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How To Build A Business Capsule Wardrobe (The Ultimate Guide To A Business Casual Capsule Wardrobe)

As a working woman, you probably already have too much on your mind to remember all of your meetings, deadlines, and projects.

And if you have a family, you must remember what groceries you need to buy and more things one person can do in a single day.

The point is that women have a lot on their minds, so anything we can do to make getting up and dressed in the mornings easier is worth doing.

When that happens, a business capsule wardrobe can help. But not just any business capsule wardrobe, but a stylish one!

Here’s my guide to a chic and classic business capsule wardrobe, including why you need one, what to put in it, and more!

Let’s get started.

What is a Business capsule Wardrobe?

Business Capsule Wardrobe - A woman wearing a business casual outfit

A capsule wardrobe is not a new idea.

(Far from it!)

A capsule wardrobe is basically a closet with only a few essential and classic pieces that can be added to seasonal pieces and accessories.

Susie Faux, a shop owner in London in the 1970s, came up with this idea.

She thought that the fashion industry was impractical and wasteful.

Her goal was to get women to spend less money on cheap clothes that didn’t fit well, and were probably out of style the next year.

(A God-send to all women, if you think about it)

Instead, she wanted to make clothes that women could buy that were of good quality, simple, and easy to wear in many different ways.

These benefits of a capsule wardrobe still apply to your work clothes!

Your business capsule wardrobe is made up of high-quality pieces that can be used in many different ways.

It is meant to help you simplify your wardrobe, save time getting ready in the morning, and stop feeling like you have to make decisions all the time.

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What You Need For A Business Capsule Wardrobe

Business Capsule Wardrobe - A woman standing up leaning on a gray chair

There are a lot of factors when it comes to a business capsule wardrobe.

(Dress codes, policies, and whatnot)

Here are just some of the essentials that you need.

Company Dress Code

Business Capsule Wardrobe - A woman wearing business attire highlighting her tops

The things you need will depend on the dress code at your job.

This guide is for a dress code called ‘business casual.’

(Which seems to be the most common dress code these days.)

However, a lot of business casual pieces can be easily dressed up.

For example, blazers are easy to wear with jeans for a casual look or with tailored pants for a business casual and/or professional look.

Wear What Suits You (Business-Appropriate, Please)

Business Capsule Wardrobe - A woman wearing a white top and black bottom

I like to keep my work capsule wardrobe between 5 and 10 tops that I can switch out every two weeks.

This number seems higher than what you’ve seen in other guides.

(I did try as an experiment for work to try to wear the same outfit for 21 days using fewer clothes)


I find that I like to stick with 5, but I find that 5-10 is more exciting and less like the same thing over and over.

Also, you’ll need more layers when it’s colder, so having 10 tops lets you do that.

When it comes to pants, I think less is more.

If you have a good pair of black pants, they can take you a long way, and you’ll never get tired of them.

I usually only wear 5 pairs of pants.

15 items give you room for seasonal changes and keep you from getting bored because you can switch them out every two weeks.

It’s kind of supposed to, really, since this guide is realistic and made to last.

So 15 items doesn’t seem like a lot for a work capsule wardrobe, does it?

If you think that’s a very small number, you can change it to fit your lifestyle, but don’t be too idealistic.

If the numbers keep going up, you’ll eventually have a normal wardrobe.

(Which you don’t want since you’re reading this article)

How To Build Your Own Business Capsule Wardrobe

Business Capsule Wardrobe - A brown walk-in closet with minimal clothing

Instead of creating a basic guide as most people do it.

Let’s switch it up by doing a deep dive and give you a step-by-step guide so it’ll be easier for you to follow through.

1. Explore Your Closet (Get Rid Of Unwanted Things)

Business Capsule Wardrobe - An empty closet with hangers

Go through your closet and get rid of any business casual clothes that you could wear to work but don’t actually use.

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This way, you’ll be sorting out your closet of unwanted pieces of clothing and also check what clothes you might also need.

The idea is to keep your work clothes separate from your everyday clothes.

(You’ll be surprised to see some clothes that might work well on your capsule wardrobe choice by giving yourself 5 more minutes to explore)

2. Don’t Forget Your Company Dress Code (And Seasonal Changes)

Business Capsule Wardrobe - A business woman carrying a briefcase is walking out of a building

Think about the dress code at your job and the weather where you live.

Do you live in a warmer place where you don’t need as many coats?

Because you live in a cold place, do you need more coats?

Do you need everything because you live in a place that can’t decide what to do?

