HOW TO BUILD A CAPSULE WARDROBE IN 3 EASY STEPS
What is a Capsule Wardrobe?
A capsule wardrobe is a small collection of clothes, that changes typically seasonally, which can be thought of as a mini collection of your wardrobe.
The main goal, if you’re using a seasonal capsule wardrobe (which is the easiest to start with), is to wear only the pieces included in your capsule wardrobe for 3 months.
At the end of the three months, you switch to a new capsule for the next season.
What are the Benefits of a Capsule Wardrobe?
1. A capsule wardrobe will save you time getting ready
Imagine never having to waste time in the morning wondering what pants to pair with the top you want to wear?
The beauty of a capsule wardrobe is that all your pieces are designed to pair well with each other.
So no matter what garment you pick up in the morning, you’ll be able to quickly and easily team it with anything else in your wardrobe.
2. A capsule wardrobe saves you money
By utilizing what you already own and only purchasing a select number of quality pieces seasonally, you’re saving money (and helping the planet) by consuming less.
3. A capsule wardrobe forces you to refine your style
By only including pieces you love in your capsule wardrobe and being selective and intentional in the pieces you choose to purchase, you’ll begin to refine your style and determine what style you truly resonate with.
4. Your closet will be more organized
We all want an aesthetic closet and a having a capsule wardrobe is the fast track to that!
By including less items in your closet, your closet will not only look good, you’ll be able to find the clothes you’re looking for faster.
Capsule Wardrobe FAQ
1. How many clothes should be in a capsule wardrobe?
The number of clothes you should include in your capsule wardrobe is completely up to you and your lifestyle.
If you’re just starting to build a capsule wardrobe, a good number to aim for is between 30-37 pieces; however, you may need to increase or decrease this number accordingly.
You will only know the number of pieces that works for you once you have tried out the capsule wardrobe system for a minimum of 3 months (if you’re making a seasonal capsule).
So try to resist the urge to adjust early on in this timeframe, to give yourself a chance to see how many pieces you actually need.
2. How much should I spend on a capsule wardrobe?
From a sustainability standpoint, the goal of a capsule wardrobe is to buy less clothing overall and to make conscious purchases when you do choose to invest.
With this in mind, you should not have to spend a fortune on a capsule wardrobe and the main priority is to utilize what you already own, instead of buying a completely new wardrobe.
Aim to wear the pieces currently in your closet that you love and invest in a few durably made items per capsule that you feel are missing from your wardrobe.
This means that the more capsules you complete, the less items you will need to purchase as time goes on, since you will slowly start to fill in all the missing holes in your closet, leaving you with a full and complete wardrobe!
Adding pieces to your wardrobe when you need to, doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.
Before purchasing a new sustainable piece, consider shopping secondhand for durably made garments at affordable prices.
If you’ve never shopped secondhand before, check out this guide and if you’re looking to buy new, be sure to read this post which covers all the things you should be looking for in brand new sustainable clothes.
3. What should be in a capsule wardrobe?
Start with your most versatile pieces that you wear on a daily basis as well as any garments that you love and go from there!
The most versatile pieces in a wardrobe, for most people, are basics, so take inventory of the basics that you have and incorporate items that will add interest to your outfits (ie. patterns, textures, on-trend pieces, etc.).
How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe
- Remove everything from your closet and organize all your pieces into the following piles:
- what you’re going to include in your current capsule wardrobe
- what you’re going to keep for a future capsule
- maybe/ undecided
- repurpose/ donate
NOTE: I do a deep dive into the steps above in The How to Shop Your Closet Master Guide, so be sure to read that first before proceeding to the next step.
If you have any clothes that will need to be repurposed, check out this post for ideas.
2. Now that you have a selection of clothes you’d like to include, narrow down the selection.
This number does not include underwear, sleepwear or activewear, but it does include jewellery and accessories like shoes, purses, watches, etc.
3. Take your capsule wardrobe out for a spin!
If you’re doing a seasonal wardrobe, give yourself 3 months to see what pieces work and what pieces don’t.
You may want to increase the number of clothes you include in your next capsule if you found it to be too limiting, or you may feel you can decrease the number of pieces you wear for an extra challenge.
Looking for some inspiration?
Below is an example of a classic transitional 31-piece capsule wardrobe.
If you’d like more information on the brands included in this capsule wardrobe check out this post and this post.
- Holland Trench; Reformation 2. Double Breasted Blazer; Nu-In 3. Beaumont Sharon Corduroy Jacket; Amour Vert
- Tapered Tailored Pants; Nu-In 2. Split Hem Leggings; Nu-In 3. Finn Skirt in Cream Rib; Whimsy + Row 4. Frankie Jean Ankle Rigid Rally; Nobody Denim 5. High Waist Tapered Trouser; KOTN 6. Agolde Pinch Waist High Rise Kick Jean, KOTN 7. 100% Recycled Button Detail Ribbed Knitted Midi Skirt, Nu-In
- Stretch-Fit Tee; Pact 2. Romie Turtleneck Top; Filippa K 3. Cinched Waist Shirt; Nu-In 4. Jasmine Cardigan in Cream; People Tree 5. Upcycled Rib Polo; For Days 6. Odilia Slub Tee; Amour Vert 7. Papillon Cupro Blouse; Amour Vert 8. Sleeveless Turtleneck Ribbed Sweater; Nu-In
- Greta Work Tote; Pixie Mood 2. Aurora Satchel Bag; Pixie Mood 3. Lady Bag 2; Doshi 4. Zaha Belt Bag Caramel; Luxtra London
- Vero Cork; Nae Vegan Shoes 2. Anita Black Vegan Sandals; Nae Vegan Shoes 3. Unisex Ace Oatmeal Shoes; Nu-In 4. Vegan Concept White Black Sneakers; Womsh 5. Capela Black Vegan Shoes; Nae Vegan Shoes 6. Morgan B Camel Faux Leather Vegan Boots; Beyond Skin
Have you tried a capsule wardrobe?
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
Until next time,