A Casual Spring Style Capsule Wardrobe + 12 Outfit Examples

Comfortable, casual spring style has never been easier.

Spring is a wonky time of year: The mornings are cool; the afternoons are warm, and it rains seemingly all the time. Nonetheless, the slow crawl out of winter’s gray skies is pleasant as the trees blossom and sneakers and lightweight jackets become more appropriate garb. While it’s easy to feel intimidated by this strangely transitional time of year, the key to conquering spring in the sartorial sense is two-fold: layer up, and mix the bold with the subtle. Think of a capsule as a one-stop shop for an entire season. Grab these items, and with the ability to mix and match them, you’ll be all set until summer rolls around (and even beyond).

With this spring capsule, we’ve narrowed down the basic casual items you need to get you through the season, and we’ve thrown in a few different options for each depending on your preference and your payroll.

What is a Capsule Wardrobe?

A capsule wardrobe is a small collection of thoughtfully chosen pieces that all work together and that you love to wear. It reduces wasteful spending on items you won't wear that often in favor of investing in favorites that offer a true mix-and-match versatility.

men casual spring style outfit ideas   capsule wardrobe men


Trucker Jacket

The trucker was the original jacket for the 20th-century working man; that is, the man who comes home with dirt under his fingernails and sweat in his hat. This jacket from Everlane is constructed from a Japanese denim. Each jacket is washed (so no two are exactly alike), and perhaps best of all, it’s backed by a 365-day guarantee. If this jacket shrinks, or a seam comes loose, they’ll take care of it. If you want to go absolutely old-school, then check out this model from Levi’s. While this one is available in 44 different styles (yes, 44), we like the Colusa/Stretch. It’s the perfect medium indigo to go with just about anything. Want to know the history of the Trucker? Check out our in-depth article.

everlane denim jacket spring casual capsule

Denim Jacket: Everlane, $88

levis original trucker jacket spring casual capsule

Levi's Trucker Jacket: Amazon, $43.36-$99.99

Suede Jacket

Clean lines and a smooth hand are the defining features of a suede jacket. Well, those and it somehow looks badass and polished at the same time. A proper suede jacket should be slim without restricting your movement, with a short cut in the body and minimal stitching. This one from Thursday Boot Co. combines the subtlety of taupe suede with small details like brushed silver buttons and a racer collar.

john varvatos leather trucker jacket spring casual capsule

John Varvatos Leather Trucker Jacket: Amazon, $688.50

mango elbow patch jacket spring casual capsule

Elbow Patch Suede Jacket: Mango, $169.99


There’s a reason a man in uniform always looks good: Military attire never goes out of style. The M65 military field coat was designed with a cut that’s generous (for layering) without appearing bulky. With ample pockets and a zip out hood, this jacket is ready for whatever spring throws at you.

alpha industries field coat spring casual capsule

Alpha Industries Field Coat: Amazon, $126

amazon essentials utility jacket spring casual capsule

Utility Jacket: Amazon, $14.61-$45.56

jcrew m51 jacket spring casual capsule

Wallace & Barnes M51 Jacket: J.Crew, $148


Hoodies are comfortable and a great light layer – that’s why lazily-dressed guys have opted for them for decades. But, it is absolutely possible to incorporate one into smart casual outfits and look purposeful. This lightweight, cotton hoodie from Amazon looks great in black with contrast white pull strings. The full zip style means you can decide how much t-shirt you want peeking out, and you can put it on without messing up your hair.

goodthreads full zip hoodie spring casual capsule

Goodthreads French Terry Hoodie: Amazon, $35.84

buck mason hoodie spring casual capsule

Brushed Hoodie: Buck Mason, $95

Bengal Striped Oxford

Frankly this shirt works in any season (it’s simply a closet staple), but it especially shines in spring. It looks just as good with jeans and your suede jacket as it does with slim chinos and basically every tie you own. Dress it up, dress it down; it’s a workhorse.

