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A Time Capsule Wardrobe Guide to The 20 Most-Efficient Pieces To Add To Your Closet

BILLY FARRELL/BFA.COM

BILLY FARRELL/BFA.COM

I pride myself on how quickly I can get ready. Just between us, I sometimes intentionally wait until the last minute to get ready because I love the adrenaline rush of going from a hot mess to put together in 30 minutes flat.

Don’t tell ANYONE I admitted to that.

If I’m ever late for an engagement, which is rare (seriously, I wouldn’t lie to you)I just tell my friends I’m trying to find parking. The parking sucks in Kansas City so it’s always a valid excuse. Now, I know what you’re thinking and, yes, the 30 minutes I spend getting ready include shower time and makeup. I don’t mess around.

I remember when I realized getting dressed quickly was a skill. I was late for a date because I couldn’t find my wallet (NOT because I waited too long to get ready), and my Uber driver told me to relax because “sometimes women need a little more time to get dressed.” Sitting in the backseat of her super spacious SUV, I crossed my legs like Sharon Stone in “Basic Instinct” and responded, “oh no, not me.”

It was only until recently that I discovered the secret to my success. It’s that even though my closet is overflowing at this point, ( I need to do something about that) I have a keen awareness of my time capsule pieces.

A time capsule piece is an evergreen item that’s basically trend-proof. No matter what the flavor of the year or season is, a time capsule piece is always relevant and always there for you. Capsule clothes are basically the “superfoods” of fashion - except much tastier. These hardworking clothing items have your back, front,andsides.

If you don’t have time capsule items right now, you should really make it a priority. And, if you do, make sure you always know their whereabouts. You never know when you’ll need to throw your go-to blazer over a dress for a quick business casual ensemble. You’re important and you’re a busy woman. You never know when Oprah will just up and request a sit down meeting with you.

Examining my own closet, my time capsule pieces are typically my midi dresses, midi skirts, jackets, blazers, heels, and accessories that I can rely on for a quick pop of color. These pieces pair well together and are the keys to achieving an effortlessly chic look.

If indecision plagues you, or if your closet needs an overhaul, embrace these key time capsule pieces. You’re too blessed to be stressed over your outfit choices. But, no need to take my word for it. I gathered some cute time capsule outfits courtesy of notably trendy celebs so that you can see just how hard these pieces will work for you.

Time Capsule Wardrobe Piece #1: The Blazer

JAMES GOURLEY/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK

JAMES GOURLEY/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK

Designer Alexa Chung would naturally be a source for some of the most awe-inspiring street style looks. She wore this black velvet blazer to the Emilia Wickstead Fashion Show and this photo is proof that a blazer is a quick way to make any outfit look polished. This is especially true if you include a flower pin for a little extra magic.

MANGO

MANGO

What to Buy: Velvet Blazer

$100 at time of publication

Your go-to blazer needn’t be velvet, but it’s such a decadent material that it easily amplifies any look. Mango carries a similar velvet blazer to Alexa’s.


Time Capsule Wardrobe Piece #2: The Essential Tee

EVERLANE

EVERLANE

What to Buy: The Cotton Crew

$18 at time of publication

I vote we boycott the phrase “basic tee,” at least until I use it again. Seriously, a crisp white tee is anything but basic in this era of minimal-chic fashion, it’s often a core pillar. Keep multiple light-weight yet high-quality tees handy for layering with cardigans and jackets. They’re great ways to finish an outfit while allowing other pieces to make their statement.


Time Capsule Wardrobe Piece #3: The Midi Skirt

GETTY

GETTY

Behold, the power of the midi skirt. Sarah Jessica Parker was spotted out and about in New York wearing this full-blown time capsule ensemble that featured a pleated midi skirt.

&amp; OTHER STORIES

& OTHER STORIES

What to Buy: Bias Cut Satin Midi Skirt

$89 at time of publication

A black flowy midi skirt will never go out of style. Every closet needs a pretty midi skirt. Get bonus glam points if it’s made of a flowy material. And, this is a topic for another discussion, but monochromatic outfits are the lazy fashion girl’s secret weapon.


Time Capsule Wardrobe Piece #4: The Black Boot

ASOS

ASOS

What to Buy: Charisma Leather Smart Riding Boot

$95 at time of publication

Whether mid-calf or knee height a pair of black leather boots will always be one of the most versatile items in your closet.


