What Is A Capsule Wardrobe?

So you’ve heard the term ‘Capsule Wardrobe’.

The internet is brimming with useful tips and advice on how to design, create, and update a Capsule Wardrobe.

But if you’re still wondering what on earth a Capsule Wardrobe actually is, then allow me to explain…


What is a Capsule Wardrobe?

Well, here’s my definition:

Capsule Wardrobe – noun.  -A small streamlined collection of high quality, timeless, and essential items of clothing; that can be worn in a variety of combinations to create many different outfits.

Each piece in the collection reflects the individual’s personality, fits them beautifully, and is suited to their lifestyle.


There are a lot of different approaches you can take when it comes to creating and maintaining a Capsule Wardrobe.  But there are a few themes that most Capsule Wardrobes have in common…

Stack Of Scarves

Requirements Of A Capsule Wardrobe:

1.  A Small Collection

A Capsule Wardrobe is supposed to be simple and easy to manage.

And the best way to do that is to have only a small collection of well chosen items in your wardrobe.

Fewer items = easier to manage.


2.  High Quality

Each item in a Capsule Wardrobe should be high quality.  But that doesn’t necessarily mean expensive.

It doesn’t matter where you buy it from, it just has to be well made so that it won’t fall to pieces or go all gross and bobbly after the first wash.


3.  Timeless

All pieces should be relatively timeless.  Following trends can cause problems because trends change so often, so you have to keep buying new items to replace the dated ones.

This is how you end up with a wardrobe full of outdated clothes you don’t feel comfortable wearing.  And it really doesn’t help with the first point, that it should be a small collection of items.


4.  Essential

Okay, so those sparkly designer heels that you’re looking at may look incredible on you.  They might be really well made, in a classic, timeless style and a colour that goes with everything.  But it doesn’t necessarily mean they have earned a place in your wardrobe.

If you are a regular attendee of charity galas, you meet up with your girlfriends once a week for cocktails, or you are desperately trying to get Miranda Priestly to take you seriously, go for it.  Those shoes are perfect for you, well done for finding them.

If however, you are an outdoorsy mother of three, who loves horse riding and lives on a farm, probably not a good choice.  Everything in your Capsule Wardrobe should suit your lifestyle.  So if you ride horses, get yourself some amazing jodhpurs.  If your job involves a lot of running around doing errands, maybe invest in some stylish flats.

There is no place for unnecessary guilt in a Capsule Wardrobe, and the last thing you want to see when you are getting ready in the morning is a beautiful, expensive piece that you will never wear because it just doesn’t have a place in your lifestyle.

Fashion Quote: My Life, My Style, My Look


5.  Versatile

Having a small collection of clothing means that each individual item has to earn its place in your wardrobe.

There is no space for ‘Ooh I love this top but I can only wear it with that one skirt’.  If the skirt is in the wash, not only can you not wear the skirt, but you also can’t wear the top because it doesn’t go with anything else.

Choose items that can be worn with almost every single other item in your wardrobe.  This way, if you only have three clean items, you can still style an amazing outfit.  This is probably why colour schemes are discussed so much by Capsule Wardrobe advocates.

If everything in your wardrobe goes with everything else, there’s no ‘does this clash?’ or ‘is this too much?’- you could literally pull out three random items and know that they will look good together.

By putting more effort into planning the contents of your wardrobe, thinking strategically about what might be missing from your collection, and considering which types of items would look good together, you will save yourself valuable time every morning in choosing what to wear.


Benefits Of A Capsule Wardrobe

  • Less time spent choosing outfits in the morning
  • More time to sit and drink tea or coffee in the morning
  • Less money wasted on items that don’t go with anything
  • More money to spend on Starbucks and cute stationery
  • Easier to see what you do have as your closet is cleaner
  • Any item in your wardrobe could genuinely be pulled out and worn, you don’t have to rummage through things you’ll never wear just to find one of three t-shirts that you actually like
  • Clothes won’t go out of fashion
  • Items will last longer as they are high quality
  • You will look super hot and put together.

-So you can see it makes sense.  It takes a whole lot of planning and research to create a Capsule Wardrobe, but it is so worth it.  That feeling when you reach into your closet and pick out a few items at random, throw them on, and realise your outfit is totally perfect- is the best feeling ever.

All that’s left to do is put on some oversized sunglasses, grab your bag, and flounce out the door, turning heads as people wonder who you are and how you have your life so together.


Well, that’s the basics covered.  Sorry not sorry if I have now got you hooked on the idea of a Capsule Wardrobe.  For more on how the concept of a Capsule Wardrobe influenced my lifestyle and my blog, have a read of my  Start Here page.


Over to you…

What do you think of Capsule Wardrobes?  Do you love the idea or do you prefer to do things a totally different way?

Do you already have a Capsule Wardrobe, or are you thinking about trying it out?  Do you have any questions or tips for making choices about what you buy?

Let me know in the comments below!

Also if you have a blog, leave your link in your comment and I’ll check it out!

Love and oversized sunglasses, 

x Lucy x

The Capsulist


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