How to build a capsule wardrobe?

How to build a capsule wardrobe?

The first and probably most necessary step to start your capsule wardrobe is to clean out your closet. That’s actually something that should be repeated at the beginning of every season – technically every 3 months. 

My capsule wardrobe color palette

Capsule wardrobe – how does it work

First of all it helps you to get a clear overview about the pieces you (already) have. You might find items you won’t wear anymore and you can sort them out and maybe sell them on second hand online platforms. So now after the sorting out, your favorite color(s) might turn out. For a capsule wardrobe it’s very useful to narrow down your color palette to 3 to 5 different shades. If these shades work well together, it’s even better if not essential. My colors are very natural, neutral and earthy. I love all neutral shades (white, cream, beige, taupe, navy, marine, olive, coffee, brown, grey, black) and therefore I take care to build my basics around that color palette.

So now that we know our color palette, we have to find out what pieces are essential. It’s said that a capsule wardrobe should consist of 30 to 40 pieces (excluding accessories and shoes). Basics build the foundation of this wardrobe concept and because they might be worn the most, you should invest in some high quality pieces. A good quality is also necessary, because you might want your basics to last long. To me, it’s also really important that my basics are easy to care about. So I always check the care instructions before I purchase them.

The following list is my personal must-have list to build my capsule wardrobe. I’m a total skirt and dress girl, especially during spring and summer. But if you won’t wear skirts and / or dresses but you love pants / jeans or vice versa, you can easily adjust the list to your personal wishes.

So here is my capsule wardrobe list

  1. basic and simple shirts (Basics) : white and black or grey shirts
  2. button down shirts (Basics) : my personal key pieces – so I would always invest in a good button down instead of everything else – white, black, striped. Everything that goes with your color palette 
  3. sweater / cardigan (Basics) : high quality pieces are here essential
  4. jeans (Basics) : one or two good fitted jeans are essential, if you wear pants at all
  5. pants (Seasonal) : jeans work every season around the year, but pants can vary depending on the season – long, wide leg, cropped, short, bermuda… how you like it
  6. skirts (Seasonal) : and optional if you wear skirts or not. I love skirts, but I prefer midi length and pencil skirt
  7. dresses (Seasonal) : and also optional. I prefer dresses during summer and just like skirts I prefer midi or long dresses
  8. blazers (Basics) : a good blazer goes all around the year and works well with the basics as well as the seasonal pieces
  9. jackets (Seasonal) : it varies depending on the season – warm, lightweight, waterproof, leather….
  10. coats (Seasonal) : warm coats belong mostly to fall and winter, lightweight trench for spring

Get to know your personal style

Now that we have a rough overview about the pieces we need to build our capsule wardrobe, we need to find out what our actual style is. Without knowing our personal style, we can’t really build our personal capsule wardrobe. During the sorting out process we might have gotten a glimpse at our style already. Do you prefer casual pieces, or more elegant and chic items or really colorful?

I told you already that I love neutral shades the most and I won’t my pieces to be effortless. My looks are always really minimalistic. I also got the most inspiration from Scandinavian brands. So I would say my looks definitely reflect that love for natural, good quality and casual elegance a lot. Hence I could name my personal style as scandi minimalistic.

My personal tip

We know now how to build a capsule wardrobe. That’s great but we also need to leave some room for magic. Therefore my 3rd and last step differs a bit from the normal rules to build a capsule wardrobe. With “leave room for magic” I mean to still be open minded with the latest trends and find a way to include parts of it to your capsule wardrobe and your personal style. It might bring a little twist to your looks and makes style more interesting. A really great piece therefore is the blazer. You can wear them well fitted, oversized, cropped or extra long or you can switch from blazer to a tweed jacket. It’s quite similar to the blazer but so much more exciting.