. And you can shop those outfits easily through the shop the widget below the picture.
is the Founder and CEO of Style at a Certain Age. She writes Sundays-Fridays on all topics ranging from fashion, health, wellness, home design and more.
She’s 63, 5’8, and size 8.
I love this capsule wardrobe idea! You’ve put together fun,practical outfits,including some new pieces & pieces we may already own. Thanks so much!
Love this — I hope you do it for every season!
Talbots is my absolute favorite retailer and my closet/drawers feature 90+% of their clothing/shoes. Thank you for this great post, Beth. Happy Sunday!
I thoroughly enjoyed today’s post. For the past year or so, I have been transitioning my wardrobe from the Corporate look my job required to my new life in retirement. My needs are plentiful, bigger than my budget. So this post on mixing and matching a few Strategic pieces is so helpful. and quite honestly your “essential” posts have really helped me prioritize. I even journaled them. You are amazing and inspirational. Keep up the good work!
Cute basic outfits. I pretty much liked them all.
Terrific post, Beth! Showing how to maximize your wardrobe is so helpful and with the items being from Talbots, it made it perfect. Looking forward to more capsule wardrobe ideas.
Thanks for planning my vacation wardrobe! Just The right number of outfits for a 2 week RV trip. I always take too many clothes. I am disappointed in Talbot s. It has been my go to store for many years. I love their clothes and they were the only store that I know of that carries plus petite sizes. In the last few months everything that I wanted to buy didn’t come in plus petite. I’ll have to lose 20 pounds before I can buy any new clothes. I guess that will be an incentive
That’s the reason I love Talbot’s. You can create so many outfits by mixing & matching their classic pieces.
Wonderful post, Beth! Now that I’m semi- retired I’m working on building a capsule wardrobe year round. Pinned quite a few of your outfits.
I love the capsule wardrobe concept. I have been a Talbots wearer for over 35 years, and I have managed to “curate” my wardrobe over the years. I do supplement my Talbots wardrobe by adding items from J. Crew. A few of my Talbots pieces are over 15 years old, while others are recent purchases. Their sizing has remained pretty consistent over the years, as well as their great quality. To the lady who is revamping her wardrobe in her retirement years, I have done the same. I would suggest taking advantage of their great sales, make a list of what you need, and add a few pieces a couple of times a year until you have created a capsule wardrobe.
This is a great post! I have been thinking I wanted to pare my wardrobe down to a capsule wardrobe and this is some great inspiration. Thanks for the wonderful suggestions.
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