How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe from scratch for 2023

How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe from scratch

by grace ashi
how to build a capsule wardrobe

How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe: 10 Closet Essentials for 2023

What is a Capsule Wardrobe?

A capsule wardrobe is a carefully selected collection of timeless pieces that make creating effortless, stylish looks easier than ever before. Every woman deserves to have a functional and fashionable wardrobe that reflects her personal style, and building a capsule wardrobe is the perfect way to achieve this goal.

From selecting quality basics to mixing and matching complimentary items, this guide will provide you with the tools needed to craft an extraordinary, personalized wardrobe without breaking the bank. Put away those ratty clothes from college – it’s time for an upgrade!

History of wardrobe capsules

A capsule collection of classic pieces that work together with versatility, allowing you to create look after look with just a few items.

Typically, a capsule wardrobe consists of high-quality pieces with flexibility to create a stylish, stylish look. Fashion designer Donna Karan invented the term in 1980 when she created capsules of fashionable workwear for women, and the term was coined in the 1970’s.

Benefits of building a capsule wardrobe

Essentially, a capsule wardrobe is a smaller collection of versatile pieces from your wardrobe that all work in harmony together, generally fitting into the same color palette and suiting your current style and preferences.

Usually, a capsule wardrobe would contain everything you could ever need, and it’s a concept similar to packing for a long holiday – you choose fewer clothes pieces that can be styled in a variety of different ways with each other.

As a result of a perfectly curated wardrobe, you’ll be saving money on your clothes and also help the planet as you refrain from contributing to so much of the fast fashion culture. You’ll be ready with plenty of outfit ideas at your fingertips and elevate your personal style.

A capsule wardrobe reserves your hard-earned coin for pieces that are going to get cost per wear and last you as long as you want them to. A super-trendy piece that you’re going to wear to one event then never wear again doesn’t have a place here. Instead, you want something that’s true to your style that you know you’ll probably reach for two years from now.

How can I build my own capsule wardrobe?

How to build a capsule wardrobe in 7 steps

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Now that you’re a little more educated on the basics of a capsule wardrobe, it’s almost time to start building your own. While the technique can have a big payoff, it does take a little work to begin with, and it may be worth carving out some time to sit down and really focus on your wardrobe, perhaps for a day at the weekend or maybe you split your time across the week.

No matter how you structure your time, the process is the same, so let’s take a look at some tips and tricks when it comes to creating your first complete capsule wardrobe.

1. Declutter your wardrobe.

The initial step for creating the capsule wardrobe is removing items you know you want out of your current wardrobe. Doing so helps you remove clutter and concentrate more on creating a capsule wardrobe. Make donations, sell or recycle the stuff.

Once you plan on having a capsule wardrobe, put away the clothes that are not included in this wardrobe. Declutter all the things you don’t love and don’t fit your colors, don’t fit your style.

When you have everything remaining, you can ensure it matches the clothes you want and start from there. The best way to do this is by putting everything in your possessions without cluttering everything up from there. It is not economically feasible and would cost a lot of money.

2. Collect visual inspiration.

Before you can even begin to think about creating the wardrobe itself, you’ll need plenty of inspiration. This can be gathered in any way you like, but the good idea is to create a Pinterest board dedicated to the project or collect magazine clippings. You can have a broad range of styles you like to begin with, as we’ll narrow it down later, and it’s all just about collecting everything you like.

3. Nail down your personal style and color palette

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Once you’ve finished collecting inspiration (there should be lots of it), you can move on to narrowing it down. Take a look at the overall vibe you’re getting from the capsule wardrobe collection you’ve made, and even make a separate board for outfits that fit this specific style.

At this point, you can also decide on a color palette for your wardrobe. Picking the main accent color that is quite neutral, such as white or beige, is a sensible idea.

