I'm a branding photographer living in Charleston, South Carolina, a lover of eating strawberries, and my obsession is teaching others how to live a life they love.

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Essentials for a Madewell Capsule Wardrobe

Jul 14

For all of you minimalist dressers out there, today I’m sharing essentials for a Madewell capsule wardrobe! All of my friends know that whatever I’m wearing on any given day, it’s probably Madewell. Suffice to say I’ve built a capsule wardrobe of almost entirely Madewell essentials. Many of my pieces have lasted years and styles stay in stock year after year because they’re classics! Madewell makes it so easy to mix and match staple items that never go out of style.

Woman standing on a front porch wearing an outfit from her Madewell capsule collection, including a white Madewell Central Shirt, 10" high-rise dark denim, and suede mules
Woman wearing a white button down Madewell shirt with Madewell denim and jewelry
Woman wearing a white button down shirt with a Madewell denim jacket and 3 layered gold necklaces

Woman holding a Madewell Medium Transport Tote on her arm and wearing Madewell dark denim, a denim jacket, and white button up shirt

I’ve been a devotee of the laid-back, classic brand since they opened their first Atlanta store in 2007. Back then, they didn’t have a shoppable website! I’d scour their look books for outfit ideas and hit up the store as often as possible. Eventually, I got a job as a stylist in the Charleston, South Carolina store on King Street (best job ever!). I worked closely with customers on the sales floor to put together outfits, suggest styles, and help with sizing. I had so much fun working in the store and connecting with other customers that loved the brand like me. Plus, discount!

As the Madewell brand transformed and grew over the years, so has my wardrobe. I loved wearing their perfect-fitting jeans and t-shirts to my college classes, and now I love mixing more grown-up pieces with my favorite relaxed tees and accessories. Madewell’s key styles and materials fit my lifestyle as a photographer and creative so well. I can run to a coffee meeting in the morning, do a photoshoot, and work in my home office all in the same outfit. That’s a win in my book!

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something on this page I may receive a commission at no cost to you. I only share products and brands that I truly love and use in my everyday life and want to recommend to you!

Your guide to building a closet of essentials

To start building a capsule wardrobe, save this checklist of wardrobe essentials. You’ll want to choose classic items that will never go out of style, are well-made (hello, it’s called Made-well!), and in classic shapes and patterns. Think about establishing a color scheme of neutrals and a few fun pops of color as well. You’ll then mix and match these essentials with other fun seasonal pieces to keep your wardrobe fresh. Once you build your capsule wardrobe, you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to get dressed in the morning!

Madewell’s styles make it so easy to build this capsule collection for yourself. You can use this checklist to create a capsule wardrobe with Madewell or any of your favorite brands. I’ve included some of my favorite items below to get you started!

P.S. Some capsule collections suggest you should have a certain number of each piece of clothing. Personally, I make sure I have the essentials and don’t worry if I have the “perfect” number. It’s more important to focus on your lifestyle, the climate you live in, and your closet space!


Raincoat or light jacket

Heavier outwear coat (if you live in a colder climate, you may want 2!)

Leather jacket

Denim jacket

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High-waisted dark skinny denim

Black denim

Light, cropped denim

Fun denim (overalls, boyfriend, flares, whatever suits your style!)

Denim shorts

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Tees & Tanks

Solid tees in black, white, grey, and solids

Patterned tees (ALL the stripes!)

Long-sleeve tees in solids and stripes

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Button-up shirts in white, chambray, or black

Blouses in solid colors and interesting materials like silk or linen

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Special occasion dress

Casual dresses for work or weekends

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Everyday leather bag

Fun bag for evening or dressier occasions

Wallet that holds all of your daily essentials

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Flats or mules

Comfy sneakers



Boots or booties

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Delicate, gold earrings

Layered gold necklaces

Gold bangle

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2-3 sweaters in varying weight


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