First of all, let's clarify what a capsule wardrobe is:
It's a selection of pieces that you wear on repeat. You can create multiple outfits with this, and they fit your personal aesthetic but most importantly they fit your lifestyle.
Forget about foundation pieces or basic pieces for a minute: Versatility is the key. If you can create multiple outfits with a floral dress or a denim jacket, then that’s a good item for your capsule wardrobe.
You need to make sure the pieces you choose match your personal style and personality. It can be tempting to shop those ‘essentials’, but do they fit your style enough to make you comfortable wearing them again and again, or are you going to get bored of them after just a few wears?
I agree that it's important to have basic pieces in your wardrobe, but not all the pieces from your capsule need to be boring. It’s about mixing and matching some basics with other pieces that will really bring you joy when you are wearing them. If your clothes aren't making you happy, what's the point of fashion?
Benefits of a capsule wardrobe
A capsule wardrobe:
- Helps you to maintain a cohesive wardrobe.
- Makes getting dressed everyday easier.
- Gives you a clearer picture of what you like and don't like, making it easier to shop in the future.
- Gives you the chance to get creative when styling your capsule pieces.
Here are two key factors to have in mind when choosing items for your capsule wardrobe:
Don’t pay too much attention to those who say that everything needs to be neutral so everything can match. If you love colour, your capsule wardrobe should be full of colours! If you get bored by the thought of a plain beige coat, invest in a bright pink coat instead.
You don’t have to spend a crazy amount of money on designer pieces to get decent fabrics. Look at the quality of construction and the fabric composition. Natural fibres will last longer generally but you also need to look after them properly, following washing instructions, storing them properly, repairing them when they need to, brushing them (esp. wool & cashmere), etc.
Here I've put together two example capsule wardrobes for two different people. Both capsules have 15 items each including accessories.
I've put the links to the items underneath each, so feel free to buy any of the items you think will go well in your own capsule wardrobe!
- A woman in her thirties who embraces a smart yet chic style, drawing inspiration from French elegance and femininity. She gravitates towards timeless wardrobe essentials while adding a dash of colour to her outfits. She seeks a versatile capsule wardrobe that effortlessly transitions from work to weekend wear.
- A recently became a mother who is juggling the responsibilities of caring for her newborn and managing her online business. She values comfort but also strives to look stylish. She requires clothing that is not only easy to wash and comfortable but also versatile enough to mix and match, creating multiple outfit options.
Need help putting your capsule wardrobe together? Let me be your guide.