How to Make a Capsule Wardrobe

How to make a capsule Wardrobe

How to Make a Simple Capsule Wardrobe

Your wardrobe likely consists of clothing you’ve collected over the years. The styles have changed, and maybe they don’t fit quite the same anymore, yet you still hold on to each item.

With all that you’ve collected, have you ever looked at your wardrobe and struggled to find anything to wear? Even though your wardrobe seems endless. 

You may be surprised (or not) to hear you are definitely not alone.

Many people struggle to make what should be an easy decision when choosing what to wear for the day. It can be frustrating every day and make you feel like you just want to get rid of everything and start over. Not a bad idea, though, right? 

If you’re struggling with your wardrobe, the answer may be to make a capsule wardrobe. Can you imagine a nice selection of well-curated outfits? Items that can easily be mixed and matched.  That you will love?

This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about capsule wardrobes. What they are, how to start one, and how to keep it up over the years. 


What is a Capsule Wardrobe?

Many people are turning to the capsule wardrobe to solve their clothing problems. What started as a way to declutter and become more minimalist has blossomed into a revolutionary way to style yourself.

A capsule wardrobe is a simple collection of essential items that are timeless and never go out of style. Every item you choose will be something you absolutely love to wear all year round. 

Setting yourself up with a capsule wardrobe consisting of pants, tops, dresses, shoes, and accessories. Each item can be styled in many ways by mixing and matching, dressing up or down, and basically creating endless combinations that embody your style.

With a capsule wardrobe, your closet is easy to maintain and manage and allows you to choose outfits you are comfortable in much more quickly without too much stress! 

capsule wardrobe pants


What Makes a Capsule Wardrobe Great?

A capsule wardrobe can benefit anyone of any age and style. Choosing a selection of basic high-quality clothes that make it easy for you to choose an outfit. Choosing items for all seasons makes life simpler.

What’s really great is when you select your capsule wardrobe, it can be based on your likes and doesn’t have to be boring! When you transition to a capsule wardrobe, there are a lot of surprising benefits that come with it.

Let’s go over why transitioning to a capsule wardrobe is worth it. 


Your Closet Will Be Less Cluttered and More Organized

Making a capsule wardrobe starts with decluttering all the items that you no longer like.  These efforts lead you to own less and have more space and organization in your closet.

Your closet will have more room, and you’ll be able to find things easier. A clutter-free and organized closet can be kept up and cleaned easier, reducing your stress and allowing you to breathe easily. 

Watch my Minimalist Capsule Wardrobe Here:


You Save More Money 

It’s a simple concept. When you are purchasing less clothing, you are saving more money.

Capsule wardrobes are built with fewer items, and you will only need to update them every now and then.

When you update, you will shop with more intention and thought behind it to ensure your purchase is quality. With a capsule wardrobe in place, you can spend your money on quality clothing that is made eco-friendly and will last longer. 


Boosts Your Confidence 

You will feel confident wearing everything in your wardrobe because it’s full of items you adore.

You’ll feel fresh and stylish for any event, whether it’s going out for a walk to get coffee or heading to a meeting. Confidence in your style reflects in all areas of your life.


You’ll Have a Signature Style

Your capsule wardrobe will be made up of pieces that define your personal style.

After you declutter and purchase the new items you need you’ll end up with the perfect wardrobe made with intention based on your style alone. 

dress with sweater


Reduces Your Decision Fatigue

People with large wardrobes often struggle with decision fatigue. Decision fatigue happens when you become mentally exhausted from having to make too many decisions.

This is when you might say “who cares” about something.  It’s not fun to begin every day going through a ton of clothes and wondering what to wear.

A simple capsule wardrobe makes getting ready for the day easy.  Because your wardrobe is made up of clothing you know fits well, can be mixed and matched, and is your style.

You can save your important decision-making abilities for the things that really matter throughout your day. 


It’s Better for the Environment

The thing about having a large selection of clothes you collect over the years is that the more you have, the more you toss. With fast fashion still trending, clothing waste is higher than ever.

Fast fashion is an industry of poorly produced clothing that wears and tears easily, forcing you to continuously purchase new items.

The amount of waste produced by fast fashion damages the environment, and many production processes are inhumane. 

Even when you donate clothes, many of those clothes may not sell and end up eventually in landfills. When you go with a limited wardrobe that works well every day, you limit the amount you purchase and minimize the amount you need to get rid of. 

capsule wardrobe sweater long


How to Make a Capsule Wardrobe That Works for You

Creating the perfect capsule wardrobe takes a little time and effort, but you’ll be grateful you did it in the long run.

Building your capsule wardrobe requires you to work with intention through every step. For many of us, it’s likely been years since we took a good hard look at all of the clothes we own.

So let’s get into how to make a capsule wardrobe that works for you.


Step 1: Declutter Your Current Wardrobe 

The first step you must take before creating your simple capsule wardrobe is to declutter your current wardrobe. Do a thorough audit of everything you own. Audit every item to see if it’s something that you will actually wear.

You can take it slow and start by separating it into piles. Then you can re-evaluate to ensure you are making the right choice.

Try out these piles before you purge your closet.

Love It– These are the items you absolutely love and like to wear all the time.

Maybe – Items in this pile are something you may have a sentimental attachment to or do not fit quite right. These clothing items can be stored in a way that is easily accessible just in case you want to give them a shot another day. 

No – The items in this pile are something you do not want anymore.  They could be out of style, don’t fit, look worn out, or you just don’t want to wear them anymore.

Seasonal – You can separate your clothes into seasonal piles if it makes it easier. Still, it’s easy to focus on just building your capsule wardrobe and then worrying about seasonal outfit changes. 

Donate your unwanted clothes in good condition to a charity of your choice, and get ready to build your ideal wardrobe.

