How to create a capsule wardrobe

What is a capsule wardrobe? The term was first used in '40s magazines to highlight the new must-have items for consumers to buy. Today, you've probably heard the term used on social media—and it basically has the same meaning. It identifies clothing items that any fashionista needs to create a fully functional, stylish wardrobe for any occasion (without the burden of excess items). Here are some ideas for what you need to build your perfect capsule wardrobe. 


Why are capsule wardrobes used?

The purpose of a capsule wardrobe? To make getting dressed as easy as possible. Buying clothes that you love (and that all go together) will get rid of the stress of figuring out what to wear. 

Capsule wardrobes also prevent the overconsumption of clothes, which has become a very important issue. Due to the climate crisis, buying investment pieces (such as basics) has become even more crucial.

Creating the perfect capsule wardrobe can take time, however, since you want each piece you add to work with the items you already own. A helpful tip is to look at inspo on social media (hi, Pinterest!) for outfit ideas. 


Components of a capsule wardrobe

The main idea of a capsule wardrobe is choosing clothes that are comfortable, make you feel confident and go with other pieces in your wardrobe. Sticking with solid colors is the best plan for compatibility. Black, white and gray are best when paired with fun pops of color like blue, red and pink. It takes a little time to find the perfect pieces for your wardrobe, but once you do, getting dressed will be fun, easy and fast—and you'll always look fabulous!

What to include in your capsule wardrobe

Capsule wardrobes should consist of simple clothes like basic tees, knitwear, jeans, fun shoes, sneakers and uncomplicated dresses. An important capsule wardrobe staple to start with is a basic baby tee in black or white. Try stores like Aritzia and Brandy Melville for solid color pieces. 


Jeans are also uber important because they go with *everything.* Once you find a pair you like, buy another pair in a similar style (but a different wash) so you can switch things up. This will help grow your wardrobe and provide you with more outfit options.


Knitwear is *key* for a strong capsule wardrobe. Owning a v-neck sweater in either black or navy and a crewneck sweater in gray or cream will be super helpful to throw on with jeans and a tee. You can even dress up the outfit with fun shoes and accessories.
Pro tip: Tie your sweater around either the neck or waist for a different look. 


Fun shoes will add excitement to your closet and elevate your style. Consider adding Mary Janes, ballet flats, loafers, clogs and boots—and don't shy away from bright colors! When wearing basics, unique shoes will spice up any outfit. Try finding shoes in colors like blue, tan, red and navy.


Whether you take a slip dress and layer a tee underneath or style a plain black tube dress with a belt and jewelry, simple dresses are a must-have. Your outfit will look flawless and go perfectly with either a fun loafer or sneaker (we heart the retro Samba). You'll be amazed at how quickly you can get ready.


Looking for more fashion articles? Check these out:
👜 Silver is in! Here's how to incorporate metallics in your wardrobe
👜 4 ways to style turtlenecks this fall
👜 These fall staples are *so* in this season

What are you thoughts on capsule wardrobes?
Let us know @girlslifemag!

Slider image @oliviarodrigo | Header image @nataliaspotts


by Isabelle Grace Ballard | 1/16/2023