How to Build Your First Capsule Wardrobe

Oct 16, 2018

We live in a busy world filled with endless meetings and material things. With everything going on, it is easy to get caught up in the mess. It is no wonder that lifestyles and philosophies like minimalism or the Swedish lagom (which means “just the right amount”) are becoming increasingly popular. One simple way to adopt this is by having a capsule wardrobe.

Why a capsule wardrobe?

Essentially, a capsule wardrobe entails a small but well-made selection of pieces that will hold up for many years and save you clothing costs over time. Lifestyle writer Nicole Anzia also notes that it provides an easy-to-understand framework that makes shopping and getting dressed easier since everything works with everything else.

Originally, the capsule wardrobe was made popular by Donna Karan, who released her Seven Easy Pieces range in 1985. The idea of a capsule wardrobe is intended to be one with no more than 30 items, including shoes and accessories. However, this number can still vary depending on your lifestyle (i.e., if you work in a corporate office or do a lot of traveling).

The bottom line is that you should have all your basics covered with high-quality pieces that fit you perfectly and can be easily matched with each other. Here are some classic pieces that can be kept on your wardrobe rotation all-year round. 

White t-shirt

White shirts will never go out of style, wherever you go. These come in a variety of cuts and materials, from casual cotton shirts to a dressier silk top. NY Magazine found that the most popular white shirt among women is one that is not too sheer and not too tight. 


Currently, wide-leg trousers and mom jeans are dominating street styles and runways everywhere. But for your capsule wardrobe, choose a pair that flatters you the most, whether that is a loose cut or tapered jeans. Choose some essential bottoms that are easy to combine with various looks, like the “Fit-You-To-a-T” dark jeans and the office-appropriate trousers.

Read also – How to Overhaul Your Wardrobe on a Tight Budget

Statement piece

Capsule wardrobes can be fun, too. While its concept is rooted in minimalism, over the years, statement pieces have been injected to make outfits a little bit more interesting and unique to you. However, do not make the mistake of giving into trends.

Look to incorporate pieces that stand out, but are still timeless designs, like those with unique sleeves or avant-garde silhouettes. That way, they can still be worn with your other clothes, no matter the current fashion trends. 


Blazers are one of the most versatile pieces of outerwear you can own. Blazers as a must-have in every girl boss’ wardrobe. They can easily be taken from a business meeting to a night out, and look great paired with sneakers and flats. Consider investing in a neutral tailor-fitted suit to balance out your colorful tops and shoes. 


Unless you are a perpetually light traveler or pocket-dependent, a reliable bag is a necessity. Opt for one that is timeless in structure, design, and color. It should also be equally useful and able to adapt to your needs – whether you are stuffing your laptop in after a workday or taking it to a fancy dinner date. 

Ankle boots

These shoes are often called the “workhorse of many wardrobes.” From tan Chelseas to black buckled booties, you have most likely already seen them all over Pinterest – and for good reason. A stylish, comfortable pair can serve as your everyday shoe. Pair them with your Sunday’s best dress, your blue jeans, or even your office uniform. 

Read also – 10 Perfectly Stylish Jet Plane Outfit Ideas


Again, capsule wardrobes do not have to be boring and monotone. Do not be afraid to ditch the usual black or gray, because a sophisticated blue can add so much visual interest. However, fashion columnist Paula Darnell cautions that just because they are neutrals does not mean they will go with everyone.

Do take note of other factors, such as your skin tone and hair. According to her, it is important to identify which shades work best on you, as well as the rest of your wardrobe.