Budgeting Fashion

How to: The Capsule Wardrobe

Do you have a closet full of clothes and struggle with knowing what to wear? You’re not alone! Many of us only wear about 20% of our clothes, 80% of the time. If you’ve always wanted a clean, curated closet then read on…

To start with it’s best if you de-clutter your wardrobe. Check out my post on how to de-clutter your wardrobe for good!

Once you’ve done that come back and read this post. This post will help you to learn your style, your colours and get a start on your capsule wardrobe.

What is a capsule wardrobe?

A person’s basic collection of co-ordinating clothes that can be used to form the basis of outfits for all occasions

Why should you have one?

  1. Less stuff = less anxiety
  2. Create more space for the things you do love
  3. Less choices = quicker dressing
  4. You’ll know what you’re missing and what you do need to buy
  5. Save money in the long run!

How to choose your style

If you aren’t used to having a certain ‘style’ it can be hard to work out what you might put in a capsule wardrobe. Also think about your lifestyle – Are you mostly a jeans girl? Are you a stay-at-home mum and just need quick pieces? Do you have a corporate job? To get the best use out of your wardrobe you need to make sure it matches your lifestyle and your personal style.

If you aren’t sure what your style is maybe think about what you naturally gravitate towards or other peoples styles that you like. Create a pinterest account and make a board if it helps you to see it visually. I often use pinterest for inspiration.

Remember though that your style is totally unique to you. For me my wardrobe is comfortable but also business-casual. I have an office job that requires me to look relatively presentable. I wear black jeans most of the time and pair these with different tops. Sometimes I may wear a black skirt or dress if I need to be a bit ‘dressier’.

Choosing your colour scheme

Choosing the colours for your wardrobe can be difficult or extremely easy. Some people wear every colour out there and others like me only wear a few.

Think about the colours and pieces you currently wear most and you’ll likely find a pattern. There are many online tests that you can take to help you work out your perfect colours. I’m personally not into bright colours (I prefer muted tones).

colour choosing.PNG

This article does a great job at explaining colours. For me, I worked out what the most prominent colours (and colours I liked the most) were in my de-cluttered wardrobe and stuck to these four. I then added on a few patterns that I like; namely dots and stripes.


Sticking with a consistent colour scheme will maximise the number of pieces in your wardrobe that can work together. A wardrobe based on neutrals, solids, and subtle patterns will go much further than a wardrobe made up of eclectic hues and dramatic prints that clash.

Also don’t forget to think about what style of clothes suits your body shape. Mid-drift tops might be trendy but if they don’t suit you they don’t belong in your capsule wardrobe. Stick to pieces you love to wear and that suit your shape. I am a bit of an hourglass shape, my waist is quite small but I have larger hips. I tend to stick to items that hug the waist like wrap tops or a-line dresses that sit under the bust and flow out. Work out your best features and your least liked areas and then find pieces that flaunt your good bits and hide the not-so-good bits.

Matching your pieces to create outfits

Start with some basic items in your base colours (black, grey etc) and then build it out with pieces in your accent colours and patterns.

My must have basics are:

  • Black jeans
  • Dark wash jeans
  • Light wash jeans
  • Cardigans in base colours
  • A blazer
  • A black dress
  • Tops in base colours
  • Black flats
  • A black handbag


After that I add in pieces with the accent colours / patterns and some accessories (I am very minimal when it comes to these) and from there all you need to do is mix and match pieces to create outfits. If it seems to hard to match everything together divide it down into literally one outfit and then make another one and once you’ve got a few you’ll start to see how they can all integrate together.

When it comes to how many items you should have that’s totally up to you. A good round number is 30. If you feel like you don’t have enough basics to start with maybe this is a chance to buy some and then design your wardrobe around those.


Tips & Take-aways:

  • Start with a de-cluttered closet
  • Think about your lifestyle and personal style
  • What colours do you gravitate towards?
  • What suits your body shape?
  • Start with basic items and build from there
  • Pick only a few accent colours, preferably ones that are similar
  • A capsule wardrobe can change with the seasons
  • It doesn’t include sleepwear, underwear and active wear

Have a question? Ask away!


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