Complete Guide To A Capsule Wardrobe – Outfit Ideas And Advice

How To Start A Capsule Wardrobe

A capsule wardrobe is a minimalist approach to fashion that can significantly impact your life. By intentionally simplifying your closet and limiting your wardrobe to a set number of versatile and timeless pieces, you can save yourself time and money and reduce decision fatigue. With a capsule wardrobe, you’ll support sustainable fashion practices by investing in high-quality, long-lasting garments you’ll wear for years to come rather than constantly buying new, trendy items that quickly go out of style. Decluttering your space and choosing only the pieces that truly spark joy will also promote a sense of calm and reduce stress in your daily life.

One of the most exciting benefits of a capsule wardrobe is the newfound creativity it can inspire. With fewer options, you’ll be encouraged to experiment with different outfit combinations and learn to mix and match your pieces in new and exciting ways. This can help you develop your personal style and create a signature look that truly reflects your personality and values.

So why not start your capsule wardrobe today and unlock its many possibilities? By embracing this minimalist approach to fashion, you’ll not only simplify your life but also make a positive impact on the environment and your overall well-being.

A capsule wardrobe

Consider Your Needs

When building a capsule wardrobe, it’s essential to consider your lifestyle needs. Think about the activities you regularly engage in, such as work, exercise, socializing, and hobbies, and choose pieces that can easily transition between these different contexts. For example, if a job requires business attire, include a few versatile, professional pieces in your capsule wardrobe. On the other hand, if you spend a lot of time outdoors or are involved in sports, include comfortable and practical items for these activities.

Additionally, consider the climate and weather patterns where you live. If you live in a place with distinct seasons, include pieces that can be layered and adapted for different temperatures. If you live in a warmer, more tropical climate, prioritize breathable fabrics and lighter colours.

Ultimately, the key is choosing pieces you love and feel confident in while being mindful of your practical needs and lifestyle habits. By building a capsule wardrobe tailored to your unique circumstances, you can simplify your fashion choices while still feeling stylish and comfortable in any situation.

A woman outside in sports gear

Declutter Your Wardrobe

Decluttering your wardrobe is an essential task that can be both challenging and rewarding at the same time. It can help you eliminate clothes that no longer serve you, make more space for the ones you love, and reduce decision fatigue. Here are some steps to help you declutter your wardrobe:

1. Take everything out: The first step is to remove everything from your wardrobe and place it on your bed or a nearby surface. This will help you see everything you own and make it easier to sort through.

2. Sort into piles: Once you’ve taken everything out, sort your clothes into piles based on whether you want to keep them, donate or sell them, or throw them away. Be honest with yourself about what you wear and what you don’t. Consider the quality, comfort, and fit of each item and its current condition.

3. Be mindful of sentimental items: You might have clothes that hold sentimental value, such as your wedding dress or your favourite t-shirt from college. If you no longer wear them but can’t bear to part with them, consider photographing them and donating or selling them. Alternatively, can you put them in a display box if you want to keep them?  This way, you can keep the memory without cluttering your wardrobe.

4. Consider the last time you wore it: Another way to determine if you should keep or discard an item is to think about the last time you wore it. If it’s been over a year since you last wore it, chances are you won’t wear it again.Therefore, donating or selling it to someone who needs it more is best

However, if you have recently been pregnant, had surgery, or attended an event once a year, you might still have clothes in your wardrobe that you have not worn in a year. A good way to see what you have worn is to turn the hanger around the other way. At the end of the year, you can see what you have worn and what you have not worn. 

5. Organise what’s left: Once you’ve sorted everything, organise the clothes you’ve decided to return to your wardrobe. Consider organising them by colour, category, or season to make finding what you’re looking for easier. You can also use storage solutions like hangers, dividers, and boxes to maximize your space and keep your clothes wrinkle-free.

By following these steps, you can declutter your wardrobe effectively and efficiently. You’ll be left with clothes you wear and love, making it easier to get dressed in the morning and reducing decision fatigue. Plus, you’ll have more space for new clothes that fit your style and personality.

Learn Your Colour Palette

Learning which colours suit you can be a fun and exciting process. It can help you feel more confident and put together when choosing outfits. Here are some tips to help you determine which colours work best for you:

1. Determine your skin tone: The first step in finding colours that suit you is to determine your skin tone. This can be done by looking at the veins on your wrist. If they appear blue, you have a cool tone. If they appear green, you have a warm tone. If you can’t tell, or they look purple, you likely have a neutral tone.

2. Identify your undertones: Once you’ve determined your skin tone, you can identify your undertones. Cool undertones have pink, red, or blue, while warm undertones have yellow or golden undertones. Neutral undertones have a combination of both.

3. Learn which colours work for your undertones: Certain colours work better for different undertones. Look for blue, green, purple, and cool pink for cool undertones. For warm undertones, look for red, orange, yellow, and brown. For neutral undertones, many colours will work but try to avoid too cool or warm colours.

