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What Is A Capsule Wardrobe And How To Build One

Do you have a wardrobe full of clothes and find nothing to wear? Do you think your clothes don't reflect your personality or age? Is it every morning a nightmare to know what to wear? Well, then, you need to understand what a capsule wardrobe is and how you can apply this tactic to your personal situation.

I have read many articles in the last couple of years about which items we need to have in our wardrobes in order to dress well or have a stress-less experience when planning our outfits. But on many occasions, what other people say are "must-haves" in every wardrobe, there are garments that I would never wear because they do not project my personality, likes, or needs.

Therefore, I sustain a capsule wardrobe always will be different for each person; there aren't must-haves that work for everyone, every person will need to explore their needs and find their own ones. Depending on your lifestyle, where you live, your job, the plans you like to make in your free time, your style, or your body shape, the clothes in your closet will vary.


We can define a capsule wardrobe as a selection of good quality garments that are timeless and easy to mix and match between them, so you can create a more significant number of outfits that can be used for many years.

Although we think the concept of "capsule wardrobe" is relatively new, we are wrong. It is a concept created in the 70's by Susie Faux. She found that her customers were spending money on the wrong clothes with uncomfortable cuts and poor quality, but her philosophy was to find excellent quality garments that would last for many years. Again, a decade later, Dona Karan reintroduced the idea and created her famous "7 pieces capsule collection". And now, 50 years later, we are still facing the same problem Susie Faux found among her clients.


Having a good capsule wardrobe have a few different purposes; here I explain some of them:

1- Saving time

How much time do you spend looking at your wardrobe, wondering what to wear every morning? With a capsule wardrobe, you will save time every morning. You will have a selection of items that you like, you will know how to combine each of your garments, and you will be able to mix and match most of the clothing you own, so you won't have the problem of a full wardrobe and nothing to wear because you will have a small selection of pieces that are great for you.

2- Saving money

By doing a capsule wardrobe, you will probably have to invest at first, but in the long term, you won't need to buy clothes regularly, just when you need to replace something. When you invest in good quality clothes, these are made to last longer due to the better quality of the fabrics and how they are manufactured. Therefore, the mentality of going shopping every few months and renewing your clothes every year because it is falling apart will be part of your past.

3- No Stress

Do you feel overwhelmed when trying to find an outfit every morning? The stress of what to wear the following day will disappear after having a capsule wardrobe. You will know precisely how to manage each of the items you own and how to combine them with other pieces, including shoes and accessories. Hence, the feeling of always wearing the same and not feeling confident with your outfits will disappear.

4- Sustainability

Having a capsule wardrobe will not only be good for you but also for the planet. 350000 tonnes of used but still wearable clothing goes to landfill in the UK every year, and the average item of clothing is only worn ten times before being discarded. These affirmations warn us how necessary it is to change the way of consumption urgently.

This consumerist society we belong to has made us think that it is entirely natural to show off new clothes every single week. Due to this mentality that a large part of the population has, low-cost brands release 52 collections yearly, a nonsense that needs to stop if we don't want to destroy the planet.


The number of items you need in your wardrobe varies depending on each person. For example, if you wear the same clothes for work and in your free time, you will need fewer garments than a person who needs different styles. Also, depending on the lifestyle or the activities you like to do, you may need additional pieces.

Moreover, there are places where the temperature is more or less the same throughout the year, so you can take advantage of the clothes in each season and others in which the seasons are more defined, and you will need both winter and summer clothes.

Therefore there is no exact number of garments that you should have. Each person will have to have a different amount according to their needs and lifestyle.


It is not a good or wrong way to start a capsule wardrobe, but I would like to share with you some steps to follow if you want to have a manageable wardrobe that is easy to use.

1- Start by doing a wardrobe review

By reviewing your wardrobe, you will understand the items you like to wear the most and find the ones you don't use at all. You should get rid of things you don't wear or like anymore and sell them or give them to someone you know will wear them.

With the items, you have doubts about if you will wear or not in the future, I recommend storing them out of your closet, and if in six - ten months you don't miss them or wear them, let them go.

So many times, we keep items that are small or big size than the ones we currently use, and we keep them thinking maybe one day we will be able to wear them again. This is a mistake I see over and over when I do wardrobe edits with my clients because the reality is that our body shapes change with the years, and the most probably will be that we can not use those items again.

2- Style and lifestyle

Do the exercise of analyzing your lifestyle and the plans you usually do. It will give you a lot of information about what are going to be the key pieces in your closet. Maybe in your early twenties, you used to go out every weekend and dress up a lot, but that is not the situation right now; therefore, you won't need that many night-out outfits, and you will need more relaxed but still put-together garments.

Furthermore, you will need to consider the style or image you would like to project and find unique and timeless pieces that reflect your personality. You can add some interesting fabrics and fits that you feel comfortable with or some colours, patterns, and accessories that bring out your true self.

3- Find the gaps

By doing the wardrobe edit, you probably will find gaps in your wardrobe that you need to cover. Items that you need to renew or incorporate because they are missing. This is an excellent opportunity to start thinking about the capsule wardrobe you want to create and invest in quality pieces that last for many years. When thinking about new items, to make sure you will make the most of them, they should combine with at least five other garments you own and be something you can wear more than 50 times. Do not buy the items straight away, this might mean you end up buying more than you actually need. Let it be imperfect, and understand that there will likely always be gaps in your wardrobe. It's okay not to have everything right away, this fact will help you be more creative with what you have and discover diferent combination that you didn't try before.

4- Do not rush

Building a capsule wardrobe does not happen overnight; it takes time. Don't try to buy everything at once or cut your closet in half from the start. Gradually adapt to it and test what works best for you. Building a capsule wardrobe is not to stress you out, but rather the opposite, to make it a flowing experience and find your balance.

Sometimes you will find it hard to avoid being tempted to buy from the brands you have been buying all your life. In the end, we have habits that will be difficult to change, but be patient and kind with yourself, find the path that best suits you, and don't be afraid to explore new brands, there are many other options that you are yet to know, and you will surely love.


I hope you find these tips helpful and inspiring to start your new capsule wardorbe and eliminate the feeling of not knowing what to wear in the mornings. But if you still need some help, I will be glad to help you!


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