Capsule Wardrobe


By ~Bhavleen Kaur Sethi 

A "capsule wardrobe" is simply a mini wardrobe of your favourite, flexible clothing items. It is a collection of apparel made up of carefully chosen, quickly interchangeable items created to increase the variety of outfits you may put together. These frequently consist mostly of neutral-coloured classic pieces that never go out of style. With a little selection of clothing, you can put together a range of distinct looks.

A capsule wardrobe consists of timeless pieces that can be mixed and matched to create a variety of looks with just a few pieces. Susie Faux, the owner of a boutique, first used the phrase "capsule wardrobe" to refer to versatile fundamentals in the 1970s, and Donna Karan, a designer, popularised it with the introduction of a workwear capsule collection in the 1980s. Your most important clothing items make up a capsule wardrobe, which acts as the foundation for your closet. The capsule wardrobe simply may be used to create entire outfits, and you can layer it with seasonal clothing and fast-fashion products to create various looks.

The word "capsule wardrobe" is frequently used in the fashion media, with British Marie Claire and Elle magazines among others as well as the fashion sections of the newspapers The Independent and The Daily Telegraph publishing feature articles on capsule wardrobes. Numerous television programmes, such as Trinny and Susannah's "What Not to Wear," which aired on the BBC from 2001 to 2007, and Gok's Fashion Fix, which aired on Channel Four starting in 2008, have helped to further popularise the idea. Gok Wan, a presenter and stylist, claims that a capsule wardrobe is a particularly useful tool during a recession since it enables individuals to look beautiful on a tight budget.

Thus, capsule wardrobe keeps your wardrobe compact yet incredibly varied because you have a variety of options for items and outfit combinations. The secret is to have classic or timeless clothing without having an overwhelming amount of it. Quality is prioritised over quantity in this. 

Today, it appears that capsule wardrobes are experiencing something of a renaissance, primarily as a result of rising public awareness of the need to lessen the environmental impact of the fashion industry and growing consumer demand for brands with ethical and sustainable production methods.

Benefits of Capsule Wardrobe: 

  • Versatility: A capsule wardrobe's beauty lies in its versatility. For the next five years, you can mix and match every day and feel like you have something entirely new. Each piece in your capsule wardrobe can be paired with a variety of other items in your collection, so it doesn't feel overused. 

  • Simplicity: You can get dressed faster and avoid decision fatigue if you have a versatile capsule wardrobe of tried-and-true basics. You can become your own stylist by maintaining a modest wardrobe and creating outfit ideas for a predetermined amount of articles. 

  • Longevity: A capsule wardrobe should last for years to come, despite the fact that your taste may alter as you age. Your capsule collection consists of timeless goods that are investments that you can use again and again.

  • Less Decision Fatigue: Less clothing, clothing that goes well together on every occasion are characteristics of a capsule wardrobe. Thus, choosing what to dress for the day is simpler for you to accomplish when getting ready in the morning, preventing choice fatigue!

  • Saves time: You may also save a tonne of time by maintaining a well-curated wardrobe. You know exactly what you need to acquire because you are aware of your personal style and what suits you well. You don't waste time shopping aimlessly when you go to the store or get something online. Additionally, you don't waste time digging through mountains of clothing thinking you have nothing to wear.

  • More Sustainable: A sustainable solution to organising your closet is to use a capsule wardrobe. Most of the items you own are classics that you can wear forever and are in constant fashion. You wear every item of clothing you own because you don't have many of them, therefore nothing goes to waste. People who choose for a capsule wardrobe also frequently spend their money on durable items rather than quick fashion, which is a highly wasteful sector of the economy.

Guidelines to Build a Capsule Wardrobe: 

Audit your Current Wardrobe: 

A closet audit is the first step in building a perfect capsule wardrobe. Examine every item you own and determine what you wear frequently and what you never wear. 

        When was the last time I wore this? should be your question for each article of clothing. It won't be a good addition to your capsule wardrobe if you haven't worn it in a few months. 