Select Your Neutral-color Coordinating Essentials You might be thinking, “what are neutral-color coordinating essentials”?  They are tops and bottoms that are solid colors, like black, white, gray, chambray and beige, that are classic pieces that never go out of style.

Examples of essentials are a white button-up shirt, gray short sleeve tee, beige sweater, white long sleeve tee, black skirt, etc. When you select these essentials, make sure they are all neutral colors, like black, white, gray, chambray or beige.

They are versatile wardrobe building staples. Once your base is mastered, you can develop your capsule wardrobe for different seasons and circumstances, which we’ve already done the heavy lifting for.

4. Find items you already own.

Once your personal style’s been decided, it’s time to search your current wardrobe staples for items that could be added to your first capsule wardrobe. Remember, try to keep to the style during this, and maybe even keep your inspiration out to guide you. And if something doesn’t work for you exactly, you could always consider altering or adjusting it. The main idea is that all of your clothes make you feel confident.

5. Shop for new clothes mindfully.

If you’ve already taken what you’d like from your current wardrobe, you may be in need of a few more pieces (or a lot more) to finish the capsule wardrobe off. Once again, remember to remain with your style and be smart with your shopping techniques.

The ‘three outfit’ technique is particularly useful when buying a capsule wardrobe. Before you purchase anything, hold it up and ask yourself if you can make three outfits from it, using clothes you already own. If the answer’s yes, you’ll likely wear it much more than if the answer is no.

6. Don’t forget accessories.

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Accessories are more than just the cherry on top; they’re so underrated when it comes to elevating any look to appear more stylish and elegant. The accessories you wear, and your shoes can set the tone for the outfit and be very versatile. As long as you keep a trendy bag and some nice jewelry on you, you’re sure to look polished and tidy, and your outfit will be ten times better.

7. Experiment with different outfits and combinations

Finally, you need to have fun with the whole process and take your time to experiment with different outfits and combinations. Work out which shapes suit you and which clothing arrangements complement each other. Not only can this help you create outfits, but it can also guide you when shopping for new clothes.

Building your own Capsule wardrobe collection

Dresses & jumpsuits

Building a DIY capsule wardrobe collection doesn’t need to be a costly or daunting task. A great starting point is to consider dresses as key pieces that can be used all year round, no matter the occasion. Investing in versatile dresses of high-quality fabrics will ensure they stand up over the years. From maxi dresses and midi dresses – perfect for summer days when paired with sneakers – to elegant evening dresses with statement jeweler, there’s no limit to how creative and stylish you can get.

Investing in dresses that range from everyday essentials to special event outfits will help create a capsule wardrobe that welcomes every new season with style and confidence. Put aside the dresses from your wardrobe you would like to revisit in the next few seasons. Take a list of all the dresses and their length, if necessary.


A sweater with appropriate colors and designs can be incorporated into any outfit. Similarly, it is important for transitions. Add another pair of sneakers to the slip dress from Summer. This is the simplest outfit to wear in autumn season.

You’ll probably have different sweaters for different periods of time: lighter, flowy sweaters and cardigans for cooler seasons – thinner chunkier knit sweaters for colder seasons – Usually, a sweater with neutral colors is needed for the seasons.

If you want a warm-weather sweater, you can usually wear two to three lighter knitted sweaters a day or one cardigan. During the warmer months you can even use 2-3 medium-weight sweaters with a chunkier yarn if needed. List some important capsule sweaters that should you look for.

Tees & tanks

Those nice neutral shirts and tanks make capsule clothes indispensable. Check for shirts and tank tops that are wearable without other garments. Short sleeves are softer compared to long sleeves, because it allows them to be worn all the year-round and layered with other things during warmer seasons.

You should buy 1-2 shirt of the same color. Donations can be donated or recycled depending upon condition. Listed below are core tank tee shirts to consider. Do not forget the items which are missing or need replacement.

