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    HI, I'M ABBY

    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, I’m sharing essentials for a Madewell capsule wardrobe today! All of my friends know that whatever I’m wearing on any given day, it’s probably Madewell. Suffice it 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.

      P.S. Madewell was kind enough to give me a $20 coupon to share with my readers! Take $20 off your order of $100 or more. Be sure to sign up for Madewell Insider and you’ll get free shipping & returns, too!

      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 standing on her front porch wearing Madewell denim, a denim jacket, button up shirt, and Madewell tote bag
      Shirt: Central Shirt in Pure White, Similar: Signature Poplin Shirt or White Cotton Courier Shirt // Denim (most of Madewell’s styles come in Petite, Tall, Taller and Curvy!): High-Rise Skinny Jeans in Hayes Wash (if this pair is sold out, try any dark wash Skinny, Straight Leg, or Perfect Vintage styles // Jacket: Jean Jacket in Pinter Wash, Similar: Jean Jacket in Medford Wash // Necklaces: Coin Necklace Set, Similar: Etched Coin Necklace Set // Earrings: Sparkle Pavé Hoop Earrings // Bag: Medium Transport Tote // Shoes (similar): Harper Mule
      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 it opened its first Atlanta store in 2007. Back then, they didn’t have a shoppable website! I’d scour their lookbooks 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 who loved the brand like me. Plus, employee 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!

      Shop This Look

      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. 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

      Shop more outwear


      High-waisted dark skinny denim

      Black denim

      Light, cropped denim

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

      Denim shorts

      Shop more denim

      Tees & Tanks

      Solid tees in black, white, grey, and solids

      Patterned tees (ALL the stripes!)

      Long-sleeve tees in solids and stripes

      Shop more tees


      Button-up shirts in white, chambray, or black

      Blouses in solid colors and interesting materials like silk or linen

      Shop more tops


      Special occasion dress

      Casual dresses for work or weekends

      Shop more dresses


      Everyday leather bag

      Fun bag for evening or dressier occasions

      Wallet that holds all of your daily essentials

      Shop more bags


      Flats or mules

      Comfy sneakers



      Boots or booties

      Shop more shoes


      Delicate, gold earrings

      Layered gold necklaces

      Gold bangle

      Shop more jewelry


      2-3 sweaters in varying weight


      Shop more sweaters


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