I feel like every fashion blogger talks about the closet essentials. Many of these posts though, are coming from a consumer mindset, meaning you need more and more basics in order to have, well, all the basics. In the 80’s, designer Donna Karan created a clothing line called “The 7 Easy Pieces“. Thus, capsule wardrobe styling was thrown back into the forefront of fashion! Normalizing smaller wardrobes, rewearing, and of course, creating your personal style.
But what are Donna’s 7 easy pieces? And are they really easy and the only basics you’ll need in a wardrobe?
For her 7 easy pieces, Donna wanted to stay true to her mission. Make women’s lives simpler and more beautiful through their wardrobe. Her seven easy pieces are a bodysuit, a tailored jacket, a cashmere sweater, a dress, something leather, a white shirt, and a skirt. For me, these are also the staples I start with when I build my seasonal capsules. I love to mix and match my basics year round, but also keep a few staples from season to season. After a few years of building capsule wardrobes, I’ve realized, these really are the only basics you need! So for today’s post, we are going to dive into Donna’s 7 easy pieces and where I shop for my basics!
Donna’s 7 Easy Basics
A simple black bodysuit will go with, literally, anything. Karen explains the inspiration behind the bodysuits was “It started out because I was a yogi. I’d wear a bodysuit every day, and then take the bodysuit and just put on a jersey wrap and tie it”. It’s an easy silhouette that, again, goes with anything. I have been known to wear bodysuits to formal or and non formal events. My personal favorite way to wear my bodysuit is with jeans or a midi skirt. This simplicity of the silhouette really flatters my curves, and is also so easy to layer with. Not comfortable in a bodysuit? Try a basic black t-shirt instead! To me, the goal with this easy piece is to start exploring layers. You really can’t go wrong with any layer, and it allows you to be adventurous, without going to wild! Here’s my picks for bodysuits:
What else says class like a well tailored jacket? Nothing! Even if you don’t have a tailor, investing in a well made straight fit jacket will do wonders for your wardrobe. For me, I love my VETTA Blazer dress as an open jacket. It’s shape flatters my curves while being larger and in a boyfriend style fit. There’s a reason this iconic VETTA piece continues to sell out! Whether it’s in the board room or you’re casual, the tailored jacket is another easy basic piece to add to your wardrobe for any season. I adore wearing my blazer with jeans and a casual t-shirt for an elevated basic vibe. Sometime’s I’ll even wear this to meet clients in because its business, but also welcoming and warm. Here’s my picks for tailored jackets:
Okay, so this one is pretty specific, and while many of us may not be able to afford a luxurious cashmere sweater (yet 😉) this could be a basic neutral sweater for your wardrobe. This easy sweater is perfect to layer with in fall and winter. While, for spring and summer you can swap to a button front cardigan style sweater as a layering piece. For me, you can never go wrong with a classic layer, and the cashmere sweater is the perfect essential that you can splurge on for your closet. Here’s my picks for cashmere sweaters:
Everyone needs a go to dress or jumpsuit, or both if you’re me 😅. Another winner in my wardrobe is my VETTA sheath dress with a wrap skirt from the polished capsule, and really this whole capsule is on rewear in my wardrobe. It’s an easy work, night out, wedding, or extra dress I always add to my suitcase when I travel. This easy dress can be layered, worn alone, with a skirt, or layered with the blazer for a chic touch. Not a dress gal? Trust me, I get it. I also love, and I mean LOVE, my jumpsuit from the relaxed capsule. It’s one of those pieces that is just effortlessly chic, no matter what. So if you’re not a fan of dresses, try a jumpsuit!
My dream vintage find would be a leather jacket. Like the old school Harley Davidson jackets that you know have seen the world, and are just itching for a new adventure. It’s also an easy basic that I love styling for Fall and Winter! It has such a masculine feel to it, that brings an edge to any look. Lace dress? Add a leather jacket. Basic tee and jeans? Leather Jacket. Madonna costume? Leather jacket. (You get the picture) There’s a reason Karen adds this as one of her 7 easy pieces. It’s versatility, timelessness, and chic nature is perfect for any wardrobe for just about any season. Here’s my picks for leather jackets:
I have a tiny waist, but wider hips, so this is a piece I have always struggled with. However, it’s a piece I am learning to love in my wardrobe. This easy basic is great to wear with a basic tee, your white shirts, black shirts, over mini dresses, or layered with tights for fall and winter. To me, it’s one of those pieces I think most of us own, but don’t know how to style. The simplicity of the piece is what makes me scratch my head because to me, it goes with everything but nothing at the same time. It’s quite a conundrum! None the less, it’s a delight full piece that I absolutely cannot wait to learn how to style. Here’s my picks for wrap skirts:
I was doing laundry the other day and realized I have three identical white button downs. The white top is part of my go-to look, so it makes sense that I have a variety. However, do I really need 3? Not really! (Yet here I am) My go to white button down is a heavier weighted button front blouse from the Timeless Capsule which is also fashioned with a tab to take the top from a button front top to a wrap shirt! The white button down is such a classic shirt that you can wear with jeans, layered under your sweater, with the blazer, you name it. It’s such an easy elevated staple that you will love having in your wardrobe. Here’s my picks for white shirts:
Other easy basics to add
Besides the 7 easy basics, I have a few other basics that are a MUST in my wardrobe. These pieces really fill in the holes, and finalize your capsule wardrobe. For me, the additional basics are:
- Classic Straight Denim
- Classic Trousers
- Pack of Tee’s (White, black, grey – 2 of each)
- Comfortable Undergarments
- Maxi Dress or Maxi Skirt
For me, the above items complete my capsule wardrobe each season. As I’ve evolved my style, I keep coming back to the basics. With the basics, even though they are, well, basic, they allow you to experiment with easy items that will always look good together.
Recap of Donna’s 7 Easy Basics
Looking back at when this collection was created, it says a lot that these 7 easy basics are still applicable today. These pieces are truly the most timeless pieces that you can have in your wardrobe. Karan’s collection was based on the idea that with the right basics, a woman could accomplish anything, which is still true today. This easy capsule is dripping in minimalism. However, the ability to find each of these pieces in bold colors to create a capsule wardrobe all your own is something you won’t find often.
Looking to build your own capsule wardrobe, but don’t know where to start? Try downloading my FREE 6×18 capsule wardrobe guide. Walking you through how to find, build, and curate your first capsule wardrobe.