How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe From Scratch

How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe From Scratch

Creating a capsule wardrobe from scratch is not just about decluttering your wardrobe and redefining your personal style; it's about curating a collection of clothes that bring you joy and give you confidence every time you get dressed.

A well-curated capsule wardrobe not only maximises the number of outfit possibilities while minimising the number of clothes owned; having one helps to accurately reflect your true individuality and distinctive personal style.

From investing in quality pieces to embracing seasonal rotations, learn how to start a capsule wardrobe from scratch that isn't boring and will stand the test of time.

What is a capsule wardrobe?

A capsule wardrobe is a minimalist collection of versatile clothes in neutral colours that can be effortlessly mixed and matched to create numerous outfits to suit various occasions and seasons.

The purpose of a capsule wardrobe is to streamline the contents of a wardrobe while maximizing outfit options, avoiding the need to own an excessive amount of clothing.

The concept of a capsule wardrobe encourages mindful consumption, personal style, and efficient dressing with a considered approach to style that prioritises selecting clothes based on individual preferences and lifestyle needs.

How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe From Scratch

How to Start a Capsule Wardrobe From Scratch

Starting a capsule wardrobe from scratch can feel like a daunting task—especially if you think it means getting rid of the clothes you already own—but don't start decluttering your wardrobe just yet!

The best place to start building a capsule wardrobe is by using your existing clothes as the foundation for your new capsule wardrobe. This capsule will become the core wardrobe you build upon over time to create an all-year capsule wardrobe suitable for any season or occasion.

Create a Style Inspiration Mood Board

Before starting to build your capsule wardrobe, take some time to gather inspiration. Create a style mood board with outfits, colours, and styles that resonate with you. Make sure these outfits are practical and wearable for your lifestyle, daily activities, and personal preferences.

A style mood board will serve as a guide throughout the capsule wardrobe creation process, helping you to stay focused and cohesive with your wardrobe choices. It will also give you an idea of the wardrobe staples you need to include in your capsule with ideas on how to style them.

Pinterest is a great source of outfit inspiration. The more you use it, the more it becomes tailored to your style preferences. Create boards for each season, different occasions, and specific aesthetics to refer back to when deciding what to include in your capsule wardrobe.

Build a Foundation Of Versatile Basics

Start by taking an inventory of all the items in your current wardrobe. Identify the versatile basics that make putting together outfits easy, such as button-down shirts, classic jeans, midi dresses, double-breasted coats and cosy knitwear.

Use what you already have to establish a solid foundation for your capsule wardrobe, before considering any new purchases or thrifted finds. Prioritise quality over quantity by choosing well-made basics in neutral tones and versatile pieces that can be mixed and matched to create various outfits.

Stick To a Neutral Colour Palette

When selecting pieces for your capsule wardrobe, try to stick to a cohesive colour palette of neutral tones. This will ensure your capsule and outfit options remain cohesive and effortlessly stylish. A clearly defined wardrobe colour palette will also help avoid impulsive shopping and buyer's remorse by encouraging intentional shopping choices based on needs rather than wants.

When starting a capsule wardrobe from scratch it's best to stick to easy to style neutral shades, like black, white, navy, grey, and beige. These timeless hues that can be easily mixed and matched to create endless outfit combinations with minimal effort and very few clothes.

How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe From Scratch

Experiment With Outfits

The only way to test out whether the clothes you've chosen for your capsule wardrobe will work is to test them out by trying on different outfit combinations. Mix and match your capsule wardrobe pieces to create new looks by exploring styling techniques such as layering, tucking, and accessorising.

Creating a wardrobe inventory makes it easy to experiment with outfits digitally, rather than having to physically try on each different outfit combination. Wardrobe tracking apps such as Acloset or Whering and collage apps like Shuffles, make it easy to play digital dress up. Upload images of your clothes, put together outfits, then try your favourites out in person.

Embrace Seasonal Changes

Creating a capsule wardrobe can be overwhelming so embrace the idea of seasonal capsules by choosing your clothing to suit the current weather and seasonal activities. If you're starting a capsule wardrobe from scratch, focus on the immediate season by choosing clothes you can wear right now.

As the seasons change, so should your capsule wardrobe. Slowly incorporate seasonally-appropriate items when and if you need them. Updating your capsule wardrobe as the seasons change will not only keep your style feeling fresh and relevant, you'll avoid cluttering up your capsule with unnecessary clothes.

Keep Outfits Interesting

While neutrals are a great foundation from which to start a capsule wardrobe, don't be afraid to express your personality in the outfits you wear. Whether it's through the use of bold colours, playful jewellery, or unique clothes; these pieces will create more interesting outfits, preventing your capsule wardrobe from feeling boring.

Statement accessories and playful jewellery are a great way to elevate your outfits without needing to buy new clothes. But if your wardrobe is missing something, thrift shopping is not only budget-friendly but also a sustainable way to find unique pieces that add character and charm to your capsule wardrobe.

A Beginner Capsule Wardrobe

A Beginner Capsule Wardrobe

  1. Double-Breasted Coat
  2. Longline Coat
  3. Classic Blazer
  4. Midi Dress
  5. Gingham Midi Dress
  6. Sleeveless Dress
  7. Embroidered Cardigan
  8. Knitted Vest
  9. Turtleneck Jumper
  10. Classic White Shirt
  11. Smart Wrap Top
  12. Classic Black Shirt
  13. Linen Trousers
  14. High-Waist Jeans
  15. Maxi Skirt
  16. Classic Shoes
  17. Smart Sandals
  18. Handbag
  19. Layering Chain
  20. Infinity Necklace
  21. Hoop Earrings

If you're starting a capsule wardrobe from scratch and you're not confident with your personal style; it's best to play it safe by starting with basic wardrobe staples and a neutral colour palette.

You can worry about your capsule wardrobe being boring later. For now, it's important to have versatile reliable basics to maximise outfit possibilities using a minimal amount of clothes.

This is an example of a starter capsule wardrobe to use as inspiration for creating a capsule wardrobe from scratch. I've used my existing all-seasons wardrobe to show how it's possible to put together a capsule using what you already own.