How To Build a Minimalist Capsule Wardrobe The Easy Way

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By Anna Marikar

Are you tired of decision fatigue, spending too much time choosing what to wear, or constantly buying new clothes to keep up with the latest trends? The concept of a capsule wardrobe might be the answer for you. A minimalist wardrobe can save you time, money, and help you curate a collection of clothes that truly reflect your personal style.

In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the simple steps to build your own minimalist capsule wardrobe, focusing on essential items in neutral colors that are versatile and suitable for mix and matching to create different looks, in 7 easy steps.

Step 1: Understand the concept of a capsule wardrobe

The first step is to understand and get to grips with the concept, and get on board with why you are doing this.

A capsule wardrobe is a curated collection of high-quality, versatile pieces that can be easily mixed and matched to create a variety of different outfits. The minimalist approach reduces the number of items and decisions, leading to less decision fatigue and a more sustainable wardrobe.

The benefits of a capsule wardrobe go beyond just simplifying your daily life. By focusing on fewer, high-quality pieces, you reduce the environmental impact of your fashion purchases and contribute to a more sustainable fashion industry. A capsule wardrobe can also save you money by encouraging thoughtful, intentional purchases of timeless pieces rather than impulsively buying into the latest trends. Additionally, having a curated wardrobe can help you develop a strong sense of personal style, making it easier to feel confident and comfortable wearing your clothes in any situation. Overall, a capsule wardrobe is a great way to embrace a minimalist lifestyle and enjoy the benefits that come with it.

quality not quantity capsule wardrobe

Step 2: Determine your base color and color scheme

Choose a base color that complements your skin tone and suits your style. Neutral colors like black, white, gray, navy, and beige are popular choices for a minimalist wardrobe as they can be easily paired with other colors. Your color scheme should include a mix of neutral basics and a few brighter colors or statement pieces to add variety.

When choosing your base color, consider the colors you feel most comfortable wearing and that suit your complexion. Stick to 2-3 base colors to ensure your wardrobe remains cohesive and easy to mix and match. In addition to your base colors, incorporate accent colors to bring life and personality to your outfits. These can be brighter colors, patterns, or textures that resonate with your personal style. Remember, the goal is to create a versatile wardrobe that can easily adapt to various occasions and moods.

capsule wardrobe accent colors

For example, Anna’s color palette tends to include shades of green and Luciana’s includes tones of mauve

Step 3: Assess your body type and personal style

Consider your body type, personal style, and daily life when choosing the key pieces for your capsule wardrobe. The best part of a minimalist approach is that it allows you to focus on quality pieces that fit your body shape and reflect your own style.

Understanding your body type is crucial for selecting clothing items that flatter your shape and make you feel confident. Research different cuts and styles that work best for your body shape, and take note of the pieces you feel most comfortable in. Your personal style should also play an important role in shaping your capsule wardrobe. Think about the aesthetics you’re drawn to, such as minimalist, boho, or classic, and use this as a guide when selecting your key pieces.

capsule wardrobe

Step 4: Set a magic number of items

Determine the number of items that make up your capsule wardrobe. The traditional capsule wardrobe consists of around 30-40 pieces, including clothes, shoes, and accessories. However, this number can be adjusted according to your needs and preferences.

Your magic number should be tailored to your lifestyle and personal preferences. If you have a more formal job or attend frequent events, you may need a larger number of pieces to accommodate different dress codes. Conversely, if your daily life is more casual, you can opt for a smaller number of items. Remember, the goal is to create a functional and versatile wardrobe that suits your needs, so don’t be afraid to adjust the number of items as you see fit. The focus should be on quality over quantity.

minimalist capsule wardrobe

Step 5: Select essential items and quality pieces

Now it’s time to select the essential items and quality pieces that will make up your minimal wardrobe. Classic pieces in neutral colors should form the foundation, while a few statement pieces can add flair and personality. Avoid fast fashion brands and opt for high-quality, sustainable items made from natural fibers that will last a long time.

