How To: Build a Capsule Wardrobe

How To: Build a Capsule Wardrobe

Ever since graduation and starting my real job, building a capsule wardrobe has been on the top of my to-do list. What exactly is a capsule wardrobe? Basically, it’s a “wardrobe” containing select essential pieces that can all be worn together or worn as the base for a larger, more intricate, wardrobe.

I consider my capsule wardrobe to be a collection of interchangeable basics. I like knowing that I could take the same pair of jeans from the office to the bar just by changing my top; or wear the same dress walking around the city during the day to dinner that night by swapping out my shoes and accessories.

what to keep in mind

When you start to build a capsule wardrobe you need to remember some key factors: what kinds of clothes make you happy? What colors do you normally wear? What is the weather like where you are? What does your day-to-day schedule look like?

Staple pieces in your wardrobe may, and should, vastly differ from people who live very different lives from you.

For reference: I am 22, I work in marketing in a very casual work environment, I live in a city, and I love neutral colors and very rarely wear vibrant colors (black, grey, denim, nudes and green are my favorites.) And my capsule wardrobe supports this.

where to start

Starting a capsule wardrobe is the most fun and the hardest part. Deciding what you need to buy, and how much can be so confusing and frustrating. My first piece of advice, before you buy anything, look at your current closet: what pieces do you already have that can become the foundation of your wardrobe?

These items may include your go-to pair of jeans, that dress you can wear with anything, the sweater you look forward to wearing every fall, etc. Once you pair down your existing wardrobe to only the items you know (and love), you’re ready to start purchasing new items to compliment everything. If you’re still stuck on where to start, I’ve created a capsule wardrobe checklist that you can download at the bottom of this post.

basics I love

Establishing a strong basic wardrobe is key to a healthy capsule wardrobe. You can always shop my closet here, but some basics I love are:

  • solid color tees + tanks

  • versatile denim pants and jackets

  • neutral rompers and jumpsuits

  • black slacks

  • white tennis shoes

  • neutral mules

Pretty Little Thing was so kind and allowed me to pick out a bunch of items to help me build out my capsule wardrobe. (Thank you PLT!) Below are all of the basics I chose from PLT. There are 10 items total, and they can be combined into at least 10 outfits, and are each the perfect base or compliment for so many capsule wardrobe outfits!

Deciding to build a capsule wardrobe is the first step in living a more purposeful, and even minimalist, life. Once you make the switch to a capsule wardrobe, your life becomes easier and more productive: no more time is wasted figuring out what to wear, or worrying that your closet is full of clothes you hate. Everything is something you love, something that fits, and something that is versatile.

Let me know if you decide to build a capsule wardrobe and what that looks like for you! What I love about these kinds of minimalist collections is that no two will ever look identical. Your idea of essential basics is and should be very different than mine.

Happy Building!



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