Are dresses not your style?

(Which is totally fine if you don’t)

Just leave them out.

This will make room for other things that you love.

3. Spruce Up Your Wardrobe With Colors And Patterns

Business Capsule Wardrobe - A woman choosing a colorful dress wardrobe for another woman

Look for a pattern of colors.

It’s easy to throw in whatever shades or patterns you want, but the key to versatility and longevity is finding a color palette that works well together.

Once you have everything laid out, it’s time to narrow it down to colors that you love wearing all throughout the season.

(Think back to what I mentioned on having 5 to 10 tops and 5 bottoms, etc.)

How many do you want in each category?

Write down those numbers to help you narrow your choices.

4. Be Versatile, Always

Business Capsule Wardrobe - A collection of jackets and sweaters on a rack

One of the benefits of any capsule wardrobe is being versatile.

You choose the clothes that you love that can be interchangeable no matter what you do.

So don’t be afraid of trying out new ways of how to dress.

(Don’t be too comfortable wearing the same clothes all the time)

5. Keep Improving Your Wardrobe

Business Capsule Wardrobe - A woman picking clothes to wear for business casual

Fill in any holes you’ve found while you’re wearing your capsule wardrobe.

(It’s not as common sense as you think)

Like, do you wish you had bought more blouses and fewer basics?

Does your cold office need more sweaters?

Did you notice that you never put on cardigans?

All of this can be changed as you go along until you have the perfect capsule wardrobe.

One good thing about this is that it helps you figure out your style and what works and what doesn’t for you and your life.

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My Go-To Essential Staple Pieces To Add For Your Business Capsule Wardrobe

Business Capsule Wardrobe - A person picking clothes from a rack

These are just some of my recommendations to get started on your business capsule if you’re at a loss.

(Don’t worry, we’ve all been there)

Tops (Your Staple Piece)

Business Capsule Wardrobe - A woman wearing a smart business attire

You want to go with basic tees (preferable neutral colors) with short sleeves, bodysuits, and long-sleeve tees.

Don’t also forget a blouse, cardigan, sweater, and silk cami to come in handy.

Lastly, get some jackets like a blazer, cropped jacket, tweed blazer, or denim jacket.

These are usually what you want to get for your tops in any business capsule wardrobe.

Bottoms Are Equally Important

Business Capsule Wardrobe - A woman wearing a skirt paired with her smart business attire

Suggestions that I would like to put out are dress pants, culottes, paper bag pants, slacks, denim, and wide-leg pants.

If you want to go for a simpler but equally fashionable look, look for skirts and dresses.

Such as a mini skirt, pencil skirt, maxi skirt, sheath dress, or a-line dress.

(Again, don’t forget the dress code, ladies)

Shoes (Wear Stylish But Comfortable Pairs)

Business Capsule Wardrobe - A person wearing boots

You can go with a mixture of shoes even in a capsule wardrobe.

(Just don’t overdo it)

I recommend getting one or two of these options:

knee-high boots, ankle boots, heels, loafers, and flats.

Don’t Skim On Accessories

Business Capsule Wardrobe - Several lady accessories laid out on a white backdrop

Accessories can elevate your business capsule wardrobe to the next level.

Gold hoops, a pearl necklace, a gold pendant necklace, a pair of statement earrings, a leather or gold watch, and diamond studs are all top picks.

As for bags that you can use for your outfit, go for one that fits you well.

A leather tote bag, purse, or even a laptop bag can work well with some outfits.

Ask yourself many questions regarding how important these individual accessories are to your everyday work life.

Start Today By Exploring New Outfits You Can Use

Business Capsule Wardrobe - Women sitting around a table talking

Take into account that you’ll need to make some small changes for the different seasons.

When you have all of these parts, you may wonder how to put them together.

Another easy way to start is to just start putting outfits together and see what you come up with.

Some of the best things happen when you try things out.

You might already have all the clothes you need, but you might need some ideas on how to wear them.

Or, you might find that you only need a few more pieces that can be worn with different things, and your work capsule wardrobe will be complete.

Still Need Help On Making Your Capsule Wardrobe?

Creating a capsule wardrobe can be a daunting but fun task to do.

Not only do you minimize stress in your life and save money, but so much more!

Take into account the lifestyle and mindset changes into consideration which only bring out more positives than most life choices.

Scared of that change?

(No worries, my dear reader)

Click the link below and start improving your life by getting my free capsule wardrobe guide to get you started.

Good luck!

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