If you’re reading this, you want to know how to build a capsule wardrobe.
It’s likely because your closet is probably overflowing with clothes, yet nothing to wear. Sound familiar?
If you can relate, don’t worry—you’re not alone. Many of us have been there before. But the good news is that there is a way out. When I discovered the concept of a capsule wardrobe, it was a game-changer.
We have the answer to how to build a capsule wardrobe! Building a capsule wardrobe is the solution to your wardrobe woes, so, it is undoubtedly an excellent time to consider creating one.
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How To Build A Capsule Wardrobe
In this post, we’ll show you how to build a capsule wardrobe step-by-step.
We’ll also provide you with a capsule wardrobe checklist to help you build the perfect capsule wardrobe for your lifestyle and fashion sense while making the process as easy as possible.
Building a capsule wardrobe may seem daunting at first, but trust us—it’s worth it.
Not only will it save you time and money in the long run, but it will also give you a sense of peace and confidence that comes with knowing you have a closet full of clothes you love to wear.
So, without further ado, let’s get started!
What is a capsule wardrobe?
A little history about the capsule wardrobe;
The capsule wardrobe is a term coined in the 1970s by Susie Faux, the owner of a London boutique called Wardrobe.
It refers to a collection of a few essential items of clothing that don’t go out of fashion, that can be mixed and matched, and can be worn for any occasion.
The idea is that you have a small number of items in your wardrobe that you love and that you can wear over and over again.
The capsule wardrobe has been having a moment in the fashion world recently, and it’s easy to see why.
It’s a way to streamline your wardrobe and make getting dressed in the morning much easier.
Plus, it helps you save money in the long run because you’re not always buying new clothes.
A capsule wardrobe is a collection of a few select items of clothing that can be worn in multiple ways.
The key to a successful capsule wardrobe is to choose versatile pieces that can be mixed and matched with each other to create different looks.
For example, you might have a black blazer that you can wear with jeans for a casual look or dress up with a skirt for a more formal occasion.
The beauty of a capsule wardrobe is that it takes the guesswork out of getting dressed in the morning.
With a capsule wardrobe, you’ll always have something to wear—no matter the occasion.
A capsule wardrobe is a streamlined collection of clothing (typically less than 100 items). Each item could easily mix and match with the next, to create multiple items. Curating your closet as a capsule allows you to do more, while owning less stuff.
Why build a capsule wardrobe?
The benefits of having a capsule wardrobe are numerous.
First, it saves you time and energy because you no longer have to spend hours trying to figure out what to wear each day.
I know how much time I could have saved if I had known how to build a capsule wardrobe sooner!
Secondly, it saves you money. You’re more likely to buy quality over quantity when you have a capsule wardrobe.
You’ll be less tempted to make impulse purchases of cheap clothes that you’ll only wear once or twice because you know that the pieces in your capsule wardrobe will last you for years.
This also means you can spend less time shopping and more time doing the things you love.
Lastly, a capsule wardrobe gives you the confidence and peace of mind that comes with knowing you have a closet full of clothes you love to wear.
It takes the guesswork out of getting dressed each day.
With fewer clothing options, deciding what to wear becomes much simpler (and quicker!).
Not to mention, you can be confident knowing that everything in your closet fits well, coordinates with other pieces, and best reflects your style.
It helps you to define your style and creates a cohesive look.
While some believe that a capsule wardrobe means owning fewer clothes, this isn’t necessarily true.
Instead, it’s about owning fewer “disposable” clothes—clothes that are only worn once or twice and then discarded.
A capsule wardrobe consists of high-quality, versatile pieces that will last for years.
How to build a capsule wardrobe? (Capsule wardrobe checklist!)
Now that we’ve answered the question “what is a capsule wardrobe?” and discussed the many benefits of building one, it’s time to get started!
First, download your FREE Capsule Wardrobe Planner:
Download The Capsule Wardrobe Planner, For Free
Get a complimentary copy of our ebook “How To Build A Capsule Wardrobe” below:
Now let’s dig into how to build a capsule wardrobe step-by-step.
