Here’s all the items you need to have the ultimate capsule wardrobe.
Over the last few years, capsule wardrobes have become more and more popular. The simplicity a capsule wardrobe can create for you can be very appealing to many people; it makes fashion and creating outfits an ease and takes away the frustration fashion can cause. Although many people would love to have a capsule wardrobe in their life, starting one can be harder than you think. Having the right pieces that work together and will last for months or even years is hard to put together.
In this post, I have created a capsule wardrobe checklist that includes all of the pieces a capsule wardrobe can have. It is broken down into different wardrobe sections to ensure that you really understand the different categories and why each of the items is important.
What is a capsule wardrobe?
A capsule wardrobe consists of a limited selection of clothing items that can be pieced together to create multiple outfits. These items are usually staple basics that don’t go out of style and are mainly neutral colours; this helps it be more versatile and make pairing between the different items easier.
A key feature of a capsule wardrobe is that the clothing items can create various outfits, for different occasions, out for a small selection of clothes; capsule wardrobes are typically made up of 50 or fewer items. It is all about what is needed out of a wardrobe, rather than what is wanted.
Benefits of a capsule wardrobe
There are many reasons for changing to a capsule wardrobe; here are a few of the main benefits.
More sustainable – The purpose of having a capsule wardrobe is to have versatile pieces that won’t go out of style that you can wear for a long time; this is a sustainable approach to your wardrobe. Not only does this mean you’ll get a decent amount of wear out of your wardrobe, but it also means you’re less likely to be buying into fast fashion. People that choose to have a capsule wardrobe tend to go for more luxury, higher-quality pieces which means they won’t be buying from fast fashion brands which is also a way to be more sustainable.
Save you money in the long run – A capsule wardrobe helps you save money in the long run. Initially, you may find it expensive having to get it to the standard you want, but once it’s completed, you won’t have to go shopping very often as you have all the pieces you need to make multiple outfits that you can wear regularly.
Always have an outfit ready – The great thing about a capsule wardrobe is that you know you always have an outfit. One of the worst feelings about your wardrobe is that you have nothing to wear, but with a capsule wardrobe, you always have multiple outfits ready to go.
Less stress and decision fatigue – Decision fatigue is based on the idea that our brains are programmed to make a certain amount of decisions a day, and after that, it gets tired and struggles to make further decisions. By having a capsule wardrobe, the limited amount of items help to make the decision easier, so in the morning, when you’re getting ready for the day, not having to think so hard about what to wear helps to set you up for a better day and make it more efficient.
Tops are the basis of your wardrobe. You can build outfits on them, and they are a great way to start layering. It is essential to have multiple basic t-shirts and shirts so that they are easy to pair with. I’d start with black and white t-shirts, a plain white shirt, and a black satin shirt; these are staples that look great on their own and can be worn with multiple other items.
This is a good way to start your capsule wardrobe as it gives you a chance to see what you need and want, but at the same time, you have outfits you can wear ready to go. Having a patterned shirt and a few hoodies and sweatshirts gives you variety and a bigger range of outfits you can create; this helps to make your capsule wardrobe more versatile for day-to-day life.
This section doesn’t need to be too big as it is really only for the colder months, but it is still important to have the necessary items. Cardigans are great to have in your wardrobe; not only are they great for the colder weather or in summer for the chilly evenings, but they also can make any outfit look more put together.
A chunky knit is a classic for winter; you can wear them casually or more formally for work; just style with a pair of jeans and black boots, and you’re good to go. Roll neck tops are a classic piece, they look great with so many bottoms, and you can also wear them under dresses and jumpers to create a different look, and it is also a great way to layer.
A brighter coloured jumper is also good to have; capsule wardrobes are typically full of neutral tones, so having a few pieces that add more colour is a nice way to break up the wardrobe and add something different.
This section is again like tops the basis of your wardrobe. Your bottoms should be simple and easy to pair, along with tops, are the starters of the outfit, and the other categories help build on that and finish the outfit. Every outfit needs a few pairs of jeans; even though we haven’t worn them as much over the last few years, they are easy to pair, they go with most outfits, and they can be worn casually and dressy.
A capsule wardrobe needs a simple blue and black pair, and then you can add more of a funky pair; this may be a different coloured pair or a pair with a pattern or a different cut. Leggings and joggers are great for the casual days; whether that’s lounging at home or a day of running errands, these are perfect for that.
Finally, a pair of leather trousers are a great option for smarter occasions. They are still simple, but they fit the criteria of items in a capsule wardrobe, and you can get a lot of wear out of them.
Dresses, Skirts & Shorts
This section is dressier pieces but equally as important as the other sections. You may choose to add more to this section if you wear these items on a more frequent basis, for example, if it is part of your work attire, but again that is up to your preference.
Having a midi dress and mini dress is important to add variety to your wardrobe; it helps cater to different occasions and what is appropriate for that event. Skirts are a good addition to a capsule wardrobe as it creates more outfit options to pair with your tops and jumpers.
A selection of midi skirts and a patterned skirt is also a nice way of adding some excitement to your wardrobe, as capsule wardrobes can be quite simple. Shorts are also a great option for the warmer months, but they can also be styled in the winter with a pair of tights and chunky boots for an edgy look.
In my opinion, this section needs to be practical yet stylish. These items need to be suitable for different weather conditions but can still be worn to match outfits and look fashionable. A trench coat is a perfect piece for a capsule wardrobe; they are a timeless piece that can be layered or worn on its own to suit the weather. So whether you pair it with a chunky knit for winter or as a throw-on over your summer dress, this is an ideal piece.
A puffer jacket, leather jacket, blazer, and a denim jacket are all key items to an outfit. They are the items that help make outfits look different and give them statement features. These will also help get you through the year with the different types of weather, so they have a very practical side to them also.
The shoes you have in your capsule wardrobe should be simple and versatile. This should be the most practical category of them all, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be stylish. A good range of shoes is important for a wardrobe; it is the accessories and shoes that can really make an outfit and help make multiple outfits.
Having a pair of trainers is good for more casual, running round days when you need something comfortable; white trainers are a classic and go with near enough every outfit. Two pairs of boots, one more casual, and a dressier option are great for the colder seasons and can be worn on different occasions.
A pair of heels and flat shoes such as loafers or mules are great for work but can also be dressed for more formal things such as dinners or nights out. Finally, a pair of sandals are great for summer and are easy to pair with loads of different outfits.
Accessories are essential to a capsule wardrobe. These will help make your outfits look different and keep them looking fresh. Simple jewellery is essential; not only does it make it easier to wear for more occasions, but it means that they are more timeless; the simple they are, the longer they’ll look stylish. A scarf is great for winter times for the colder weather, but equally, you could have a thinner scarf that you can wear all year round as an accessory rather than a practical piece.
Having two different style bags is great for a capsule wardrobe; it provides more outfits and helps cater to different occasions. You could have a casual bag for day-to-day and then a dressier bag for evenings and formal occasions. A belt is always good to have, not only for practicality but also if you are wearing a monochrome outfit; a belt is a good way of breaking it up and adding more detail to the outfit.
I hope this has been helpful; this is a detailed list of things that a fully functioning capsule wardrobe would have. A capsule wardrobe will be different for everyone; everyone lives different lives, some of the things on the list may not suit your day-to-day life, and there may be things you need to add.
Again it will take time for your wardrobe to get to the complete stage; it won’t happen overnight, but once it’s completed, it’ll be the best thing you have ever done. A capsule wardrobe is the way forward; there are so many benefits that ensure you won’t be disappointed.