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Capsule Wardrobe Planning: A Comprehensive Guide (What, Why, When, and How)

Have you heard that one of the biggest trends in fashion right now is capsule wardrobes and wondered what they were?

But felt a little overwhelmed at the idea of it?

(Have no fear. I’m here.)

I’ve put together this comprehensive list of everything you need when starting a capsule wardrobe.

This guide will cover all the basics, plus some extra tips that I’ve learned along the way for creating your very own practical and easy-to-follow capsule wardrobe plan.

Capsule wardrobe planning can be a great way to simplify your life, save money, and get rid of clothes you don’t wear.

But it can also be one of the most daunting tasks for a beginner.

Capsule wardrobe planning is a way to curate a closet that is both functional and minimal.

It allows you to dress in a way that represents your personal style while having less clothing overall.

Let’s start!

Things You Need To Know Before Getting Started

Capsule Wardrobe Planning - planning papers on the table

Have you been struggling with your wardrobe planning for too long?

It may feel frustrating to always end up with a closet full of clothes you don’t wear.

It doesn’t help that there is no one size fits all approach when it comes to planning the ideal capsule wardrobe.

Creating your own capsule wardrobe planning guide can be fun but you need to understand how to get it right first.

What Is A Capsule Wardrobe?

Capsule Wardrobe Planning - a woman arranging her wardrobe is standing on a ladder

A capsule wardrobe is a term used to describe a small selection of clothing items that you rotate and wear over the course of an entire season.

Instead of having a closet full of clothes that you only wear once or twice, you have fewer items that you can combine interchangeably, creating new outfits.

This helps you to maintain a cohesive look throughout the season without having to buy more clothes or feel like your closet is overflowing with options.

A collection of clothes that you love, wear often, and feel confident in is the backbone of a capsule wardrobe.

It’s a small, but powerful statement about who you are and what matters to you.

Some people who are new to capsule wardrobes use this as an opportunity to clear out old items they no longer wear

making space for the new pieces they already own or plan on adding in the near future.

Others who use them as a way to save money find that they’re able to purchase less but still have access to many different outfits over time.

Why You Should Have A Capsule Wardrobe?

Capsule Wardrobe Planning - a woman in front of her wardrobe holding a yellow shoe

If you’re anything like me, your closet is overflowing with clothes that you don’t wear anymore. Then, you should know the reasons why you should try a capsule wardrobe too.

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1. You’ll Save Money

Capsule Wardrobe Planning - a curly woman holding a piggy bank

It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and buy something new when you see it.

If you don’t have much money, this can be dangerous—but if you’ve planned your capsule wardrobe ahead of time, you won’t fall into this trap as often!

One of the biggest benefits of having a capsule wardrobe is that it helps you spend less money on clothes.

The idea behind a capsule wardrobe is that you only buy items that fit into your existing wardrobe.

No more impulse buys because you couldn’t find anything to wear that day! More money in your pocket at the end of the month!

When you buy one thing in your capsule wardrobe –

(or two if they’re really similar) –

instead of ten different items that might not go together perfectly well anyway, it can end up saving you money over time.

You won’t be buying items that don’t work together as often either!

2. Capsule Wardrobes Are More Sustainable

Capsule Wardrobe Planning - different  dresses hanging with different colors

Capsule wardrobes are made up of items that can be mixed and matched to create many different outfits.

This helps reduce the amount of excess clothing in your closet, which means less energy is used during the production and transportation of these items.

Plus, fewer items mean less space needed for storage—which means fewer resources are required for storage!

3. You’ll Feel More Confident About What You’re Wearing, Which Will Make Your Days Better Overall.

Capsule Wardrobe Planning - a woman smiling trying to check if the dress looks good on her

Let’s be honest—when you look good, you feel good. And when you feel good, your days are better.

You will feel more confident about yourself because you know exactly what works for you, what looks good on you –

And how to style the pieces together into different outfits so it doesn’t look like you’re wearing the same thing all the time!

Even if you don’t do much shopping for yourself, having a few staple items can make all the difference in how confident you feel when getting dressed.

And if you ever find yourself stuck with nothing to wear?

No problem!

With a capsule wardrobe at home, there’s always something perfect waiting for you in the closet.

4. You’ll Buy Better Quality Items

Capsule Wardrobe Planning - a woman in front of her wardrobe putting an organizer

When you only have a few items, you’ll want to make sure they’re really good ones.

You will be able to focus on quality rather than quantity in your wardrobe.

You’re only buying items that fit into your style, so you’ll be more likely to purchase high-quality items that are long-lasting.

Rather than buying cheaper clothes from fast fashion stores.

5. You’ll Make Better Choices

Capsule Wardrobe Planning - 2 woman  facing each other talking about their minimalist wardrobes

There’s a reason people always say, “I don’t know why I bought that.”

(I’ve said that too before)

There are just so many things in the world, that it’s impossible to keep track of what you need and what you don’t.

If you’re new to the concept of a capsule wardrobe, you may be wondering what’s so great about having only a few items of clothing in your closet.

Well, for starters, it will make your life easier.

(Real easier)

When you have less to choose from, you’ll make better choices about what to wear each day.

This means that you won’t end up wearing something that’s not quite right for the occasion—or something that doesn’t fit well or is out of date.

And who doesn’t love an easy outfit?

Having fewer clothes also means that they’ll all get more wear.

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You won’t find yourself hanging onto pieces because they’re too special to wear every day;

Instead, they’ll get worn regularly and look better for longer.

When Should You Start A Capsule Wardrobe?

