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The Definitive Guide On What Is A Capsule Wardrobe (& How To Build It)

Even up to this day, people still ask me for help on how to build their very own capsule wardrobe.

It’s a fun question to answer because one answer is not the same for each person.

Simply put, it varies.

Ultimately, people choose to go for a capsule wardrobe because they want to reap its benefits and overall lifestyle change.

In this article, I’ll guide you through my definitive guide on everything and anything about what is a capsule wardrobe and more!

What Is A Capsule Wardrobe

A capsule wardrobe consists of a small number of interchangeable items of articles of clothing that go well together. 

(Usually about 30-35 pieces of clothing, that’s the sweet spot)

These mostly consist of neutral-colored (or colorful, depending on your preference) iconic pieces that never go out of style.

You can put together a range of iconic looks with a small selection of clothing that fits your personal style.

(Here is a brief history lesson of the origins of the term ‘capsule wardrobe’)

The phrase ‘capsule wardrobe’ was first used in the 1970s by Susie Faux, the owner of the London-based store named Wardrobe.

It means to describe a small collection of essential or fundamental pieces that you may wear throughout the year.

After that, it has only gained in popularity over the years and up to this day has been a staple for all minimalists around the world.

(Now that’s covered, let’s move on to the juicier parts, shall we?)

Why Do People Prefer Capsule Wardrobes?

Less Is More

What Is A Capsule Wardrobe - A signage saying "LESS I$ MORE" glowing at night

Working with fewer parts will allow you to begin playing with how you mix and match them.

You might combine prints, layer differently than you would have in the past, or even wear the same item differently.

I personally would try to tie or make my top off-the-shoulder to create an illusion of different types of clothing.

(And nobody at work noticed that I’m wearing the same thing for weeks)

How you can also accessorize and change your cosmetic routine can significantly alter how you appear. 

Read related post:   4 Secret Advantages Of Having A Capsule Wardrobe for Kids (Tips And Tricks!)

Another neat example in makeup that I can vouch for is, while my clothing may be mostly neutral. 

I can switch it up!

Go for colors that demand attention such as red lipstick and flashy jewelry.

Or on more relaxed days, I dress down the same look by wearing modest jewelry and fresh but subtle makeup.

Time Saver

What Is A Capsule Wardrobe - An hourglass on a white wall backdrop

A well-organized wardrobe makes it easier for your favorite pieces to stand out rather than forcing you to look at an intimidating closet full of random items every day.

You can get out of bed every morning confident that any combination of items will result in an ensemble you adore if your closet only contains your ‘go-to’ pieces.

(This means you can save time by maintaining a well-curated wardrobe!)

You know exactly what you need to use because you are aware of your personal style and what suits you best.

Namely, you don’t waste time digging through mountains of clothing because you believe you have nothing to wear.

AND

You don’t waste time shopping aimlessly when you go to the store or get something online.

(That’s another problem we women tend to have is fixed!)

Good Investment

What Is A Capsule Wardrobe - A glass jar filled with coins and a small plant growing on top

This should go without saying, but investing in a capsule wardrobe will end up saving you a ton of money. 

(Which also made my husband happier!)

New investment pieces may cost a little more, but high-quality things will endure much longer than inexpensive ones. 

You’ll also be far more selective about the few purchases you do make now that you realize every item in your closet needs to be efficient.

Defining Yourself

What Is A Capsule Wardrobe - A black and white picture of woman covering her face with a white circle

A capsule wardrobe ultimately aids in the development of your signature style.

You’ll have the best of your closet once you’ve cleaned out and gotten rid of everything you don’t really wear.

Such as clothes that don’t fit anymore, faded clothes, or worn out fabric.

In essence, you’ll have the ideal wardrobe for you and you alone!

Unnecessary Stress

What Is A Capsule Wardrobe - A black and white picture of a woman covering her face

Having a capsule wardrobe will reduce overall stress in your life. You don’t need to worry about the clothes not fitting you.

With fewer articles of clothing, there is also less upkeep, repair, and not to mention, reducing your anxiety.

When you relocate or go on vacation, you’re more likely to select apparel that is convenient to carry and maintain.

(I created my own holiday capsule wardrobe just for that reason!)