Time Capsule Wardrobe Piece #5: The Mom Jean

GETTY IMAGES

GETTY IMAGES

I remember when mom jeans were a fashion faux pas and then one day they were just EVERYWHERE. For every significant event in the past, someone looks back and says “where were you when XYZ happened.” So now I ask you, “where wereyouwhen mom jeans happened?”

Selena Gomez may not recall where she was, but she’s totally a mom jeans girl. If you’re worried about the longevity of the particular style she’s wearing, grab a hemmed pair rather than raw hemmed.

LEVI’s

LEVI’s

What to Buy: Wedgie Fit Women's Jeans

$98 at time of publication

Levi’s Wedgie Fit denim jeans are tapered in the waist, shape the butt, and fit through the leg.


Time Capsule Wardrobe Piece #6: Classic Jewelry

MEJURI

MEJURI

What to Buy: Star Signet

$60 at time of publication

Silver jewelry was in during the ‘90s, but it’s been gold’s heyday for a good decade and I don’t see the momentum stopping. Whether your outfit calls for subtle jewelry or over-the-top stacked pieces, keep some simple rings, bracelets, and necklaces ready for layering.


Time Capsule Wardrobe Piece #7: The White Button Down

NEIL MOCKFORD/ALEX HUCKLE/GETTY

NEIL MOCKFORD/ALEX HUCKLE/GETTY

White button-down shirts don’t get enough respect. They’re quite uniformly so it’s easier to understand the hesitation to wear them. That and eating food is awesome, and they don’t generally do well near good.

But, this is one piece that has low-key always been a time capsule clothing item. The white button-down is making a resurgence and the fashion community is taking notice. If the idea of owning a white button-down is particularly stressful, let Elizabeth Olsen and her balloon-sleeved tie-detailed button-down from Moda Operandi be your inspiration.

ELOQUII

ELOQUII

What to Buy: Poet Sleeve Blouse

$80 at time of publication

Any white button down shirt style is timeless, just keep a Tide bleach pin handy.


Time Capsule Wardrobe Piece #8: Mule Slides

What to Buy: The Boss Mule

$84 at time of publication

Mule slides are a bit of an acquired taste and I get it. Covered toes and bare heels can feel unnatural. In my experience, though, once someone gives the mule slide a real chance they’re forever hooked. You can’t not love the mullet of the shoe world.


Time Capsule Wardrobe Piece #9: Black Trousers

Farrell/BFA/REX/Shutterstock

Farrell/BFA/REX/Shutterstock

This time capsule item is pretty straight forward. Your streamlined wardrobe absolutely must have a pair of tailored black trousers on standby. Feel free to play with the style. Cropped, tapered or a flared leg like the pair Laura Herrier wore to the Calvin Klein fall/winter fashion are all equally timeless.

MANGO

MANGO

What to Buy: Slit Hem Pants

$50 at time of publication

This pair of skinny black trousers from Mango adds a little more personality thanks to their curve-hugging silhouette and bedeviling slits.


Time Capsule Wardrobe Piece #10: The Tote Bag

MANGO

MANGO

What to Buy: Croc-effect bag

$40 at time of publication

A medium-sized bag will always be on-trend. The same goes for a structured tote. Combine the two traits and you have yourself a time capsule bag.


Time Capsule Wardrobe Piece #11: The Leather Jacket

SPLASH NEWS

SPLASH NEWS

Ashley Graham kept it casual when she stepped out in New York wearing an all-black edgy outfit. A leather jacket is the ultimate layering piece and it adds a certain cool-girl aesthetic to any ensemble.

MANGO

MANGO

What to Buy: Black Faux Leather Biker Jacket

$95 at time of publication

Topshop is a go-to destination for vegan leather. They carry every option from moto to faux fur trimmed.


Time Capsule Wardrobe Piece #12: The Jumpsuit

SAMIR HUSSEIN/WIREIMAGE

SAMIR HUSSEIN/WIREIMAGE

If anyone knows how to work a time capsule wardrobe it’s Megan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex. Time capsule pieces are perfect for streamlining your wardrobe and making quick outfit decisions. But, they’re also a go-to if you spend a good deal of time being “on.” The Duchess wore this black Everlane jumpsuit with her black Manolo Blahnik pumps - a chic outfit that couldn’t have taken more than 10-minutes to put together.

eVERLANE

eVERLANE

What to Buy: The Japanese GoWeave Essential Jumpsuit

$120 at time of publication

Everlane has stolen the heart of Meghan Markle, and she’s stolen mine. High-key, and I’m not exaggerating (I’ll provide photo evidence if enough of you ask), but she’s my sister’s doppelgänger.


