How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe From Scratch

Let’s face it. In today’s fast-paced world, success is determined by how quickly and efficiently we make the right decisions. We must prove we are the best at solving a specific challenge that arises at work or outpitch our competitors for a new client’s business. So how about we start setting ourselves up for success from the beginning with a streamlined capsule wardrobe that can help us conquer any day?

What is a Capsule Wardrobe?

Back in the 1970s, London businesswoman and fashion stylist Susie Faux invented the “Capsule Wardrobe” based on the idea women should have a few fashion “must haves”  that would be considered timeless. These items are pieces you could have worn ten years ago or can wear ten years from now. It’s best to see the pieces you add to your capsule wardrobe as an investment since you will be utilizing them to make 2-3 outfits from just one piece of clothing.

What to Include in a Capsule Wardrobe?

So which basics should you include in a capsule collection? Look no further than our list below:

  • Two black pants (one to wear with a heel and one to wear with a flat)

  • The infamous little black dress

  • A black or navy blazer (see which looks best on your skin tone)

  • A white or off-white dress shirt (another item based on skin tone)

  • 2-4 T-shirts that can be worn under a blazer or with jeans and sneakers (these aren’t gym t-shirts)

  • 2-4 long sleeve shirts

  • 2-4 tank tops

  • A cashmere sweater (everyone needs one! Trust us)

  • 1-2 dark wash jeans that can be worn with a heel and a flat (be wary of whiskers near the thighs, designs on the pockets or colored stitching)

  • 1 closed toed pump

  • 1 open toed heel

  • 1 ballet flat

  • 1 casual shoe (Think Vans or Toms)

  • 1 large, 1 medium and 1 small bag (try to get them in leather with no shiny hardware)

Capsule Wardrobe Do’s and Don’ts

Do choose fabrics such as cotton for easy use and a crisp and elegant finish.

Do purchase each item in neutral colors: black, white, gray, navy, brown or beige. The neutrality of the colors will help transform your clothing into a blank canvas to express yourself with accessories or other trendier pieces.

Do go through your current wardrobe and decide on what you really wear on a regular basis. Eliminate decision fatigue and organize your wardrobe to reduce clutter. People wear what they are able to see so look into closet organizers to make sure you are getting full use of your clothing.

Don’t purchase clothing that doesn’t fit your current lifestyle. Remember the point of a capsule wardrobe is to have pieces of clothing you can utilize in more than one outfit. So toss those pregnancy pants or that college formal dress “you hope to fit back into one day” and start purchasing items that fit your current body.

Don’t buy everything at once. Examine what basics are currently living in your closet and take note of what is missing. Observe yourself for 2-4 weeks and keep a journal of what you actually wear in your daily life. Is there a chance there are more items that can be removed? Once that is determined, start to incorporate more capsule pieces.

Don’t toss all your clothes in the washer and dryer! To make your new capsule wardrobe last, be sure to read the tags and learn how to properly clean and handle your clothing.

So yay or nay? Let us know how you feel about capsule wardrobes in the comments below.