A capsule wardrobe is a collection of clothing that consists of a few essential and timeless items that can be mixed and matched to create various outfits for different occasions. A capsule wardrobe can help you simplify your closet, save time and money, and express your personal style. In this blog post, we will show you how to build a capsule wardrobe in three easy steps, with examples and tips.
What is a Capsule Wardrobe?
The term capsule wardrobe was coined by Susie Faux, the owner of a London boutique called Wardrobe, in the 1970s. She defined it as a few essential and timeless items, such as skirts and pants, that can be supplemented with seasonal pieces1. The concept became popular in 1985 with designer Donna Karan’s first capsule collection called “Seven Easy Pieces”, which included a bodysuit, skirt, tailored jacket, dress, something leather, a white shirt, and a cashmere sweater2.
Today, a capsule wardrobe is generally understood as a collection of clothing that contains a limited number of items (usually between 20 and 40) that can be worn interchangeably to create various outfits for different seasons and occasions. There is no one-size-fits-all formula for creating a capsule wardrobe; it depends on your personal preference, lifestyle, budget, and climate. However, there are some common principles that can guide you in the process:
- Choose quality over quantity. Invest in well-made pieces that are durable, comfortable, and fit you well. Avoid fast fashion and trends that will go out of style quickly.
- Choose neutral colors and basic patterns. Opt for colors and patterns that are easy to mix and match, such as black, white, gray, navy, beige, brown, denim, stripes, checks, etc. You can also add some pops of color or prints to spice up your outfits.
- Choose versatile pieces that can be dressed up or down. Pick items that can be worn for different occasions and seasons, such as a classic trench coat, a little black dress, a pair of jeans, a white shirt, etc. You can also accessorize them with different shoes, jewelry, scarves, or hats to change up your look.
How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe in Three Steps
Building a capsule wardrobe may seem daunting at first, but it can be done in three simple steps:
- Step 1: Declutter your closet. The first step is to get rid of the clothes that you don’t need, want, or wear anymore. This will help you clear the clutter and focus on the clothes that you love and suit you best. To declutter your closet, you can use the following methods:
- The KonMari Method: This method was created by Marie Kondo, the author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. It involves taking out all your clothes from your closet and sorting them into two piles: keep or discard. You only keep the items that spark joy for you, and discard the rest3.
- The Four-Pile Method: This method involves sorting your clothes into four piles: love, maybe, donate, or trash. You keep the items that you love and wear regularly, put aside the items that you are unsure about for later evaluation, donate the items that are still in good condition but don’t fit or suit you anymore, and trash the items that are damaged or stained4.
- The Hanger Method: This method involves turning all your hangers backwards in your closet. Every time you wear an item, you turn the hanger back to normal. After a certain period of time (such as six months or a year), you discard the items that are still on backwards hangers, as they indicate that you haven’t worn them in a long time5.
- Step 2: Choose your core capsule pieces. The second step is to choose the essential and timeless pieces that will form the foundation of your capsule wardrobe. These are the items that you can wear year-round, for different occasions, and with different combinations. The number and type of core pieces may vary depending on your preference, but here are some examples of what they could include:
- Tops: A white shirt, a black t-shirt, a striped t-shirt, a denim shirt, a sweater, a cardigan, a blazer.
- Bottoms: A pair of jeans, a pair of black pants, a pair of khaki pants, a pencil skirt, a midi skirt.
- Dresses: A little black dress, a shirt dress, a wrap dress.
- Outerwear: A trench coat, a leather jacket, a denim jacket.
- Shoes: A pair of flats, a pair of heels, a pair of sneakers, a pair of boots.
- Step 3: Create 10 everyday outfits. The third step is to create 10 everyday outfits using your core capsule pieces. These are the outfits that you can wear for work, casual, or formal occasions. You can also add some seasonal or statement pieces to your core pieces to create more variety and interest. Here are some examples of how you can create 10 everyday outfits with your core capsule pieces:
- Outfit 1: White shirt + jeans + flats + trench coat
- Outfit 2: Black t-shirt + black pants + heels + blazer
- Outfit 3: Striped t-shirt + khaki pants + sneakers + denim jacket
- Outfit 4: Denim shirt + pencil skirt + boots + leather jacket
- Outfit 5: Sweater + midi skirt + flats + cardigan
- Outfit 6: Shirt dress + heels + blazer
- Outfit 7: Wrap dress + flats + denim jacket
- Outfit 8: Little black dress + heels + leather jacket
- Outfit 9: Black t-shirt + jeans + sneakers + trench coat
- Outfit 10: White shirt + black pants + boots + sweater
What to Do with What’s Left
After building your capsule wardrobe, you may wonder what to do with the clothes that you didn’t include in your capsule. Here are some options:
- Donate them to a charity or a thrift store. This is a great way to give your clothes a second life and help someone in need.
- Sell them online or at a consignment store. This is a great way to make some extra cash and clear some space in your closet.
- Swap them with your friends or family. This is a great way to refresh your wardrobe and have some fun with your loved ones.
- Store them away for later use. This is a great option if you have some clothes that are seasonal, sentimental, or special, and you don’t want to get rid of them. You can store them in a separate closet, a suitcase, or a vacuum-sealed bag, and revisit them when you need them.
Building a capsule wardrobe can help you save time and money, simplify your closet, and express your personal style. By following these three steps, you can create a capsule wardrobe that suits your needs and preferences. We hope you found this blog post helpful and informative. If you have any questions or feedback, please leave them in the comments section below. Thank you for reading!