Home Fashion My Smart Casual Wardrobe Must-Haves

My Smart Casual Wardrobe Must-Haves

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smart casual capsule wardrobe

Row 1: camel coat, trench coat, textured jacket (old AT), neutral blazer
Row 2: neutral pullover, black top, layering tank, striped sweater
Row 3: my favorite petite-friendly: black jeans, medium blue jeans, wide leg trousers, off white jeans
Row 4: white sneakers, black loafers, neutral slingbacks, slim shaft booties
Row 5: reversible belts, black crossbody bag, neutral tote

Last year I did a big post on my 5 staple fall-winter pieces that can be mixed and matched into over 10 timeless outfit combos. While those item types pretty much remain unchanged, I wanted to share an updated post with some current pieces and new cuts / silhouettes I’ve been loving mixed in with old favorites.

With my current lifestyle I find myself dressing smart casual on most days, with the comfort of casual pieces like denim and sneakers but also a polished element like a chic coat or blazer. These are some of the smart casual item types I reach for the most that also mix & match easily for a variety of outfits. For a dressier business casual wardrobe, I’d replace the denim with slim ankle pants, and the open back shoes with a pair of closed back pumps or flats.

Outer Layers

  • Camel coat. Pictured: Uniqlo coat xxs (see my review). A long camel coat is my must-have for elevating everyday outfits, and my preference for length has slowly shifted from knee length to mid-calf length over the years. I can throw this on over jeans and sneakers for daycare pickup, and it also looks elegant paired over workwear or a dressier look. If you’re not familiar with double-faced wool coats, they’re designed to be unlined for the look and the drape. A coat like this would be suitable for ~30-50 degree weather depending on how much you layer underneath. Since our EP Duo coat from last year’s post is currently sold out, the Uniqlo one has been my in-stock pick!
  • Trench coat. Pictured: J.Crew coat 00 petite (see on me). With my evolving style, my ideal trench coat these days would actually be something longer and more relaxed in fit. I haven’t found anything of the sort yet in petite sizing, but if you’re taller, I tried on my friend’s The Drop trench and was actually impressed by how lightweight and comfortable it was. If you want a tailored and above-the-knee fit, then this J.Crew one is a classic.
  • Neutral blazer. Pictured: Berksha xs petite (see my review). For a smart casual wardrobe, I really love a semi-oversized, boyfriend inspired blazer like this to wear with denim. But for a business casual wardrobe I’d opt for a more tailored fit like this timeless J.Crew blazer.
  • Textured jacket. Pictured: old Ann Taylor. Current options: Mango, Bloomingdales, J.Ing. To add a feminine touch and some texture to my denim outfits, I adore my short length tweed-look jackets! Ann Taylor will come out with a good one every so often.
petite camel coat trench coat outfits
Uniqlo coat xxs (sleeves folded under & stitched), J.Crew trench 00 petite

Bottoms

  • Black bottoms. Pictured: WHBM petites makes one of the best fitting slim straight jeans I own.
  • Vintage wash blue jeans. Pictured: Madewell 24 petite (see my review). I have been reaching for these non stop since I got them! Note that per my review, the waist runs big and is loose on me.
  • Trousers. Pictured: Abercrombie xs short (see my review). One of the best petite trousers I own, and I especially love that these can be dressed up with heels or down with sneakers.
  • Cream jeans. Pictured: Everlane 24, 26″ inseam (see my review). If you don’t wear light colors often, you’d be surprised at how easily this color pairs with black, camel, and pretty much every neutral. Sandwich it between a camel coat, camel sweater and brown boots for a beautiful cold weather lighter hued look.

Tops

petite sweaters for capsule wardrobe

Sweaters

  • Striped knit: Sezane xxs, Alex Mill. You won’t regret buying a high quality striped knit! It also serves as a great accent piece for throwing on over your shoulders or tying around your waist when wearing a lot of solid colors.
  • Neutral solid pullover: Quince sweaters xs, Everlane alpaca sweater xxs. These are the two brands I’ve been wearing the most often. This Everlane sweater in “almond” is the perfect greige color, and I’ve been very happy with my Quince alpaca and cotton sweater and just ordered their fisherman cashmere one!
  • Cropped cardigans: H&M, Everlane, Nordstrom

Shoes

  • White sneakers: Veja Campo size 35 (most comfortable Veja style, see my review of their styles here), Everlane size 5
  • Neutral pumps: Edited Pieces size 5.5, very similar Marc Fisher pumps with better stock. As mentioned before I’d go with a closed back pump for business dress codes, but I love a slingback for a slightly more casual feel when pairing with a lot of denim.
  • Black loafers: Sam Edelman size 5.5
  • Sock boots: Ann Taylor has some great options right now and should be having some good sales this month! As a splurge option, I’ve been eying these Loeffler Randall booties forever and just need to decide on a color.

Accessories

  • Black crossbody bag: YSL – my most worn bag this year.
  • Light neutral handbag: Naghedi (see my review) also ranks high on the most worn bag list!
capsule wardrobe accessories belt jewelry
Simple, versatile accessories: Anne Klein watch (with links removed to resize), Edited Pieces accessories
capsule wardrobe shoes