Time Capsule Wardrobe Piece #13: The Cardigan

&amp; OTHER STORIES

& OTHER STORIES

What to Buy: Cropped Cardigan

$99 at time of publication

You always need a cute cardigan for transitional outfits. I’ll use science to make my case. Fall/Winter and Winter/Spring transitions are confusing times weather-wise. And, if you don’t live on either coast, those transitions total about half of the year. A cardigan is practical, and that’s why it makes our list of time capsule pieces. Not only that, but the fashion industry is obsessed with cardigans right now, and for good reason.

A cardigan is a wardrobe staple that works in a plethora of settings and can be styled in so many ways. Layer it with one of your lightweight tees, wear it on its own, or go full-blown Katie Holmes, the button only one button, and pair it with an essentials bra.


Time Capsule Wardrobe Piece #14: The Pantsuit

BILLY FARRELL/BFA.COM

BILLY FARRELL/BFA.COM

Your capsule wardrobe is incomplete without a pantsuit, end of story. Emily Ratajkowski arrived at a Tiffany & Co Party in New York wearing this brown pantsuit that she teamed with a tan mock neck turtleneck and red crossbody bag. I can’t decide if we love the outfit more with or without the jacket, but that’s the beauty of a good pantsuit, the versatility. A key takeaway here is that no matter your pantsuit’s color, a contrasting crossbody bag can instantly make your look more sporty.

TOPSHOP

TOPSHOP

What to Buy: Camel Double Breasted Blazer

$95 at time of publication

Camel Suit Pants

$58 at time of publication

We found this affordable pantsuit option at Topshop, right now, the blazer and suit pants together are sub $150, which is a steal for a cute pantsuit.


Time Capsule Wardrobe Piece #15: The Bootie

ASOS

ASOS

What to Buy: Relay Heeled Ankle Boots

$56 at time of publication

Ankle boots aren’t going anywhere, this shoe is perfect for whatever inventive outfit you can think of. Seriously, I can think of few if any outfits where you can’t make an ankle boot work, and that my friends is why your time capsule wardrobe should have a pair.


Time Capsule Wardrobe Piece #16: The Wool Coat

MARC PIASECKI/GC IMAGES

MARC PIASECKI/GC IMAGES

Singer and model Ciara was out on the town sporting a neutral outfit of a white blouse, distressed denim jeans, white pumps, and a camel wool coat. Wool coats make any outfit look instantly more expensive, and a coat is one of those items that is usually an investment piece.

MANGO

MANGO

What to Buy: Wide Lapel Coat

$130 at time of publication

Finding a mid-tier priced wool coat was no easy feat. Typically, the cost of wool clothing becomes more expensive the higher the wool content.


Time Capsule Wardrobe Piece #17: The Tailored Midi Dress

JO ROBINS/SHUTTERSTOCK

JO ROBINS/SHUTTERSTOCK

Allow Amal Clooney, the Human Rights Barrister to offer you unlimited her seemingly unlimited business casual style inspiration. She wore this white tailored midi dress, with an optional matching jacket, skin-toned pumps, and a camel tote.

EXPReSS

EXPReSS

What to Buy: Houndstooth Belted Sheath Dress

$80 at time of publication

No matter what your everyday style preferences, there will always be an occasion to whip out your reliable tailored midi dress.


Time Capsule Wardrobe Piece #18: White Sneakers

SHOPBOP

SHOPBOP

What to Buy: Chuck Taylor All Star Sneakers

$60 at time of publication

I may have made this declaration before, but this time I really mean it. White sneakers are, in fact, the ultimate time capsule wardrobe item.


Time Capsule Wardrobe Piece #19: Skin Tone Pumps

NORDSTROM

NORDSTROM

What to Buy: Vince Camuto Retsie Pump

$100 at time of publication

Skin tone pumps work with every single outfit that your amazing mind could dream up. They lengthen the leg and support statement pieces. You can’t go wrong.


Time Capsule Wardrobe Piece #20: Sunglasses

SHOPBOP

SHOPBOP

What to Buy: Dirty Habit Sunglasses

$36 at time of publication

The secret to never losing your sunglasses is to stop buying designer sunglasses. I have nothing against designer sunglasses. They’re often beautiful, but they want a level of freedom that means always leaving me. That’s right, I didn’t lose my shades, they left me.