How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe


If you’ve been paying attention to the fashion world for the past couple of years, you’ve probably heard of a “capsule wardrobe.” A capsule wardrobe is a curated selection of clothes that help you create many different outfits without sacrificing style or breaking the bank! Capsule wardrobes usually contain a wide selection of different basics, neutral colors, and versatile garments that can be mixed and matched in many different ways. The whole point of this type of wardrobe is to embrace a minimalist, simplified (although never boring!) mindset when it comes to fashion. In other words, when it comes to building your own capsule wardrobe, less is more is your new life mantra! 

There are many reasons to build a capsule wardrobe. As we mentioned above, embracing a simpler lifestyle is definitely one reason since having a few select clothes you use to create a series of outfits helps with the struggle of deciding what to wear every morning. (We’ve all been there, a closet full of clothes, nothing to wear!) 

Also, one of the most important rules of building a capsule wardrobe is that you’re supposed to choose a selection of clothes that you truly love, so running into items that you don’t feel crazy about in your closet will no longer be an issue. Another wonderful reason to build a capsule wardrobe is sustainability! If you own and buy fewer clothes, your shopping habits will be better for the planet. Ideally, a capsule wardrobe is a selection of around thirty to fifty garments that you’ll be wearing for many years to come due to versatility and timelessness, so that’s also great news for mother earth. 

Last but not least, creating a capsule wardrobe is a foolproof way to save money! Obviously, the fewer clothes you buy, the less money you spend, and building the right capsule wardrobe can help you be more financially conscious without having to sacrifice your style. Intrigued? Continue reading for a simple guide on how to build your own capsule wardrobe. 

Begin by taking a look at your closet. 

Believe it or not, the best place to start building a capsule wardrobe is your own closet! You probably already own a lot of wonderful pieces you wear over and over again, and becoming aware of why you love these items is very important when it comes to understanding your style. Also, since the entire point of building this wardrobe is minimalism and simplicity, knowing what you own will avoid the need to buy anything you already have or making unnecessary fashion mistakes twice! 

In addition to selecting your favorite pieces to begin building your capsule wardrobe, you want to single out those pieces that make you cringe and you never really wear at all. As a general rule of thumb, you can remove anything you have not worn in more than a year or anything that doesn’t give you the slightest sense of excitement or joy when you look at it. What are some examples of great pieces to include in a capsule wardrobe? Your favorite pair of jeans, a sleek blazer you would wear every day if you could, or your trusty pair of white sneakers. See where we’re going with this? Once you identify great pieces you already own, you can begin to take note of some garments that may be missing to build the perfect capsule wardrobe. 

Remember, basics are your best friends. 

When curating your capsule closet, you must always remember that basics are essential. You may already own some of the most important basics, like a flawless white t-shirt or blouses in neutral colors that can easily be mixed and matched. Speaking of neutral colors, you also want to choose and keep pieces that will help you create black and white outfits. A little black dress, for example, is exactly the sort of piece you want to have in a capsule wardrobe. As for the perfect basic bottoms for a capsule wardrobe, jeans are a must, and so are a couple of skirts in different lengths. 

Prioritize versatility. 

When it comes to building a capsule wardrobe, versatility is key. Since you’re focusing on a few select garments, you want these to mix and match effortlessly. For instance, you want a blouse that will look amazing with pants or layered with a dress. Or you want a great skirt that can easily be dressed up or dressed down with sneakers, heels, or the right accessories. You want pieces that work well no matter the time of the year. For example, did you know that you can make floral outfits work for any season? Another easy way to create versatile looks is by using two-piece sets as separates. Use the top with different bottoms and vice-versa! Bottom line, if you look at a garment and instantly imagine it can be worn in at least four different ways or that it could be styled for many different occasions, you’re on your way to creating a fabulous capsule wardrobe. 

Favor timeless garments over trendy pieces. 

Although we all love to have some fun with cool trends, timeless is a word you want to keep in mind when building a capsule wardrobe. Essentially, you’re selecting clothes that can withstand the test of time, which usually doesn’t happen with pieces that are on the trendier side. Investment pieces, meaning those that can be a bit more expensive but will pay off in the long run, are a great way to favor timeless garments. Think of a chic leather jacket, a crisp white shirt, or a stunning black skirt. 

A quick clarification: building a capsule wardrobe doesn't mean you'll never shop again! This strategy is a way to simplify your decision-making while staying true to your style, and this means you can certainly add a few pieces every now and then if you're in need of a revamp. When shopping, just remember you're looking for pieces that will stay with you over a long period of time instead of those you'll only wear once. 

Have fun with it! 

We know these rules can seem a little bit constrictive, but we promise building a capsule wardrobe is also a great way to have fun with clothes. Don’t be afraid to bring in unexpected pieces to your wardrobe like a cool jumpsuit, just be sure to come up with a series of ways to style it. Changing up the shoes, the jacket, or even your accessories is a simple way to do this. Speaking of which, don’t forget to accessorize! An outfit can look and feel entirely different if you wear heels instead of sneakers, or if you use a statement necklace instead of earrings. So when you’re choosing the pieces to go into your closet, be sure to include versatile shoes that can help you easily change the feel of your favorite outfits, such as your favorite pair of boots, the sneakers you love and wear almost daily, and a classic but lovely pair of heels for special occasions. In any case, limiting the number of pieces in your closet is certainly a way to make your life easier, but you can still have fun with fashion! 

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