How to build the perfect capsule wardrobe

Ever feel like you have a packed wardrobe and nothing to wear? Maybe you need to cut back and clear out to find your style. Designing a capsule wardrobe can help, and here, we share how to do it in just five simple steps. 

What is a capsule wardrobe?

Although minimising has been super on-trend lately (thank you, Marie Kondo), the capsule wardrobe has actually been around since the 70s. 

The idea is simple. It’s all about cutting back on quantity and focusing on quality, editing your clothing selection down to 35 - 50 versatile, pairable pieces. 

You can then mix and match to put together an outfit for almost any occasion. Whether that’s casual drinks with friends, a dressy summer party, or a smart business meeting, a capsule wardrobe saves you from the time and stress of rummaging through endless piles of clothes. 

So, if you’re ready to take the “less is more” approach, follow our guide and see what sparks joy in your wardrobe! 

Simplify your life: 5 steps for a captivating capsule wardrobe

Step 1: Colour coordinate your clothes

It may seem a little over-excessive, but organising your clothes by colour gives you a visual impression of the shades you’re most drawn to wearing and purchasing. This may be because you find these colours more flattering on you or simply because certain colours are trendy right now. 

Many people have larger black and white sections, for example, because these neutral colours are flattering, work-appropriate and complementary to other items. 

If you enjoy the colour split of your existing wardrobe, you have your colour palette. Simply base your capsule wardrobe on your four largest colour sections.

Step 2: The hanger test

The hanger test helps you discover the items you truly love and use, and the ones you won’t miss. All you have to do is hang all your clothes with the hangers facing the back of your wardrobe. Every time you wear an item and return it to the wardrobe, switch your hanger to face the front. Those that haven’t been switched after six months are due a trip to the charity shop. 

Pro Tip: Do this over the space of a year instead if you struggle to part with your belongings.

Step 3: Use a seasonal rail

If you like the idea of creating a capsule wardrobe but are too nervous to jump in at the deep end, invest in a clothes rail. Each season, add 20 items to the rail and try to select only these pieces when you’re getting dressed. That way, you’ve got a wardrobe full of clothes in case of emergency. We recommend taking your time to carefully select these key pieces, to really make this goal achievable.

Step 4: Know your uniforms

Everyone has different uniforms for different occasions, and that’s okay. Having a capsule wardrobe doesn’t mean wearing the same type of outfit for every eventuality. It simply means having key pieces and a defined colour palette, so most of your clothes will likely work well together. 

You may be one for dresses and jumpers on the weekend, blazers and shirts at work and oversized tees and jeans for everything in between. Know your uniforms and work with them, not against them.

Step 5: Fill the gaps in your wardrobe

When shopping, ask yourself whether desired items fill a gap in your current collection or double up on pieces you already have. Our fast-fashion culture means we frequently buy new clothes that we don’t really need or have room for. So, when it comes to choosing an outfit, we feel overwhelmed by the choice, which harms our relationship with our own clothes. 

Instead, only purchase clothes that you’re missing in your wardrobe. If you find yourself wishing you had a particular item to pair with an outfit, and this is a recurring desire, that’s probably something you should source for your capsule collection.

Abi’s top tips for building your capsule wardrobe:

Here, our founder, Abi Dee, shares her top tips for getting started with your own capsule wardrobe.

First, nail your staples

“When it comes to building out your capsule wardrobe, start with the foundations. What can’t you live without? These should be your staples — a trusty pair of blue jeans (or black jeans), a plain white tee, a classic white shirt, classic tailored blazer,  a dress for day to night, and a pair of simple trainers.” 

Then add a splash of colour

“Mixing in the occasional print with your staples can bring colour, flare, and personality to your capsule wardrobe. Try adding a couple of printed pieces, to begin with. Don’t go mad, as you’ll want to create several outfit combos for various events and situations.” 

“Check out these versatile prints as a jumping off point.”

Product Links:

Click the links to shop our key wardrobe pieces or follow us on Instagram for more inspiration.