How to create a capsule wardrobe.

How to create a capsule wardrobe.

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Author: Daria Andronescu, personal shopper at Personal Shopping & Travel.

A capsule wardrobe is the perfect wardrobe for which everyone should aim. Wouldn’t it be nice to see your closet full of beautiful clothes that perfectly mix with each other? Of course, that would be nice! That’s why today I’ll tell you all about how to properly select and buy a capsule wardrobe that you’ll enjoy wearing.

A capsule wardrobe consists of a specific selection of six or more clothing items that all together create at least ten outfits. We are talking only about clothes here because it’s better to choose shoes and accessories separately and to do it after the main capsule is ready. The most ideal option is when your wardrobe consists of two or three capsules (18 – 25 clothing items) for the season. That’s enough clothes for you not to get bored wearing them.

Preparatory stage.

Before you go shopping, you should take some time to think about exactly what to buy, where, when and why. Without such preparation, you are likely going to endlessly wander the shops, trying to find anything more or less suitable. So, don’t be lazy and carefully prepare all the things I’ll tell you below.

When starting planning a new capsule, be sure to answer the following questions:

  • What is my budget?
  • How would I like to look in the coming months?
  • What colors should I choose?
  • What clothes will be comfortable to wear?
  • Should I upgrade my outwear, shoes, bags?
  • Where should I buy clothes? What brands?

For inspiration, I suggest you take a look at the seasonal fashion trend reports, investigate use of colors, shapes, silhouettes and styling tricks. I’ve covered these topics in these articles:

How to build a dream wardrobe on a small budget. Step-by-step guide.

Womenswear trends Fall-Winter 2015/16

Trend of the season: suede.

Outfit tricks that will make you look flawless.

Denim you should buy and try this season.

Basic wardrobe. Theory and practice.

Fashionable layering: from theory to practice.

Shopping list.

Once you’ve decided on budget and how you would like to dress in the near future, you may proceed to the next step and create The Shopping List. Write down all items you would like to purchase for this capsule.

Visual kits.

Once you’ve made the list, it’s time to go at your favorite brand’s websites and check out their seasonal collections. For convenience, it’s worth to have a special folder on your desktop and add pictures of items you consider to buy. And when you have collected enough, go through all of them, exclude the ones you don’t like anymore and leave those that can create a stylish and multifunctional mini wardrobe.

Then copy paste selected items in any text editor and try to create sets. And don’t forget to mention the brand name, price and the web link right under every item. That will help you visualize your future wardrobe, understand how many outfits you will be able to create and how much money you need to spend.  If you go over budget (that, believe me, happens more often than we wish), you should search for alternatives.


My last mini-capsule wardrobe looked like this:

capsule wardrobe


Save a photo of your moodboard, first capsule wardrobe and color palette on your phone and don’t forget the shopping list. Now that you’re fully prepared, it’s time for the first truly rational shopping of your life. The main rule here is to invest in quality, not quantity. If you can’t find good quality clothes for your budget, try looking for it in the commission shops, second-hand or online outlets. (List of my favourite online outlets can be found here). Remember that all things in your capsule should easily mix and match and create stylish outfits that you truly enjoy. But at this stage, I have no doubt you’ll do great this time.

When is the best time to buy a capsule wardrobe?

  • SEPTEMBER. Change of seasons usually comes with a change of wardrobe. Think about what would you like to wear to look nice, feel comfortable and stay warm in early autumn.     
  • NOVEMBER. This capsule can also include outfits for Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations. Think about what you would like to wear during the holiday season. What would you wear to a family dinner? What about on a night out with friends? Once decided, don’t wait too long and try to buy everything in advance, because later in December stores will be crowded. And I don’t know anyone who likes that.  
  • JANUARY. The best time to buy your third capsule is January because it’s the sales season, and this means you will be able to buy a little bit more items or splurge on a nice pair of shoes.
  • MARCH. You can start building your spring-summer wardrobe in March. Don’t forget to add some bright colours to your capsule this time if you want to get into that spring state of mind.
  • JUNE. In June you can create your vacation capsule or continue building a summer wardrobe if you’ve decided to spend summer in the city.
  • AUGUST. While choosing what to buy for this capsule, think about the transitional outfits that are well suited for both the end of summer and that early autumn cooler weather. And yes, there will be sales everywhere.


As you can see, there’s nothing complicated. With a little practice, patience and a rational attitude towards your image you will succeed! If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate and feel free to ask.

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