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Decision Fatigue

What Is A Capsule Wardrobe - A woman staring at nothing with a blank  expression

Do you know what decision fatigue is?

(Most people don’t.)

You see, there’s only a limit to the number of decisions our brain allows us per day to effectively use.

After that number, everything just feels exhausting.

Thus, choosing what to dress for the day is simpler for you to accomplish when getting ready in the morning, preventing choice fatigue!

(Self-care people, self-care)

How To Create Your Own Capsule Wardrobe

There are a lot of guides out there already, but I’ll talk about the highlights on where you should start.

Here goes…

Choose What Works Best With Your Lifestyle

What Is A Capsule Wardrobe - A person changing from a white turtleneck

Consider your hobbies and way of life.

This will reveal important details about the clothing you typically wear.

Do you have children at home?

Do you work from 9 to 5?

Do you regularly exercise?

You won’t always require the same clothes, depending on what you do with your free time.

Sort Out Your Clothes

What Is A Capsule Wardrobe - Different clothes on a rack with a plant in the middle

A closet audit is the first step in building a smart capsule wardrobe.

Examine every item you own and determine what you wear frequently and what you never wear.

A good question to ask yourself for starters is: ‘When was the last time I wore this?’

It won’t be a good addition to your capsule wardrobe if you haven’t worn it in a few months.

After giving it some thought, select all of your favorite outfits and consider why you adore each one.

You will gain a better understanding of your personal style, favorite colors, flattering cuts, and preferred fabric as a result.

Colors, Patterns, Or Both?

See What You Already Have

What Is A Capsule Wardrobe - A person picking clothes from a rack

Observe the colors that you naturally pull toward as a first step.

Start by looking in your closet to see which colors you already have a lot of.

After that, check our Pinterest board (yes, we’re prepared) to see if there are any other colors you can add.

Your closet is a better reflection of your prior choices, and our Pinterest board can help you decide which colors to include more of in your capsule wardrobe.

You should be better able to identify the colors and patterns that appeal to you when you can see all of the clothing/images at once.

Accents Colors And Base Colors

What Is A Capsule Wardrobe - Folded clothes on top of a white chair

Add accent colors after using a few base colors.

The fundamentals that make up the main elements of your clothing will be the base colors.

(Or the things you wear the most)

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The accent colors will be used to add interest and colorful pops.

In order to make your closet really versatile, I recommend starting by concentrating on maybe 6 to 9 total colors.

You can choose to add more color later.

(Or don’t)

Building your capsule wardrobe around either cooler tones like blue, gray, and black.

Or even warmer tones like cream, ivory, and burgundy is a good start.

Having a minimal color scheme will consist of only the fundamentals such as black, white, gray, navy, and ivory.

BUT

If you enjoy color, you might also consider focusing on a specific hue such as jewel tones or vibrant hues.

That will ensure that all of your accessories go well together.

You can use your imagination, but make sure to wear each hue with the others.

You can still keep items in colors or prints that you love even if they don’t go with your color scheme.

(Yes, you can)

Instead of including it in your primary color scheme, look for stand-alone pieces like dresses or jumpsuits that you can wear alone and complement the rest of your capsule wardrobe.

No Time But The Present

What Is A Capsule Wardrobe - A sign saying "Turn Ideas Into Reality"

Now for the finale…there really is no time but the present to create your own capsule wardrobe now that you understand all aspects of it.

So here are my final tips on how to create your own wardrobe:

I can’t stress enough how crucial it is to work with what you already have rather than clearing out everything and starting from scratch.

It would be costly and completely unsustainable to do so.

Choose the wardrobe essentials that are adaptable and go well together.

While keeping in mind your color scheme and preferred fashion trends.

Avoid buying trendy products since they will go out of style shortly.

(Except for staple trends like denim *wink wink*)

Neutral-colored t-shirts, a pair of black slacks, one or two pairs of jeans, a cardigan for layering, and a black dress that can be dressed up or down.

Need More Help On Making A Capsule Wardrobe?

Let’s be real, there are a lot of things to consider in making your own capsule wardrobe.

Thankfully, I thought about this in advance already and went ahead on making a free capsule wardrobe guide for you to have an edge.

Simply click the link below and get started!

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