Cultivating a Capsule Wardrobe

Kiran Singh

Knowing your Signature Style and having a capsule wardrobe with clothes that reflect that style will make you look and feel your best. It is a very powerful tool to possess. Finding your Signature Style and Cultivating a Capsule Wardrobe for each season is an ongoing journey due to lives and bodies changing, but I promise you; it’s worth your full attention. If you don’t know your body shape or if it has changed, you can use this body type calculator to check what shape your body is right now. I used to be hourglass, now I am pear-shaped.

Last year, while doing some research on how to organise small wardrobes, I discovered the concept of Capsule Wardrobe; a collection of a few essential items of clothing that don’t go out of fashion, such as skirts, trousers, and coats, which can then be paired with seasonal pieces.

Mastering personal style and curating a closet that resembles it are things that even the most well-trained eyes can take years to master. While there’s no one answer for feeling like you have your style completely under your belt, one approach to wardrobe building can provide a shortcut to getting there: building a capsule wardrobe.

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Approaching shopping with a capsule wardrobe in mind has the power to take you from spontaneously buying pieces that you never reach for and helps ensure that every single thing hanging in your closet is something that’s a core part of your clothing rotation. It’s a mindset switch that makes getting dressed and feeling confident a daily occurrence because the items of clothing you own have a purpose—and countless ways you can style them.

Ready to start your capsule wardrobe journey? Look no further. Here’s everything you need to know about getting started on your own and never saying “I have nothing to wear today” again.

Cultivating a Capsule Wardrobe

What is a Capsule Wardrobe?

The simple definition is that it’s a curated wardrobe made up of versatile pieces that you love to wear.

A capsule wardrobe consists of a set of tops, bottoms, dresses, outerwear, shoes, and accessories that can be easily mixed and matched together to be dressed up, down, and anywhere in between. It means your closet has less trendy pieces that will only be worn for one season and more high-quality ones that stand the test of time and can be worn for years to come.

Once you master a starter capsule wardrobe, it can be curated and swapped from season to season. It makes it easy to pack up and take out clothes for the appropriate season because every time you pull them out, they’re just as in style as they were at the time you bought them.

The guidelines are simple:

  1. Have quality basics across all categories of clothing, and let go of pieces that you don’t wear or love. Buy new staples to fill any gaps you may find – and remember, quality over quantity.
  2. Limit your new purchases to five non-basic items per season to refresh your look and add personality.

A basic item is something that…

1. You can wear this over and over and over again until it falls apart
2. Goes with everything you already own
3. You pretty much can’t live without it
4. Is the glue that helps you keep the rest of your wardrobe together
5. Is made of a good material that will last for a very long time

Capsule Wardrobe Staples:

(This is, of course, very individual and depends on your lifestyle)

Tops

  • Silk Blouse
  • White Button Down
  • Black Dress
  • Boyfriend Blazer
  • Cashmere Sweater
  • 3 T-shirts: Black, White & Gray
  • 3 Tank-tops: Black, White & Gray

Jackets:

  • Leather
  • Trench Coat
  • Black Suit
  • Seasonal Coat

Bottoms:

  • Black Trouser
  • Skinny Jeans
  • Boyfriend Jeans
  • Trouser Jeans
  • Leather Trouser
  • Black Skirt
  • Black Shorts

Shoes:

  • Black heels
  • Mid-heel Ankle Boot
  • Classic Flats
  • Summer Sandals
  • Trainers

Accessories:

  • Watch
  • Studs (Diamond, Pearl, Crystal)
  • Clutch bag
  • Handbag
  • Scarf
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Building a capsule wardrobe but don’t know where to start?

  • Opt for the 70/30 rule. this rule for closets generally states that your closet should be made up of 70% wearable basics or staples, and only 30% trendy pieces. personally, my closet consisted of the opposite (70% trendy/30% basics), which left me with not many options when getting dressed for everyday activities. you don’t have to follow this rule to at, but generally think of it as your timeless staples should take up the majority of your closet!
  • Stick to a colour palette. it’s tricky (especially when colours are super trendy!) but try to stick to a set palette of neutrals (or colours you wear frequently) and then maybe change out accent colours with each season!
  • Build your wardrobe to fit YOUR lifestyle!! can’t stress this enough. create your closet centred around what makes sense for your lifestyle, location and hobbies/activities.
  • It’s totally okay to change it over time. your style might evolve over time, and that is completely fine. your lifestyle, location, career situation, and hobbies might change over time too, so allow your closet to grow with it! and don’t forget to declutter those older pieces either…

Are you starting a capsule wardrobe or have you in the past? Leave a comment below!

*Do connect with me on Instagram at @KiranSinghUK, @SlowSimpleIntentional & @SoulfullyNourishedUK for behind the scenes, daily updates, inspiration and more!

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