How to build a capsule wardrobe from scratch.
1. Know Your Style
The first step to building a capsule wardrobe is knowing your style.
- What colors do you feel most confident in?
- What silhouettes do you love wearing?
- Do you prefer dresses or separates?
Knowing the answers to these questions will make it easier for you to shop for pieces that you’ll want to wear.
If you’re not sure what your style is, don’t worry!
There are plenty of resources out there to help you figure it out. Pinterest is a great place to start; simply search for “personal style” and you’ll be presented with a wealth of inspirational images.
Once you’ve found some styles that you like, take some time to save them to a Pinterest board so that you can refer back to them when shopping for your capsule wardrobe.
2. Take inventory of your current closet.
This is a crucial step because it will help you determine what items you already have that you can include in your capsule wardrobe.
As you’re going through your clothes, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I love this item?
- Does it fit well?
- Is it versatile? (Can I wear it multiple ways?)
- Do I feel good when I wear it?
If the answer to all of these questions is “yes,” then the item can stay. If not, it’s time to say goodbye.
Purge your closet of clothes that don’t fit well, are outdated, or no longer reflect your style.
Once you’ve gone through your closet and pulled out the pieces that you don’t want, donate them or sell them online—just make sure they don’t end up back in your closet!
3. Assess Your Needs
Now that you know your style and have edited your closet accordingly, it’s time to assess your needs.
What do you use your clothes for the most? Work? Casual? Athletic? What types of clothing do you find yourself reaching for most often?
Make a list of the items you need to refer back to it when shopping for your capsule wardrobe.
Some common items that people include in their capsule wardrobes are denim jeans, black pants, white shirts, blazers, cardigans, dresses, skirts, sneakers, and boots.
Of course, the specific items you’ll need will depend on your style—so make sure to tailor your list accordingly!
To do this, identify the core clothing items – or “wardrobe essentials” – that you reach for most often.
These items might include denim jeans, black pants, white button-down shirts, etc.
Then, build around those basics with additional pieces that can be mixed and matched to create multiple outfits using the following guidelines:
Stick to neutral colors like black, white, grey, navy blue, etc.) so that everything coordinates with each other.
4. Choose timeless pieces over trendier ones
Opt for high-quality fabrics and construction that will last for years.
Focus on comfort and versatility – look for items that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion
Here’s a helpful capsule wardrobe checklist:
- Tops: Include both long and short-sleeve options in neutral colors like black, white, gray, navy, etc.
- Bottoms: Choose pants, skirts, and shorts in a mix of neutral colors and denim.
- Dresses: Select one or two dresses that can be worn for casual and dressy occasions.
- Outerwear: Pick a jacket or coat that works with all the other pieces in your capsule wardrobe.
- Shoes: Choose shoes that can be worn with multiple outfits and are comfortable enough to walk in.
- Accessories: Select a few essential accessories, like a scarf, belt, or piece of jewelry, that can help to mix up your look.
Now that you know what pieces you need, it’s time to start shopping!
5. Shop for Your Capsule Wardrobe
Now comes the fun part: shopping for your capsule wardrobe!
When shopping for pieces for your capsule collection, look for versatile items that can be worn in multiple ways.
For example, you can wear a black blazer with jeans and a t-shirt for a casual look or over a dress for something more formal; you could dress up a pair of denim jeans with heels and a blouse or dressed down with sneakers and a sweatshirt; and so on.
The focus is to choose pieces that can easily transition from day to night or from work to weekend to get the most mileage possible.
6. Edit Your Wardrobe Regularly
Your tastes will change over time, and so should your wardrobe.
Edit your capsule wardrobe regularly to get rid of clothes you no longer wear and add new pieces that reflect your current style.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with recent trends!
You may be surprised at how much you like them.
Tips for building your capsule wardrobe
In theory, having a huge closet full of clothes sounds great. But in practice, it’s actually pretty stressful.
