How To Create A Capsule Wardrobe

Like many of us, you probably open your overflowing closet, browse through your stuffed drawers and check your endless “under the bed shoe collection” and exclaim “I have nothing to wear.”

Or maybe the small pile of clothes on your desk chair of your “outfit on repeat” is your current mood.

We’ve all been there, or are there. But I’m here to tell you that you can reduce the amount of “joyless items” in your closet to a few essentials that will actually allow you to create a larger variety of outfits.

There’s no point in buying this year’s strappy-cut-out, bow tied-PVC-whatever trend if you're not comfortable in it, you’re only going to wear it once, and it’s going to sit at the bottom of your closet.

The solution to all this is simple : create a capsule wardrobe. Great, what’s that? A capsule wardrobe is a collection of a few essentials (hopefully good quality , sustainable pieces because those will go the distance with you) that can create an endless array of outfits just by switching something here or  there. This capsule can be updated for each season (layering for winter and adding the appropriate shoes and accessories to prevent freezing to death), just remember to add or subtract things based on what will match with the core pieces you already have.

capsule outfit
Hopefully this will allow you to clear some of the clutter out of your life and finally get rid of (donate or give away) the items that are just taking up space in your wardrobe.

Let’s get started…

So first, you want to think about your lifestyle , work-style, home-style, etc. What are you most comfortable in? What do you feel most confident in? Don’t add pieces to your capsule if it’s something you're going to pass on every time you see it.

 Step 1:

Start with bottoms : For Spring/early Summer, I like to wear the heck out of my favorite jeans or cords, because I know I won’t see them much in the thick of Summer when just throwing on a dress takes effort. Pick neutral colors that can go with multiple looks and are easy to dress up or down. You can pick blue denim or black denim or a pair of leggings ; any bottoms you think you will be able to get a lot of wear out of.

Here are my picks:


Step 2:

Now you want to select your tops (shirts and pullovers). I like to pick between 3-5 pieces. The majority of my pieces will be neutrals : gray, white or beige and then, from this, 2 or 3 pieces can be a pop of color you love or a pattern.


Step 3:

Third piece layering. In Spring and Summer I’m not wearing a lot of jackets. If I wear a jacket it’s usually my denim jacket, but really my favorite thing to do is just wear one of my long-sleeve shirts as a jacket. On other occasions I can wear it buttoned up just as a shirt with a cute bralette underneath and then that gives me a completely different look.


Step 4:

Dresses. I love dresses, but even more than dresses, I love rompers!! You don’t have to worry about a gust of wind showing your unmentionables on the way to work or be wary of stairs when you’ve got a romper on . My other favorite thing about rompers is that you can throw a shirt over them or a sweater and now you have a whole other outfit (which is also a possibility with dresses). Here’s where I usually pick a dressier piece for dinner or night out and then a few printed pieces that will look great with my neutral tops or third piece layering.


Step 5:

Shoes. I don’t wear high heels, if that’s your thing , then you’re a champion! I’m all about cool comfort which is why my capsule includes white sneakers, brown boots and sandals. I love being able to dress up a pair of jeans or shorts by adding a heeled boot but also need the practicality of knowing I spend a lot of time on my feet at the store or walking around the city.


Step 6:

Don’t forget to accessorize ! If you’re not a big jewelry person , that’s OK. I love to have a few dainty necklaces and large layering pieces to really make a statement. But then on other days I will just wear my one gold piece. On the other hand (no pun intended) I’m a huge ring gal. I have collected my favorites and can’t be seen without them. Whatever your style is , mix and match until you’ve found what you’re most comfortable in.
I also like to complete the look with a hat. The right hat and pair of boots can really change a pair of jeans and a t-shirt to a statement.


Here are the base colors I used and the pop colors and prints. With these 13 pieces I am able to create more than two month's worth of outfits. Once you have a visual of what you’re working with, the outfit choices are endless! And since many of these pieces can carry you through to different seasons, you don’t have to worry about completely changing your collection in a few months.


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