How to build your very own capsule wardrobe

Carmen Lau

I think I spend way too much time making Spotify playlists and sometimes I enjoy casually sipping on instant coffee while doing so.

Have you ever caught yourself standing in front of your wardrobe and you’re taking too long to decide what to wear? I truly believe everyone has experienced it at least once in their lives, and it can get pretty frustrating.

What is a capsule wardrobe?

The whole capsule wardrobe idea can really help you spend less amount of time figuring out what you want to wear or even help you spend less money on clothes. But first of all, it’s important to understand how the term capsule wardrobe was derived. A London boutique owner named Susie Faux invented it in the 70s. Her idea of a capsule wardrobe was to create a collection of simple essential garments of clothing that will never go out of fashion. Having a capsule wardrobe is also a great start if you want to achieve a minimalistic lifestyle. So, how do we begin creating our very own timeless capsule wardrobe? Here are six steps to narrow down how you can create your very own capsule wardrobe.

Step 1: Clean Out Your Closet

Begin by emptying your closet and dividing them into two piles – the first being the pieces you still wear and the other is the items that you never wear. First of all, it is extremely important to get rid of that hoarder mentality and remember! DON’T be afraid to let go of your clothes. We all know it’s hard to part ways with that skimpy neon top that you’ll “one-day” wear, but it’s a refreshing feeling once you chuck it away into the never-wear pile. Once you’re done sorting those out, you should have a clear idea of which clothes you should let go. You may choose to do whatever you want with them, but I suggest you either donate or sell them away.

Step 2: Staples You Should Keep Or Own

This is an example list of what you should keep in your closet. Everyone owns their own signature style, but these items are essential to building your capsule wardrobe. These pieces aren’t plenty but it’s a great base to start with as you start deciding what you want to wear every day.


Little Black Dress Camis Button down shirt Blazer Denim jacket Leather jacket Cardigan Long Sleeve Tee


Skirt Jeans Trousers


Sneakers Plain flats High Heels Chelsea boots


Black White Nude Navy Blue

Step 3: Work Out How Each Item Compliments An Outfit

Once you’ve decided on which clothes you are most likely to wear, it’s time to figure out how each piece of clothing works well with the others. Basic clothing is the easiest to figure out, so be sure to keep white tees, button-ups, and a black leather jacket. Take your time and try on different styles and don’t be afraid to mix and match. You never know what’s going to work well!

Step 4: Get New Items To Add Or Replace Current Fashion Pieces

When you have an idea of the items you should have in your wardrobe, it’s best to ensure you actually have the items you need to ensure you have it all checked out of your list. It’s best to invest in certain clothing, as these clothes are the ones you’ll wear out the most. So don’t be too frugal and spend on the best quality possible! If you’re unsure of what you need in your closet, refer to Step 2 as a guide on what you should get when you’re out shopping

Step 5: Add Zest To Your Wardrobe!

Now that you’re almost done creating your capsule wardrobe, it’s time to add a few patterned clothing into the mix. Adding colors or patterns can really brighten up and make a timeless capsule wardrobe. They can either be patterned tops, bottoms, dresses or skirts. Patterns vary from polka dots, stripes or even floral fabrics. The best bet is to get floral tops as they can really compliment base colors. If patterned clothing isn’t your thing, then you can opt for ruffles or textured clothing. Ruffles and textured clothing still makes a big difference to your outfit. It makes your outfit look effortless yet fashionable.

Step 6: Accessorize

The right types of accessories can really go a long way. From statement necklaces to dainty earrings ­– it can never go wrong on any outfit. Select from gold, silver or pearl accessories. It’s always a great way to make your outfit look more ‘expensive’. Handbags and clutches are also a great way to add some personality to your capsule wardrobe. Bright colored handbags are perfect during spring and summer while bigger tote bags compliment autumn and winter outfits. Apart from that, the size of your handbag can also make a difference to your everyday outfit. Smaller bags go well when wearing lesser clothing as it can stand out more. If you’re wearing a lot of layers, then carry a bigger tote bag as it draws attention to your outfit.

Step 7: Maintaining Your Capsule Wardrobe

Finally! You’re at the end of creating your capsule wardrobe. It’s a simple procedure, and it’s an invigorating feeling to finally know you have one. The final step is, of course, to maintain your capsule wardrobe and utilizing it. The capsule wardrobe does a pretty good job at making sure you have your closet clean and organized, at the same time always having something different to wear. On how you can maintain your capsule wardrobe, you should stop spontaneously buying random items for your wardrobe; instead, you should buy items that compliment with what you currently have in your closet. When buying something new, you may also reflect and think twice about whether you really need it or if you really love the item. This can really help you decide whether you should spend your money on buying them or not. One important rule to religiously practice when buying new items is buying “quality over quantity”. I cannot stress enough on how important this rule is. When it comes to fashion, you should always invest a little bit more to get more bang for your buck.