How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe

For personal style, sometimes less is more. If you’ve ever found yourself stressing over having too many items in your closet that you never wear, or not being able to pick out an outfit that you like, you’ll love building a capsule wardrobe.

A capsule wardrobe is a closet full of long-lasting, carefully selected “key pieces.” The idea behind this wardrobe is that if you can narrow down your closet to items that you love and get rid of what you’re no longer wearing, you’ll feel the freedom to fully embrace your unique personal style. 

Clothes hanging on a rack with a shoe organizer shelf on each side filled with heels in an assortment of colors

The amount of items in a capsule wardrobe can vary, but they usually range between about 30-40 pieces. This includes pants, tops, sweaters, dresses, shoes, and jewelry. The pieces in your capsule should be higher quality so they will last during multiple seasons, and they need to be items that you absolutely love. These pieces will act as “base items” to build a wardrobe that you can stick with throughout every season. As seasons change, some of your base items may change as well.

The capsule wardrobe is an amazing way of cultivating a closet with less stress and more creativity. I’ve written a simple guide for you to follow so that you can build your capsule wardrobe today!

Cleansing Your Closet

This may be the most crucial step for building your capsule wardrobe. In order to move forward with a sleek, minimalist closet, you’ll need to get rid of the items that are holding you back.

Take an afternoon, pop open some champagne, and deconstruct your closet. Take out every piece you have (shirts, pants, dresses, shoes, etc.) and lay them on your bed so you can see your wardrobe as a whole.

Levi's jeans flatlay with a red and white striped top and a pair of red sandals and a white button down shirt

Look at each item and decide what you’re willing to get rid of. Focus on items that you haven’t worn in over six months or that you can’t imagine wearing in the next couple of months. Any pieces that you’ve never worn? Toss it aside.

Narrow it Down

Once you’ve searched through and cleansed your closet of unwanted items, it’s time to build your capsule wardrobe. Focus on narrowing it down to about 35 items. Some examples of good base items to have are:

  • A white blouse
  • A dark-colored v-neck shirt
  • A button-up shirt
  • A pair of dark wash jeans
  • A pair of tailored dress pants
  • A little black dress
  • Black heels
  • A pair of brown ankle boots
Jeans hanging on a clothes rack beside a thin brown belt and a white top and a burgundy blazer

Finalize Your Capsule Wardrobe

These base items are a great start to your capsule wardrobe. If you already have items that resemble these in your closet, you can consider adding them to your new wardrobe. If there are pieces like these that you want but don’t yet have, treat yourself to a shopping trip!

Remember that some of these items may vary with each season, so don’t be afraid to add and replace some of your base pieces as time goes on!

I hope this guide helps you feel inspired and prepared to create your own capsule wardrobe. You’ll be able to minimize stress and get a better feel for your exceptional personal style.

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