21 Spring Capsule Wardrobe Essentials, According to Style Experts


Building a spring capsule wardrobe isn’t all that different from filling your closet with wardrobe essentials; many of the building blocks overlap, which means you’re probably already halfway there. So, what will you find in the ultimate spring capsule wardrobe? The usual suspects, for sure: slim T-shirts, lived-in jeans, white sneakers, cute dresses, and perhaps an affordable designer bag.

Beyond the classics, though, we’ve got our eye on a few spring 2024 fashion trends that feel timely but can be styled timelessly—like voluminous trench coats, mesh ballet flats, and statement belts. And the season wouldn’t be complete without wedding-ready attire or light jackets done up in season-appropriate fabrics.

The key, really, is to curate your wardrobe around a handful of pieces you can wear over and over again without getting bored or tired of them. The vibe is less but better—investing in quality over quantity, but not blowing a hole in your budget, either. Below you’ll find Glamour editors’ tried-and-true favorites that we rely on for our personal spring capsule wardrobe.

The white T-shirt

You already wear white T-shirts all the time, so the best move is to invest in a few quality options at once. Kathleen Thomas, Glamour’s associate fashion editor, loves Leset’s boxy, 100% cotton option that “has cracked the code for every torso.” Meanwhile, this top-rated pick from Amazon will look good with all the bottoms in your collection.

Trendy Queen Basic T-Shirt

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The sporty sneakers

Two words: convenience and versatility. These sneakers have athletic bones, but unlike running shoes, they’re not too techy for everyday wear. Go with royals-approved Supergas for white canvas sneakers that’ll last; pick Cole Haan’s high-quality court shoes (a favorite among Glamour editors) for a leather-and-suede pick more suited to rainy weather.

Superga 2750 Cotu Classic

Cole Haan GrandPrø Breakaway

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The workhorse jacket

Mid-weight cotton pieces are the happy medium when you’re not in the mood for leather jackets or structured blazers. Whether you go with a classic denim jacket or a waxed option ideal for drizzly days, you need a go-to staple that you’ll keep on heavy rotation. These tried-and-true picks have you covered (literally).

Abercrombie & Fitch Oversized Denim Trucker Jacket

Barbour Crowdon Water-Resistant Jacket

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The ribbed tank

Crisp jeans, satin maxi-skirts, pleated trousers—something about a ribbed tank top makes everything you wear look that much cooler. The piece is truly timeless, and Madewell and Everlane make high-quality styles in neutrals that look great and can hold up to countless washes.

Madewell Supima Rib ’90s Tank

Everlane Supima Micro-Rib Funnel-Neck Tank

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The midi-dress

Just right for warmer spring days, the midi-dress has endless appeal. We love Anthro’s butter-yellow number for any kind of dressy event, while Boden’s shirtdress is perfect when the occasion calls for a little more coverage; both come in multiple lengths and plus sizes. Style them with ballet flats, walking sandals, or court sneakers.

By Anthropologie Tommie Cap-Sleeve Smocked Front-Zip Shirtdress

Boden Libby Jersey Midi Shirtdress

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The straight-leg jeans

Skinnier and wider styles may come and go, but no cut is as trend-agnostic as straight-leg jeans. It helps that they look good with everything: slingbacks, long-sleeve tees, denim shirts, strappy sandals. Go with a worn-in blue or embrace warmer weather in some standout white jeans.

Abercrombie & Fitch Ultra-High-Rise ’90s Straight Jeans

J.Crew Classic Straight Jeans

The modern ballet flat

It’s clear by now that ballet flats are here to stay. After making a triumphant comeback last year, they still look now in 2024. While any leather or satin pair will do—there are so many to choose from—you’ll be especially on trend with lipstick red or mesh uppers. (Both work well with jeans and midi-skirts, just saying.)

Madewell Greta Ballet Flats

Jeffrey Campbell Moira Mesh Flats

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The universal sunglasses

No squinting in these bad boys. Everyone needs a good pair of sunglasses heading into warmer weather, and we suggest choosing a pair that’ll blend in seamlessly with whatever you’re wearing. Slim black sunnies still reign supreme, but oversized, ’70s-style aviators will be huge this season. Take your pick.

Le Specs Work It! Sunglasses

Aire Whirlpool Sunglasses

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The trench coat

Spring’s topsy-turvy weather means that you need outerwear that’ll defend you from the elements without being too light or too heavy—and that’s the magic of the classic trench coat. Whether you’re dealing with a downpour, a late-season blizzard, or a blustery day, these longline coats will protect you and take your outfit up a notch.