goodthreads striped oxford spring casual capsule

Goodthreads Oxford Shirt: Amazon, $6.33-$30

jcrew factory flex oxford spring casual capsule

Oxford Shirt: J.Crew, $39.99-$44.50

gap oxford spring casual capsule

Stretch Oxford Shirt: Gap, $59.95

Patterned Short Sleeve Shirt

This short sleeved cotton shirt is perfect for layering under your hoodie or M65 with denim or twill pants. The small floral style is subtle while still adding a pop of pattern. Just remember it’s all cotton, so expect a little bit of shrinkage if you throw it in the dryer. Looking for some extra bold pattern and color combinations? Check out Abercrombie’s selection as well.

amazon essentials print shirt spring casual capsule

Short Sleeve Print Shirt: Amazon, $16.50

h&m muscle fit pique shirt spring casual capsule

Muscle Fit Pique Shirt: H&M, $17.99

Textured Crew

The waffle knit shirt is the year-round staple you’ve probably forgotten about. The subtle texture sets it apart from your ordinary t-shirt without trying to make a loud statement. Layer this shirt under your hoodie or suede jacket for a streamlined look that’s svelte and comfortable. Looking for a less expensive option? Check out this one from Goodthreads.

everlane waffle crew spring casual capsule

Waffle Knit Crew: Everlane, $40

goodthreads crewneck spring casual capsule

Goodthreads Crewneck Sweater: Amazon, $12.16-$30

Raglan Henley

This raglan henley captures the essence of our spring capsule: It’s classic, understated, but it still has a few bold details. The slim cut gives it a classic silhouette while the raglan sleeve seams and contrast buttons and placket give it a dose of character.

goodthreads slub henley spring casual capsule

Short Sleeve Slub Henley: Amazon, $5.86-$20

goodfellow short sleeve henley spring casual capsule

Henley T-Shirt: Target, $12.99

kohls sonoma henley spring casual capsule

Soft Henley: Kohls, $14.99

Pocket T

The white t-shirt has been effortlessly cool since the early 1950s when James Dean showed up on the scene. This minimalist layer is comfortable, with a simple aesthetic that looks great under any jacket you own.

everlane pocket tee spring casual capsule

Cotton Pocket Tee: Everlane, $18

hanes 2 pack tee spring casual capsule

Hanes Pocket T-Shirt: Amazon, $12.99-$32.50

gap shirt spring casual capsule

Pocket T-Shirt: Gap, $19.95

Slim Chinos

Slim-cut chinos do it all: Wear them to the office with a pair of loafers, then rock em’ in the evening for a date night. The slim (not skinny) cut keeps the silhouette from looking sloppy but won’t restrict movement or comfort. And with a myriad of colors from which to choose, you can get the pair that most suits your tastes (but we all know that deep midnight color is amazing).

slim chinos

Stretch Chino: J.Crew, $22.99

goodthreads chino spring casual capsule

Goodthreads Slim Fit Chino: Amazon, $30

everlane chino spring casual capsule

Performance Chino: Everlane, $72

uniqlo chino spring casual capsule

Slim Fit Chino: Uniqlo, $39.90

Charcoal Denim

Notice we didn’t say “black” denim. Charcoal denim has a versatility that black does not, as charcoal creates less contrast, thus matching more colors. Black can also seem out of place if it’s daytime and hot. We like the Levi’s with the slim, tapered leg, which pair great with sneakers and a t-shirt for those casual days but also look svelte with a button-up shirt for a night out.

levis taper jeans spring casual capsule

Levi's 512 Taper Jeans: Amazon, $20.41

mott bow slim jeans spring casual capsule

Slim Jeans: Mott & Bow, $118

goodthreads slim jean spring casual capsule

Goodthreads Slim Fit Jean: Amazon, $13.90-$40

Light Gray 5 Pocket Twill Pants

For those warmer days, these five-pocket twill pants are perfect. “Five-pocket pants” are tailored like jeans (hence the horizontally cut pockets with riveted buttons) but they’re made from lighterweight fabrics. They’ll keep you cool with the comfort of jeans but the aesthetic of chinos.

