How To Create The Ultimate Capsule Wardrobe

The term ‘capsule wardrobe’ has been buzzing around the fashion world for a while now. We for one can see why, who doesn’t want a curated selection of their favourite pieces that can be easily styled into chic outfits?

There are so many reasons for the rising popularity of the minimal wardrobe. It makes the whole process of choosing an outfit so much easier. It focuses on loved pieces rather than fast fashion’s constantly changing trends. Really, whatever the reason, we think 2020 is the decade of embracing the scaled back wardrobe!

Creating your own capsule wardrobe can seem daunting, how do you know what to pick? How can is it possible to ensure all the pieces can be wardrobe interchangeably together? How do you make sure you have chosen the right items? 

While there is no magic formula for creating the perfect downsized selection, there are ways of making the whole process much more simple. Once completed, your capsule wardrobe won’t only save you time in the morning but will help you define your personal style and even save some coins. What not to love!

So, What Actually is a Capsule Wardrobe? 

woman sorting through her capsule wardrobe
PHOTO: @CAROLINE_JOY

When you search the term ‘capsule wardrobe’ in google you will see a few different results: 

‘A collection of clothes and accessories that include only items considered essential’ 

‘A person’s basic collection of coordinating clothes that can be used to form the basis of outfits for all occasions’ 

‘A set of clothing, normally around 24 items, which can be mixed and matched to create a wide variety of outfits’ 

These show what is generally meant by the term, but, we think the joy of creating a capsule wardrobe is that you are able to perfectly design it for your life and style. After all, this what is all about, a selection that perfectly fits your needs.

This is why this article is not going to show you the pieces you need to buy for your collection, rather, how you can make it out of the piece already hanging in your cupboard.

First; Figure Out What Really Matters To You 

woman sitting on a chair with her feet up

Rather than being overwhelmed by your wardrobe, a capsule collection makes things simple and manageable, by focusing on pieces you love that are easy to wear together.

First, think about what you really want. How do you spend most of your time? What clothes make you feel your most comfortable and confident? Be honest with yourself, don’t opt for trendy, Instagram friendly pieces. Just choose your favourite items that work best with your lifestyle.

Next, It’s Time To Get Sorting   

pile of clothes on a chair

This is probably the most arduous part of building your capsule wardrobe, it’s time to sort through all the pieces you already own. 

 To do this, we recommend taking everything out of your wardrobe and draws going through it piece by piece, sorting it into different piles. These piles should be divided into different sections:

Love: these are your favourite pieces you often wear and can’t live without.

Like: clothes that aren’t quite your favourite but one’s you aren’t ready to part with (it’s okay to have these, just keep an eye on how much you actually wear them!)

Donate: These are clothes that don’t really fit you anymore, donating them can be a really great way of getting them to a new home. These days almost everything can be donated, even bras! If you think they might be a little too damaged to be donated, you can send them off to be recycled and repurposed.  

Now, it’s Time to Focus on Which Pieces Will Comprise Your Capsule Wardrobe 

image of wardrobe with clothing hanging
PHOTO: @CAROLINE_JOY

The process of going through all of your clothes leaves you in a good position to determine what it is you actually regularly enjoy wearing. Now you know, it’s time to curate these items into a capsule collection. 

Deciding which specific pieces are to go into this scaled-down selection will depend on your personal preferences. For example, if nothing makes you feel more gorgeous than a simple button-down shirt, you will select this style in more colours than a dress lover would.  Keep in mind that if you don’t feel they suit your body type you are likely to reach for them less frequently.

To give you a starting point, here is a suggested list of 15 items to include:

A flattering pair of jeans or trousers if prefered

A button-down shirt 

A simple t-shirt 

Little black dress

Skirt 

Heels or Smart Boots  

Flats 

Athletic shoes 

Leather Jacket 

Knitted jumper 

A piece of jewellery

A handbag 

A belt 

Scarf 

Sunglasses 

Don’t worry about sticking to a specific number of items, just aim for a capsule wardrobe of under 50 pieces.

black dress hanging on a rail

When the warmer months roll around you will want to swap up some items. You can either completely change your whole wardrobe or replace those items with darker colours or heavier fabrics for lighter alternatives.

Just remember, when choosing which items will compose your collection ask yourself: can I wear this with at least three other items? If the answer is no, it isn’t worth taking up the valuble space. 

Select a Colour Palette  

brown jumper hanging

One of the most intimidating things about a capsule wardrobe, is, how to style all the pieces together. This whole process can be made a whole lot easier by choosing a specific colour palette. 

Your colour choices can depend on many things. Which are your favourite colours to wear, what colours best suit you, which are seasonally appropriate? Selecting just a few key shades really simplifies the process of creating stylish outfits.  

If you are worried that limiting the range of colours will create dull outfits, why not play with texture. Select a wide range of fabrics, from wool to leather and this will help keep everything cohesive and interesting.

If you find the process of defining your own colour palette all too complicated, we are here to help. Follow the chart below to help find a great winter-appropriate capsule colour range.

colour chart for a capsule wardrobe
Here is a winter-appropriate colour chart for some inspiration!

By adding one or two patterned or printed pieces can be great too, a striped top, for example, has always been a classic.

Will you be trying out a capsule wardrobe? What are your key pieces? Let us know in the comment!