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LK Bennett

How To Build The Best Spring Capsule Wardrobe

The idea of the capsule wardrobe is not new. For the last few years, magazines and digital fashion spaces have discussed the benefits of a women’s capsule wardrobe alongside the best ways to start building your own. The concept is an evergreen one as more of us want to avoid the ‘nothing to wear’ feeling when picking out an outfit in the morning and as the seasons change. We’re also looking for greener ways to engage with style. And the capsule clothing mindset is a step to building a more sustainable relationship with fashion long-term.

Creating a capsule wardrobe takes a little time and effort to start, though it’s undeniably fun too. Foremost, it requires the investment of time. You will need to think about your style, look at the pieces you own – separating what you wear from the pieces you don’t – and analyse what you find. You’ll likely find that you gravitate to a few pieces again and again. We can hazard a guess that those pieces will be the ones that make you feel good and most like ‘you’ on a daily basis. They’re probably flattering, made of good materials which means they wear well, and are easy to style with other pieces you own. The things you don’t reach for as often will be the opposite. Shifting the way you approach clothes to a capsule wardrobe, based on classic trends and styles made of high quality fabrics, will ensure that you really love the pieces you own for years to come.

While you’re clearing out your wardrobe, keep a list of the gaps you’ll inevitably spot. You might discover that you’re missing basics, like a great white t-shirt, or that an item you own falls short of expectations and needs to be replaced with a better version. Keeping a list means that you won’t be tempted to buy things you don’t need and give you more space to invest in the things your wardrobe is missing.

Once you start building a capsule wardrobe, you’ll discover the pleasure of really loving every piece you own, knowing how it fits into your style, and never again feeling guilty for seeing something hanging with the tag still on – you’ll acquire pieces you love and wear them all the time. Below are a few tips from the LK Bennett team on how to start your capsule wardrobe, how to find quality pieces and what to look out for as you build on the key principles.

Seasonless Spring Clothing Staples

With spring weather fast approaching and the dark nights giving way to lighter, longer days, we’re all shedding the winter layers. Even though the seasons are shifting, it doesn’t mean that you have to stop wearing all your favourite cold weather pieces at once.

Think about the pieces that make up the base of your outfit, like skirts or trousers. If there are styles you wear often, check how they’re holding up first. Look at the quality of the seams, focusing on any hanging threads or any sections where the stitching is coming undone. Many pieces can be mended, either by yourself or a tailor, but if your favourite pair is looking like it’s seen better days, make a note to find a replacement item. Pay attention to the colour of the garment too. Frequent washing fades the pigment, including on dark-coloured items; that’s why it’s a good idea to update your favourite, classic items every few years and invest in looking after them too.

Classic styles of trousers never go out of fashion, even as trends shift and evolve. As you’ll always need more top options than bottoms, it makes sense to find a couple of high quality pieces that you can confidently pair with different tops, blazers, and coats. When shopping, look for trousers in styles you find the most comfortable and easy to create outfits with. A classic pair of high waisted straight or wide-legged trousers, in navy, black, or grey, is universally flattering and easy to wear to all kinds of occasions, from the office to a dinner or even a casual Sunday walk.

It’s simple to change the energy of the trousers by switching out the top half and accessories. Paired with a camisole and a blazer, the look is perfect for the office, while removing the blazer and exposing a little bit of skin will make the outfit feel like more of an occasion. Similarly, wearing a high heel or a heeled boot will dress the trousers up. Trainers on the other hand, make formal trousers look casual and appropriate for weekends.

Jeans are another staple that most wardrobes cannot do without. A good pair of jeans should fit well, with minimal gaps around the waist; be of a good length for your height, whether they’re full length or cropped; and come in a wash that pairs well with other pieces. Once again, classic shades of grey, blue, and black are going to be the most versatile while extreme stone-washing and rips will limit the amount of outfits you can create, and the places you can wear your jeans to.

Trainers are now acceptable to wear with most outfits - dresses, skirts, even suits. While a few places frown upon trainers, most workplaces today don’t bat an eyelid, especially post-pandemic. One caveat to consider is the kind of trainers you wear. There’s of course a difference between the typically chunkier sport styles (designed to absorb shock) and the sleek fashion pairs that are as comfortable as they are attractive to the eye. To wear trainers in more formal settings, look for simple styles in neutral tones and materials like leather. Leather is a practical material to choose because it’s easy to clean, which will keep your trainers looking great season after season.

Experiment by wearing trainers not only with trousers and jeans, but with skirts and dresses too. A two-piece suit also looks instantly more modern when worn with a pair of sleek trainers and a simple t-shirt and jewellery.