Not only do you have to spend time sifting through all your clothes to find something to wear, but you also end up feeling like you have nothing to wear even though your closet is jam-packed.
Here are some helpful tips:
√ Stick with versatile pieces that can be dressed up or down.
√ Choose quality over quantity—it’s better to have a few well-made pieces than a bunch of cheap ones.
√ Opt for timeless styles instead of trends that will quickly go out of fashion.
√ Spend the extra money on timeless pieces that you’ll love for years to come. Not only will they look better, but they’ll also last longer.
√ Buy from high-quality sustainable brands, and avoid fast fashion as much as you can.
Capsule wardrobe checklist
Now that you’ve streamlined your closet to only the essentials, it’s time to start building your capsule wardrobe checklist.
Here are some suggested items to include:
1. A basic T-shirt:
You can never go wrong with a basic tee. Choose one (or two) in a neutral color like black, white, or grey that will go with everything.
A white tee: A good quality white tee is a staple in any woman’s closet. It can be worn on its own or layered under cardigans, blazers, and jackets.
I love these organic cotton Softspun Tees. I recommend investing in a few different styles of white tee to mix things up – try a scoop neck, V-neck, or boatneck tee.
You can never have too many!
A black tee: Like the white tee, the black tee is insanely versatile and perfect for layering.
Again, I recommend investing in several different styles to keep things interesting.
2. A Versatile Pair of Jeans
Whether you’re dressing them up with heels and a blouse for a night out or keeping things casual with sneakers and a tee, a great pair of jeans is essential for any capsule wardrobe.
Look for a style that flatters your figure and is comfortable to wear.
We love Good American jeans for their timeless look and unbeatable quality.
3. A Black Blazer
A black blazer is another versatile piece that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.
Throw it over a pair of jeans and a tee for a casual look or wear it over a dress for something more formal.
Pair it with black pants and you have a black suit – which is an essential capsule wardrobe staple.
4. A Little Black Dress
Every woman needs a little black dress in her wardrobe. It’s perfect for many occasions, from dinner parties to date nights.
No closet is complete without a little black dress! Especially if it’s made of luxurious silk like this one.
There are endless style options available so take your time finding one that fits your body type and personal style.
5. Comfortable Shoes
Pick shoes that will go well with the outfits in your wardrobe.
We suggest picking at least four pairs, a dressy pair, a casual pair, flats, and heels. This way, you can be sure you’ll have shoes to match any outfit.
We love the Everlane day glove flats for their timeless look and unbeatable comfort.
6. Tailored Pants
Tailored pants are a must for any capsule wardrobe.
They can be dressed up or down and are perfect for work, weekends, and everything in between.
Look for a pair that fits well and is comfortable to wear.
7. A Crisp White Shirt
A crisp white shirt is an essential piece for any capsule wardrobe. It can be worn on its own or layered under blazers and sweaters.
Oversized shirts are my personal favorite, they give a certain je ne sais quoi to an outfit.
Whether you tuck it into a pair of pants or leave it hanging loose, an oversized shirt is always a good idea.
We love the poplin shirt from VETTA’s City Capsule Collection, for its luxurious feel and timeless look.
8. A Sweater or Cardigan
A sweater or cardigan is a great way to stay warm while still looking stylish.
We love chunky knit sweaters for their cozy feel.
Look for a style you can wear with everything from jeans to dresses.
A neutral sweater is perfect when you need an extra layer but don’t want anything too heavy. I love wearing mine with skinny jeans and ankle boots.
Our favorite is the Convertable Chunky Sweater from VETTA.
It is a convertible sweater that you can wear in four different ways.
9. A Statement Coat
A statement coat is a perfect way to add a pop of color or pattern to your capsule wardrobe.
Choose a style that you love and will want to wear day after day.
10. A Neutral Sweater
Perfect piece for layering in the cooler months.
Go for cashmere for its luxurious feel and how easily it dresses up or down.
Look for a style that flatters your figure and can be worn with everything in your capsule wardrobe.
Khaki pants are incredibly versatile – they can be dressed up with a blazer for work or dressed down with a tee for weekend errands.