gapflex slim jeans spring casual capsule

Slim Jean: Gap, $69.95

hm slim twill pant spring casual capsule

Slim Fit Twill Pants: H&M, $19.99

amazon essentials stretch twill spring casual capsule

5 Pocket Twill Pants: Amazon, $10.96-$24

nordstrom liverpool straight pant spring casual capsule

Slim Straight Twill Pants: Nordstrom Rack, $31.98

Suede Boots

Suede boots easily transition from your office chinos to your Friday-night jeans. Suede is a great choice for springtime, as it’s somehow rugged and deliciously soft. On this pair the cap toe and dark-olive (almost loden) suede bring the versatility, while the rubber sole keeps them lightweight and ready to take on the rain (just make sure you treat the suede with a good water proofing spray). If the chukka boot is more your style, check out this model from Frye.

thursday boot captain spring casual capsule

Thursday Boot Co. Captain Boot: Amazon, $199

frye murray chukka spring casual capsule

Frye Chukka Boot: Zappos, $160.92

ecco kenton boot spring casual capsule

Ecco Kenton Boot: Zappos, $115.92

frye and co peak boot spring casual capsule

Frye and Co. Peak Work Boot: Zappos, $70.63


I love these trainers from Everlane. The white upper, the cream sole (which is made almost entirely from recycled plastic), and that peak of black on the heel, it just works. Nothing says spring like a pair of white kicks, and these are simply it. Want that knit look? Check out the Royale from Greats.

everland court sneaker spring casual capsule

Court Sneaker: Everlane, $98

gola inca sneaker spring casual capsule

Gola Inca Leather Sneaker: Zappos, $51.90

greats royale sneaker spring casual capsule

Royale Knit Sneaker: Greats, $119

Canvas Sneakers

If you want a sneaker with a little more edge, you can’t go wrong with classic Vans. The Low-Top’s thick, white sole looks great with charcoal denim, or your Trucker jacket. The dark color means they won’t be out of place in your evening activities.

vans low top spring casual capsule

Vans Low Top Sneakers: Amazon, $64.99

cariuma black canvas spring casual capsule

Canvas Low Sneakers: Cariuma, $79

nothing new low top spring casual capsule

Low Top Sneakers: Nothing New, $95


When it comes to accessories, we have a strict keep-it-simple policy. The Downing from Warby Parker is a wayfarer style, the likes of which JFK used to wear. They’re chic; they’re functional.

warby parker downing sunglasses spring casual capsule

Downing Sunglasses: Warby Parker, $95

boss sunglasses spring casual capsule

Square Sunglasses: Nordstrom Rack, $47.98

hampton sun sunglasses spring casual capsule

Hampton Sunglasses: Garrett Leight, $360

Field Watch

Seiko has been making high quality, affordable timepieces since 1881. Their Japanese mechanical and automatic movements are hard to beat in terms of value and accuracy. This military field watch has a stainless steel case and a nylon strap for comfort and durability. The first two options appear on our Best Watches Under $200 list.

seiko watch spring casual capsule

Seiko Watch: Amazon, $133.90

todd snyder mod watch spring casual capsule

The Mod Watch: Todd Synder, $99

C5 field watch spring casual capsule

C5 Field Watch: Vaer Watches, $199

timex expedition spring casual capsule

Timex Expedition Watch: Amazon, $47.95

12 Outfits Made from the Capsule

Here are 12 sample outfits you can easily create with our spring capsule.

casual friday work spring casual capsule

For casual Friday at work

sunday brunch spring casual capsule

For Sunday brunch

casual friday casual spring capsule

nice dinner out spring casual capsule

For a nice dinner out

night out with the guys spring casual capsule

For a night out with the guys

quick bite after work spring casual capsule

For grabbing a quick bite after work with your S.O.

saturday errands spring casual capsule

For running errands on Saturday afternoon

dog walk spring casual capsule

For taking the dog for a walk

ballpark spring casual capsule

For ballpark watching (not playing)

day off spring casual capsule

For your day off

drinks warm evening spring casual capsule

For drinks on a warm evening

weekday at the office spring casual capsule

For a weekday at the office (if you're allowed to wear trainers).

What other pieces are essential to your spring capsule? Let us know in the comments!

Mike Henson

Mike Henson is a literature teacher in Hershey, Pennsylvania. He enjoys shooting 35mm film, restoring vintage straight blades, purchasing too many American-made goods, and spending time with his wife and their three daughters.