Banana Republic Sabbia Oversized Italian Twill Trench Coat

Babaton Finch Trench Coat

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The button-down shirt

Tuck it into pants, style it unbuttoned over a tank or slip dress, or throw it casually over a one-piece swimsuit as a beach coverup—there’s no wrong way to wear a button-down shirt. Leave heavier materials back in February; spring is all about lighter picks like cotton and linen.

J.Crew Garçon Classic Shirt in Cotton Poplin

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The big-enough bag

There’s lots of talk right now about stealth wealth (especially when it comes to accessories) but investing in a well-made handbag that isn’t excessively trend-driven is nothing new. You’ll want to wear these elevated, unfussy designs for years to come, partially because they’re just big enough to fit all the essentials—the Goldilocks of purses.

Kate Spade Hudson Convertible Crossbody

Tory Burch Robinson Spazzolato Leather Shoulder Bag

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The floral dress

Florals for spring? Nonnegotiable. Celebrate the arrival of a new season with spring’s most on-theme family of patterns. The shape, color scheme, and length are up to you—we love these cocktail-appropriate picks from Abercrombie and Reformation—but make sure you have at least one flowery piece on hand for the celebrations ahead.

Abercrombie & Fitch Stretch Column Midi Dress

Reformation Balia Linen Dress

The long denim skirt

Plenty of denim skirts are teeny-tiny, but we prefer midi and maxi lengths right now; styled right, they look vintage in the best way. Thankfully, these skirts pair well with almost everything on this list—sneakers, ballet flats, T-shirts, off-the-shoulder tops, you name it.

Madewell The Rilee Denim Midi Skirt

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The eye-catching earrings

While we predict a statement necklace revival in the near future—early-2010s fashion is making a big comeback—we’re not quite there yet. We are, however, in a golden age of big-personality earrings, whether they’re huge chunks of metal or dripping with stones and pearls. More than studs or huggies, they make low-key outfits feel downright editorial.

Zara Double Half-Hoop Earrings

By Anthropologie Double-Stone Drop Earrings

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The cashmere knit

Sweater season is far from over. Get yourself through spring (and the first few chilly nights of summer) with a lightweight sweater in soft, luxurious cashmere. Trust us: It’s worth the money. We love these options because they have loose or modular collars, allowing you to better regulate your temperature when the temps don’t call for jackets, but it’s not quite sleeveless weather.

Banana Republic Caro Lightweight Cashmere Henley Sweater

Naadam Signature Cashmere Striped Polo Sweater

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The wedding guest dress

Receptions, ceremonies, and celebratory meals stack up from April through October, so start your search for the perfect spring wedding guest dress with these two Glamour reader-beloved picks from Reformation and Staud. Both work for garden parties and black-tie events alike—and for under $300.

Reformation Frankie Silk Dress

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The relaxed trousers

Nothing captures the ease of the season quite so effectively as tailored, wide-leg pants. Once relegated to office workers, these trousers lend themselves as handily to work as they do play. Pair yours with a matching blazer and loafers for a professional look; go with a trim white tee and fisherman sandals on your day off.

Everlane The Linen Way-High Drape Pant

Wilfred The Effortless Pant

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The sun hat

A cute, travel-friendly summer hat is just what’s needed for your upcoming OOO days. We prefer packable options that won’t take up too much room in your tote bag, suitcase, or beach bag—or even the central console in your car.

Rahi Lake Washed Bucket Hat

Hat Attack Chic Crochet Bucket Hat

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The off-the-shoulder top

After a season of covering your body, there’s nothing quite so subtly sexy as exposing a bit of skin. Off-the-shoulder tops let you do just that, showing off your shoulders while still leaving plenty to the imagination. (Just make sure you have a good strapless bra ready to go.)

Banana Republic Cotton-Modal Off-Shoulder Top

Mango Off-the-Shoulder Knitted Sweater

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The statement belt

Often, making your capsule wardrobe work comes down to the styling choices—and truly standout accessories can make your workhorse pieces feel fresh again. Statement belts are trending again, and we love these relaxed picks from Free People and Zara; the former is just the right kind of boho, while the latter looks like Tom Ford-era Gucci. You can’t go wrong.

FP Collection Waltz Waist Belt

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The full skirt

Switch things up from your usual springtime dresses with a full skirt. While the versatile, voluminous pieces are currently enjoying a moment, they’re too timeless to call a trend; whether you go with a simple tee, a button-down, or a fitted blouse up top, they’re perfect for all-occasion dressing.

Free-est Lowen Midi Skirt

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