What’s left can be a base for your capsule wardrobe.

Closet decluttering


Step 2: Evaluate Your Lifestyle and Personal Style

As you declutter, this is a good time to start analyzing your lifestyle and personal style. You’ll want to ensure you ask these important questions throughout the process as you define your style.

You’ll want to curate a functional and versatile wardrobe that can be paired with any other item and styled in several ways. 

  • What kind of activities are you engaging in on a regular day-to-day basis?
  • What are your hobbies or what do you like to do in your free time? 
  • What is truly your personal style?
  • Do you like bright and bold colors, or are you a more neutral tone person? Do you like casual outfits, or do you have more of a unique, eclectic style? 

Asking yourself these questions will help you become more aware of what you really like and what you can live without.


Step 3: Plan Your Capsule Wardrobe

Now that you have a good idea of your style and what you’d like to wear regularly, it’s time to start planning your capsule wardrobe.

Many people will tell you to start with a certain number of items per category, but it’s really up to you to decide.

It depends on your lifestyle and how often you really want to do laundry. You can start with three in each category as a good baseline.


Set a Budget

This is a good idea to ensure you don’t break the bank when shopping for the items you need to complete your capsule wardrobe.

Sit down, make a checklist of what’s missing, and set a budget for each category to ensure you stay within your financial goals. 


Choose Your Wardrobe Color Palette 

Choose a color palette for your wardrobe that allows you to easily mix and match items without worrying if they will go together.

You can add a few accent colors to change it up and add a little spice. 

capsule wardrobe


Choose Core Items for Each Type of Clothing Category

Starting with what you have left from your declutter, build on your capsule wardrobe by choosing items that fit your style in each category. 

Bottoms – Choose jeans, trousers, skirts, and shorts, depending on your style. You’ll want to choose bottoms that fit well and can be worn with multiple tops. One idea is denim being different washes can change up the style.

Tops – For your tops, you’ll want to choose an assortment of t-shirts, tank tops, sweaters, blouses, and long-sleeve shirts depending on where you live. For tops, try to think of items that can be layered or worn on their own. Think about if they can be worn all year round or will the tops be rotated seasonally. 

Dresses and Jumpsuits 

If you are into dresses this can be a really easy way to have a very small capsule wardrobe.  Because dresses eliminate the need for mixing and matching.  It’s a one-and-done item. Timeless styles are a great option because they can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. 

Jackets – Having a few different jacket options depending on where you live could be a good idea.  A capsule wardrobe should be practical.  If you live in a cold climate then you might want more options.

Shoes – Shoes are a tough one because you don’t need much, but you want to ensure your shoes can work with every outfit. Your best bet is to choose at least three to five pairs to start and make sure they work with all your clothes. A good pick is a simple sneaker, some simple neutral heels, sandals, flats, and a boot. 

Neutral shades are going to be your best bet when selecting items to go in your capsule wardrobe. They are a more versatile and safe choice, and you always have the option of adding a fun, bold piece. 

capsule wardrobe dress


Step 4: Create a Few Key Outfits

The final step is the fun part. You get to try on all your clothes and see what outfits and pairings you like the best.

Take photos to keep track of the looks you like. Have yourself a little fashion show to prepare different outfit combinations.

Having a few good set standard outfits is a great baseline, but mixing and matching will give you more options.


Tips on How to Keep Up Your Capsule Wardrobe 

Making a simple capsule wardrobe is about creating simplicity without restrictions.

You don’t want to completely restrict yourself from the ability to buy something new when you happen to see something you like in the store. A capsule wardrobe is a great baseline, and you can add to it and change it up as you see fit.

The biggest takeaway should always be to remember to be intentional when you make new purchases.

Maintaining and upkeeping your capsule wardrobe requires a mindset shift. You don’t want your capsule wardrobe to just build and build until you are overwhelmed with the amount of clothing you have available.

Remember to shift your mindset to be ok with a smaller amount of clothing and shoes. Only purchase things you truly love and need/want in your wardrobe. 

Here are a few tips to ensure you maintain your capsule wardrobe successfully.


Consistently Audit Your Wardrobe

While you don’t have to do it every day, it’s a good idea to revisit your wardrobe regularly. That way, you can ensure every item is still functional and embodies your individual style.

Our sense of style can change over time, and an item you once loved you may not want to wear any longer. Be intentional and remove anything unnecessary at least once a year. 


Use the One-In, One-Out Rule 

If you want to stay on top of your capsule wardrobe ensure it doesn’t get out of hand. 

Use the one-in and one-out method when you purchase a new item. If you purchase a new long-sleeve shirt, choose one existing long-sleeve shirt in your wardrobe to get rid of. 


Shop Less Often 

Try to make it a point to go shopping less than you used to. It helps to remove the temptation to purchase clothes you may not need and stop you from overbuying.

If you do need to go shopping, shop with intention. Ask yourself if you truly need an item or remind yourself if you have something similar. 


Replace Items That Aren’t Working 

When you have your capsule wardrobe established, you may think an item is going to work great at first, and over time, you may find that you aren’t wearing it as much.

Give yourself permission to let go of that item and replace it with something that may be more functional. 

Creating a capsule wardrobe frees your closet from clutter and makes getting dressed fun. Choose a new outfit every day without stress!

You’ll have a closet full of clothes you love to wear and feel your best in. Remember, it’s an ongoing process, and making updates as needed is okay. The best thing about a capsule wardrobe is how quick and easy it will be to get ready each day. 

Read more Capsule Wardrobe Posts:

Maternity Capsule Wardrobe Ideas

Spring Capsule Wardrobe Tips

How to Make a Winter Capsule Wardrobe

10 Things I learned from decluttering my Wardrobe

Fall Capsule Wardrobe Tips and Tricks

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