How To Build A Capsule Wardrobe (Plus Free eBook!)
IMAGE: Styled by Nina Horst
How To Build A Capsule Wardrobe
The Capsule Wardrobe: You may have heard a fair amount of buzz about capsule wardrobes lately, and are wondering what all the fuss is about.
A capsule wardrobe is a collection of about 25-35 timeless pieces of clothing, that all could ‘go together’ so you can create many outfits without having to own many items.
The idea is that you ‘purge’ your closet, keep only the things you truly love and wear, and train yourself to stop buying clothing you don’t need.
Want to see my picks for essential Capsule Wardrobe pieces? See my shoppable Pinterest board here!
The actual term ‘Capsule Wardrobe’ was coined by London boutique owner Susie Faux in the 1970s. She described a capsule wardrobe as being a collection of a few essential items of clothing that don’t go out of fashion, such as skirts, trousers, and coats, which can then be augmented with seasonal pieces.
See: French Minimalist Style Challenge
For most of my life, I was guilty of being in the habit of buying too many clothes
Like TOO MANY clothes, girl! Collecting clothing with a quantity over quality mindset is a terrible, expensive habit I knew I had to change. My closet was overflowing with hundreds of dresses, shirts, pants, and shoes, yet most days I wore the same skinny jeans and basic Ts.
Why did I need so much excess? The answer is, I didn’t. Finally one day I just realized that I have enough. More than enough! I needed to make a major change in not just my wardrobe, but in my overall thinking of how I shop. I knew that I needed to be more mindful of what I let into my home.
It was time to re-wire my brain to want to acquire less.
Acquire Less Junk
I was inspired by the concept of having a capsule wardrobe, so I got to work building my own. After some initial separation anxiety over parting with the things I owned, I eventually managed to give my closet the overhaul it very much needed. I now have a streamlined, simple collection of just essential classic pieces, and I couldn’t be more happy about it!
If you are wanting to build your own capsule wardrobe, check out my steps below, and be sure to grab my free ebook: How To Curate Your Perfect Capsule Wardrobe, by becoming a member below. It is packed with tips and worksheets to help you along the way!
Check your email for a message from me, with the link to access the member’s area and download the ebook, free.
Steps To Curate Your Capsule Wardrobe
1. Define Your Style
The first thing in curating a capsule wardrobe is to decide what you want your style to convey.
Are you dressy? More casual? What will your colors be? Take a moment and draw up your capsule wardrobe color pallet.
My Free Curate Your Perfect Capsule Wardrobe eBook has some helpful worksheets to help you design your ideal color pallet, with tips on matching hues to your skin tone, too. Determine what your base colors will be for the majority of your capsule wardrobe items, and then determine one or two accent colors.
I decided my capsule would be black, white, tan & grey, and then have blush pink as the accent color. Keep your colors in mind as you begin step 2.
2. Purge Your Closet
Now it’s time to go through your closet and decide what to get rid of, and what can stay and become part of your capsule wardrobe. This is the hardest part in building your capsule wardrobe, but you need to be ruthless, you need to be strong, you need to let go.
Take everything out of your closet – and I mean everything. Lay it all out on your bed/floor so that you can analyze each item.
Create 4 piles: Love It, Sell/Donate It, Toss It, and Not Sure Yet.
Begin sorting your items into their piles. Anything that is tattered, stained, or otherwise unusable goes into the toss pile.
Anything that you don’t wear, don’t love, or don’t fit goes into the sell/donate pile. (See my handy list of places to Sell & Donate your clothing). Any items that you aren’t sure if you want to keep or get rid of go into a ‘Not Sure Yet’ box. Close the box and put it in the back of your closet or somewhere in storage, and f you don’t think to wear any of those items in 60 days, assume you won’t miss them and sell or donate them immediately. If it’s something you absolutely love, it gets to stay in the ‘Love It’ pile and will become part of your capsule wardrobe.
Try to ‘shop’ what you already own. You probably already have most of what you need for a capsule wardrobe, you just need to cut out the excess!
Related: Going Minimalist: Inspiration To Help You Declutter Your Life
3. Plan Your Capsule Wardrobe To Fit Your Lifestyle
Your perfect Capsule Wardrobe needs to be functional in suiting your unique lifestyle. If you go out a lot, your capsule will need more dressy clothes, or if you have young kids running around at home, your capsule will need more leggings. As I was purging my closet, I found that I had a lot of clothes that were no longer suitable to my current lifestyle.
I had several ‘work’ clothes leftover from when I worked in an office, but now that I work for myself as a Blog at Home Mom, all my blazers and business casual button up shirts aren’t needed anymore (thank god).
