WearHOUSE - May 27 2021

A Comprehensive Guide To Capsule Wardrobes

Learn how to design your own capsule wardrobe!

F ashion is fun and interesting. Women are especially attracted to fashion, clothes, shoes, and accessories because they augment and express their personality. Fashion comes through many different styles, and with that, through other fashion garments and pieces.

When it comes to clothing and accessories, everything is more accessible when there is a system. It's no secret that many women struggle every day to find what to wear, which might result from a poorly organised wardrobe. Good organisation is the key to dressing well. When everything is put well on display, nicely hanged or folded, it is easier to perceive and know what you are looking for and make different styling combinations. And, this type of organisation happens in our closets.

A woman's closet is similar to a woman's bag. You can find all the different things inside, things you didn't even know that you had. This comes from lousy organisation and a lack of time to go through the items and see what you need and what you do not. There are many cases when women pull out some clothing pieces that still have the price tag on them - why are they still there?! And there's also a bunch of stuff just there, hanging, without being worn for a long time.

Those women who find the time to sort their closets and go through their mountains of clothing, shoes, and accessories usually end up throwing them away if the item in question has lost its appeal or it doesn't fit anymore. Make no mistake, this is an excellent start to wardrobe organisation. However, many other women choose to keep their old and unused garments – in the false hope that they may wear them again in the future. Let's be honest, if you haven't worn a specific item in the last 4-6 months, it's time to get rid of it! That's how closets and the wardrobes become stuffed and full of clothes that never see the light of day.

In order to make a better solution that will help you when picking what to wear, some more creative brains have created the perfect solution. That solution is called a capsule wardrobe. Many of you might have heard of it, but it is a thing, a prevalent one for that matter. Although this might sound like a name of some limited design edition or a collection, it isn't. It's an approach that will make dressing up, organising your closet, and outfit-making much easier and less stressful.

So, the common suggestion is for every woman to build for herself a capsule wardrobe to enjoy the clothes she bought as much as possible. But, how do we do that? This complete guide on capsule wardrobes will lead you, step by step, to achieving the perfect capsule wardrobe that you'll be proud of. First things first! Let's start by describing and introducing the term capsule wardrobe.

"In order to make a better solution that will help you when picking what to wear, some more creative brains have created the perfect solution. That solution is called a capsule wardrobe."

What is a capsule wardrobe?

Is it a brand new and costly dressing unit from John Lewis? Far from it! It's got more to do with what you put in it, rather than the actual wardrobe unit. A capsule wardrobe means a functional and small wardrobe, filled only with clothes, accessories, and shoes that are needed and that you will most certainly wear. Simply put, a capsule closet is a closet with a limited number of clothes, shoes, and accessories, which all go together, making dressing up much more efficient and fun!

Every piece is considered as a value-add, not only stand-alone, which means that you will have to pay attention when choosing pieces to add to your very own capsule wardrobe! New items should be able to mix and match with whatever you already have in your capsule wardrobe, not only worn separately. The type of clothes that you choose to stay should truly depict your personality, style, and fit you well.

The term "capsule wardrobe" has been present in the fashion sphere since the 70s. It was in London when a boutique owner named Susie Faux decided to coin the phrase as part of her bid to help women invest in key pieces that all worked with each other. After that, the designer Donna Karen then released a collection of 7 items of workwear. These pieces were designed to go together and make dressing for the working week easy. After that, the idea became so popular and women all over the globe started practicing it.

One wonderful aspect of a capsule wardrobe is that it can provide you with an incredible variety of outfits, made from a small number of pieces that fit together like a perfect jigsaw puzzle...made of fabric! Say for example, you wanted to make a capsule wardrobe with the following:

-3 different tops
-3 different pairs of bottoms
-3 pairs of shoes

That then equals to 3 x 3 x 3 outfits giving us a grand total of 27 possible outfit combinations! Check out this image from ClassyYetTrendy below so you get what we're on about. Because they've added some cute bags too, they end up with even more outfit combos!

"Simply put, a capsule closet is a closet with a limited number of clothes, shoes, and accessories, which all go together, making dressing up much more efficient and fun!"

How many items should the perfect capsule wardrobe consist of?

There is no exact number since it varies from woman to woman. However, fashion researchers have shown that we need approximately around 28 to 37 pieces of clothes in our closet. This number is considered the correct number for the so-called capsule wardrobe. So does this mean that those of us who don't have that many items have to now go on an online shopping spree? Absolutely not. Always start small and work your way up. In our example above, we only had 9 different items, which is more than enough to begin with.

Do you only need one capsule wardrobe?

This is a personal choice that comes down to the lifestyle of the one building it. Some people may need one capsule wardrobe for work, and another one for more informal wear. Also, it is suggested to create a capsule collection for all seasons as well as a mini travel capsule wardrobe. But at the end of the day, you decide how many capsule wardrobes you need based on your lifestyle!

Why start a capsule wardrobe?

Almost all women love clothes and shopping. With all that shopping, our closets can become exceedingly filled and stuffed with things being forgotten. With that being said, there are a lot of reasons and benefits that come from starting a capsule wardrobe. If you're experiencing some or all of the atrocious wardrobe symptoms below, then it's capsule wardrobe time:

  • Newly bought clothes are constantly shoved into the closet without a proper place due to overfilling;
  • Too many unorganised clothes plonked together that don't compliment each other? This is the usual precursor to the common saying – "I've got nothing to wear!";
  • You have a LOT of clothes, but you always hang on to your favourite two pairs of jeans, two sweaters, and five shirts;
  • You buy and keep all kinds of clothes, hoping that you will fit in them one day;
  • Whenever you clean your closet, you find at least two or three brand new things that still have their tags on;
  • You hold on to accessories and shoes that are not your style;

If you found yourself saying "Yup that's me all over" to any of the bullet points above, then you definitely need to start a capsule wardrobe. By doing that, you'll spend less time in front of the closet and spend less money buying unnecessary clothes.