Capsule Wardrobe Checklist
This checklist below includes the basics you’ll need for a capsule wardrobe and a few suggestions for pieces you can add to your collection. But be sure to download our free capsule wardrobe book to ensure you don’t miss the important details.
- A couple of pairs of trousers in neutral colors
- handful of tops in a variety of neutral colors and styles
- cardigan or two
- trench coat
- dress or two
- pair of comfortable shoes
- pair of dressy shoes
- pair of sneakers
- tote bag
- crossbody bag
- printed scarf
- statement necklace
- a brooch
- cute pair of earrings
- printed dress
- denim jacket
- vegan leather jacket
Some essential pieces for your work capsule wardrobe include:
- tailored blaze
- white shirt
- black skirt
- dark-wash jeans
- neutral sweater
- classic pump
- black handbag
- Pearl earrings
- Gold hoops
You might also want to add one or two seasonal pieces like a light sweater for spring or a wool coat for winter.
But other than that, stick to basics that can be worn year-round.
Frequently Asked Questions About A Capsule Wardrobe
What is a Year-round capsule wardrobe checklist?
When it comes to your year-round capsule wardrobe, there are a few key pieces you’ll always need to be prepared for anything.
Here’s a checklist of everything you’ll need to build the perfect capsule wardrobe that will work for any season:
- A great pair of jeans that fit you perfectly
- A versatile blazer or cardigan
- A couple of cozy sweaters
- A go-to dress for any occasion
- A well-fitting white tee
- A pair of comfortable black leggings. The Aday throw-it higher leggings are our favorite.
- A go-to pair of shoes that can be dressed up or down
- A timeless handbag
- A few versatile scarves
- A few pieces of jewelry that can be mixed and matched
With these key pieces in your wardrobe, you’ll be able to create endless outfit possibilities that will work for any season!
Where can I buy a capsule wardrobe?
Interested in owning a capsule wardrobe? We’ve got you.
Here are our recommendations for capsule wardrobe services.
We all love a good capsule wardrobe. The idea of paring down our overstuffed closets to a concise collection of timeless staples that can be mixed and matched to create endless chic outfits is nothing short of appealing.
And when done right, a capsule wardrobe can save you time, money, and stress in the long run.
Enter VETTA, a direct-to-consumer womenswear brand specializing in modern basics and capsule wardrobes.
Signing up for a VETTA capsule wardrobe is quick and easy.
You start by taking a brief style quiz that helps the VETTA team get an idea of your style preferences.
Then, select the type of capsule you want (e.g., business casual, everyday essentials, etc. and your preferred price point and size range.
You also have the option to add any specific items you’re looking for (e.g., a black blazer or white sneakers) to your order.
Finally, choose how often you want to receive new capsules (every month, every other month, or every quarter), and voila! Your first capsule will arrive on your doorstep in no time.
I was impressed with the quality of the clothing in my VETTA capsule.
The fabrics are soft and luxurious, and the construction is top-notch—certainly much higher quality than what I would expect from a direct-to-consumer brand.
Even better, every piece in my capsule mixed and matched seamlessly with each other, which made getting dressed each morning a breeze.
In addition to receiving a physical booklet full of styling inspiration with each order, VETTA also provides digital styling recommendations.
These recommendations are personalized based on what’s currently in your closet and what items you’ve expressed interest in receiving—talk about convenience!
If you’re looking for a hassle-free way to streamline your closet and reduce decision fatigue when getting dressed each day, I highly recommend giving VETTA a try.
Everlane is known for its timeless basics and is a great option for shopping for your capsule wardrobe.
Founded in 2010, Everlane has amassed a cult following thanks to its commitment to transparency, simple designs, and sustainable manufacturing practices.
Overall, the brand’s clothes run true to size, with great quality that feels sustainable and durable, plus their prices are fair across the board.
Everlane advertises itself as an “affordable luxury” brand, and I think that’s accurate based on my experience with the brand.
