How to build a capsule wardrobe

There are endless benefits to building a capsule wardrobe. It’s a wonderful way to streamline your wardrobe, simplify your life, and live sustainably throughout the seasons. It can be overwhelming without a thought-out process, we understand. But with the right guide, you can say goodbye to days spent staring at your wardrobe, asking yourself “but what do I have to wear?”.

What is a capsule wardrobe?

First things first - a capsule wardrobe is a collection of classic clothing pieces that can be mixed and matched to create different outfits for different moods, places and occasions.

What are the benefits of a capsule wardrobe?

A major advantage of building a capsule wardrobe is how streamlined your mornings will become - imagine walking up to your clothes drawers, and not having to worry about finding the perfect top to match with those new pants you bought.

Our brand stylist and capsule wardrobe expert, Chloe, shares her top tips on how to build a capsule wardrobe.

How to start building a capsule wardrobe

First, assess what you currently have. Spend an afternoon trying on the pieces in your wardrobe and make three piles; keep, donate, and tailor. Don’t underestimate the power of tailoring! Lots of us have amazing pieces in our wardrobes that we don’t wear simply because of a fit issue or a minor imperfection. If you have jeans that are missing a button or a skirt with a small rip, instead of getting rid of these pieces take them to a local dry cleaner or tailors and get them fixed or altered. They’ll feel like brand new pieces of clothing and give your wardrobe a new lease of life, without having to buy anything new!

Once you’ve assessed what you currently have, make a list of the gaps. Maybe you have ten pairs of great jeans but only one top you love to wear with them, so tops go straight to the top of your shopping list. Be specific with what you’re looking for too, what colours do you like? What sleeve shape suits you best and makes you feel comfortable? This will really help you when shopping for new pieces that will last years in your wardrobe.

Top four tips on shopping for a capsule wardrobe.

Be true to you.

Stick to personal style when shopping and try not to get sucked into current trends and buy into pieces that just don’t suit who you are. It’s easy to see someone else in an outfit and immediately want to buy everything they’re wearing because they look great, but will it suit you and does it work with your lifestyle?

Use the rule of three for anything new.

I use the rule of three for any purchase I want to make; am I still thinking about it three days later, can I think of three outfits I will wear this piece with, and will I be wearing this in three years? If I can answer yes to all of these questions, I’m allowed to buy it! It stops me from making rash purchases late at night and truly makes me assess where and how I would wear this piece of clothing.

Rule of three for creating a capsule wardrobe

Shop consciously

You don’t have to go out and instantly buy a whole new set of clothes for your capsule wardrobe, but when you do need to purchase, make it a conscious one. Choose durable, long-lasting fabrics like cotton, linen and wool, which will stand the test of time in your wardrobe and age beautifully. Bonus points for choosing secondhand or vintage pieces - it’s really fun to hunt for hidden gems, and you usually find items that are totally unique.

Capsule doesn’t need to mean boring.

Building a capsule wardrobe means building a wardrobe that will grow and adapt with you for years to come, but this doesn’t mean it needs to be all black and beige. Leopard print is a great neutral that can be mixed so well with denim for example. Similarly, stripes are a great ‘neutral’ that adds interest to more classic wardrobe staples.

When it comes to choosing colour, don’t be afraid to buy into shades that you love and work well with your skin tone.

What should a capsule wardrobe include?

My top five capsule wardrobe pieces that will keep working hard for you year after year:

  • A classic trench coat
  • Wide leg tailored trousers
  • Straight leg denim jeans
  • Long sleeved striped t-shirt
  • Cashmere jumper

And my top five accessories you’ll keep forever:

capsule wardrobe checklist

Create your own capsule wardrobe

A capsule wardrobe is totally unique to you - but with our top tips, you can be well on your way to creating a paired back wardrobe with mix-and-match basics.