Top & blouses

After you have selected the basic tees and tanks, let’s go back to top and blouse. Check out tops and blouses that can be easily paired with your choice of bottoms. Sleeveless or shorter sleeves can be worn over shirts or jeans in the cooler months, so you are able to wear them throughout the season. Neutrals have more versatility than busy prints and bold colors – but of course there’s another option. This article includes a few basic shirts and blouses.


It also makes denim your base for your capsule clothes and accessories. I like to start out with choosing jeans, and not jeans. What should be the top choice in denim: Pick a length or shorter denim that’s worn often, and you enjoy wearing regularly.

Keep some different wash products away from similar products. Hang these in your closet, near your top. Take note of the gaps that can be added to denim collections that are useful in capsules.

Top & blouses

After you have selected the basic tees and tanks, let’s go back to top and blouse. Check out tops and blouses that can be easily paired with your choice of bottoms. Sleeveless or shorter sleeves can be worn over shirts or jeans in the cooler months, so you are able to wear them throughout the season.

Neutrals have more versatility than busy prints and bright colors – but of course there’s another option. This article includes a few basic shirts and blouses.


Bottoms make up a garment. The easiest starting place for preparing capsules or simple outfits. We’ll begin by looking for other jeans. Top tips on how to choose a capsule wardrobe top. Conserve anything that you don’t need for the coming season. Find gaps within your wardrobe that can add to the capsule and add this to the list for future reference.

Coats and jackets

It will be easier for people who are not familiar with the jackets for the season to come. List some good capsule clothes: Choose jackets that are functional, versatile and seasonally appropriate. Put away the outerwear for another visit within four to six months. Keep track of jackets, coats and blazers.

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10 closet essential items to include in your capsule wardrobe.

Most of these capsule wardrobes are designed specifically for women and girls who dress differently. Use these lists to get you started shopping for clothing items.

  • White button up shirt: This is a must-have piece for both professional and casual. Whoever says this shirt is reminiscent of the office does not know the style. These shirts are foundational pieces that could be mixed and matched with an array of bottoms. 

  • Pumps: It goes without saying nude pumps are a staple piece. What outfit do nude pumps fail to pair with? They are perfect for absolutely every occasion depending on your outfit and accessories. Before hastily click order on those nude pumps you want to ensure it fits comfortably.

  • Blazer:  Black or navy blazer is an all-time timeless piece and an absolute must-have.  makes for a great versatile piece for work as well as dressing up casual outfits. Simply pairing a blazer over a basic T-shirt and Jeans can alleviate the entire look. 

  • Cardigan: Cardigans are great for wearing all year-round. For winter/fall, cardigans could be layered underneath and used as lightweight outerwear for spring/summer transitional weather. 

  • Basic T shirts:  I personally love basic t-shirts! I own over a dozen of them in neutral colors, grey, white and black. Basic t-shirts are like a blank canvas you can create any look with. One of my favorite methods of styling a basic white T-shirt is with high waisted skinny jeans, with a structured blazer and pumps.

  • Blue skinny jeans: It comes as no surprise that Jeans is a must-have essential. For a classic pair that could work in both casual and dressy functions, dark blue wash. Some of my favorite brands for jeans are express, Old Navy and Calvin Klein. Old navy stands because it has fits for tall women as well as petite. 

  • Denim Jacket: Adding a denim jacket to any outfit makes it look modern and fresh. Jean jackets are a classic that will never go out of style. They come in many washes and fits. I recommend the classic blue wash.

  • Sneakers: Being someone who rarely wears sneakers, I invested in a pair of white keds and Adidas classic pairs. These options are super fashionable and go so well with an array of items. They look great with jeans and look super trendy with casual dresses or skirts. 

  • Black Leather Jacket: Leather Jackets are great to add an edgy flair to your wardrobe. Whether you’re pairing it over a dress or a blouse with skinny jeans, they make an instant statement piece in every outfit.