For example, the denim retails for $68 while similar styles from Madewell or J.Crew cost around $128-$148; Everlane’s wool sweater costs $100 while similar styles from Banana Republic or Abercrombie cost about $128-$148; and so on.
If you’re looking for modern basics that will last you for years to come, Everlane is worth checking out!
My absolute favorite goes-with-everything cami made of clean silk (pictured above) is from Everlane. I get so many compliments whenever I wear it.
I bought a pair of pants from ADAY, and I was completely sold.
We recommend them highly if you are looking for jaw-dropping and comfortable pieces for your capsule wardrobe.
Aday is the capsule wardrobe solution for busy women on the go.
Their capsule wardrobe comprises pieces that can be mixed and matched to create over 60 different looks. The pieces are made from high-quality fabrics that are wrinkle-resistant and machine-washable. Plus, they ship right to your door.
Not only are the pieces Versatile, but they are also sustainably sourced and an excellent choice for a capsule wardrobe.
They carry sizes from XM to XL, plus 30 days for returns and exchanges.
If minimalistic is your style, then ADAY is for you. My favorite piece is the ADAY, that’s a wrap top.
What we love about ADAY
- Their pieces hold up nicely and are very high quality
- The fit is right and absolutely worth the money
- Their pieces are sustainable and seasonless
4. GOOD AMERICAN
Good American is a clothing brand founded by Khloe Kardashian and Emma Grede that offers stylish, figure-flattering options for women of all sizes.
They are perfect for your capsule wardrobe, especially for denim and activewear.
The great part about good American is that their clothing comes in a variety of sizes from 00-30.
One of the cornerstone pieces of any capsule wardrobe is a good pair of jeans. And when it comes to jeans, Good American does not disappoint.
The brand offers a wide variety of styles to choose from, including skinny, straight, wide leg, and flare.
Plus, with sizes ranging from 00 to 24, there’s something for everyone. Our favorite is the Good Legs Ankle Skinny Jean in Blue Rinse Wash.
These jeans are super flattering and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.
If you’re on the hunt for a stylish capsule wardrobe, Good American is definitely worth checking out. With their mix of trendy and classic pieces, there’s something for everyone.
Capsule wardrobe number of items
So how many items should be in a capsule wardrobe? What is the magic number when it comes to how many pieces should be in your capsule wardrobe?
The great thing about capsule wardrobes is that they can be totally customized to fit your unique style and needs.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to how many pieces should be in your capsule wardrobe.
That said, we typically recommend starting with around 30 pieces.
This includes clothing, shoes, accessories, and outerwear. Of course, you can always add or remove items as needed.
However, most experts agree that a capsule wardrobe should have between 25 and 50 pieces.
If you live in a climate with distinct seasons, you may want to have two separate capsule wardrobes – one for warm weather and one for cold weather.
Or, if you have a more casual style, you might need fewer clothes than someone who prefers a more formal look.
The key is to choose versatile pieces that you can mix and match to create lots of different outfits.
How much does a capsule wardrobe cost?
This is the million-dollar question, and unfortunately, there’s no easy answer.
The cost of a capsule wardrobe varies depending on a number of factors, including where you live, how much you typically spend on clothes and the types of pieces you already have in your closet.
Generally speaking, though, you can expect to spend anywhere from $500 to $2000 on a capsule wardrobe.
How to make your capsule wardrobe work for you
A capsule wardrobe is a great way to simplify your life and your closet. But once you’ve pared down your wardrobe to a few key pieces, how do you ensure those pieces work for you?
The first step is to choose the right items. When paring down your wardrobe, it’s important only to keep the items you absolutely love.
If something doesn’t bring you joy or make you feel good when you wear it, get rid of it! You should also make sure to choose versatile pieces that can be mixed and matched easily
- Find Quality over Quantity
- Invest in Good staples
- Learn How To Mix And Match
- Accessorize To Add Interest
- Determine Your Style Preferences
- Be Patient And Have Fun!
The most important thing to remember when creating a capsule wardrobe is that it should work for you.