Capsule Wardrobe Planning - a woman thinking about whether to go with a red button up shirt, or another

That depends.

The best time to start a capsule wardrobe is when you are ready to make a change in your life.

But it’s not easy to start a capsule wardrobe.

(It sounds like a lot of work, right?)

The first step is to understand what a capsule wardrobe is and how it works.

So when should you start a capsule wardrobe?

The answer depends on your lifestyle and goals.

If you’re in college or just graduated, you might want to wait until after graduation –

so that your clothes work with all of the parties, job interviews and other opportunities coming up in the next few months.

If you’re an adult with a busy lifestyle who rarely has time for shopping or spending hours at the salon getting ready for events –

Then now would be a good time to start working on your new capsule wardrobe!

(It can also be the sooner the better.)

Ideally, you’ll do this at the beginning of every season so that you can plan ahead and buy pieces that will fit into your plan for the next six months or so.

If this isn’t possible for some reason (maybe you’re moving soon), then just set aside some time each month for updating your list as needed—

you can even do this weekly if necessary!

How To Start Your Capsule Wardrobe?

Capsule Wardrobe Planning - A woman in the kitchen thinking how to start capsule wardrobe

1. Start small And Build On It Over Time.

Capsule Wardrobe Planning - a smiling woman lifting a box while cleaning her wardrobe

Don’t try to go from having anything to having everything all at once!

You don’t need to buy everything at once, and in fact, you shouldn’t.

Instead, start with one or two key pieces and build your wardrobe up slowly.

The best way to start your capsule wardrobe is to choose a few pieces that you love and wear them often.

This helps you get into the habit of wearing what you have and creates a base for building on as your style evolves.

Choose one or two colors or patterns and plan your wardrobe around those colors or patterns.

This way, when it comes time to shop for new pieces, it will be easy to find something that fits into your existing look –

Without having to spend too much time shopping around for something that works with what you already have.

2. Make Sure You Have A Variety Of Items In Each Category Of Clothing, But Don’t Go Overboard.

Capsule Wardrobe Planning - an organized wardrobe beside a white bed

Be sure to include at least one item from each category such as:

  • bottoms,
  • tops/blouses/shirts,
  • jackets/coats/outerwear (if applicable),
  • shoes (if applicable),
  • accessories (jewelry/handbags/belt buckles),
  • undergarments (bras/panties) and
  • outerwear like scarves or hats if they’re part of your personal style iconography.

3. Create A System That Works For You.

Capsule Wardrobe Planning - an organized wardrobe with different partition

In starting your own capsule wardrobe, you need to figure out what kind of system will work best for you.

This might mean setting aside time every week to plan out your closet,

or it might mean having an assistant who helps you figure out what goes where.

Do you like to plan things out in advance or do you prefer to only make a list at the last minute?

Are you comfortable with having an exhaustive list of rules or would you rather just have some guidelines?

You can choose to start with one or two main rules and then add more as time goes on,

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or keep your own personal style in mind while making decisions about what types of clothing should be included in your capsule wardrobe.

Whatever method works best for you, it’s important to have some sort of process in place.

That way you won’t feel overwhelmed when trying to create a capsule wardrobe.

4. Don’t Be Afraid To Mix And Match!

Capsule Wardrobe Planning - a woman deciding if she should wear a white and black stripes

The beauty of a capsule wardrobe is that it’s not just a bunch of clothes that you can wear without thinking.

In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

You’ve got to think about every single piece that you choose—

and then make sure you coordinate them so well that they don’t look like they came from five different outfits put together at random.

So if you’ve got a cool pair of shoes but no idea what kind of pants or skirt would look good with them, don’t worry!

That’s where the fun comes in—the creative process of trying on different items until the perfect combination emerges.

One of the best things about a capsule wardrobe is that it forces you to be creative with the items you have.

For example, if you want to wear a white button-down shirt but still want your outfit to look cute, why not try pairing it with a black skirt?

Or if you want to wear a white t-shirt but also want something that will keep you warm, pair it with some black leggings!

This allows you to get multiple looks out of one item, which saves money and space in your closet.

5. Be Honest About What Fits Well And What Doesn’t, And Get Rid Of Any Clothes That Don’t Fit Well Or Don’t Look Good On You

Capsule Wardrobe Planning - an organized wardrobe with different layers

It’s important to be honest with yourself about what clothes fit well and what looks good on you.

Try everything on before you buy it, even if it seems like a great deal at the time.

You’ll save yourself the hassle of returning things later if they don’t fit right or look good on you!

It’s also important to remember that not every piece of clothing will work for your capsule wardrobe.

If there isn’t a place in your wardrobe for a certain type of item, then there probably won’t be room for it in your closet either.

Make sure that each item has a purpose in your wardrobe before deciding whether or not you should buy it!

Capsule Wardrobes Make Getting Dressed Easier

Above all else, the true benefit of creating a capsule wardrobe is that you’ll easily be able to put more outfits together with less effort than before.

It’s less stressful, simpler, and a lot more fun.

And that’s what having a capsule wardrobe is all about:

Making it easier for you to put together outfits!

Are You Still Unsure How To Do It?

One of the most common questions I get asked is “How do I start a capsule wardrobe?” and it’s understandable.

There are so many different terms and concepts that it can be hard to know where to begin.

If you have been struggling to find a capsule wardrobe that works for you, then this is the right guide for you.

It will help you understand what a capsule wardrobe is, why it’s important, when to do it, and how to do it.

With this guide, you’ll have all the knowledge you need to get started with your own capsule wardrobe planning journey, right here in one place!

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