         Consider your hobbies and way of life as well. This will reveal important details about the clothing you typically wear. 

         After giving it some thought, select all of your favourite outfits and consider why you adore each one. You will gain a better understanding of your personal style, favoured colours, flattering cuts, and preferred materials as a result.

Find your Style:

You must decide on a colour palette before you can begin building the ideal capsule wardrobe. Selecting items that can be mixed and matched will be simpler if you do this. Obviously, not every piece of clothing you wear or every pair of shoes you wear needs to match. The best colour combinations are those that you feel confident wearing all year round. 

Additionally, it would be beneficial if you considered your style, which may be: 

  • City fashion 

  • Classic

  • Sporty

  • Bohemian

  • Gothic

  • Vintage 

Since we typically dress more formally for work than for other occasions, the majority of people have a varied wardrobe that reflects a variety of fashion trends. In addition, if you enjoy sports, an athletic capsule is probably necessary for your workouts at the gym. Making smaller capsules for different occasions is therefore recommended.

Plan your Capsule Wardrobe: 

You may start creating your capsule wardrobe now that you know what you love the most. Set a limit that you'd like to experiment with for each kind of apparel. Your lifestyle, the environment where you live, and how frequently you do laundry will all affect these numbers. 

       Do what works best for you; there are no requirements. Pick a colour scheme that includes several neutral tones, such as white, black, grey, navy, or cream. As with every other colour, these shades complement one another beautifully. 

       Your garments will all be interchangeable and simple to mix and match if the majority of them are neutral in colour! You can then incorporate a couple accent hues that you adore and that complement your skin tone. They will go well with all of your other items that are neutral in colour! Pick on the look you wish to adopt for your wardrobe. Remember that your clothing should complement your body type. 

        Determining your preferred neckline is therefore important. Are thin jeans your preferred style? jeans: low-rise or high-waisted? In big or cropped sweaters, do you feel more comfortable? Choose the most flattering outfit style for you after considering all other options. 

       Choosing your clothing's fibres intelligently is another thing I advise you to do. For instance, prefer natural textiles like organic cotton and linen since they are more breathable and sustainable.

Time to start Creating Outfits: 

Release all the clothing you own that you don't wish to include in your planned capsule wardrobe. Get rid of everything that doesn't fit right, doesn't match your colour scheme, doesn't reflect your style, or that you don't enjoy. To ensure that the apparel does not end up in a landfill, sell and donate them instead. Create everyday outfits using the clothes you've put back in your closet after editing your wardrobe and selecting your essential capsule items. This step is included because having a few everyday outfits planned out will help you feel much more at ease with your smaller wardrobe and will also help you save a tonne of time and effort when getting dressed. 

General Rules or tips: 

Following are guidelines frequently provided for creating a capsule wardrobe:

Choose a Colour Scheme: Selecting one or two universally-flattering foundation colours, like black, white, brown, grey, or navy, would normally be the norm. To match everything in the closet, people would purchase clothing in variations of these colours, such as coats, handbags, and pants. After selecting the basis colours, pick one or two accent colours that complement each other and are lighter than the base colours. These would usually be utilised for clothing items like tops, dresses, or accessories; if a colour scheme is decided upon, every piece in a wardrobe should be interchangeable since the colours of the products always go well together.

Choose Your Body Shape: Certain clothing styles are more attractive than others; for example, stylists frequently suggest that women with wider hips wear cap sleeves because they make the shoulders appear larger and more proportionate to the hips. A flattering outfit increases the likelihood that the wearer will wish to keep it in their closet. 

Consider Your Skin Tone: Certain colours are more aesthetically pleasing to certain body types than others, just as certain clothing cuts. The things have a better chance of remaining popular if the colours are well-selected.

Choose traditional patterns and shapes: While certain fashion trends come and go, others are regarded as "classics" because they never go out of style. As the wearer plans to preserve the items for a number of years, it is advisable to choose classic pieces for a capsule wardrobe.

