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January 21, 2020

How to Create a Year-Round Capsule Collection With 11 Fashion Staples

Sydne Style shows classic fashion staples every woman should own in her closet

What are the key pieces you should have in your wardrobe? This is a question I’m constantly asked. And I realized I’ve never done a dedicated blog post about it! So today, I want to talk about the 11 year-round capsule collection staples that you can wear all decade long. These are the classic, timeless pieces I find myself reaching for every season, every year. They’re the pieces you see worn time and again in my Styling with Sydne videos. And they’re the staples I feel that every woman should have to build a capsule collection wardrobe.

Year-Round Capsule Collection Staples

  1. Tailored black blazer

  2. Crisp white button down

  3. Black pointy pump

  4. White crewneck tee

  5. Dark skinny jean

  6. Medium width black belt

  7. Black tailored pant

  8. Midi skirt

  9. White leather sneakers

  10. Little black dress

  11. Black chain bag

Ok, now that we have the list, let’s talk specifics. I want to share which staples I splurge on and why. And not to worry, I listened to your suggestions and I’m offering more affordable alternatives even if I splurged.

#1: Tailored black blazer

As much as I love my boyfriend blazers and printed jackets, if I could only choose one jacket to wear year-round, it would be a tailored black blazer. It’s a classic piece that you can wear from season to season, year after year. Since fit is super important with this piece, this is one staple that is worth the splurge. You’ll have it in your closet forever.

My Bailey 44 classic black blazer from has a bit of stretch to it. I find it helps with fit for my petite frame (I’m wearing a size 0 for reference).

Other brands who carry classic blazers I love and wear year after year are:


#2: Crisp White Button-Down

I own so many button-downs I’ve lost count. But if I had to get rid of all of them except one it would be a no brainer which to keep: a crisp white button-down shirt.

After years of trial and error, I finally found a classic white button down that I love: Ann Taylor’s Perfect shirt. It really is perfect: crisp but not stiff, lightweight but not see through and the price point is great! Plus, it comes in all different sizing. I’m wearing a 0 regular for reference.


#3: Black pointy pump

A black pointy pump goes with everything from work outfits to date night looks. I like height without killing my back. So the majority of my pointy pumps have 3-inch to 3.5-inch heel.

My Christian Louboutin Pigalle black pumps are my favorites. I have the 85mm version which is a 3.3-inch heel. Yes, they’re a splurge. But cost-per-wear, they’ve been worth every penny. I’ve had them for seven years!

If you’re looking for a more affordable version that’s equally as chic, my favorite is Sam Edelman’s Hazel pump. I have it in a few different colors and it also comes in classic black leather.


#4: White Crewneck tee

I stock up one white tees and wear them with everything. This is something you definitely don’t have to spend a ton of money on. My favorite crew-neck white tees are only $5!

I recommend that once you find a white t-shirt you love, buy it in multiples. And love them for years to come.


#5: Dark Skinny jean

Denim trends come and go. But more often than not, they come back in style eventually. So when I love a pair of jeans, even if they’re not “in” anymore, I rarely throw them out. One style jean I love that I never have to hide in the back of my closet? My dark skinny jeans.

Dark skinny denim has become a classic, especially when you go for a mid to higher rise. The L’Agence Margot jean has become my favorite skinny style. I have them in so many colors but if I had to give all of them up but one, I’d keep the dark blue denim pair.


#6: Medium width black belt

I wrote an entire blog post on whether a Gucci belt is worth the investment. For me it is. I wear mine all the time. I have two thicker ones and most recently got the medium size double G buckle belt in black. It was a splurge, but I look at it as an investment that I’ll have forever.

I size up and then add an additional hole so I can wear the belt both at my waist and on my hips.

If your’e not up for spending that much, I highly recommend this double O buckle belt from Express. I bought it in cognac because I didn’t think I’d wear brown as much as black. So didn’t want to spend the money on another Gucci. I honestly love it so much that I’m hoping they come out with it in more colors soon!


#7: Black Tailored pant

When I was working in an office, I wore black tailored pants on a weekly basis. These days, I mostly save them for meetings, but I’ll also wear them on a night out with a cute top or blazer.

When it comes to what pair of black pants to put in your capsule collection it really depends on your body type. But a tailored pant is a great start since it’s a classic. I prefer an ankle-length pant so I can wear any type of shoes. I also like a higher waist but a mid-waist works too.

Some great places to looks for a classic black tailored pant are:


#8: Midi Skirt

If this was ten years ago, I probably would have said a pencil skirt. And a classic pencil skirt will never go out of style. But personally, I’ve been reaching for my midi skirts the most in the past few years.

I love a midi skirt because you can wear it with a conservative top to work, a silky camisole for date night and a tee and sneakers for the weekend. I usually gravitate towards slip skirts. But my second favorite is a pleated skirt. While black is always a classic, you could also do blush or leopard as a wardrobe staple that works for every season.

In my book, leopard has officially become a neutral. I wear my animal print skirt with just about everything!


#9: White Leather sneakers

When I want to wear comfy shoes, I always find myself reaching for the same pair: my white leather sneakers. They go with everything year-round. I love my Kenneth Cole Kam sneakers so much that I’m actually on my second pair!

They’re also really great for travel. I’ve worn them everywhere from wine tasting in California to sight-seeing in Paris.


#10: Little Black Dress

You didn’t think I’d forget to include the LBD did you? Every woman should have at least one little black dress in their closet.

I personally love sheath style dresses because they’re timeless and versatile. You can wear them to the office, for a date and even for Halloween. Throw on pearls and you’re Audrey Hepburn!


#11: Black Chain Bag

If you asked me which bag I’ve worn the most in the past four years I wouldn’t even have to bat an eye to answer: my YSL black medium Kate bag.

Ironically, I bought it as an impulse purchase when I was in Paris. But I’ve worn it nonstop since. It’s a grain leather, which means you can spill anything and it won’t get messed up. I even got pooped on by a bird in Paris last year and it easily wiped off!

The black chain and logo is understated enough to wear during the day yet the bag is fancy enough at night. And it fits all my essentials.

I know it’s a splurge, so I hunted for a similar black chain bag that would do the same trick. This black quilted bag is about the same size and has similar chic black hardware.

I hope this list of fashion staples helps you as you’re working on your capsule wardrobe. These are honestly the pieces I wear and love non stop. With them, I’m able to create endless outfits. And they’re the perfect base for when I want to add some trendier items into the mix.

Want more timeless ideas?
See the 5 jewelry pieces I never take off 

If you liked this, let me know and I’ll do a seasonal version for winter and the upcoming seasons. While these work year-round, there are definitely some must-haves that I keep in my closet for each season.

Leave a Comment

1 Comment

  1. Jennifer commented:

    I liked all the suggestions, I have most of them, (ofcourse in a way more accessible version :0)) I’m just missing the black tailored pant that I’ve been looking for, for a while now.
    I’m happy you’re going to do a seasonal capsule wardrobe, I was thinking the exact same thing 😉😉 ( great minds think alike😉)

    Published 1.21.20 Reply

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