How & Why to Start a Capsule Wardrobe

A Capsule Wardrobe is a set number of clothes that you can mix and match to create many different outfits.


A Capsule Wardrobe involves investing in, or using existing, pieces of clothing. You pick the clothing that can be mixed with other clothing to create numerous outfits.

A capsule wardrobe will save you time getting dressed, you will always have clothing that goes together, you can buy less clothing, and your closets will always look so organized!

What’s more, you will always feel that you are well dressed. You will know that all your pieces of clothing go well together, and you will feel more confident and put together.

It doesn’t matter whether you work full time or part time. Whether you are a stay home mom or a working mom.  Having a capsule wardrobe will make your life easier, and more organized, whatever your lifestyle is.

With a capsule wardrobe, it is important that all the pieces that you select go well with all the other pieces in your wardrobe. Everything has to coordinate well together.

Capsule wardrobe

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Why Should you Invest in a Capsule Wardrobe?

A capsule wardrobe will give you an unlimited choice of outfits.  You select a limited number of outfits per season, and mix and match these outfits together.

The typical time period for each capsule wardrobe that you should select is around 3 months. 3 months covers a season, and your wardrobe will therefore be good for an entire season, such as spring, fall, summer and winter.

A capsule wardrobe will save you money, get you more organized, make your closets tidier, and make you feel better about yourself!


How to start a Capsule Wardrobe

The first step to creating a capsule wardrobe each season, is to pull everything that you already own out of your closet. This means pulling everything out of that closet.

Once everything is out of your closet, and it looks completely bare, lay the clothes you removed aside.

You are going to select pieces that work from your existing stock of clothing. If you need something else that you don’t have to complete your wardrobe, you can then buy that piece or pieces.


Step One: Select Your Base Color

Select your base color. The best base colors are black and navy.  

You need to decide if you want to use black or navy.  It is far easier to plan your outfits with one base color. But you can only choose one base color.

You may want to decide on either black or navy depending on the season. For instance, black may be a better base color if it is winter or fall, whereas navy may be better for spring or summer.

If you don’t like navy or black, or it is a season that you feel a different base color would be better for (such as perhaps white for summer), you can select that as a base color.

You just need one base color to work all your outfits around.


Black Pencil skirt


Step Two: Select Neutral Coordinating Pieces

Neutral coordinating pieces are tops and bottoms that are in solid colors. Those colors are usually neutral colors such as black, navy, white, grey and beige.

These pieces are all classic pieces that are always in style.  

When you select these pieces however, bear in mind the base color that you selected. If you chose black as a base color, don’t select navy neutral coordinating pieces, as black and navy really do not work well together.


Step Three: Choose an Accent Color

This isn’t an essential step, but it is a great idea to add some flexibility to your capsule wardrobe.

You simply select some tops and bottoms in colors you love to your wardrobe. For instance, you may choose a blush pink t-shirt, a red t-shirt, and a green t-shirt.  

You can select whatever your favorite colors are for this step.


Step Four: Add Some Patterned Items

These patterned items can be tops, bottoms or dresses.

By patterned we are referring to stripes, floral, polka dots and patterns such as paisley.

A popular choice here is a striped t-shirt for instance.

Patterned pieces work well with plain neutral pieces.

Woman wearing striped tshirt

Long Sleeved Striped T-Shirt


Step Five: Add Layers

By layers we mean jackets and coats.

Popular choices here may be a black blazer, a denim jacket, a raincoat or trench coat etc.

You will need particular layers according to the season. Heavier coats and jackets will be needed for the winter, and more lightweight jackets for the fall and spring.


Grey trench coat

Grey Trench Coat


Step Six: Add Shoes & Accessories

Add shoes and accessories that will go with all your pieces of clothing.

For instance, for your Fall capsule wardrobe you may want to select black heels, black ankle boots, black long boots, brown long boots etc.

You can select accessories such as scarves and jewelry to go with your outfits. You may want to choose colored scarves that will go with dark items such as black. You may want select pieces of jewelry that will go with all your outfits.


How Many Pieces of Clothing do you Need for a Capsule Wardrobe?

This can vary by season, but generally a capsule wardrobe consists of:

5 to 6 tops
1 or 2 dresses
5 bottoms


A Sample Capsule Wardrobe

If I was choosing a capsule wardrobe for the fall I would select the following pieces:

Black base color, because I think black works so well as a Fall color.

I would select black, white and grey as my neutral coordinating pieces


White button up shirt
Black t-shirt
White t-shirt
Grey t-shirt
Black long sleeve t-shirt
Grey long-sleeve t-shirt
White long-sleeve t-shirt
Black cardigan
Black sweater
Grey sweater
Chambray (blue color) button up shirt
Long sleeved striped t-shirt


Chambray shirt

Chambray Shirt



Blue denim jeans
Black denim jeans
Black pants
Black leggings
Black pencil skirt
Grey pants
Grey pencil skirt
White jeans


Black dress
Grey dress

You can then work at putting all these pieces together into different outfits.

Taking all the pieces I have listed above, I could create the following work outfits:

Black pencil skirt & chambray
Black pencil skirt & striped top
Black pants and white shirt
Black dress
Grey dress
Grey pants & white button up shirt
Grey pants & black t-shirt
Black pants & chambray top
Black pants & grey sweater

I could also come up with some other combinations for these pieces suitable for work, but I think you can get the idea from this.

In addition I could create the following weekend outfits:

Blue denim jeans & striped top
Black denim jeans & striped top
White denim Jeans & striped top
Blue denim jeans and black t-shirt
Blue denim jeans and white t-shirt
White denim jeans and black t-shirt
White denim jeans and grey t-shirt

Once again there are other combinations that I could come up with, but you get the idea!


Other Tips for a Capsule Wardrobe

If you buy good quality and well made clothing it will last for far longer, and wash better. 

Many pieces of clothing can be worn for all seasons.  That way you won’t have to completely re-do your capsule wardrobe every single season.

Try to try on clothing before you buy it, so it fits well. Your capsule wardrobe won’t work as well if you have pieces that just don’t fit well and suit you.

You don’t have to buy new clothing to make up your capsule wardrobe. You can also shop for essential pieces in thrift stores and online in places like eBay.  Even yard sales may have essential pieces for your wardrobe.  You can find well made pieces of clothing in many thrift stores.


A capsule wardrobe is a great way of sorting out your closet, getting rid of things you no longer wear, need or want, and getting your closet completely organized.

By creating a capsule wardrobe you won’t have those mornings where you just don’t know what to wear. You will be able to dress much faster, and you will know that what you put on looks good on you!

A Capsule Wardrobe is a set number of clothes that you can mix and match to create many different outfits. Get more organized and look better with a capsule wardrobe!





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