  • Little black dress: No wardrobe is complete without the classic black dress. Everyone looks great in black so you can’t go wrong. They’re perfect for those outings for which you want to get a little dolled up to hit the town. 

  • Comfy flats/Loafers: A comfortable pair of flats or loafers are another stylish classic staple worth investing in.  Every now and again we need a break from wearing heels. 

  • Ankle boots: Ankle boots are a middle ground. Warm enough for the fall and winter but will not leave you sweating in the summer. 

  • Black/Neutral Handbag: A neutral handbag is a foundational item for every working woman. You need a versatile bag that can go with different looks with little or no effort. Most women wear the same handbag and switch it every now and again for different occasions. 

Capsule Pieces checklist


Black dress

A line Dress.

Slip Dresses


White button up shirt

T shirts

White shirt

Tank top


Cashmere sweater


Outerwear and jackets

Trench coat

Denim jacket

Leather jacket

Oversized blazer


Straight leg jeans

Medium Wash Jeans

Wide leg trousers

Tailored trousers

Denim skirt

Maxi skirt

Black pants

Midi skirt

Mini skirt


Ballet flat

A handbag

A scarf


Congratulations, you now have the tools to build a capsule wardrobe from scratch. A capsule wardrobe is an amazing thing because it can not only streamline your morning getting-ready routine, but it makes shopping for clothing much easier and less overwhelming. What’s more, a capsule wardrobe allows you to develop your own sense of style because all pieces in the collection coordinate so well together.

Plus, by curbing impulse buying, a capsule wardrobe will help you save money in the long run. So start thinking about which pieces from each clothing category you are going to add to your wardrobe! I would love to hear which pieces were your favorite and how the process was for you – let me know which capsule wardrobe piece is your favorite in the comments below!


How do I start a capsule wardrobe from scratch?

How do you build capsule wardrobe? Analyse your style of living. … Step 2: Take a look at your clothing habits every 30 days. … Step 4: Cleaning Your closet! Step 4: Define the colors and develop the color palette for the upcoming shopping. … Step 4: Plan the capsule with a wish list of missing items.

What are the 37 items in a capsule wardrobe?

Your 37 pieces should be tops and pants, gowns, outer garments and footwear. You should have no more than 67 pieces including workout clothes, a gym coat or shirts for the day, shirts or pants, clothes for the office or home.

How many clothes should be in a capsule wardrobe?

Tell me the maximum number of capsule wardrobes? Generally, capsules can have 30-60 items depending on your style. The capsule list I made includes 44 items including shoes & accessories.

What does a capsule wardrobe consist of?

A capsule wardrobe is a restricted selection of reusable garments that complement one another. They are usually classic pieces which are usually composed mostly in neutral shades. A capsule wardrobe gives the possibility to make various outfits with a small selection of clothing.

Is there an app that can style your clothes?

Purple offers virtual stylist suggestions on clothing that suits your personal style by learning to style the clothes. Customizability and flexibility. Suitable for capsule clothing planning. It’s all in one place.

How do I create a capsule wardrobe checklist?

How do we make capsules? Choose the capsule wardrobe color: black, navy, brown. … Select some basic colors that meet the categories listed in the above bulleted lists and only those categories at this level for now. … Step 3: Choose 2-3 accent colors.

Do I need to worry about what season I am or what colors look best with my skin tone?

Clearly a tone and undertone are crucial when selecting a color scheme. This is a general guide not an absolute rule. If you want a list of seasons to choose from, click the following link for a list of colors. It’s not about eliminating colors which are not appropriate, but rather finding the correct shades or tints of color which make you glow. Gold jeweler trends: what is layered gold necklace?

How to build a capsule wardrobe on a budget?

List some things to think about if you’re thinking about buying capsule wardrobes at low costs. Make a conscious decision. … Make a selection of clothing. … Avoid quick styling. ‘ ‘ Eliminating repurposed items of different sizes. … Combine color. Change the way we shop. Keep an eye on your clothes.

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