A capsule wardrobe for the classic style personality

by Sylvia

A capsule style wardrobe for the classic style personality | 40plusstyle.com

Do you love the stylish looks of Audrey Hepburn, Kate Winslet or Princess Diana? Some of the world’s most recognizable beauties chose a classic wardrobe style and for good reason, a classic wardrobe lasts, rarely goes out of style, and a few well selected pieces can take you just about anywhere.

Here are tips on how to build your own classic capsule wardrobe

Start with a neutral palette.

Black, navy, grey or tan work as an anchor color to build your classic capsule wardrobe. Choose wardrobe staples in one of these neutrals and build your capsule wardrobe from there.

Choose classic shapes

A classic capsule is built from tailored classics that flatter the body. One of the best investments is a fitted blazer, a flattering style that works on just about any size or body shape.

Select a blazer style jacket in your chosen neutral shade. Make sure the blazer buttons comfortably and doesn’t pull across the bust line, and it’s loose enough through the arms and back to allow ease of movement as well as allow you to comfortably layer a shirt or sweater underneath. J. Crew has many well made blazers in classic shapes and materials.

A stylish pair of cropped pants are another classic wardrobe staple. A flat front style with a side zip is flattering for most body types. They work with flats, booties or heels, and can transition easily from daytime to evening with a simple change of jewelry or shoes.

Choose fabrics that can work year round

A crisp cotton poplin shirt can be worn knotted with a pair of cropped pants for summer, or worn underneath a sweater and jacket for fall.

A cashmere or lightweight wool sweater can work during winter months when layered with other shirts and jackets.

Invest in a few high quality timeless pieces

It may actually save money in the long run to invest in a few well made pieces that will work for years to come.

A leather or suede jacket in a classic shape, a wool overcoat, trench coat and merino or cashmere wool sweaters are all pieces that will stand the test of time.


Start with a classic white shirt that you can layer underneath jackets and sweaters. Add a silk blouse that can be dressed up with slacks or worn with jeans for a more casual look.

capsule wardrobe classic style 40plusstyle.com


When selecting knits, select styles that are not too clingy, especially if you tend to carry weight in your stomach area. A longer cardigan sweater can help camouflage a tummy area without clinging, and cover your arms when wearing a sleeveless top or dress.

If you carry weight around your hips, avoid sweaters that hit above your hip, which can draw attention to that area and make you appear fuller.

Sweaters that fall at or below mid hip work well on most women and flatter lots of body types.

classic capsule wardrobe sweaters 40plusstyle.com

Pants and Jeans

classic capsule wardrobe 40plusstyle.com

Dresses and Skirts

Invest in a classic dress. A sheath or wrap style are both classic shapes that will quickly become wardrobe staples.

Pair with heels for work or dressy events and tights paired with booties for more casual days.

Select skirts in a length that flatters you best (an inch or two above the knee is flattering for most women). Stay away from anything too tight or too baggy.

classic style capsule dresses 40plusstyle.com


Make sure the jacket fits properly, but not too snug.

classic capsule wardrobe 40plusstyle.com


classic capsule wardrobe 40plusstyle.com

Bag and Jewelry

Add color to your classic capsule wardrobe with tops, jewelry and accessories.
Pair your basics with statement necklaces, scarves and bold accessories to add emphasis and personality.

classic capsule wardrobe 40plusstyle.com

A classic style personality capsule wardrobe 40plusstyle.com

Here are 10 looks created from these classic wardrobe choices.

A capsule wardrobe for the classic style personality 40plusstyle.com

A well designed classic capsule wardrobe will make you feel pulled together, chic and confident, and will make getting dressed easy and stress free.

Do you have a classic style personality? What are your go-to pieces?

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sherry Edwards

I don’t have a classic personality style, however, as I get older I am trying to become more “classic”. I’m trying to introduce more classic pieces into my wardrobe. When I go shopping now, I look at a piece and ask myself is this something I can keep and wear for 5 years? It’s still difficult, however, I keep getting better with every shopping trip. Great article with a lot of food for thought.


2 Sylvia

Hi Sherry. You can also refer to it as timeless. Doesn’t necessarily have to be classic. It’s definitely good to have more timeless pieces and then just a few trendier pieces.


3 Aileen

Thanks for another great article Sylvia.
I agree with Sherry and I’m definitely looking more towards Classic styles. But I also want to add a twist to the basic Classic style and use interesting jewellery, shoes or scarves. I now describe my style as ‘City Chic’ a little bit of Classic, with a bit of Natural thrown in to add interest, soften the look a little and steer it away from ‘boring’.
Sylvia, it would be great if you could write an article on the ‘City Chic’ style.
Thanks again.


4 Sylvia

Hi Aileen, Yes I’m hoping to create these articles for all styles.


5 Kam

Hello Sylvia,

A question..why is dark brown not considered a ‘choice’ in the list of black, navy, grey, tan for a neutral color? Can it be a correct choice? If not, why?


6 Sylvia

Hi Kam, Yes you can use brown too. I think the other colors are just a little more associated with this style though.


7 Petra

I think, dark brown is especially nice for the so called “Autumn type”, as grey and black don’t suit this type. And dark brown is a timeless colour, that can easily be combined with stronger colours like orange or certain kinds of blue for an “eyecatcher” …


8 Greetje

Very well done. My compliments. I am swooning over that J Crew leopard bag…


9 Sabina @Oceanblue Style at Manderley

It has talen me a while to get used to leopard trend but I just love your bag here. Just got myself some leo chelsea boots. So total fan now! Sabina


10 Kam

Another thing about colour, Sylvia…my usual ‘neutral’ is chocolate brown, but I find that I don’t enjoy white at all. It has to be cream or ivory – any shade but pure white…must be my complexion?

Really enjoyed this article..so helpful for our understanding.


11 Cynthia

Great article Rosemond! I’m a classic at heart so this article resonates with me. Lovely outfit collages.


12 Jean

I’ve apparently always gone for classic and timeless pieces because I’m still getting compliments on skirts and other garments I’ve had for 25 years!


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