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How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe with Style AND Savings

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Have you ever wondered how to build a capsule wardrobe? Have you ever wondered what on earth a capsule wardrobe even is? You may be wondering that right now in fact.

A closet can be overwhelming when it’s stocked full with clothes for every occasion or function imaginable; however, by organizing your space into separate zones that correspond to different outfits- date night wear on one side of the room (or rack), comfy sweatpants in another – you will find yourself enjoying getting dressed everyday again instead of standing there asking the age-old question “What should I wear?”!

In this article, we’ll discuss the how to build a capsule wardrobe, the benefits of building a capsule wardrobe and how you can easily get started.

Read along as I walk through my process for establishing a functional yet stylish wardrobe from scratch.

An image of a closet with text overlay that says How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe with Style AND Savings

Why Building a Capsule Wardrobe Appealed to Me

The material things I used to buy in order to make myself feel beautiful were nothing but a waste of time and money.

I remember when the only thing that would motivate me to get me out of bed in the sleepiness of the morning and get ready for work were the fun I would have playing with my makeup and picking out clothes.

But then that motivation turned into aggravation – the “I have nothing to wear” syndrome!

It didn’t stop at clothes either. I am talking purses too! I had lots and lots of purses! But I digress.

It wasn’t that I was spending lots of money on these things! In fact, I shopped a lot at thrift stores and consignment shops and my purses came from mostly outlet stores (my daughters and I LOVE thrifting). It was just that, for one thing, I was finding my worth in how I looked and secondly, I was literally running out of room for things.

In this article, we'll discuss the how to build a capsule wardrobe, the benefits of building a capsule wardrobe and how you can easily get started. Read along as I walk through my process for establishing a functional yet stylish… Click To Tweet

Where the Term “Capsule Wardrobe” Originates From

So what is a capsule wardrobe and how did it get its name?

The term originated with British fashion icon Susie Faux in the 1970s.

It involves a collection of versatile articles of clothing/shoes/jewelry and yes, handbags, (the exact amount will be dependent on whether you work outside the home or not, what type of climate you live in, what you do socially, etc) that can all be interchanged and pieced together to create an entire wardrobe for one season.

This is especially important these days of fast fashion as we all become mindful of our consumption (and collection) habits and how they affect not only ourselves but also those around us in our own families.

We can be prone to “too much in the closet” for what we actually really need because of what becomes readily available to us online, at low prices, with many designer collaborations on social media sites such as Instagram and TikTok.

I get it…I love fashion! I write about fashion and beauty. But when our closets are bursting at the seams or you’re taking over the closets of others in the home, it might be time to minimize and downsize and get priorities in order.

And that is where a capsule wardrobe comes in.

As I mentioned, a capsule wardrobe is a carefully curated selection of clothing that’s designed to function across seasons and activities. It can be adjusted as needed, but every piece has a purpose.

Let me say that one more time for the people in the back…every piece has a PURPOSE. It is not based on a frivolous purchase or trying to keep up with influencers but WITH PURPOSE and only what you NEED.

You can STILL enjoy fashion! In fact, as you get creative with piecing together a look and imagining new ways a piece can be used, it can become even MORE enjoyable!

How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe

The key to building your own capsule wardrobe is figuring out the type of person you are when it comes to clothes, what you like about dressing for different occasions and how much time and money you have available for shopping.

Your budget might look very different from mine. So you need to keep your own personal budget in mind when planning.

That will make it easier to decide which pieces work best with your lifestyle.

Some Tips

1. Build your closet by figuring out your personal style. What are your likes and dislikes about different clothing? This will guide you toward picking the appropriate items for your capsule wardrobe. Look at fashion sites and magazines and don’t just say “I like that” or “I don’t like that”…think about what it is ABOUT it that you like or don’t like. That will help you identify your personal esthetic.

2. Create an outfit for different occasions –

  • Pick out pieces that work with your lifestyle and budget
  • Put together outfits for different seasons, activities, or days of the week
  • Mix up colors and patterns in order to create more variety in your closet without breaking the bank!
  • Think about what occasions or activities you frequently participate in (do you go to a lot of weddings and formal events or are you a more a weekend, backyard BBQ person or a weekend hiker?). This all determines what pieces you need!

3. Save money while shopping for clothes –

  • Thrift stores and consignment (I found a brand new pair of Christian Louboutin pumps at a consignment shop for about 80% off retail)
  • Websites like The Outnet
  • Stores like Nordstrom Rack
  • Sites like Gilt
  • Discounted clothing sites such as flash-sale sites
  • Keep an eye out for sales + discounts on your favorite brands

7 Steps on How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe with Ease

1. Look through and clean out your closet before deciding what stays and what goes (use our free bedroom and closet organizing printable pack to help get you started).

2. Use pieces from your current closet (things you haven’t worn in a year or things that don’t fit any more can be donated) for the basis of your capsule closet  

3. Focus on basics rather than trendy clothing + accessories (including shoes!). Keep in mind how versatile black can be…you can dress up or down an outfit by adding something simple like a printed scarf or a statement necklace + earrings!  

4. Know your body type and what styles will flatter you the best … this knowledge will help guide you while shopping for clothes and choosing pieces that make you feel more confident  

5. Shop around first before making a final decision on which items to keep and buy (if applicable). Amazon Wardrobe is great for this as you can “try before you buy” and send back what doesn’t work for you with free returns. You only pay for those items you choose to keep.

6. If you can’t find the exact pieces that you need, consider making substitutions or do some DIY to create a custom piece!  

7. Take photos of all your outfits so that you have something to reference when looking for ideas (or even help you decide if an outfit works or not)

If I were creating a capsule wardrobe using the tips above, I would include pieces in fall/winter and spring & summer. Also note that you can use these guidelines for clothing but also for other accessories such as purses or belts!

Building a capsule wardrobe can be an excellent way to save money on clothes and simplify your life.

The 7 simple tips provided in this article should help you get started thinking about how you might go about building your own closet filled with versatile outfits for every occasion!

Are you considering a capsule wardrobe? Which of the tips on how to build a capsule wardrobe above do you think will help you out the most?

Watch this video for more tips and ways you can easily start to build a capsule wardrobe in a way that works best for you and your fashion and styling needs!

And get your bedroom and closet organizing printable pack below as our gift to you so you can start on the road to a more organized closet and a more peaceful room!

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