When I first heard of a capsule wardrobe a few years ago I was intrigued. I was never one to buy a ton of clothing but my wardrobe still didn’t feel put together. That’s where the capsule wardrobe comes into play. I have learned that there are a few capsule wardrobe basics that will help pull your outfits together and make you look more put together. A minimal wardrobe will make your mornings so much easier because everything in your closet matches and can be paired together. It is truly a lifesaver!
A capsule wardrobe is a small collection of shirts, skirts, and pants that can be paired together seamlessly. You can add a few seasonal pieces as well to help transition throughout the year.
When creating your capsule wardrobe there is no set rule. You’ll see ideas such as the 37 item rule or the 50 piece rule, but know that you do not need to follow these rules. I like to pick out pieces that fit my style that will work well together. The decision is yours as to how many pieces you want to have in your closet.
Create a Vision Board of your Favorite Styles
When you are first starting your capsule wardrobe journey you may wonder exactly what pieces you will need and what style you should go for. Maybe you’ve seen a lot of black and white wardrobes with touches of grey. While these neutrals are great, you can definitely add statement pieces as well if that’s your style.
Create a board on Pinterest to gather inspiration for your favorite pieces, colors, styles etc. Pinterest is a great place to get ideas for outfits and clothing styles. Be sure to add accessories to your board as well. You’ll want to pin capsule wardrobe basics such as shirt styles, pants, shorts, skirts, dresses, purses, jewelry etc.
Create a Color Palette
You’ve shopped online and created your vision board. Now it’s time to look for patterns in the clothing that you chose. The first thing we want to do is narrow down the color palette for your capsule wardrobe basics. I recommend having a few neutrals and a pop of color. Of course, if you prefer to stick to neutrals that is okay. Just don’t let color and pattern deter you from creating a capsule wardrobe.
If you visited my capsule wardrobe style Pinterest board you’ll notice that I had a lot of black, white, grey, and floral pinned I also like to add in pink and blue to my wardrobe.
Find Key Pieces to Fit Your Lifestyle
Now, it is the fun part. We start to look at the pieces we already have in the closet and make notes of what we need. Maybe you work in an office and need pieces that can be worn both in the office and out of the office. Maybe you’re a stay at home mom with a toddler running around. These two lifestyles are completely different and will probably require different pieces of clothing.
You’ll want basics that will fit with your lifestyle inside and outside of work. This is where layering pieces such as jackets and sweaters can come into play (especially in the colder months).
Make a list of the pieces you believe you will need to fit your lifestyle.
If you are in the office you may want dresses, skirts, slacks, and a few blouses. Then on the weekends, you’ll need jeans and t-shirts. If you are a stay at home mom your wardrobe may consist of jeans, leggings, t-shirts, and a few blouses. You may only have one or two dresses for special occasions.
Capsule Wardrobe Basics
A basic cami is the perfect layering piece to wear under blouses. It makes a semi see-through blouse wearable for the office or a night out.
Short Sleeve T-Shirts
A basic short sleeve tee can be work casually untucked or you can tuck it in and add a blazer to dress it up. You can also add a statement piece of jewelry to bring it up a notch. The tee is a definitely a key piece of any capsule wardrobe.
A blouse is perfect for the office or can be dressed down with jeans. A blouse is versatile and beautiful pattern can draw interest and add color to your wardrobe.
Sweaters & Cardigans
Sweaters and cardigans are the perfect layering pieces. Again like a blouse you can dress a sweater up or down based on the bottoms you chose. You can also layer a sweater in the winter if needed for added warmth.
A cardigan is a great transition piece from autumn to winter or winter to spring.
The black dress is a staple in any women’s wardrobe. Chose a black dress that fits your style and can be worn for any occasion. You add statement jewelry for a night out or a cardigan for a more professional setting. The black dress can get you through so many occasions and should definitely be added to your capsule wardrobe basics.
Jeans are one of those pieces that you will need to shop around for. It is difficult to find the perfect pair but when you do it will be well worth the price. Jeans can be worn with any of your shirts, blouses, and sweaters. They can be dressed up and dressed down based on the other pieces in your wardrobe.
We can’t forget about the shoes we wear. The shoes you decide on will be dependant on your lifestyle. I recommend at least having a pair of sneakers and dress shoes (heels or flats). You’ll also need sandals for the warmer months and maybe a casual shoe as well.
Assess Your Existing Wardrobe
You know your clothing style and you know your lifestyle. Sort through your existing wardrobe and decide what is going to stay in your capsule wardrobe basics and what is going to be donated, sold, or given away. It is the perfect time to purge your closet and save only the pieces that truly work for you.
Make a Shopping List
You know what is in your closet and you know what your capsule wardrobe basics are. Do the clothes you already own fit into your new capsule or do you need to add to it. Make a shopping list of the key items you are missing. You may not need to go shopping right away but having an idea of pieces you are looking for will make clothes shopping so much easier for you.
Live with Your Capsule Wardrobe Basics
Your closet is now be filled with pieces you love in your style. You should be able to mix and match clothes to make different outfits. Now, it is time to start wearing your new capsule wardrobe. Trying living with your capsule wardrobe basics for a season and see how it is working for you.
How does it feel? Do you love your new capsule wardrobe? Don’t be afraid to switch pieces in and out as the season’s change or as your style changes. Your capsule wardrobe basics should evolve with you and your lifestyle. You may find yourself needing a few more pieces and that is okay, give yourself grace. It is not a perfect process and your capsule wardrobe shouldn’t be all or nothing.