Being a fashion editor is a dream job, but something that’s not-so-dreamy about it is the pressure it can come with. Since I literally write about what to wear for a living, I always feel like I should be dressed in the coolest clothes that follow the most coveted trends of every season. This mentality is something that I’ve had to hurdle across over the past few years, because when I don’t, I end up with an overstuffed closet with absolutely no cohesion—and worse, no ties to my true personal style.
Throughout this year, I’ve felt a major shift in my style. Rather than trying to bend it to be something it’s not, I’ve really tuned into what my instincts are when it comes to dressing. I started with figuring out my three fashion words—which I narrowed down to effortless, cool, and comfortable—and then let myself wear what I truly wanted to. For example, a huge priority for me is comfort, and since I live in Chicago, almost every day involves a lot of walking. I reach for a pair of my (many) sneakers six out of seven days a week—so why would I keep adding shoes with heels to my closet?
Rather than focusing exclusively on trends this year—don’t get me wrong, I’ll always have trendy pieces in my wardrobe—I decided to really hone in on curating my capsule wardrobe, and so far, I’ve succeeded. Not only do I now feel like I have more to wear, but I feel excited to get dressed every single morning—not overwhelmed. These are the 10 pieces I added to my capsule wardrobe so far in 2023.
I believe that jeans are deeply personal. What works for me might not work for you, but these jeans are by far my favorite ones in my collection. Are they expensive? Yes, but considering I reach for them multiple times a week, the cost per wear is so low that I don’t care. I’ve always had a hard time finding straight jeans that still maintained a slim fit—I want straight, not baggy—and these are exactly that. They have the most impeccable straight fit, and the mid-rise waist hits perfectly, without feeling like they’re too high. If I could only own one pair of jeans, these would be them.
This year, I really felt like like my bag collection was missing a non-tote bag that could truly be used on and everyday basis. This little bag was the answer to all my wishes. It’s big enough that I can fit all my necessities in it, but is smaller and more comfortable to wear than a tote. It’s no secret that I’m a huge Cuyana fan, and this bag is yet another win from them.
4 colors available
One of the biggest changes I’ve made in shopping over the past year is how I buy my knitwear. Given that it’s cold out six months of the year in Chicago, it used to be really hard for me to resist buying sweaters in bulk every fall. Instead, I’m now investing in higher quality ones I know I won’t get sick of after one season. I spend the same amount, but get more wear out of the one or two ones I invest in now than the half-a-dozen I did before. I’ve worn this sweater at least once a week since I got it (I’m wearing it at the office as I write this!), and it’s shown me that the Jenni Kayne hype is absolutely warranted.
10 colors available
I wear my blazers to death, so I don’t limit how many I own. Despite owning around a dozen by now, in the cooler months, I find myself reaching for this one from Abercrombie most. It’s perfectly oversized, super flattering, and I’m obsessed with the pinstripes on it. Even with just jeans and a sweater, the vertical stripes give it a menswear-inspired vibe that just feels cool. Ask any of our in-office editors: this blazer has made me an outfit repeater this year.
5 colors available
Of all the shoes I have ever worn, chunky loafers have wreaked the most havoc on my ankles. This pair from Coach has completely eliminated that problem for me. They’re the perfect lug-sole loafer that isn’t too chunky, and they’re by far the most comfortable pair I’ve ever worn. I love and wear mine so much that I’ve been debating getting them in another color this fall.
4 colors available
Yes, you caught me, I already mentioned that I am not a heel girl (no matter how much I’ve tried to be). But these are the exception! I really needed a pair of nicer shoes for events and holidays, and these are incredible. I wore them while running around New York Fashion Week, which is usually hell on the feet, and was left without a single blister. These are so comfortable, I don’t even mind wearing them on my commute. Plus, the red shade I chose is going to be *so* good for the holiday season.
9 colors available
I’ve developed a new love for bucket bags this year, and this one was simply irresistible to me. I saw it in-store in this beautiful brown shade and couldn’t stop thinking about it afterward, and I can now confirm it’s such a beautiful investment piece. It’s classic, fits all the necessities, and comes in Madewell’s gorgeous leather that notoriously gets more beautiful with wear. I also love the blue suede version it comes in; choosing between them was like Sophie’s Choice.
4 colors available
Tweed jackets don’t historically fit into my style, but this year, I decided it was finally time to pull the trigger on one. This one’s lack of a collar made it feel less preppy, which was exactly what I wanted given that I tend to style it more casually with jeans and sneakers. I absolutely love wearing it to the office, and am super excited to style it once my schedule fills up with holiday events next month (imagine it with my red shoes!).
3 colors available
I wear my trousers as often as my jeans these days, and these are my absolute favorite pair. They have a relaxed fit without the legs being too wide, which makes them super flattering. I wore my black ones on repeat last year, so I also added the olive pair to my arsenal for this fall. What can I say—some things are so good, you have to get them in multiple colors.
18 colors available
If there’s one thing I’m a fiend for, it’s a pair of sunglasses. Truly, I own an embarrassing amount. But I recently found myself needing a pair that I can just keep in my bag to throw on every day without worrying too terribly about them. Not only is this pair affordable, but they’re as good of quality as other pairs I own that are five times the price. Their Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy-esque shape is so flattering that I’ve worn them almost every day since I’ve gotten them.