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution here! What works for someone else might not work for you, and that’s okay.
Take some time to experiment and figure out what combination of items makes you feel confident and stylish.
And once you’ve got your perfect capsule wardrobe, enjoy having fewer clothes to worry about!
How do I choose the right pieces for my capsule wardrobe?
Start by assessing your current wardrobe and determining which items you wear the most often and feel the most confidence in.
From there, you can begin to build your capsule wardrobe around those key pieces.
Consider investing in high-quality, timeless items that will last you for years.
How often should I update my capsule wardrobe?
Depending on your budget and how often you like to switch up your style, you can update your capsule wardrobe as frequently or infrequently as you want.
However, it’s generally recommended to reassess your wardrobe every season and make changes as needed.
What are the benefits of having a capsule wardrobe?
A capsule wardrobe can save you time and money in the long run by helping you streamline your wardrobe and only buy pieces that you know you’ll love and wear often.
It can also make getting dressed each day simpler and more efficient since you’ll have fewer options to choose from.
Why Knowing How To Build A Capsule Wardrobe Will Change Your Life
Sure, capsule wardrobes save time, money and mental energy. But guess what else? I’m nicer when I like my outfit. How about you?
“I’m nicer when I like my outfit.”
At first glance, this quote seems a bit shallow.
But when you think about it, an outfit can lift our confidence and make our day better.
Or do the opposite. Clothes are silently powerful, a statement of who we are. We use it to express our personality.
We want to be the best version of ourselves, don’t we? And for me, that includes looking nice and feeling my best. I’m just nicer when I like my outfit.
Clothing is a fantastic way to brighten up my mood on a rainy day, and a bonus is that those around me spend time with a better version of me!
If you don’t feel good in your outfit, your mood will follow and vice versa…
If you don’t like your outfit it may have a bad impact on your day (or night).
It may sound superficial, but it’s true! I’ve been there hundreds of times. When you feel good and comfortable with the way you look, your mood will be better.
Feeling your best boosts your confidence and makes you feel confident, whether it’s nailing that work presentation, killing that gym session or being the coolest princess at the party.
Clothes are silently powerful, a statement of who we are. We use it to express our personality.
But it’s not always easy to pick out an outfit you like. Do you often stress because you don’t know what to wear?
You just stare at your closet, you’re late and you have NO IDEA what you want to wear that’s going to make you feel your best?
Often this results in an outfit you’re not happy about.
You may even run out the door thinking you look fine, only to realize you look like you’ve got dressed with a blindfold on a few moments later.
So, What Can You Do To Avoid This?
Make sure you have your essential wardrobe pieces in place, and have a classic capsule wardrobe to work with at any time.
There are a few essential pieces that should be in your wardrobe to glue it all together.
And when you don’t know what to wear but have your basics covered, you can throw on your “safe” essential pieces and look well put together in no time.
And feel great.
When building a capsule wardrobe, classic style is key. Avoid too many colors or patterns.
Stick with neutral colors and patterns, and of course, clean lines.
How to Build A Capsule Wardrobe, The Ultimate Guide – Conclusion
By following these simple tips, you’ll be well on your way to building a capsule wardrobe that works for you!
Just remember to focus on quality over quantity, stick to a cohesive color palette, and choose versatile pieces that can be dressed up or down.
Creating a capsule wardrobe will not only save you time and money in the long run but also help you look and feel your best!
Download The Capsule Wardrobe Book Now For $0
There’s more to know, to ensure you have the most stylish, capsule wardrobe that makes you look chic, wealthy and sophisticated. What exactly are these essential wardrobe pieces? If you’re a little stuck or just need some inspiration, I can help you.
I’ve created the Essential Capsule Wardrobe Planning Guide, a free ebook where I’m sharing my top pics for essential wardrobe pieces.
Plus, it’s filled with helpful tips and tricks and includes a complete list of where to buy the affordable versions and luxury versions of everything.
Get your free copy below – just tell me where to send it!
I hope it’s helpful and can give you some inspiration. When you feel your best your day will also be better.