Building a capsule wardrobe is definitely the best thing I’ve done as it relates to clothes. Capsule wardrobes are complete with only things you love and things that fit you in the way you feel most confident. It’s not usually built around trends or fast fashion though you could have some of those pieces in there if they wear well. It has taken me a minute to write this post not because I don’t have the information, most of what I’ve seen is based around the corporate woman and or corporate lifestyle. I really wanted this post, when I brought it to life, to be relatable and more everyday. Now that the pandemic is here, it seems almost appropriate to add sweats and loungewear to your capsule wardrobe.
Building a capsule wardrobe is personal. The same thing I tell people when it comes to building an aesthetic is check your closet. Checking your current wardrobe will tell you a lot about yourself and what your current style is. Noting and paying attention to the items you wear most will help you understand what pieces you’ll most likely want in your capsule.
Lets get into 5 tips for building a capsule wardrobe.
What’s Your Lifestyle?
Building a capsule wardrobe has a lot to do with your lifestyle and that is why it is personal. There is always room for fun and dramatic pieces, I have quite a few, but I absolutely dress for my everyday lifestyle. I sit a lot at work, so I opt for a fitted legging because it won’t wear out or stretch out over the course of the day. If I know my bottom is more fitted, I go for a oversize top or top that can at least be tucked in as a little more loose fitting than my bottoms. I like wearing heels, but even if I’m sitting all day it’s not practical to wear my stilettos to work, but opting for a good everyday heel that is just high enough, I can pair that with my fitted leggings, top and still stay in my capsule wardrobe zone.
How is your lifestyle? Are you moving a lot at work? Maybe you opt for pieces that have more flexibility and fluidity, things like shift dresses and satin skirts. If you work corporate, maybe your lifestyle requires flats and different types of dress shoes, all of that is included and a part of your capsule wardrobe. Even when I share things that I like for other people to shop, I don’t share things I wouldn’t consider wearing and not that it is about me, there is still an element of my lifestyle in the things I’m choosing. That encourages someone who may live a similar lifestyle to see how I use said pieces. Do you walk around a lot for work? Comfortable shoes and clothes that maybe stay in place and aren’t fussy is what you may need to have on deck. At the end of it all, you know your lifestyle and your activity, so you should always choose things that compliment building a capsule wardrobe not take away from it.
Hero Pieces and Essentials
What do you feel comfortable in? What are the pieces you always wear or want to wear?
Hero Pieces: are the staples that last you longer than normal. For me it would be my denim, liquid or leather leggings, crew neck sweaters, shoes, coats.
Essentials: on the other hand are your basics; your t-shirts, body suits, things that you will most likely replace throughout the course of a year; things that are not made to last forever.
As I began to build a capsule wardrobe, I started to pay attention to the things I wanted to wear most and also noticed the things that started to get pushed to the back of the drawer or closet. I like low fuss clothes. Bodysuits and plain white tees are great essentials for building a capsule wardrobe because they look polished. The tucked in look is classic and classy, they hug your figure and you don’t have to worry about re-tucking them as you go about your day. For white tees they are clean and crisp and pair well with hero pieces or every day looks.
Consider what your things are and give yourself a top 3-5. The more love and attention you give to an area of your style you begin to develop an eye for that garment. Now I can spot a good t-shirt, I know what brands I like to frequent, I have an idea of what type of fabric and material I like most or that feels luxe.
So as you prepare yourself to build a capsule wardrobe, consider your hero pieces and essentials.
What Are Your Capsule Wardrobe Colors?
Choose your color palette. Similar to a brand color palette you should have 1 main color, 2 coordinating colors and 1 accent. My color palette is the example below:
- Main: Black
- Coordinating Color #1: White/Cream
- Coordinating Color #2: Brown
- Accent: Green
You can build a capsule wardrobe with whatever colors speak to who you truly are. My color palette is neutrals, very similar to my blog and personal brand. I have some bold statement pieces and unless it’s a coat they don’t get much love unfortunately, but I like knowing I have them when I need them. Knowing what my color palette is, I buy pieces in a variety of those colors and or patterns in those colors. I recently bought some workout leggings and instead of getting plain black, I got black marble. I live in 2 piece sets in cream or a tri-color mix. Saying all of this to say, have fun with your color palette.
If you like color, maybe your main color is black, light denim blue and yellow, green, and orange. You don’t have to wear orange t shirts, necessarily, but maybe you pair a light wash pair of jeans with a graphic tee that has orange text. Maybe you choose a green fedora over a black one; maybe your shoes are where the fun colorful magic happens.
Textures aka RAZZLE DAZZLE
Textures are your razzle dazzle when building a capsule wardrobe. Satin, velvet, corduroy, leather, wool, sheer any type of delicate or heavy material aka statement pieces are great for adding glam to your capsule wardrobe. You don’t need a ton of these pieces, you may not wear them in your everyday routine, or shoot, maybe you will; these are the fun pieces.
For me, I love satin and velvet; satin is light and flowy, velvet is rich and heavy and I’ve found some really good pieces. Once you’re clear on what your textures are or what they will be, when you shop, you’ll automatically look for things in that material. You’ll start shopping with more intention; of course you can look at pieces that are not a specific texture, but the point is you’ll have direction.
Of course you need shoes; what if we walked around barefoot ya’ll, like what if shoes didn’t exist in our lifetime? I digress, but shoes are just as important to building a capsule wardrobe. Shoes that can go with multiple things is a win win. My must have shoes for building a capsule wardrobe include:
- A good pair of walking shoes or sneakers
- A nice heel
- A strappy heel
- A pair of boots
- A nice flat
Outside of that you are free to build around what you need or want. Shoes depend on your lifestyle. My husband always jokes that I wear through my things, some more than others, but I buy clothes to wear them, not have them sit. Everything in my capsule wardrobe gets worn. The clear heels that look like the Amina Muaddi’s have been my most worn shoe. It always makes any outfit look good. Jeans to skirts, my reception dress for my wedding. The clear heel/clear shoe trend definitely made it easy to wear one shoe with multiple things.
This is just the beginning of more fashion related posts. My next post will be discussing staples you want to have in your capsule wardrobe.
This was so helpful! My capsule colors are gray, black, white and blue. I need to add some razzle dazzle like a really nice bag, and a fire pair of shoes, and then I’ll be set.
Thank you so much for reading! Yes a bag always sets it off and shoes you can never go wrong. For the shoes that I love that I wear a lot more often, I just get them repaired if I need to. Usually the heel needs to be replaced, but gives them more life.