Capsule Wardrobe Guide for 2023

66% of Americans wish that they spent less money on clothes. 

The average American spends $1,700 a year on their wardrobe and it doesn’t make them happy. 

A lot of this is because they have too many clothes that leave them tired and drained when deciding what to wear because of decision fatigue.

That’s why every American might be better off with a capsule wardrobe. 

What Is A Capsule Wardrobe? 

Your own capsule wardrobe is a smaller or even minimalist collection of clothing that has been put together with the intention. You use more of the same clothes to wear everyday but you use them to create a personal style that works for just about anything you do.

capsule wardrobe

It’s the process where you look at your wardrobe and you edit it down to just the clothes that fit your life right now and your body right now. 

And learning to remix and combine them regularly in order to shop less often, look amazing all the time and live in the moment, not spending hours deciding what to wear every time you leave the house.  That’s the basis of a capsule wardrobe system.

The Advantages Of A Capsule Wardrobe

There are distinct advantages to having a capsule wardrobe and they include:

  • It frees up your time. The less time you spend choosing clothes each day, the more time you spend doing things that you love. The less time spent shopping for clothes means more time doing more fulfilling things too.
  • It ends decision fatigue. Simple, elegant, minimal wardrobes make it super easy to change up your look without wearing you out with options.
  • You end up with more cash. A smaller wardrobe means spending less money on clothes and having more in the bank.
  • An end to guilt. Every time we clear out our wardrobe of all the things that we meant to wear but didn’t, we feel bad. An intentional wardrobe contains no garments that we don’t wear and thus, we don’t feel guilty.
  • A boost to confidence. By defining a style and living in it, you will see the compliments you get on your appearance go shooting up and that makes you feel great and confident.
  • It removes distractions. When you’re not always on the hunt for new clothes, you can switch off from the constant barrage of advertising trying to sell you clothes.
  • You feel grateful. When everything in your wardrobe sees use and brings you pleasure, you feel grateful for the things you have. 

How To Build A Capsule Wardrobe In 6 Simple Steps

So, let’s go through the basics of building a capsule wardrobe. It’s easier than you might think to start a capsule wardrobe!

Begin By Figuring Out Your Signature Style

How do you want to appear? 

Classic and timeless? Fresh and funky? Edgy and sophisticated? 

What clothes make you feel great about yourself, whose style do you really admire that would suit you too. 

signature clothing style

You have to know what style you’re looking to create before you begin the process or you may end up building a wardrobe that, while awesome, doesn’t thrill you. 

My signature style is a mix of black, whites and greys with a little bright coloring in to make it feel less “corporate”. 

Yours can be anything you want it to be. You want to think about your favorite clothes and then use quality clothing to reflect your style.

Attend To The Basics First

The basics are the backbone of your capsule wardrobe and while they can vary from person to person, these are my preferred basics:

  • An awesome pair of jeans
  • A button up shirt
  • A structured jacket
  • Shoes that really make a statement (ideally, from our best vegan shoe brands).
  • A bag that makes you feel fabulous
  • A basic t-shirt 
  • A lightweight sweater that goes with everything
  • A skirt that fits amazingly
  • A stripey top
  • A go-to-dress (and no, it doesn’t have to be little or black, though it can be)
  • A coat that sets everything else off perfectly
  • A signature piece of jewelry that defines you

By getting these essentials in place, you have the raw ingredients that you can mix and match for every occasion. Yes, you can even incorporate workout clothes in this or maternity clothes.

Do consider your body shape when making clothing choices, clothing items should be flattering, after all. You can try the best clothing brands for minimalists for some ideas too!

Settle On A Color Palette (And Keep To It)

While my capsule wardrobe may not be too colorful, yours can be as bright as you want it to be.  Your colours suit your needs in a curated wardrobe.

The trick is to pick a color palette that suits you and that you find flattering, color theory is a good way to go about this. 

Start with hues (that’s a pure color such as a primary color), then look at shades (that’s a hue mixed with some black), tones (a hue with a bit of grey in it) and tints (a hue with a bit of white in the mix). 

clothing color palette

You can think of them in seasons too. 

Winter is represented by hues, Spring by tints, Summer by tones and Autumn by shades. 

Once you have your palette, it’s time to stick to it. 

No more buying clothes that don’t fit. 

Review What You Already Have

Before you buy any more clothes, go through what you already own, anything that works with your style, essential clothes list, and color palette can be put to one side and if you’d wear it regularly, it can go in your capsule wardrobe. 

So there’s no need to throw out your favorite skinny pants, black pants, classic pieces or trench coat or that must-have item from designer Donna Karan – as long as you will wear it.

Get rid of everything else, either donate it to a charity thrift store or if it’s in awesome condition why not sell it at an online thrift store

Seek To Incorporate Your Style And Its Twists

Then build your wardrobe around your style but add a few twists, a twist is simply something that gives your style and edge that’s unique to you. 

minimal capsule wardrobe

A little trim to your t-shirt or a cowl neck can be twists, your twists are all your own. 

Fill In The Blanks

Finally, it’s time to ensure that there are no gaps in your capsule wardrobe, if there are, you can go out and buy some clothes to fill those places. 

If you sold your unwanted clothes, so much the better, they ought to fund whatever else you need. 

You could even consider buying your clothes at thrift stores, there are very good reasons to do so and with these tips and tricks, you can get amazing bargains. 

You’re looking to end up with no more than 20-24 items that all mix and match seamlessly to create an endless number of combinations that look great but with a distinct identity that screams “you!”

Final Thoughts On Capsule Wardrobes

Nearly all of us have too many clothes and it doesn’t make us happy.  Fast fashion is not sustainable fashion, either.

Having a more minimal approach in a capsule wardrobe can reap real rewards and the good news?

It’s not going to cost you a fortune and in the long run, it will save you money. 

Why not start your capsule wardrobe today?