How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe in 7 Simple Steps
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 8 min read


  1. Identify your personal style
  2. Choose a color palette
  3. Cleanse your closet
  4. Select essential items
  5. Add statement pieces
  6. Mix and match
  7. Evaluate and adjust

Are you tired of opening your closet only to be greeted by a mountain of clothes, yet feel like you have nothing to wear? It might be time to consider building a capsule wardrobe. This is a simple, yet effective way to streamline your style and make getting dressed a breeze. With a capsule wardrobe, you'll have a carefully curated collection of clothes that you love to wear and that work perfectly for your lifestyle. Get ready to simplify your life, reduce stress, and still look fabulous! So, let's jump right into it.

Identify your personal style

First things first, you need to identify your personal style. This is a key step in building a capsule wardrobe because it ensures that every item you select aligns with your taste, making you feel confident and comfortable.

Start by taking a good look at your current wardrobe. What are the pieces you find yourself reaching for again and again? These are likely indicative of your personal style. Is it casual and relaxed, or are you more into a classic and sophisticated look? Perhaps you're drawn to bohemian, edgy, or sporty styles. Whatever it is, it's uniquely yours.

Next, consider your lifestyle. What types of clothes do you need for your daily activities? If you work in an office, you'll need more professional attire. If you're a stay-at-home parent, comfort might be your top priority. Remember, your capsule wardrobe should work for you, not the other way around.

Quick tip: When identifying your personal style, avoid getting swayed by current fashion trends. Trends come and go, but your personal style is what will keep your wardrobe timeless and versatile. Plus, it's all about feeling good in what you wear, right?

Finally, create a list of words that describe your style. For example, if you love wearing jeans and t-shirts, your style might be 'casual and comfortable'. Or, if you're often in dresses and skirts, perhaps 'feminine and chic' suits you better. This list will serve as your guide when selecting pieces for your capsule wardrobe.

Remember, building a capsule wardrobe is not about limiting your options, but about defining them. It's about having pieces that you love and that make you feel like the best version of yourself. So, take your time in this step and really get to know your style.

Choose a color palette

Now that you've identified your personal style, the next step in building a capsule wardrobe is to choose a color palette. This is where the magic happens! A cohesive color palette allows you to effortlessly mix and match your clothes, making outfit selection a breeze.

Start with your base colors. These are typically neutral colors that form the foundation of your wardrobe. Think blacks, whites, grays, navy, or browns. Which of these colors do you feel best in? Which do you already wear a lot of? Keep in mind that your base colors should work well with each other, as these are the pieces you'll be mixing and matching the most.

Next, choose your accent colors. These are the colors that will add a pop of personality to your wardrobe. Perhaps you love the vibrancy of red or the calmness of blue. Maybe you're drawn to the sophistication of burgundy or the freshness of mint green. Your accent colors should reflect your personal style and make you feel happy.

Remember, the goal here is not to limit your wardrobe to a handful of colors, but rather to create harmony and versatility. You want your pieces to work together effortlessly, and a well-thought-out color palette can help you achieve just that.

Fun fact: Did you know that having a defined color palette can also make shopping easier? It helps you stay focused and resist the temptation of impulsive buys that don't match the rest of your wardrobe. Talk about a win-win!

So, take a look at your current wardrobe, consider your personal style and lifestyle, and choose a color palette that works for you. And remember, building a capsule wardrobe is a process, so it's okay to tweak your color palette as you go along.

Cleanse your closet

Now that you have a solid understanding of your personal style and have chosen a color palette, it's time to cleanse your closet. This step in building a capsule wardrobe might seem daunting, but trust me, it's liberating! You're about to create a space that's filled only with items you love and wear regularly.

Begin by taking out every single item from your closet. Yes, you read that right—every single item. This allows you to see what you have and assess each piece one by one. It's a bit like conducting a closet audit of sorts.

As you go through each item, ask yourself questions like: Does it fit me well? Do I feel good when I wear it? Does it match my chosen color palette? If it's a yes, keep it. If it's a no, it's time to let it go. You might be surprised at how many clothes you own that you don't actually wear or even like.

Don't forget to be ruthless at this stage. If you haven't worn something in the past year, it's probably safe to say you don't need it. Remember, the aim here is not to have the most clothes, but to have clothes that you truly love and wear.

Once you're done with the cleanse, you should be left with a pared-down selection of clothes that fit your style and color palette. This will be the foundation of your capsule wardrobe. And remember, this process isn't a one-time thing. As your style evolves, so should your wardrobe. Regularly revisiting and refreshing your closet is a must.