Decide what’s right for your lifestyle and plan your perfect capsule wardrobe items accordingly.
Related: Thinking of starting a blog? This guide covers everything you need to know!
4. Determine The Number Of Items You Will Allow In Your Capsule Wardrobe
As you are sorting, keep in mind what your most essential clothing items are, and what items you will need for all four seasons. Be ruthless in dedicating the ‘Love It’ pile to the items you actually do love.
Think of an ideal number of items that you want for your capsule Wardrobe, and ‘shop’ your love it pile to fit in with that number. I have included a worksheet in the Free Curate Your Perfect Capsule Wardrobe eBook to help you.
Enter your email address to download the ebook:
For me, I decided that I would narrow down my overall wardrobe to 25 pieces. (You can see which items I kept in the image under step #6 )
Keeping just 25 items from my gazillion was NOT easy! But I managed to do it! Here is what I kept:
Bottoms: Skinny Jeans (3), Little Black Dress (1), Day Dress (1), Skirts (2)
Tops: Dressy Tops (3), Basic Ts (3), Blazers (2), Faux-Leather Jacket (1), Sweaters (2)
Shoes: Dressy Heels (1), Heel Booties (1), Sneakers (1), Wedge Sandals (1)
Accessories: Scarf (2), Hat (1)
Plus allow for 2-3 additional items per season.
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5. Your 4-Season Capsule Wardrobe Budget
Once you have ‘shopped’ your ‘Love It’ pile and tossed the rest, you may have room to purchase a few items, depending on how good you were at purging! If this is the case, now is the time to decide on a yearly budget for clothing.
This is important. You want your Capsule Wardrobe to be able to be worn all year round, no matter the season. So it is important that you invest in good quality, timeless pieces that will last for years to come. Quality over quantity is your new motto!Create your #capsulewardrobe today and live bigger & better with less #junk https://beautyiscrueltyfree.com/build-capsule-wardrobe Click To Tweet
After narrowing down items I already had to incorporate into my capsule wardrobe, I didn’t need much else. I decided that my yearly budget for spending on clothes is $500, or $125 per season.
Shop My Capsule Wardrobe
My favorite places to get affordable, classic and high-quality clothing for my capsule wardrobe:
The Subscription Capsule
Another way to keep your capsule wardrobe fresh each season is a to subscribe to a quarterly subscription box that features a mix of clothing, accessories and beauty products.
Box Of Style by celebrity designer Rachel Zoe is a great one for this, as the items in the box are very high quality, beautiful and useful. FabFitFun is another great one!
Related: The Best Cruelty-Free Beauty Subscription Boxes
6. Plan Your Outfits!
Woohoo! You made it this far! Now that you have curated your perfect capsule wardrobe, you can plan your outfit possibilities from the items. Here are the 25 items in my capsule wardrobe, along with several outfits that can be made from them:
I use an app called Stylebook to organize my wardrobe and plan outfits. It lets you organize your wardrobe from your phone. You can upload photos of your clothes to your ‘virtual closet,’ resize them, remove backgrounds and then virtually style and plan your outfits.
With features that allow you to track stats on your outfits, plan your daily outfits on a calendar, get travel packing tips and so much more. You can even shop for new items to complete your capsule, right there in the app. It’s fabulous! And it’s only 3.99!!
This is what Stylebook looks like:
photo credit: Stylebook
Get Stylebook here:
Enlist The Help Of A Professional Stylist
Professional stylist Alison Lumbatis of Get Your Pretty On offers the most amazing Capsule Wardrobe Style Challenges, where she will help you every step of the way in creating a personalized Capsule Wardrobe for you – for under $40!!
Check Out Her Top Style Challenges:
- Spring 2018 Capsule Wardrobe
- Spring 2018 Work Wear Capsule Wardrobe
- Closet Staples Casual Capsule Wardrobe Builder
Plus, grab a copy of her book The Big Book of Outfit Formulas
Want To Keep Your Capsule Fresh? Rent Your Wardrobe!
Le Tote is a chic fashion rental subscription which will send you gorgeous clothing that you can wear as many times as you like, and then once you’re done send back what you don’t want to keep. You can purchase what you do want to keep too.
You can even rent fashionable maternity wear!
Do More With Less
Le Tote is the perfect solution for any fashionista or minimalist looking for a smart way to create a dream capsule wardrobe.
Are you starting a capsule wardrobe of your own? Let me know how it goes in the comments!
And be sure to check out our Directory of Cruelty-Free Beauty Brands And Subscription Box Reviews & Promos!
This post may contain affiliate links, which is at no cost to you. For more information, see my disclosures.