The Essential Teen Girl Capsule Wardrobe

Some teens believe that they need to stuff their closets full of clothing options to ensure they have the right pieces to put together the perfect outfit when certain circumstances arise. However, the truth is that even teens can suffer from too much choice.

The capsule wardrobe movement pushes the idea that an individual needs only a handful of clothing items, which can be mixed and matched to suit any occasion. Plenty of eminently stylish people carefully curate their capsule, which helps save them time, money, and closet space.

In truth, teens don’t have all that many disparate events to warrant a huge wardrobe, so keeping a capsule makes the most sense. Here are a few pieces every teen girl should have in her capsule, to make getting dressed effortless and fun.


A hoodie is an important go-to outerwear piece for any wardrobe, but it is especially important for a teen girl. There are women’s hoodies in all colors and prints, but the must-have hoodie for a capsule wardrobe is in a neutral color, like white or black. The hoodie can have some small ornamentation, but the plainer it is, the more appropriate it will be for a large variety of occasions.


Sneakers are comfortable and functional footwear. Though it might be tempting to collect a closet full of different styles and colorways, the truth is girls only need one minimalist pair of sneaks, ideally in all-white. Call it boring or call it practical, this pair of sneakers will work with every look in this capsule wardrobe.


Most capsule wardrobe guides encourage collecting two good pairs of jeans: one in a black or dark wash and one in a lighter wash. However, these guides often neglect to mention what rise and cut these jeans should be. While skinny jeans have been the go-to style for more than a decade, wide legs and flares are coming back in, so for longevity, teen girls should probably purchase a couple of pairs of non-skinny jeans in whatever rise and fit feels good.

Plain Ts

T-shirts are the foundation of any good capsule wardrobe because they have so many functions. Girls need at least three plain Ts in neutral colors, including white, black and nude. These will be used as base layers beneath other capsule elements like a hoodie or dress, or they will stand alone as the top of an outfit. Girls get to choose for themselves what neckline they prefer in their Ts, and whether they want to wear cropped Ts or full-length Ts.


Leggings are excellent elements of a capsule wardrobe, especially for someone like a teen girl whose size is likely to consistently shift over the coming years. Good black leggings will remain comfortable and in style, and they can be dressed up or down as needs arise. Girls might want to buy two pairs of leggings, one fitted to the leg all the way to the ankle and one with a bit of a flare, to suit shifting trends.

Printed Dress

Most girls need at least one dress in their wardrobe to serve as an easy semi-formal outfit. Printed dresses are excellent options for teens, who don’t need anything extremely flashy or formal. Bright florals tend to stay in style, but for girls who aren’t into particularly feminine prints, checkerboard, patchwork, and tie-dye are all excellent options. As for the length and style of dress — that is up to personal taste.

Skater Skirt

A skater skirt is a high-waisted circle skirt with a hemline above the knee. They tend to be flattering to any body type, which is what makes them an ideal element of a capsule wardrobe. A neutral skater skirt is a good investment, but teen girls can be a bit more creative with a print or bright color as long as their tops are neutral colors that coordinate well.


Flat shoes are more comfortable than heels, and they are easier for teen girls to wear across multiple occasions. The flats should be neutral in color, meaning black or brown, but the style depends largely on the girl’s individual preferences. Pointed toes are currently en vogue, and a good loafer will be useful for years to come, but round-toe ballerina flats are equally practical footwear investments.