What is a Capsule Wardrobe?
Before we dive into the steps involved in creating a capsule wardrobe, let’s break down what a capsule wardrobe is. A capsule wardrobe is a curated selection of clothing that can be mixed and matched to create a variety of outfits suitable for work, weekends, and all occasions in between. It’s the ultimate minimalist approach to fashion, with the aim of creating a wardrobe that blends style and function from a limited number of quality pieces.
What are the Benefits of a Capsule Wardrobe?
Capsule wardrobes have been growing in popularity over the last few years thanks to their many benefits. Firstly, they help
- Simplifying our lives. They reduce physical and mental clutter, reclaiming our time to focus on other things.
- Enhancing our style. Narrowing down your clothing helps to evaluate what colours and silhouettes suit us best and how to style them. This helps us develop a stronger sense of personal style and dress more authentically.
Embracing sustainable fashion. Prioritising quality over quantity encourages us to slow our consumption and shop intentionally for pieces we can wear for years to come.
How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe?
A capsule wardrobe takes time and effort, so we suggest completing the steps below in stages.
1. Declutter your Wardrobe
Begin with a wardrobe clean-out to take inventory of everything you own. As discussed in our guide on How to Spring Clean your Wardrobe, we recommend sorting your clothing into three categories:
- Keep: These are your go-to pieces and wardrobe staples.
- Discard: Any items with holes beyond repair or old, worn clothing.
- Donate or sell: Clothing you rarely wear that is still in good condition. Give these clothes a second life by selling or donating them.
2. Choose your Core Capsule Pieces
From your “keep” pile, select your capsule items. Consider the following questions when sorting through each item:
- Is it flattering?
- Is it versatile?
- Is it high-quality?
Prioritise pieces made from cotton, wool and linen, as natural fabrics and fibres are robust and will stand the test of time. Once you’ve selected your items, look at your clothing as a whole and ensure your selection encapsulates the elements of a capsule wardrobe. Make sure your wardrobe includes:
- Items from every clothing category.
- Summer, winter and trans-seasonal pieces.
- A complementary colour palette.
Capsule wardrobes can range from 30 to 50 pieces; however, the number of items ultimately depends on what works for you. To help you build the foundations of a strong capsule wardrobe, we’ve put together a sample of a minimalist capsule wardrobe.
3 x pairs of jeans (light wash, medium wash, and dark wash).
2 x pairs of seasonal black trousers (for summer and winter).
2 x pairs of lighter-coloured seasonal trousers (for summer and winter).
1 x pair of summer shorts (cotton or linen).
3 x skirts (maxi skirt, midi skirt, and knee length).
1 x black midi dress.
1 x shirt dress.
1 x maxi dress.
1 x linen summer dress.
1 x jumpsuit.
1 x playsuit.
1 x heavy knit jumper (crew neck, roll neck or turtleneck).
1 x light merino jumper (crew neck or v-neck).
1 x cardigan.
1 x knit tee.
1 x denim jacket.
1 x leather jacket.
1 x casual fleece or half-zip.
1 x blazer.
1 x puffer.
1 x wool coat.
1 x pair of black heels.
1 x pair of neutral party heels.
1 x pair of strappy sandals.
1 x pair of flat-soled leather shoes.
1 x pair of leather boots.
1 x pair of casual sneakers.
1 x pair of active sneakers.
2 x leather belts (black and a lighter neutral).
2 x scarves (lightweight and a heavier knit).
1 x beanie.
1 x summer hat.
1 x tote bag.
1 x shoulder bag.
1 x crossbody bag.
2 x pairs of sunglasses.
1 x everyday watch.
3 x everyday jewellery pieces (earrings, necklace, bracelet).
3 x statement jewellery pieces (earrings, necklace, bracelet).
3. Curate Ten Everyday Outfits
To test whether your capsule wardrobe works for you, try creating ten outfits. We recommend taking photos of every outfit to visualise your capsule wardrobe and to refer back to later when choosing future ensembles. Once you have built the foundation of your capsule wardrobe, it can be tweaked over time and will naturally evolve with you.
Find inspiration or complete your capsule wardrobe with Cable Melbourne. Explore our latest range of women’s clothing to add luxe to your everyday styling.