What are the benefits of having a capsule wardrobe?

A capsule wardrobe is not just some trendy term. It can have so many benefits, and not just for your style, but for your space too. Here are the main advantages of creating a capsule wardrobe:

  • You'll unlock a world full of a massive amount of outfit combinations!
  • You will wear everything you own and you like;
  • You will save money as you won't impulse buy and stuff your closet;
  • You will be able to get dressed quickly, without stress;
  • Your wardrobe will be neat, tidy and will be a part of an organised system;
  • You will have fewer items, but more outfits!

"You'll have fewer items but more outfits!"

How to build the perfect capsule wardrobe

a capsule wardrobe on a clothing rail


Now, when all the benefits of the capsule wardrobe have been explained, the time has come to design one yourself. There aren't any strict rules to follow - it all comes down to personal preferences, needs, and lifestyle. The following steps are some valuable guidelines that can be tailored to your lifestyle and choices, and they will help you in building your very own capsule wardrobe!

Step 1 – Cleaning

Everything starts from cleaning. Just like cleansing is the most critical part of the skincare routine, cleaning is the first step into creating a successful capsule wardrobe. Cleaning is a process that involves removing some unneeded items. The primary purpose being to make space for the things that you actually wear and like.

Start with emptying the closet, separating the things you want to stay with those that will go. At this point you won't even recognise your wardrobe. It'll be like a blank canvas, ready to be painted on, which is exactly what we need!

Step 2 – Sorting out

Sorting is the next step, and it is essential because it sets the tone of your capsule wardrobe. Proper sorting is a great way to remind yourself which things you will keep wearing and those that you won't. Many women find it to be a huge (and maybe even emotional) step because they don't want to part with their precious collection of clothing and the like. Just do it sister! In the entire process, it is crucial to bear in mind this top tip: if you didn't wear the piece at least once in the last six months, it must go!

The best way and most efficient method is to ask yourself the questions below, and according to the answer, add the item to the appropriate pile of clothing. This will make the sorting much more straightforward.

- The Yes/Keep pile: ask yourself if you absolutely adore that piece and will definitely wear it. If you love it, it goes to the yes pile.

- The No/Throwaway pile: if you've never wore it, or you don't like it anymore, it goes to the No pile.

- The Maybe pile: here, the piece may have some sentimental value, e.g. be a gift or something else.

Step 3 – Action

After all the sorting is done, now comes the time to build your capsule wardrobe. There are still 3 piles of clothes on your floor. They need to be taken care of, so take action for each pile:

-The clothes from the yes pile go back into the closet;

-The clothes from the no pile can be either donated, gifted or thrown away;

-The clothes from the maybe pile can be stored away elsewhere. Don't clutter your closet after all that hard work! Grandmas gifted jumper can go in the attic!

When that is done, you end up with a newly refreshed and compact wardrobe, with clothes that you like and will definitely wear. By going through this process, you get to know your fashion style better, as well as sort the clothes and let them breathe.

Rest assured that you've just made picking outfits and the process of shopping for new clothes much more effortless. How many outfits can you make with the pieces you added to your capsule wardrobe? Let us know down in the comments!

"1. Empty your closet.

2.Sort your items out in to 3 piles - a "Keep" pile, a "throwaway" pile, and a "maybe" pile".

3. Put the "keep" pile back in to the closet, the "throwaway" pile can be donated or recycled, and the "maybe" pile can be put in storage".

What to include in a capsule wardrobe?


The whole idea of the capsule collection is to have pieces that can be matched and worn together. They should be basic, yet statement pieces, that will make each outfit more exciting and stylish. So, here is a list of pieces that should definitely be a part of your capsule wardrobe:

  • Leather jacket – you can wear it with anything;
  • Fashionable, but not too outrageous trousers – the colour or print is up to you;
  • Sweatshirt – a cool and chic garment;
  • Smart skirt – for whenever you need to polish your outfit;
  • Laid-back sweater – for everyday wear;
  • Black ankle boots – they go with literally everything;
  • Relaxed jeans;
  • Versatile scarf – to add a dose of trendiness to your outfit;
  • White blouse or Shirt – a must-have!;
  • Fancy flat shoes;
  • Flattering, wear-everywhere dress;
  • A stylish bag (or two!) – invest in a piece that you will carry for a long time;
  • Sleek coat
  • Classic mid-heels
  • Traditional trouser suit
  • A few basic belts


These are just some of the most basic and most needed garments in every woman's closet, that work great for both formal and informal events. Each capsule collection should be tailored upon the personal preference and lifestyle. For example, if you are more of a sporty person, then you surely won't need a classic white shirt. In that case, the entire wardrobe will be tailored towards the sports garments and accessories. Just keep this in mind whenever you're out shopping - always think about whether the item you're interested in will match with whatever is in your wardrobe.

So how'd we do on our big beautiful guide on how to make a capsule wardrobe? Let us know in the comments! We hope it's been of use since your chances of winning our 2nd WearNOW outfit design contest rests on it! So if you do have any questions, let us know down below, or on our Instagram or even through our contact us page!

Stay fab,

The WearHOUSE team

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