Pro tip: Don't just throw away the clothes you're not keeping. Consider donating, selling, or recycling them. You'll be doing good for the environment and someone else might fall in love with your pre-loved items!

Select essential items

After a satisfying closet cleanse, the next step in building your capsule wardrobe is selecting your essential items. These are the backbone of your wardrobe, the versatile pieces you can't live without.

These essential items generally include basic tees in your color palette, a good pair of jeans, a classic white button-down, a little black dress, a versatile jacket or blazer, and a well-fitted pair of trousers. Depending on your personal style and lifestyle, your essentials might look different. The point is to identify those timeless, versatile pieces that serve as the base for most of your outfits.

When selecting these items, focus on quality over quantity. It's better to invest in a few high-quality pieces that will last for years, rather than a closet full of cheap, disposable clothing. Look for well-made items that fit you perfectly, and don’t be afraid to get items tailored if needed. A well-fitted garment can elevate your entire look.

As you curate these essential items, keep in mind how each piece works with the others. The beauty of a capsule wardrobe lies in its versatility and the ability to mix and match items to create a variety of outfits.

Remember: Building a capsule wardrobe is all about intentionality. So, take your time in this step. Be thoughtful and strategic about each piece you add to your essentials. It's not about rushing to fill your closet, but curating pieces that you truly love and will wear often.

Add statement pieces

The next fun step in building a capsule wardrobe is adding the statement pieces. While your essential items are the backbone of your wardrobe, statement pieces are the elements that allow your personal style to shine through. They add that extra pizzazz to your outfits, ensuring that you never feel bored with your clothing.

Statement pieces can be anything that stands out: a bold patterned dress, a vibrant blazer, uniquely designed shoes, or even a piece of striking jewelry. These are the items that make you feel special, the ones that draw compliments from friends and strangers alike. They are the conversation starters, the eye-catchers, the mood-lifters.

While choosing these pieces, keep your color palette and personal style in mind. The goal is to find statement pieces that not only stand out but also blend seamlessly with your essential items. This way, you can easily mix and match to create a variety of unique, stylish outfits.

Again, it's important to focus on quality over quantity. Choose statement pieces that are well made and will last. And, of course, always choose items that make you feel great. After all, that's the true purpose of a statement piece.

So, ready to add some flair to your capsule wardrobe? Think bright, bold, and beautifully you — but remember, these pieces should still be practical for your everyday life.

Mix and match

Now that we've assembled our essentials and added some statement pieces, the real fun begins — mixing and matching. This is the step where you get to truly embrace the versatility of building a capsule wardrobe. It's like a puzzle, and you're the puzzle master. You'll be amazed at how many unique outfits you can create from a limited selection of items.

Start by pairing your essential items with each other. A simple white tee can be paired with jeans for a casual look, or with a black pencil skirt for a more formal setting. That pair of classic black pants? They can be teamed up with virtually any top in your wardrobe. The possibilities are endless.

Next, bring in your statement pieces. Try combining that vibrant blazer with a basic tee and jeans, or pairing your patterned dress with a classic cardigan. Mixing and matching your statement pieces with your essentials will bring variety and interest to your outfits.

Remember, there are no hard and fast rules here. This is your chance to experiment and have fun. Don't be afraid to try unexpected combinations. You may surprise yourself with the stylish outfits you come up with.

So, ready to start mixing and matching? Remember, the goal is to create a wardrobe that's versatile, functional, and perfectly tailored to you.

Evaluate and adjust

Building a capsule wardrobe doesn't end with just assembling your clothes. It's an ongoing process that involves evaluating and adjusting your wardrobe to suit your evolving style and lifestyle.

After you've lived with your capsule wardrobe for a while, take some time to reflect. Do you feel like you have enough variety? Are there items you've barely touched? Maybe that patterned dress was more difficult to style than you thought, or perhaps you've discovered a newfound love for neutral sweaters. Whatever the case may be, it's perfectly okay — and even expected — to make adjustments.

This step is not about striving for perfection. It's about creating a wardrobe that works for you. If you find that you need to add a few more pieces, go ahead. If there are items that you no longer need, feel free to remove them. It's all part of the process of building a capsule wardrobe that's uniquely yours.

Remember, your wardrobe should serve you, not the other way around. So don't be afraid to make changes as needed. After all, the beauty of building a capsule wardrobe lies in its flexibility and adaptability. So, are you ready to evaluate and adjust?

If you're looking to build a capsule wardrobe while also exploring different styles and fashion perspectives, check out the workshop 'Queering Fashion: From Dress Codes to Wardrobe Hacks' by Lou Croff Blake. This workshop will provide you with unique insights and wardrobe hacks to help you create a versatile and stylish capsule wardrobe that suits your individuality.