A tote bag may not seem like an essential element of a spring wardrobe but, in transitional weather, a bag that can fit layers (and an umbrella!) is going to come in handy. A large, sturdy tote - made of high quality leather - will look equally stylish with dressy or casual looks, at the office and at the weekend. You can opt for a neutral colour with your bag if you like the tonal look. Otherwise, why not choose a brighter shade for a pop colour that’ll serve as the accent to your classic wardrobe?

All-Weather Capsule Wardrobe Outfits

One of the core principles of the capsule wardrobe is wearing pieces over and over while finding new ways to style and incorporate them with other pieces. In spring, heavy wool knits can be stored away until next winter but pieces like dresses of course work across different temperatures. Store away any pieces that feel too thick for the warming temperatures, keeping medium and light fabric items on hand.

As far as transitional dressing goes, dresses are some of the easiest items to style. One dress is a complete outfit while layers like cardigans, blazers, and trench coats can easily change how a dress looks for different occasions. If you don’t yet own a shirt dress, consider adding one to your spring capsule wardrobe. Effortless and stylish, the shirt dress is perfect for layering. Unbuttoned, the shirt dress can be layered over a vest or even a thin roll-neck for those chillier days. Worn with tights and different kinds of shoes (including trainers, for casual occasions), the shirt dress can become one of the most versatile pieces in your wardrobe.

The current trends for skirts are dictating mini (even micro mini) hemlines and cargo-inspired materials. It’s safe to say that those styles will not become classics that’ll be reached for season after season. On the other hand, a short skirt that sits above the knee, a midi style, or a pencil skirt are always going to look relevant and timeless. Leather skirts started as a trend a few years back but, after returning for multiple seasons, can now be considered classic too.

A leather skirt can add a bit of a tougher edge to simple, chic looks, like a tucked-in shirt or a light cashmere jumper. It’s also the perfect example of an investment buy. The initial cost will be higher than for a regular skirt, however leather wears well over the years, softening up even more. Plus, caring for leather is quite low-maintenance too.

While a black heeled boot will never go out of style, shoes are an opportunity to have some fun. If you feel that your everyday needs are covered with the styles you already own, think about venturing outside what you’re used to. Knee boots are both practical and stylish; they also transform the feel of an outfit. Having a few statement pieces, like a bright or a metallic pair of heels for example, ensures that you don’t get bored when creating new looks.

Lend Your Wardrobe A Hand With LK Borrowed

Re-wearing the pieces you already own and buying a few key items that fit with your style are not the only ways to approach the capsule clothing practice. Renting clothing is a fantastic option to consider, if you haven’t thought of it before. Recently, LK Bennett launched LK Borrowed - a rental service that gives you access to beautiful clothing for special occasions or every day.

Starting with LK Borrowed couldn’t be simpler. Begin by browsing the collection of items available to see what catches your eye, from trousers and skirts to dresses and tops. New items are also added frequently to update the selection for the appropriate season and to thoughtfully reflect trends. Choose what items you like most and add them to your virtual wardrobe; we will then send you two of the items from your list of favourites. Now comes the fun part - wear the pieces out to work, that special occasion, or simply a relaxing weekend. When you’re ready to return the items, use the pre-paid bag provided by us and drop it off at an authorised Royal Mail location. If you really fall in love with a piece, you have the option to purchase and make it yours forever, with a helpful discount.

Renting pieces means you can try out pieces that you wouldn’t feel comfortable investing in otherwise and seeing if they fit your style. Or you can pick the pieces you know you’ll love but don’t want to own permanently. Renting, rather than buying, helps to reduce the amount of unworn clothing in wardrobes everywhere and it’s a sustainable way to indulge in stylish clothing, season after season.

LK Bennett is making renting easy, accessible, and inspirational. Membership to LK Borrowed is £79 per month, giving you access to hundreds of beautiful pieces from our collection. Delivery and returns are always free as part of your membership. Dry cleaning is also included so you can be sure that every item will arrive at your doorstep fresh and ready to be worn. Finally, you will receive up to 50% discount on items you want to make yours forever.

Transforming your wardrobe into a capsule one should be fun and enjoyable. The process will help you to solidify your style which, in turn, will make the process of creating outfits pleasurable every time. No more mindless shopping or last minute sales purchases that never live up to expectation. Instead, your spring clothing will be easy to mix and match and look fantastic year after year.

Once your dependable roster of classic items is finalised, you’ll also start to feel more creative and able to experiment with statement items and accessories. To supplement purchasing new items, borrowing can become the bridge that allows you to try out new trends, finditems for occasions that call for a statement, and simply wear LK Bennett’s beautiful styles without the long term commitment. It’s style and sustainability, without compromising on either.