Minimalist Mom Wardrobe Capsule

minimalist mom capsule

You readers have spoken, you LOVE it when I do wardrobe capsule posts.  The good news is, I also LOVE doing them.  I don’t know if it is from years of practice or just how I think, but my brain thrives in this area.  It’s just naturally easy and I quite enjoy the task.  Given the fact that last week I focused on a work capsule, this week I decided to do a minimalist mom wardrobe capsule for all you moms out there who don’t need a lot but who also have multifaceted lives that call for a variety of looks.  However, even if you aren’t a mom, this casual capsule can still be helpful.

Let’s take a better look at the entire minimalist mom wardrobe capsule, consisting of nine clothing pieces, several pairs of shoes and just a few accessories, along with explanations of why I chose these pieces, followed by twelve different looks I created.

Minimalist Mom Wardrobe Capsule

mom wardrobe capsule

Where are the skirts and dresses?

The first thing I want to point out is that this capsule is devoid of dresses and skirts.  Had this been a spring/summer capsule this might have been different.  However, with the operative word being minimal, my goal was to only choose items with the utmost versatility.  Dresses and skirts can be great for super casual days in the summer but I don’t consider them as versatile in the fall and winter.  Pants, leggings and jeans, however, do have greater ability to be dressed up or down during colder months.  However, this is not to say this has to be law.  If you are someone who prefers dresses and skirts for your super casual mom days, please don’t let me stop you.  This is an example of a capsule, not the only way to build one.

Keep it basic

Next, I stuck with the basics.  If you look at the capsule, there is only one patterned shirt.  I consciously chose this to ensure greater mix-and-match ability for this mom wardrobe capsule.  If you want to keep things tight and interchangeable, avoiding too many novelty tops is the way to go.  And it should be noted that I started first with that plaid shirt from Madewell. and built my color story from there.  When placing a novelty item in a capsule, start with that piece first and build around it.

Vary your shoes

The key to a mom wardrobe capsule is to vary your shoes.  When I work with full-time moms, I understand the last thing they want to do is change their entire outfit after a morning at the playground and then a meeting later in the afternoon at their child’s school.  The key for them is to be able to keep the base the same and then vary the accessories they wear with it.  With just a shoe change and maybe the addition of some jewelry a mom take their very casual outfit and make it look more pulled together.  I’ll show you how some shoe and jewelry changes can upgrade a look in the outfits below.

You don’t need a lot of jewelry, but have some

Your lifestyle, if your job is as a stay at home mom or if you also work, will determine how much jewelry you need.  Of course, it’s also personal preference too.  There is certainly no rule saying that a stay-at-home mom shouldn’t have a lot of jewelry.  But if you are more simplistic or prefer not to be bothered with it, have at least a few pieces on hand that you can use to spruce up your looks.  What may seem like a pain  will actually save you a lot of time because you’ll be able to grab those jewelry pieces to upgrade your looks without an entire outfit change.

Okay, are you ready to take a look at some outfits?  Here are some minimal mom wardrobe capsule looks to help you further take advantage of this wardrobe idea.

Outfit #1

mom wardrobe capsule

This outfit is for the days that a mom will be running around with the kids, wants to be comfortable and needs to move fast.  I started with the plaid Madwell boyfriend shirt and paired it with a super comfortable pair of navy leggings.  For quick movement, I added these navy slip on sneakers from Dr. Scholl’s.  You may not be interested in jewelry on these days, so I simply added these navy studs from Trina Turk and also used this pink scarf from David & Young.

Outfit #2

mom wardrobe capsule

This look may not be what you would wear for doing your 5th load of laundry and spending the day carpooling in your mini van, but it is an equally casual outfit that has just a touch more polish.  This could be something to wear for going on a playdate, meeting some other moms for coffee or doing errands.  I used these burgundy jeans, added a t-shirt from Theory, layered a long cardigan over it and added a splash of jewelry with this easy pendant from Nordstrom.  Lastly, booties, like this grey style from Vince Camuto, a great way to upgrade a look while still keeping it casual and comfortable.

