Have you got too many clothes? Never know what to wear? Today’s post provides a simple capsule wardrobe planner to help simplify your closet, and we’re sharing tips about how to create a capsule wardrobe and maintain it. Plus at the end of the post you’ll find 31 fabulous garment ideas to help you build a capsule wardrobe.
After the survey a few weeks ago, in which we asked “How Many Clothes do you Have“, many of you admitted that you have far too many clothes! And don’t get me wrong, I’m guilty as charged. But I’m always trying to cleave my way back to a minimalist wardrobe with clothes that fit me, look good and can be mixed and matched.
Trouble is I’m always up for a bargain, and it’s hard to resist something pretty and pink too! But then I think of cheap clothes, badly paid factory workers (or worse, child labour), and the landfill of old clothes which just gets bigger.
Yes, minimal is better. And don’t we all know how much stuffed wardrobes that contain too many clothes can tie us down and befuddle our brains, and as a consequence we can take waaaaay too long to choose what to wear each day.
Of course it’s not possible for most of us to go out and buy a completely new comfy capsule wardrobe, but it is possible to be mindful about the pieces we add to our wardrobe each season, as well as the pieces we throw out.
Some people say that a capsule wardrobe should consist of no more than 37 pieces. Others say 28, and other 50. I think it’s entirely up to you. When you have a closet that is easy to navigate, is not stuffed so full that you can’t get the hangers out, then maybe you’ll become an old hand and easily understand how to build a capsule wardrobe each season.
I’m all for it. It’s kinder to the planet and makes life so much easier.
Table of Contents
How to Create a Capsule Wardrobe
When building a capsule wardrobe, these are some things to consider:_
- Take a good hard look at the clothes you already have.
- What basic new styles will mix or match with existing garments in your wardrobe?
- What are the main colour themes in your wardrobe?
- What needs updating in your wardrobe and what doesn’t? (Generally speaking if something is looking worn and tatty, balled or stained it should be thrown out because you honestly won’t remember to wear it for the gardening or going out alone for a walk!)
- If you can, update some of your basic wardrobe pieces like T shirts, tailored shirts, everyday pants and skirts each season.
- For your basic capsule wardrobe pieces try and stick to a palette of colours like black, white, navy and tan.
- Buy something new and exciting that really gives you joy, even if it only goes with a couple of existing garments.
- If you’re buying an everyday dress remember that wrap dresses suit almost everyone.
- Add one or two colourful show pony pieces to bring your wardrobe to life.
- Remember it’s not how expensive an item is, it’s how many times you wear it that counts.
Need to Know Wardrobe Basics
If you’re new to building a capsule wardrobe, there are some simple things to remember.
A capusle wardrobe doesn’t include garments like cocktail dresses or ballgowns, neither does it include loungewear like tracksuit pants, activewear, sleepwear, socks, pants and other underwear.
Anything which doesn’t belong in your capsule wardrobe should be hung somewhere else – things like cocktail dresses or ball gowns can be stored apart from your everyday wear, or at least at one end of your rail. Can you find a place for them in another wardrobe perhaps?
Hang up your T-shirts, pants and Jeans so that you can easily see them.
Everything that belongs in your everyday capsule wardrobe should be hung up, easy to see.
Everything else should be neatly folded in drawers or on shelves.
Now I don’t like rules, and I don’t always subscribe to them, but generally a minimalist capsule wardrobe consists of must-have clothes that everywoman should have in her closet such as …
- T Shirts
- Smart Pants
- Cut off pants
- Everyday dresses
If you don’t like skirts (I don’t so much) then add another workable everyday dress. Same with pants – if you don’t wear them, perhaps you’d rather add a different pair of jeans or ponte pants.
Try to stick to a tight palette of colours.
It’s all about what you wear everyday, for work, shopping, coffees out, or casual lunch dates with friends.
Capsule Wardrobe Checklist
Your idea of a capsule wardrobe checklist might differ slightly to the one below. Feel free to add a garment here, or take away a garment there.
- 3 T-shirts
- 3 Button up shirts
- 2 Pretty blouses
- 2 Longer tunic tops
- 2 Cardigans
- 2 Jumpers/Sweaters
- 3 Pairs of Jeans
- 2 Pairs of smart pants
- 3 Skirts
- 3 Dresses – at least one in a plain block colour.
- 2 Pairs of cut off pants/capri pants
- 5 Pairs of boots and shoes
- 1 Jacket
- 1 Coat
That’s 34 pieces. And if you look at the list objectively I think you’ll agree that’s plenty to choose from.
Remember you’re creating a capsule wardrobe of pieces to suit your lifestyle – your everyday lifestyle.
Make sure the colours mix and match. Your T-shirts should be in white/ivory, navy, tan or black. Same with smart pants. Make sure a button up shirt goes with a pair of pants, a skirt and a pair of jeans.
At this stage the planning is all about making sure that everything in your wardrobe has a partner.
For instance: Dresses should have a cardigan in a block colour that matches. Your coat should go with everything. The jacket you choose might be leather, or something that is very distinctive and can be thrown over a casual look with jeans or a more formal look with smart pants.
Now it’s up to you to decide on a few show pony pieces that will add some interest, and give you joy to wear. These pieces might be bright, or patterned or sequinned. They will add glamour to your everyday basics.
And loungewear – trackies, onesies, whatever you lounge around in front of the TV wearing, these don’t feature in your capsule wardrobe! Keep them in a separate drawer for down-time.
Capsule Wardrobe Planner
I think that many of us will have some black, tan, white and blue of one sort or another in our wardrobes, so today I’ve selected 31 pieces, as an example of a capsule wardrobe planner. These garments have been chosen because either they go together, or they could be bought singularly to add some extra va-va-voom to your existing capsule wardrobe.
There are budget pieces and one or two high end luxury items to splurge on.
I haven’t picked any high heel shoes – I’ll leave you to do that in real life, because honestly if they’re high, they can be tricky to fit. I suggest you go in store for this unless you know the brand well.
Instead I’ve concentrated on comfy Ugg boots, sneakers, flat boots and slides which are more forgiving by nature if you’re purchasing online.
When I’m putting an outfit together I always look for block colours to start with, and then add prints to give it some life. Perhaps in the form of a scarf or a jacket.
However, I couldn’t resist the easy fit leopard skin relaxed T you’ll find below which I’ve made sure will match up with the black midi skirt, black ponte pants and tracksuit bottoms.
The dresses feature pretty prints, a denim long sleeved tie waister and my favourite style, a wrap dress, which I think is so flattering for every body shape.
I hope you enjoy browsing the capsule wardrobe planner selection below and pick out some pieces to buy and add to your new looks this season.
Click on the images to take you through to a link for more information.
What would you add?
What can’t you live without?
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