How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe

Everyone wants to know the secret to the perfect wardrobe. How to some of your favorite street style stars always manage to look so effortless? There are some obvious secrets – like stylists and luxury brand partnerships. But for the layman (us!) developing a capsule wardrobe is your star style hack to having a put together image, all the time. It will also (most likely) cut down on your clothes (if space is a problem) and cut down on get ready time in the morning (win).

A capsule wardrobe is the concept that you only have a few, intermixable pieces that go with everything. Gone are the days of having one shirt that only matches one pair of pants. Everything in your wardrobe will go with everything else. It’s a mix and match philosophy that will always keep you on your personal brand. If that’s something you care about. (Like me)

There are a few different ways to get started. I have finally narrowed down my capsule wardrobe and hopefully these tips will get you to do the same!

1. Understand your color palette. This seems kind of silly, but it’s true. Know your favorite colors and what you want to wear consistently. Most capsule wardrobes tend to skew to neutrals, so if that isn’t your thing, you might have a trickier time – you’ll want to focus on staple pieces more, which we’ll get into.

For me, this step was drastic but necessary. I only like wearing black. I sat down and purged my closet of everything in it that wasn’t black. Not kidding. There is one camel trench coat in the back of my closet and a sweater that I’m keeping purely for nostalgia. But other than that – a LOT got thrown away.

2. Know your basics. There are a few things that you are definitely going to need when establishing a capsule wardrobe. My recommendations:

  • Basic teeshirt.
  • A blazer.
  • Skinny jeans.
  • Classic coat of your choosing – I like a duster or trench.
  • Turtleneck sweater.
  • Dress pants.

The teeshirt goes with the blazer, the sweater goes with dress pants, vice versa… you get it.

3. Keep away from “trendy” items. A capsule wardrobe isn’t for everyone. It’s for women who want to keep a consistent, stylish, timeless image and aren’t afraid to have a “smaller” closet. This means cutting away the excess fat from your closet. For example, I haven’t run out to buy track pants or a million off-the-shoulder tops this year. I’ve stayed away from holographic prints. You get the idea.

4. This extends to your shoes, too. I really have a limited amount of shoe options, even though there are a few more under the bed that definitely need to go. You can (believe me!) limit it to a few different staple pairs.

  • A sneaker. (I have Adidas Stan Smiths)
  • A loafer or ballet flat.
  • A dressy sandal (that pairs up or down).
  • A chelsea boot.
  • A black pump.

5. Once you have completed your capsule wardrobe, keep this in mind when shopping in the future. It’s so much easier to walk into stores now. I can clear a flagship Zara in 15-minutes. “Is it black?” “Does it go with everything in my closet?” “Can I wear it weekly?” If it’s a triple-yes, then I consider it as being an addition to my wardrobe.

A capsule wardrobe cuts down on so much time, it’s incredible. Shopping is easier, too, and I am consistently the “lady in all black.” Which, you know, is fine with me.

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