Outfit #3

mom wardrobe capsule

Fully recognizing that moms don’t deal exclusively in dirty diapers and grubby hands, I created this look.  I also recognize that a mom who wants to be efficient won’t want to have a section of her wardrobe exclusively for seldom worn dressy things.  So I created this outfit as a solution by adding some more polished touches to pieces that can also be worn more casually.  I used these jeans and sweater from J. Crew and styled them with a pair of nude flats from Sam Edelman, added a dressier bracelet from LOFT, used the same navy earrings from Trina Turk and boucle scarf from David & Young.

Outfit #4

mom wardrobe capsule

In this outfit, I took the same leggings I used in the first look and dressed them up using this tunic sweater from Boden, cognac boots from Sam Edelman and navy earrings from Trina Turk.  Remember, when it comes to creating a versatile mom wardrobe capsule, it’s not just about the ease of swapping out shoes and accessories to change up an outfit, but how you can take one piece and wear it with completely different clothing items to make it look different.

Outfit #5

mom wardrobe capsule

I love colored jeans as an alternative to classic denim.  If you plan on adding these to your wardrobe, make sure you have enough neutral tops to wear with them.  You can also consider chambray, like this one from J. Crew.  I styled it with the burgundy jeans, long cardigan from Madwell, grey Vince Camuto booties, long pendant and navy stud earrings.

Outfit #6

mom wardrobe capsule

Here I am taking the plaid shirt and just dressing it up slightly.  No, this is not a dressy outfit, but it is one that takes super casual up a slight notch and offers more variety with less.  In this case, both the shirt and the jeans come from the same manufacturer, more likely guaranteeing the burgundy shades in the jeans and the shirt will work together.  The booties are a step up from slip on sneakers and I simply used the stud earrings to keep it casual.

Outfit #7

mom wardrobe capsule

In this outfit, I took the slouchy cardigan and paired it with more structured items to give it a dressier look.  This can often be a successful strategy, pairing soft with structure to create a polished casual outfit.  I used the skinny denim jeans, layered in the basic t-shirt, added the nude flats and finished the outfit with more jewelry using the LOFT bracelet, pendant and navy studs.

Outfit #8

mom wardrobe capsule

I love the combination of camel and burgundy and the way the tunic sweater works with these jeans.  With such tight colors in this capsule, the colorful LOFT bracelet and stud earrings work perfectly to elevate this look while proving you don’t need a lot of jewelry to mix and match.  It’s also important to make sure you have a variety of neutrals in your capsules, not just one, to ensure that your capsule doesn’t look too one-note.  I finished the outfit with nude flats.  I chose nude flats for this capsule because they are guaranteed to work with everything.  Total efficiency when you are looking to keep it tight.

Outfit #9

mom wardrobe capsule

Personally, I love chambray with denim.  Some people think it is too much denim at once, but I don’t agree, especially when you accessorize it.  I styled this chambray shirt and jeans with the slip on sneakers, scarf and stud earrings.

Outfit #10

mom wardrobe capsule

Here is another way you can mix these pieces to create a look that is casual and stylish.  When choosing this cardigan, I chose a color that can be topped over any color.  Going for topper pieces that are lighter neutrals are usually easier to wear.  I paired it with the plaid shirt, skinny jeans, grey booties and stud earrings.

Outfit #11

mom wardrobe capsule

For this somewhat dressier look using the leggings, I used the chambray shirt, casual grey cardigan, cognac boots from Sam Edelman, LOFT bracelet and pink scarf from Nordstrom.

Outfit #12

mom wardrobe capsule

If you compare this outfit to outfit #7 you will see that just the simple swap of shoes and taking away some accessories makes the exact base of the outfit more casual.  The basic t-shirt, jeans and cardigan was styled with slip on sneakers and the pendant necklace.  It’s strategies like this that will allow you to keep your outfit the same while modifying the dressiness of the outfit.

I hope this mom wardrobe capsule helps you create your own casual capsule in your life.  Even if you don’t have kids in tow, you can use these tips to get more with less.

  • Alicen

    This is me… on the weekends. Just proves to me that I need more shoes 🙂 And maybe another pair of casual pants other than jeans… Great post! Thank You!

    • Oh yes, shoes definitely go a long way. Variety helps. As long as you feel covered with at least one pair that works for every aspect of your life you should be okay. And, yes, colored jeans, for example, can be a great alternative!