Choose High quality fabrics: Individual pieces get a lot of wear because the goal of a capsule wardrobe is to have a small collection of versatile clothing. Selecting clothing that is well manufactured and keeps its appearance despite use is therefore a good choice.

Choose colours and textures that work for different seasons: Instead of picking colours that are overly bright or dark, pick ones that are appropriate for different seasons. It is advisable to stick with a colour plan that features year-round appropriate foundation and accent shades. Select textiles that are not dependent on the season, such as lightweight cotton and linens.

Layering is Key: Layering is a vital thing to take into consideration while choosing your wardrobe, particularly in the fall and winter months. Investing in some easy-to-layer pieces for your wardrobe, such as knit sweaters or neutral tank tops, will not only help you look great but will also keep you warm.

Essential Items to be included in Capsule Wardrobe:

  • Great piece of Outerwear: Make sure you have a great piece of outerwear, whether it be a trench coat, an overcoat, a denim jacket, or something heavier-weight. Your outfits will stay interesting and last from season to season if you have the proper coats and jackets.

  • A leather jacket: A leather jacket is stylish, convenient, and easy to wear without putting in much of an effort. Additionally, it doesn't have to be real leather; if you wish, it can be vegan leather. 

  • Button-up shirts: Even though you might not want to wear a button-up shirt every day, you will eventually need one. Additionally, it doesn't have to feel overly formal; it can be used in a really informal, enjoyable manner. Spend money on a pair. Choose black and white or other shades that help you feel like yourself, such as navy, brown, and beige. Maintain neutrals. With those, playing around is much simpler.

  • Well-Fitted Suit: A well-fitting suit doesn't have to be pricey. You can get something reasonably priced and have it fitted. However, be sure it is the correct fit for you. Pick a neutral colour once more: It can either be a lighter neutral (like white or grey) or a darker neutral (like black or grey) (such as beige or cream). It doesn't matter if your employment doesn't require you to dress in a business suit. You may wear the suit in a variety of other ways aside from your work attire by breaking it up into a blazer, black slacks, and pencil skirt.

  • Knitwear: Throughout the year, you will certainly need knitwear. Choose a colour or style that really suits your body type yet is somewhat neutral. Choose a crew neck if you like one. Consider wearing a cropped sweater if you are a little shorter. Choose a greater length if that's what you prefer. Consider a cardigan and a pullover as you only need two of each. 

  • T-shirts and Tank Tops: Another component of a capsule wardrobe must-haves are good neutral tees and tanks. In order to layer under tops, sweaters, or jackets, look for t-shirts and tank tops that can be worn both ways. A T-shirt is so basic that you can buy one from any retailer. Choose any of the following as your neutral colour: black, white, brown, or grey. A classic white t-shirt goes well with jeans, a skirt, or layers.

  • Denim: A significant part of your capsule wardrobe is denim. Choose the denim shades that you like. Try on several different denim fits before deciding the one you prefer. Once you have decided on a pair of jeans that you know you will treasure for many years to come, purchase several pairs of those jeans in different colours, such as a pair of black jeans that will go with nearly anything and a pair of blue jeans that are suitable for all occasions. Denim is simple to dress up or down. 

  • Jeans: Black and blue jeans are versatile options that go with many shirts and may be worn throughout the year.

  • Footwear: You should have at least two pairs of shoes on hand. Due to its versatility, white sneakers will never go out of style. You might want something dressier for the office or special events. Consider a heel in a more neutral shade, such as nude, if you are the type of person who enjoys heels. Try a dressy flat that isn't a sneaker on days when you don't feel like wearing heels all day. Again, choose a neutral option. A black is ideal because it will go with most of the items in your closet.

  • Accessories:

Capsule Wardrobe Ideas for Different Occasions: 

Making miniature time capsules for many facets of your life is a good idea. You can use a closet organiser to divide your several closets or arrange your clothing by kind and colour. The most important part is that everything is readily accessible, which makes finding something to wear much less of a problem!


