How to Create a Capsule Wardrobe

January 6, 2016

How to create a capsule wardrobe

Do you ever find yourself staring at a wardrobe full of clothes, thinking you have nothing to wear? Is your wardrobe overflowing with so many clothes you’ve forgotten what you own? Are you overwhelmed by the number of clothes in your closet? Yes!! Then a capsule wardrobe might be for you. I have created a step by step guide on how to create a capsule wardrobe to make the process as easy as possible for you.

What is a Capsule Wardrobe?

Simply put a capsule wardrobe is a small wardrobe made up of versatile pieces you love. There isn’t really much more to it than that. Around 37 items are more than enough to get you through a season. However the best thing about capsule wardrobes is they are personal to you, so if you want 50 pieces to go for it, you can also have as little as you want.

Where to start

Once you’ve decided you want to create a capsule wardrobe, the best way to get started is by purging your wardrobe. You can read about my wardrobe purge to get you started, also check out my tips for clearing out your closet. You have to be really ruthless when purging your wardrobe to make sure you only keep pieces you truly love and enjoy wearing. If you’re unsure about getting rid of anything box it up and put it away out of sight (the attic or garage are ideal) for a few months and if you don’t go back to get it, then it’s OK to throw away.

Know Your Lifestyle

Know you’ve purged your wardrobe and only have clothes you truly love, it’s time to think about your lifestyle. Start by looking at your diary for the next season. Do you have any special events to attend (birthday parties, wedding, conferences, job interviews etc)? Is there anything else coming up which you should plan for (holidays, trips etc)? Now think about your everyday life, how much time to you spend at work? How much time do you spend at home? How much time to you spend out with friends? Try creating a pie chart to help you visualise how you spend your time. Do you have to dress differently for each activity or can you wear the same outfit to work as you would on the weekend? Knowing your lifestyle is a very important step in creating your capsule wardrobe as it has to work with you.

Picking a Colour Scheme

One of the main advantages of having a capsule wardrobe is that everything works well together. One of the easiest ways to ensure every piece in your capsule wardrobe works together is to create a colour scheme. Think about what colours you’re drawn to and enjoy wearing. If you want you could have your colours done (although I’m not keen on that method and think if you love a colour go ahead and wear it). You may want to get your colouring pencils out and see how all your colours look together. You should have at least 2 major colours in your capsule wardrobe, I suggest keeping these fairly neutral. Then pick a few accent colours to keep things interesting, these can be bolder and help to show your personality.

How to create a capsule wardrobeWhat do You Want Your Wardrobe to Say About You?

Whether we like it or not what we wear says something about who we are to the world. Grab that paper and pen again and think about what message you would like your clothes to say to the world. Try a little word association to help get you started. Write down any words which you would like to describe your style. For example Chic, Classic, Urban, Girly, Bold, Professional, Elegant, Grungy, BoHo, Sporty etc. Keep these words in mind while you’re creating your capsule wardrobe.

Finding Inspiration

Think about celebrities and bloggers whose style you admire. Have a think about (write it down if it helps) What is it about their style you like? Would their style work for your lifestyle? If not could you adapt it to suit? If you have a Pinterest account create a style inspiration board, pinning images of outfits you like and anything else which inspires you. If you don’t have Pinterest you could create an old fashion inspiration board, using cut outs from magazines or print out images. Do what works for you. Just find a way to store everything which inspires you.

What are Your Go-To Outfits?

Once you’ve finished your wardrobe purge and have identified how you spend your time, chosen your colour scheme, thought about what your wardrobe says about you and found plenty of inspiration. Now is the time to think about what outfits you wear. Grab some paper and a pen and write down a list of your go-to outfits. If you’re unsure think about what you wore last week – what items made up your outfits. For example, a go-to outfit might be skinny jeans + loose fitting top + ankle boots. Think about whether you feel good in these outfits, do these outfits match your lifestyle. Have a look through the clothes you’ve kept, can you create these outfits from what you have. If not write down what you will need to add to your capsule wardrobe. Try to limit the number of clothes you purchase as this is an exercise in minimalism and the idea is to reduce the amount you own. For your first capsule wardrobe, you shouldn’t need to buy anything as you will already own enough clothing. If you are planning to purchase a couple of things try not to buy more than 5.

Creating Your Wardrobe

Now it’s time to sort out what clothes will be going into your capsule wardrobe. Have another look through the clothes you decided to keep during your wardrobe purge. Do they work for your lifestyle? Do they represent you? Can they be used in a variety of outfits? Hopefully, the answer to all these questions is still yes and they can be added to your capsule wardrobe. I find it helps to write down every item in categories (tops, bottoms, shoes etc), this way you can clearly see how many of each category you have. If you have to purchase any items to complete your capsule wardrobe, do so now sticking to your budget. Try not to worry about the total number of items, as this is about what works for you. I recommend sticking to around 40 pieces with a maximum of 60, but remember this is your decision.

What Not To Include

Your capsule wardrobe should include all the clothes you wear on a daily basis. For example, your tops, bottoms, dresses and shoes. A good rule of thumb is if you would wear it to the supermarket it counts. Don’t include accessories (bags, jewellery, scarves etc), work out gear, loungewear, underwear or sleepwear. You may also want to exclude cocktail attire. It’s always useful to have a couple of smarter dresses separate from you capsule wardrobe but that you can still wear if an unexpected occasion comes up (such as a last minute wedding invite). This saves that last minute panic shopping for a new dress.

Enjoy Your Capsule Wardrobe

Remember that no capsule wardrobe will ever be truly perfect, but with a bit of work, you can get pretty close. Dramatically reducing your wardrobe is going to be a challenge at first, but is well worth the effect. Before you know it you’ll be downsizing all aspects of your life.
How to create a capsule wardrobe
Thinking about creating a capsule wardrobe but don't know where to start? Read this easy to follow step by step guide to creating your perfect capsule wardrobe
How to create a capsule wardrobe today! Click through to read this easy to follow step by step guide to creating your perfect capsule wardrobe


8 responses to “How to Create a Capsule Wardrobe”

  1. I think this is fab to start the new year with no longer buying things you dont need makes thinks a lot easier

    • admin says:

      Yes its a great way to start the year. No shopping and living with less clothes is so much simpler – especially when getting dressed in the morning.

  2. I think this is fab to start the new year with no longer buying things you dont need makes thinks a lot easier

  3. Great post..I really need to get rid of a few prices I've not worn for ages & sort my colours out 🙂
    Heidi x

  4. So timesaving, capsule wardrobes are really a great thing for all hardworking women out there! 🙂

    Scandinavian slow fashion coming soon to

  5. Jen says:

    Focusing on building a capsule wardrobe is a great goal. Once you start focusing on what you really need you’ll soon stop wasting money on clothes you never wear. Good Luck

  6. Ollie Benefer says:

    Love your posts. When you wrote ” stop buying clothes for your fantasy lifestyle” in one of your other blogs it really struck a cord for me. Looking in my wardrobe I realised that a lot of my clothes were just that. Love them but never worn and probably never will. I’m now following your advice and have started to purge and re- evaluate all my clothes according to my life now (I’m 52 by the way) to achieve a capsual wardrobe that will stop the cycle of buying for all the wrong reasons.

  7. Teeara says:

    Such a great post. I don’t think people realize how little changes can make a big difference. So glade I came across your blog!!


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