Build Your Own Capsule Wardrobe in 6 Easy Steps!

Alright, let’s talk about one more way to organize your life – capsule wardrobe!

First of all, let me explain, why do I like this system and why did I need one.

I’ve always had this weird shopping style, when I would buy only basics, neutral colors and stuff, and then buy something so extravagant, that it didn’t fit anywhere in my closet. I would just see it in the shop and think “Oh, I love it, I need it in my life right now!” And buy it without any hesitation and thinking about how would I wear it. Some bold decisions were made, I have to admit!

But on a daily basis I would just wear my trusty jeans and a sweatshirt or a tee, depending on a season. And this case became really serious during the last year, when I started working from home. I didn’t have to go to work every day, see people, so it was easy to think like “why do I need to plan my outfit if I’m just going grocery shopping”? And every time I would end up in a stretched comfy old sweatshirt.

So, after all I realized that it can’t go on like this anymore. I wanted to look good, I wanted to look like a responsible adult (even though I just go grocery shopping), I just didn’t want to put too much effort into getting dressed every time.

And this was when I stumbled upon some articles about capsule wardrobe and got really excited! It seemed like a perfect solution to my problem: everything fits together, you can plan your outfits ahead of time, and if you don’t have time you just take anything out of your closet and it makes a stylish well-balanced outfit, wow!

So, what is capsule wardrobe exactly?

It is a limited set of interchangeable essential clothing items. The number of items should be enough to make plenty of outfits, but be limited, so they’re all still have a common style and color scheme. This way you focus more on quality, not quantity.

It consists mostly of quality timeless pieces that don’t go out of style, so instead of buying a bunch of trendy rubbish you can afford to buy something that you would really like and wear for a long time.

Do you feel like that’s what you need? Alright, then let’s take a look at a few steps you need to take to combine your own capsule wardrobe!

Step 1. Shop your closet

The idea behind the capsule wardrobe is to consume less. And also, I bet you already have some pieces that you really like!

So, let’s begin with taking everything out of your closet. And by that, I mean everything. Who knows what kind of treasures are hiding there! Now we need to figure out what you should keep and it will go to your capsule wardrobe and what you should toss or donate.

All your clothes are already out there on the floor, right? Good. Now start forming those two piles. Keep things that you really love and want to wear more of, and all the rest put in a toss pile. It means everything that you don’t really love, what doesn’t fit, is torn, stained or just in bad condition, and things that are just too uncomfortable (maybe you have a sweater that looks really cool but just too itchy, so you would never actually wear it, or crazy heels that hurt your feet just by looking at them).

Step 2. Choose your style

Look at your keep pile. Do you like it? If yes, great. Probably most of the things in it have something in common. So, based on that you can think about your style, is it more sporty, or glamorous, or classic? Of course, you can mix styles a little bit, but remember that our main goal here is that everything fits together.

While you’re doing this, it is very important to keep your body shape in mind. Be honest with yourself and find out what looks good on you, not those models from the catalog.

I always liked pictures with those slender, androgynous models, so I wanted to buy those clothes they were wearing. But I’m not slender or androgynous, I’m actually very curvy, so those clothes didn’t look right on me. And this was the time when I had to be honest with myself.

But it doesn’t mean that you should give up the style that you like only because your body type is different. Think about it from another angle: what exactly do you like about it? How it makes you feel when you look at those pictures?

For me it was the minimalism, the dark colors, the geometrically perfect shapes. So, I decided to work in this destination. Instead of just copying the outfits, trying to create my own, that give me the same vibe.

Step 3. Choose colors

Now look at your pile one more time. Do all those clothes have some common colors? At best you want to have 3-4 matching colors in your capsule wardrobe. The base usually is black or navy (you can also use some shade of brown if you don’t like those colors) and then you add a couple more neutrals to it, like beige, grey, olive, etc. If you’re feeling adventurous enough you can also pick an accent color, which would be more bright and vibrant. But even if you’re wearing all neutrals you can still look great.

Step 4. Imagine what you want

Here are two things you need to think about.

The first one is the number of items. There are no one-size-fits-all rule for this, because we all have different things that we like. I prefer to wear pants most of the time so I don’t need many skirts and dresses, but you might be a complete opposite so my advice on getting more pants would be useless for you.

After all I had:

Tops: T-shirts – 3, Dressy tops – 3, Shirts – 2, Cardigans – 3, Jean jacket – 1.

Bottoms: Pants – 4, Skirt – 1, Dresses – 2.

You can use this as an example for your capsule wardrobe. This list looks very minimal, but trust me, you can make plenty of outfits with this number of items.

Also, don’t forget about adding some accessories, like a nice bag, sunglasses, scarves, they all can help you to add some more variety.

And the second thing you need to think about is how you want your pieces to look like, what color they should be, etc. For example, you already have one skirt, but you think you have room for one more, so you need to imagine what kind of skirt do you want to find before you go shopping.

You don’t want to buy another skirt that looks almost the same as the old one because it’s purpose is to add more variety. So, it needs to have different shape, color or length, but still fit with all the other items.

Or you feel like one more pair of pants would really tie everything together. After all, you want to be minimalistic, but not too minimalistic, so you still have things to wear.

Step 5. Shopping!

But this time you’re not wondering around waiting if something catches your eye, you’re looking for certain things. The most convenient way to do this is probably to look for clothes online and then go to the actual shop and try them on, because there is one the most important thing to remember when you’re shopping for your new wardrobe:

Don’t compromise.

Maybe it would take some time to find pieces that you actually like, but in order to capsule wardrobe to actually work you need to love all your clothes and they have to fit you perfectly. Otherwise you would end up having “nothing to wear” again and keep spending your money.

So, put some time into it, but find things that you truly want to wear every day.

Step 6. Plan your outfits

And finally, the job is almost done!

Now you need to plan your outfits with things that you have. So, every time when you’re getting ready you don’t need to stare at your closet, wondering “what should I wear today?”

You can just open your Polywore (that’s what I used), or look at your inspiration board, whatever the way you choose it would be much easier for you to decide what to wear. I heard that the app Stylebook is very cool, you can optimize all your pictures there, delete background, sounds very convenient.

And just like that, you made yourself a perfect capsule wardrobe!

Do you like the idea of having a capsule wardrobe? Have you ever tried to make one? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Build Your Own Capsule Wardrobe in 6 Easy Steps!

Build Your Own Capsule Wardrobe in 6 Easy Steps!


  1. Melissa

    November 25, 2017 at 4:57 am

    These are great ideas. There used to be a show called “what not to wear” and the people that got on the show received a budget to buy new clothing that fit their style/body type etc. One of the main approaches was to have basics that they could mix and match…build on etc.

    1. Jane Moskva

      November 26, 2017 at 6:59 pm

      I think it was much better than those shows where they just put together a couple outfits for a person and that’s it. I mean it looks great, but they can’t learn anything from this experience!

  2. Kelsey

    December 27, 2017 at 6:41 am

    A capsule wardrobe is a great idea! I never thought about all my clothes being a similar style or color.

    1. Jane Moskva

      December 27, 2017 at 9:13 pm

      Yeah, it actually makes things so much easier!

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