Sometimes simple is best.
If there’s one person who knows the power of a well-edited wardrobe, it’s designer and lifestyle brand founder Jenni Kayne. Known for her line of classic and elevated wardrobe essentials — not to mention a new collection of furniture and home decor — Kayne believes in bringing elevated simplicity to all forms of everyday living.
Through attention to detail and timeless design, the brand is guided by a central mission that aims to inspire women to live their best lives, something we can all get behind. One of the tenets of her philosophy? That’s it’s better to have a well-curated collection of high-quality clothes you love — otherwise known as a capsule wardrobe — rather than a million so-so pieces you’re on the fence about. Eager to get our style set for the spring season, we asked Kayne how, exactly, to curate a pared-back closet of versatile and complementary pieces that take the guesswork out of getting dressed.
“Becoming a mother forced me to adopt an approach to dressing that relied on simplicity,” Kayne says. “I started building a capsule wardrobe, or what I like to call the daily uniform, that reflects my personal style as well as my lifestyle.” Read on for this Californian’s capsule wardrobe essentials that will have you looking and feeling your best through any season.
Jenni Kayne’s Capsule Wardrobe Checklist
A classic T-shirt
“I’m a firm believer in finding your own version of a daily uniform. As a working mom of three who’s always on the go, I gravitate toward quality basics that I can pair with practically anything in my closet. The Cotton Basic Tee is the perfect place to start — it’s a foundational style that you can wear through any season and the starting point to almost every outfit. My tip? Stock up on a few in neutral shades and you’ll be set.”
“When it comes to footwear, I don’t think there’s anything quite as essential as a pair of mules, whether it’s leather, suede, or shearling. It’s such a simple-yet-sophisticated piece that makes you look put together no matter what. Another footwear essential, especially for spring and summer, is a comfortable pair of sandals. The Leather Strap Sandal and Cotton Crossover Sandal are two of my favorites for the warmer months ahead because they’re both understated and versatile.”
The perfect crewneck knit
“In terms of creating a sense of intrigue and variation, having lightweight layers on hand is essential. I love a knit that you can wear to work, dinner, around your shoulders before the temperature dips, or just around the house. The Cashmere Fisherman Sweater is the knit that really started it all for us, and I think people of all ages gravitate toward it because it truly is the perfect sweater. It’s lightweight, luxurious, and so easy to layer. Our Cotton Fisherman is another incredible all-purpose, any-occasion sweater. I honestly never leave home without a Fisherman.”
An all-season cardigan
Kayne is a firm believer that cardigans will never go out of style, so buying a high-quality one that you can wear year-round is a worthwhile investment.“When I think about sweaters that will never go out of style, our Cocoon Cardigan style immediately comes to mind. The Cashmere Cocoon Cardigan is a particular favorite. It’s so soft and airy that I wear it all year long. There’s something so timeless about an oversized cardigan — you can wear it over a dress, with jeans and a tee, or with a delicate bralette underneath. Versatility is always something you want to focus on when you’re curating your wardrobe, and this effortlessly cozy sweater delivers on that, and then some.”
A polished button-up
“I think it’s important to look past trends and focus on pieces that will stand the test of time. In my mind, a well-made button-up is as trendless as they come. It’s easy for us to think of a collared shirt as a piece that’s strictly polished, but you can interpret it in so many different ways, whether you tuck it into jeans, wear it with rolled-up sleeves, or even relaxed and open at the beach. I personally love the slightly oversized fit of our Boyfriend Shirt. From casual to dressy, a button-up will never disappoint.”
An everyday bag
“I think your accessories should be both beautiful and functional, especially when it comes to your purse. There’s no use in carrying a bag that looks great but doesn’t do much else. That’s why we designed our Bucket Bag with every woman and moment in mind. It’s big enough to hold all your necessities yet stylized enough to feel special, plus the leather will only get better with age.”
A no-nonsense dress
“The last piece that I think deserves a place in any capsule wardrobe is a simple, breezy dress. I like effortless silhouettes that take the guesswork out of getting dressed, which is where our Summer Dress comes in. You can style this spring and summer staple in so many different ways depending on the day, but the flattering shape and relaxed feel are what make it a closet must-have.”