Capsule Wardrobe: What It Is & How It Works

Capsule Wardrobe: What It Is & How It Works

Written By: Cristina Calciati


Hello! Today I’m back with something different. The topic I’m going to discuss is the capsule wardrobe (also known as edited or minimal wardrobe).

For those of you who don’t know, a capsule wardrobe consists of a small selection of clothes you’re going to re-wear and mix with each other for a certain period of time, usually 3 months. They are often things that you already have, so the main points of this philosophy are reusing things, avoiding waste, saving money and time and creating a cohesive personal style above all trends. This links to a trend called slow future.

Did I try capsule out? No.  But I’m explaining what it is and how it works to find out if it could be good for you and for me, as well.

Firstly you should take out all of your clothes and accessories to see everything you own. Try to pile them into three different groups: things you will never wear again (re-sell or donate them, so you’ll have more space), things that you love and wear often, and things you actually like but don’t use that much (these are going to be part of your capsule to be worn more frequently).

There is not a strict rule about how many clothes you should use, but many people state that the perfect capsule consists of about 30 pieces (shoes and occasion wear excluded). It’s not the same 30 pieces for an entire year: you can rotate the clothes you own each season so that in the end you have worn almost anything.

Sounds complicated? Don’t worry, Thanks to a clearly explained video on YouTube I found out the ten steps to plan the perfect capsule wardrobe. So let’s get into it!


1:  Consider the weather of your country.


As I said previously, your whole capsule changes each 3 months, so every season. Doing so, your closet shifts from wintery to summery and all that’s in between. But this applies only if you’re living in a country with 4 distinguishable seasons. In some parts of the world, it is hot and sunny almost all year round, or on the other hand, it’s freezing and cloudy. So before starting to plan, consider your weather, ‘cause maybe you’ll need the same kind of pieces for more than 3 months. In this case, for instance, you’ll need more thick coat than lightweight shorts, or vice-versa.


2: Analyse your lifestyle.


Ask yourself what kind of activities do you do, how often do you go to parties or events, how much time you spend at home or at work… This will help you understand what you really need in your wardrobe.


3: Think about your personal style.


Try to define your style and choose the clothes that really reflect what you like and how you want to look. If you own something that doesn’t represent you anymore, get rid of it cause you wouldn’t wear it anyway.

4: What’s your body type?


You probably already noticed what suits your shapes and what doesn’t. You know what you prefer wearing, what makes you feel beautiful and confident. If some of your clothes don’t look good on you, exclude them from the capsule.


5: Choose your favorite colors.


The majority of capsule closets are stereotypically monochromatic, black and white or all neutrals. Personally, I think this is too boring unless you are a person with a true minimalistic style. That fashion philosophy says that your clothes have to match, in order to effortlessly create outfits. But if you like colors, you should add them, because you have to love what you wear! Scared to end up with a confused style? If you want something more muted, include a pair of bold colors and change them each season.


6: List what you already have.


Do a cleanout (remember the three piles I told you before?). Now you can really see what you have there, ready to be worn.


7: Consider your preferences and budget.


Experts say you should fix a budget for that season and do your shopping all at once before the actual season starts. Personally, I love going shopping when I feel like it, but doing capsule wardrobe means avoiding compulsive buying so I understand… Selecting a goal for the seasonal shopping would be a big plus. For example, you can decide to buy only from local shops, eco-friendly brands, vintage/second-hand, or investing in designer pieces and higher quality clothes. (It’s really up to your budget and your preferences).


8: Build your capsule plan.


Now you know what you have and you analyzed your lifestyle and style. It’s time to list some categories you want to include in your capsule and noting down the exact pieces you need for each one.



9: What’s missing?


Check the list you just made and see if there’s something missing. Maybe you need jeans but your old pair doesn’t fit you anymore…


10: Write a shopping list.


Finally, it’s time for the fun part: going shopping! Try to imagine how you want the missing pieces to be. And remember that they have to match with what’s already in your closet.

I linked some more examples and explanations, just in case you got interested in that. Here are a video playlist about capsule and a printable capsule planner.

Do you use a capsule? Are you interested in starting? Do you prefer this method or would you rather use all of your wardrobe at the same time? Let me know how you feel about capsule wardrobe and feel free to tell your personal experience about that. We are super curious!