When choosing the essential items for your capsule wardrobe, keep in mind that these should be pieces that can be easily combined with each other to create a variety of outfits. Opt for clothing made from durable materials, such as cotton, linen, or wool, that can withstand regular wear and washing. Investing in high-quality pieces will ensure your wardrobe lasts longer and looks better over time. When selecting statement pieces, look for items that express your personality and can be easily integrated into your existing wardrobe, adding interest and variety to your outfits.

capsule wardrobe flatlay

Step 6: Organize your entire wardrobe

Use Marie Kondo’s method or your preferred organization technique to declutter and arrange your new capsule wardrobe. This will make it easier to see all your options and create different looks with fewer items.

Once you’ve selected your essential items and quality pieces, it’s time to declutter and organize your entire wardrobe. Start by removing any items that don’t fit, are damaged, or no longer align with your personal style. Then, arrange your capsule wardrobe in a way that makes it easy to see all your pieces and quickly choose outfits each day. You can organize your clothes by type, color, or season, depending on your preferences. Having a well-organized wardrobe will further reduce decision fatigue and make it easier to maintain your minimalist lifestyle.

neutral capsule wardrobe

Step 7: Review and adjust your capsule wardrobe

Reevaluate your capsule wardrobe every season, and replace or add new items as needed. This way, you’ll maintain a fresh and functional wardrobe that stays true to your minimalist lifestyle.

As seasons change and your lifestyle evolves, it’s important to reevaluate your capsule wardrobe to ensure it continues to serve your needs. This may involve adding seasonal pieces, like winter coats or summer dresses, or updating your wardrobe with new items that align with your current style. Regularly reviewing and adjusting your capsule wardrobe will ensure that it remains functional, stylish, and true to your minimalist lifestyle. Remember to always prioritize quality over quantity and stay true to your personal style when making adjustments.

List of Items for a Capsule Wardrobe

This is an example list for the capsule wardrobe concept but in order to make this really work for you, you’re going to have to adapt the list to make a really great capsule wardrobe that works for your own style, needs, and daily routines. But this will give you a great start to jump off

Here’s an expanded list of essential items for your minimalist capsule wardrobe, totaling 37 pieces:

items for a capsule wardrobe
  1. White shirts (3): Classic and versatile, perfect for both casual and dressy occasions.
  2. Black pants (2): Ideal for work or formal events, they’re a timeless staple.
  3. Skinny jeans (2): A comfortable option for everyday wear, available in various washes.
  4. T-shirts (5): A mix of neutral and accent colors for effortless layering and casual outfits.
  5. Oversized sweaters (2): Cozy and stylish, great for colder months or transitional weather.
  6. Little black dress (1): A must-have piece for special occasions or a night out.
  7. Casual dresses (2): Choose versatile styles that can be dressed up or down.
  8. Hoodie (1): A comfy and casual addition to your wardrobe, perfect for lounging or running errands.
  9. Knee-high boots (1): A classic footwear choice that pairs well with skirts, dresses, and jeans.
  10. Leather jacket (1): A statement piece that adds edge to any outfit.
  11. Winter coats (2): Opt for a classic style and a statement coat for variety.
  12. Blazers (2): A tailored blazer is a key piece for elevating your outfits.
  13. Skirts (2): Choose versatile styles that can be dressed up or down, such as a pencil skirt or a midi skirt.
  14. Pairs of shoes (4): Include sneakers, flats, heels, and sandals to cover all occasions.
  15. Workout wear (3): High-quality activewear that withstands regular use.
  16. Button-up shirts (2): These can be dressed up or down, making them a versatile option.
  17. Tank tops (2): Ideal for layering or wearing alone in warmer weather.
  18. Cardigan (1): A lightweight layer that adds warmth and style to any outfit.
  19. Accessories (3): Choose a mix of belts, scarves, or statement jewelry to personalize your looks.
capsule wardrobe

This list provides a solid foundation for a 37-piece minimalist capsule wardrobe that caters to various occasions and personal styles. You can adjust the number of items in each category to better suit your individual needs and preferences.

If for example, you don’t see yourself wearing a knee-high boot then don’t include it just to check that box. Your own personally created minimal capsule wardrobe needs to work perfectly for your own real life, with staple pieces that you’re actually going to wear on the regular. The set number of pieces in this list is a guide, which you can use to curate your own minimalist style

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Anna is a Wales-based writer and graduate from SOAS University of London.
As the voice behind On Your Journey, she empowers women to embrace holistic well-being and spiritual growth through her expert insights into wellness and symbolism.
When she isn't writing thought-provoking articles, you'll find her busy crafting and raising her 4 children.

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