Basic pieces are the foundation of your collection because you may wear them to any event. You should be able to wear them for many years to come if they are both comfortable and high-quality. 

The following pieces are excellent wardrobe essentials for formal attire: 

  • Pants, skirts, slacks, and jeans 

  • Dresses 

  • Blouses and t-shirts 

  • Cardigans and sweaters 

  • Coats, and blazers 

  • Accessories


When it comes to workwear, our approach is that the simpler, the better. An effortless outfit you can throw on and head out in without much thought is a two-piece consisting of a white shirt and trousers. By choosing to pair it with versatile loafers and a go-to tote, you can ensure that it always looks and feels totally professional.


Having the right training attire is a good motivation, even if you aren't particularly athletic. And if you enjoy yoga, running, and swimming, you probably need a variety of outfits to participate in these sports. It will be simpler to get dressed for the gym and you won't end up buying things you don't need if you organise your gear in a closet. 

  • Workout leggings or pants 

  • Joggers' shorts 

  • Tanks and t-shirts that breathe 

  • Sweaters and jackets for athletes 

  • Sports shoes 

You should also think about the extras you require for your workouts, such as a tote bag and an armband that can hold your phone.

Special Occasions:

Most of us occasionally need to attend special events, including weddings or celebrations. Nevertheless, how much focus you give to this aspect of your attire will probably depend on how frequently you go to formal events. 

But the majority of people will be fine with the following things: 

  • Black dress 

  • Cocktail attire 

  • Dress coat 

  • Clutch purse 

  • Vanity jewellery 

  • Formal sandals or heels 

If you plan wisely, you won't need many things for this wardrobe. Choose outfits that complement these, for instance, if your dress shoes and coat are the same neutral colour. You won't have to worry about purchasing shoes each time you purchase a new outfit for an occasion.

Out For Lunch: 

Even though certain sweater dresses wouldn't really count as year-round attire. It's ideal for both spring and fall days because it's made of a thin, more cardigan-like material. It has a way of looking put-together on its own, whether it's dressed up or down, earning it well-deserved position as a staple piece in a capsule wardrobe.

To run errands:

Running errands without having to put much effort into your appearance is a delicate act, but a simple crewneck sweatshirt can work its magic by making you feel more dressed-up than you actually are (super comfy loungewear). Your new go-to day-off outfit is a pair of classic denim and shoes.

Sustainable Clothing Brands for Capsule Wardrobe:

Here are a few brands who value quality over quantity, employ sustainable materials, and respect ethical standards across their supply chain if you decide to buy new clothing when you begin your capsule wardrobe.

ABLE’s Timeless Style: ABLE is an ethical lifestyle fashion company, that aim to empower women fairly in the fashion business. They offer top-notch items that never go out of style, including clothing, bags, shoes, and jewellery that are ideal for your capsule wardrobe. 

       In terms of the clothing they sell and the standard of living they offer its employees, ABLE aspires to be a sustainable brand. Their classic dresses, sustainably produced denim, and versatile shoes all contribute to their timelessness.

VETTA: Vetta Capsule is an ethical, accountable brand with roots in the USA. It only uses eco-friendly materials, reduces textile waste, and collaborates with the most reliable factories in New York City and Los Angeles. 

         You may shop Vetta's 5-piece collections, which ensure that you have 30 distinct looks, as their novel approach to building a capsule wardrobe. You can browse a full collection or add the individual pieces that best suit your needs and style thanks to their mix-and-match philosophy. Since they've already done a lot of the difficult outfit planning for you, this is a wonderful place to start if you're new to the concept of the capsule wardrobe. 

Encircled’s Versatile Clothing:

Choose the first items for your capsule wardrobe from Encircled's collection of cosy, fashionable, and environmentally friendly clothing. 

       You may take their "What's your perfect capsule wardrobe?" quiz online. that aids in selecting the items for your ideal capsule wardrobe plan. 

       They make it easier to put together looks for various events using "kits" for different occasions, such as "The better essentials kit," "The work from anywhere kit," "The carry-on kit," etc.