  • tgchi13

    Great post, once again, Bridgette! I love the capsule wardrobe posts too because it energizes my mind to think of new combinations. I don’t actually capsule, per say, but I do create capsules within my wardrobe to make dressing easier when I’m tired or rushed and I have a few go-to capsules set aside for a number of the activities that I do infrequently. Each season I redo the capsules from my main wardrobe so that they are more climate appropriate. Even though I don’t consider myself a capsule dresser, I do find them really helpful!

    • Pat

      Ditto! I can’t add anything better! This casual style of dressing is ageless.
      Now, I am off to order those cute Sam Edelman nude flats!
      Thank you girls!
      A faithful fan,

      • Thanks, Pat! Those nude flats are amazing! I’d act quick, they are selling out fast!

        • tgchi13

          I like them in Golden Caramel!

    • Thanks! I don’t think I have ever created a true capsule with clients, per se, but I mix and match all the time. Presenting it as a capsule is much easier when doing it on a blog to show how you can maximize your wardrobe.

  • Tarah

    You are the wardrobe guru of savvy professionals for this generation!

  • Patricia

    Did you look in my closet? This is exactly what I wear! Nearly everyday. Every once in awhile, I step it up a little and wear a dressier tailored pant with a sweater and scarf.

    • Shhh, don’t tell anyone my secret! Hahaha! Yes, I peek into your closet when you aren’t looking. I am glad this post resonated.

  • Renee Augustine Mathis

    Yes, I LOVE the capsule wardrobes – especially when I already have most of the pieces. Thank you, thank you!
    Here we go….camel and burgundy and flats! (Don’t know why it’s sideways!)

  • Darlene

    Would you consider doing a wardrobe for a beach vacation using carryon only?

  • Anne hunt

    I love this capsule and think I relate to this more than your earlier capsule you made called Retirement Style. I am a retired teacher who is now doing some Grandma day care duties- and loving it! You show outfit ideas that I can implement now from my existing wardrobe. Due to the nature of my teaching job working with young children my clothes were practical and bought to endure the washing machine yet still look professional. Skirts did not feature as it is hard to sit cross legged in one for singing or story time ! Even though UK based your great links to the shop items mean we get a true idea of the colours and textures in your outfits and how they all relate in the capsule. Your weekly newsletter and style update on Wednesday( to me in the UK) is the always the one I look to open first. It’s super.

    • I am glad you found it helpful and thank you so much for your kind words!!

  • Jen W

    I really love this capsule and think it is a clear demonstration of your gifts. I already own pieces similar to most of what you’ve shown here, and yet it is the way you put pieces together that always makes me see my wardrobe differently. This really shows the full range you can get out of just a handful of basics with a few special touches. Thank you!

    • I am so happy to hear this! Sometimes a fresh eye can really make a difference.

  • Melissa

    I’ve tried to create capsule wardrobes before, but THIS is the first one that makes perfect sense to me–I love it! This capsule is absolutely perfect for my lifestyle and really shows the variety I can get using fewer pieces of clothing. Thank you, thank you for doing this! Would you consider continuing the color scheme and “feel” of this minimalist mom wardrobe for spring and possibly summer? I would love to get ideas for warmer weather using some of the same pieces and adding a few new ones!

    • Wow, that’s so great to hear! Yes, I would be happy to do a minimalist mom wardrobe capsule for spring/summer.

  • Kim Barnes

    I need a spring wardrobe capsule! Help!

  • Tarah

    Hello beautiful, Bridgette! Here in the south we are already in the near-90’s 😩 Would you be willing to share mom capsule ideas for the hot hot hot months, please? (I’m due with our second kid next week and need a few non-investment basics to fit me during the transition-back-to-my-own-body months.)

    • Are you trying to butter me up? LOL. No need, that is a great idea! I think a lot of people got great value from this post. I can definitely do one for hot weather. And congrats on your new baby to come! Exciting!

      • tgchi13

        I’ve come to learn that while my kids all have four feet, my needs are closer to SAHM since virtually every aspect of my life is focused on animal welfare. I think of durable kid-friendly as being durable animal-friendly.

        In my mind, I just swap out the cool/cold weather pieces for warm/HOT weather ones. I’m looking forward to you hot weather equivalent of this post with anticipation. I’m excited!

      • Tarah

        Yay! Happy Friday and thank you for all you do!