How do I Build a Capsule Wardrobe?

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  • Written By: Robert Ferguson
  • Edited By: Jessica Seminara
  • Last Modified Date: 20 January 2020
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A capsule wardrobe is a timeless collection of clothing consisting of neutral pieces that are versatile. Each item of clothing in the wardrobe can be combined with other items to create many different looks using a small set of garments. Proper knowledge of a capsule wardrobe is required in order to build a successful collection.

The roots of your capsule wardrobe are basic clothing items which interchange and enhance the rest of the clothing. A wardrobe should contain basic items like a pair of black slacks, a pair of dark denim jeans and khakis. Additional items to include are a two-piece suit, a black or navy skirt, and a black dress. Also needed are several form-fitting shirts in neutral colors like white, black and grey to mix and match with your bottom pieces. The collection might also have a few bold or printed sundresses, a neutral cardigan and a denim jacket to create a few fun looks.

A collection of appropriate shoes must also be included in the capsule wardrobe. Formal occasions require a pair of black, basic high heels and a pair of trendy shoes. For casual occasions, include a pair of versatile flats and a pair of sandals. A good variety of shoes helps to create fun looks when combined with different outfits.


Basic accessories are also needed to help round out the capsule wardrobe. The use of accessories can transform a look instantly without changing clothing. Simply switching from everyday jewelry to a pair of colorful earrings or a necklace can transform a two-piece suit to a sophisticated or trendy outfit. Other types of accessories that have a profound effect on casual clothing and should be included in any capsule wardrobe are floppy hats, various scarves and a wide range of costume jewelry. This will help to ensure that the proper attire is on hand for any occasion.

The key to a successful capsule wardrobe is combining new purchases with existing clothing to create a completely new collection. Making a list of current clothing and accessories will help in coordinating them with newer items. This will provide focus and organization when shopping. It will also save money by eliminating the purchase of new items when a similar item might already be on hand.


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