What is a Capsule Wardrobe?


This concept was first termed so by Susie Faux. A wardrobe has certain essential items which can be used interchangeably. These essential items are used as a base for seasonal items to get yourself a full look. Some of the most basic components of a capsule wardrobe are items like basic skirts, coats and trousers. These are all items that never go out of style and can be paired with any trending item of the season.

With a capsule wardrobe, it becomes easy to mix up items to create multiple looks even from a limited number of items. This keeps your wardrobe from being a disorganized and overflowing mess, without compromising on style. These staple items for the wardrobe are, preferably, to be bought in colours that can be coordinated.


General Rules to Build Your Capsule Wardrobe

  • Before you start shopping for your staple items or the seasonal items, identify a colour scheme that you’ll stick to. Choose from base colours like black, grey, navy, beige and khaki, depending on what colours suit you. Your colour palette should include 2 base colours and up to two accenting colours. The accenting colours are ideally brighter and should go well with your base colours.
  • While shopping, take your body shape into consideration. Some clothing cuts look better on a particular shade while others can ruin the look completely. Make it a point to do some research and identify your body shape and to shop accordingly so that you can get the best out of it.
  • For your staple items, look for cuts, patterns and shapes that are classics. For example, stick to stripes, floral or checks, since those are classics. The same rule of classics applies to colours as well. So you’ll want to stay away from neon shades for your staple items since these are not classics.
  • Take care of the quality of the items you choose, especially with fabric. The whole point of a capsule wardrobe is to have only limited items, but the limited items should not go bad easily. It is okay to choose a slightly expensive fabric if it means that the fabric will be able to handle the wear and tear. If the item is likely to fade or go bad easily, you want to drop it.


Get Down to Building Your Capsule Wardrobe

  • Tops: The first item in your capsule wardrobe should be a plain white t-shirt since these can be paired with LITERALLY anything in your wardrobe. Next item should be a chambray shirt; these can be paired with a variety of prints and can even be used to layer an outfit. Also grab a button-down blouse, preferably in silk and a striped top. The final item would be a knit sweater.
  • Bottoms: Start with pieces of denim. There are two variants of denim that you should have, first is a dark wash and the second is a light wash. If your body shape can pull off loose or boyfriend jeans, then get these in a light wash. The next item you target should be a pencil skirt since these are very flattering and can be worn in both casual and formal settings, depending on how you style it. The third item would be a pair of comfortable leggings in a neutral shade. The final item is trousers, also in a neutral colour.
  • Jackets & Blazers: Always keep a black blazer. This is one of the most versatile items in your wardrobe. The second is a denim jacket, which can be used to make a casual look of any degree. The final item is a trench coat which is a fashion icon.
  • Accessories: Get a tote bag in a neutral shade. For your footwear, get a pair each of ankle boots, ballet flats, pumps and sneakers.