4. Experiment with different colours: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different colours to see what works best. Try different shades of the colours that work for your undertones and see how they make you look and feel. You might be surprised at what you discover.

Remember, the most important thing is to wear colours that make you feel confident and comfortable. The most important thing is to feel good about what you’re wearing.

a fan of colour cards

Learn The Styles That Enhance Your Body Type

Different body types require different styles to flatter and accentuate their best features. Here are some general guidelines to help you determine which styles work best for your body type:

1. Hourglass: If you have an hourglass figure, your waist is well-defined, and your hips and bust measurements are about the same. To flatter your figure, wear form-fitting clothes that highlight your curves, such as wrap dresses, high-waisted trousers, and tailored jackets.

2. Apple: You have an apple-shaped body if you carry most of your weight around your midsection. To create balance, look for clothes that draw attention to your upper body, such as V-neck tops, A-line dresses, and empire-waist tops. Avoid clothes that are too tight around your midsection, as they can emphasize your belly.

3. Pear: If you have a pear-shaped body, you carry most of your weight around your hips, thighs, and bottom. To balance out your figure, look for clothes that draw attention to your upper body, such as off-the-shoulder tops, boatneck tops, and statement necklaces. A-line skirts and wide-leg pants can also help balance your proportions.

4. Column: If your waist is not well-defined and your hips, waist, and bust measurements are about the same, you have a column body shape. To create curves, look for clothes that cinch at the waist, such as wrap dresses, belted jackets, and high-waisted trousers. Ruffles, peplum tops, and full skirts can also help create the illusion of curves.

Three happy women of different body types

Capsule Wardrobe Ideas For Work

When creating a capsule wardrobe for work, you want to focus on versatile, comfortable, and professional pieces. Here are some ideas to get you started:

1. Neutral Basics: Start with a few neutral basics, such as a black or navy blazer, white shirt, black or navy trousers, and a black or navy straight skirt. These pieces can be mixed and matched with other items in your wardrobe.

2. Classic Dresses: Invest in a few classic dresses that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. A wrap or shift dress is a timeless option that can be worn to meetings or events.

3. Statement Pieces: Add a few statement pieces to your wardrobe to showcase your personal style. A bold-coloured bag or scarf or a patterned dress can add interest to your outfits.

4. Layering Pieces: Layering pieces like cardigans, jumpers, and scarves can add warmth and texture to your outfits. Opt for neutral colours that can be paired with multiple outfits.

5. Comfortable Shoes: Comfortable shoes are a must for work. Invest in a few pairs, such as loafers, court shoes, or low-heeled ankle boots.

Remember, the key to a successful capsule wardrobe is choosing pieces that can be mixed and matched to create multiple outfits. Stick to a colour palette or around eight colours that work for you, and select pieces that fit your personal style and make you feel confident.

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Capsule Wardrobe Ideas For Date Night

When looking at outfit ideas for date night, keep them simple but stylish. Consider where you are meeting and if there is a dress code, and also check out your potential date online and see how smart or casual they tend to dress. Some examples to consider are:

1. Little Black Dress: A little black dress is a classic piece that can be dressed up or down, making it a perfect option for a date night. Choose one that is simple and can be worn casually or dressed up.

2. Jeans: If you prefer a more casual look, consider investing in a pair of jeans. Choose an indigo dark wash as it is more timeless and pair them with a blouse or dressy top for a chic and comfortable outfit.

3. Versatile Jacket: A versatile jacket, such as a leather biker jacket or blazer, can add a touch of sophistication to any outfit. Choose one that can be dressed up or down, depending on the occasion.

4. Comfortable Heels: Comfortable heels are another option for a date night. Opt for a pair that you can wear for an extended period of time without discomfort, such as block or kitten heels. Alternatively, if heels are not your thing, opt for flats.

Capsule Wardrobe Ideas For Days Out

First, consider the weather and activities you have planned for the day. If it’s going to be hot and sunny, you’ll want to wear breathable fabrics like linen, cotton and merino wool and perhaps a hat or sunglasses for protection. If it’s going to be cooler, you might want to layer with a cozy jumper or jacket in a fleece, wool or thermal fabric.

Next, think about the colour scheme you want to go for. Do you want to stick with neutrals or add a pop of colour? Try to choose pieces that coordinate well together, so you can mix and match throughout the day.

When it comes to footwear, comfort is key. If you’ll be doing a lot of walking, opt for supportive shoes like trainers or flat shoes. If you’re going for a dressier look, choose heels or wedges that you know you can wear all day without discomfort. Those with cushioning can be a great choice. 

Finally, accessorise with jewellery, a scarf, or a bag that complements your outfit.An easy way to pull and outfit together is to match your accessories.

Capsule Wardrobe Ideas For Lunch With The Girls

When it comes to lunch with the girls, you want to focus on pieces that are relaxed and stylish and allow you to move freely while you catch up with your friends. However, it is not a time that you should feel the need to dress to impress. You could try these options:

1. Midi Dress: A midi dress is a perfect option for lunch with the girls. Choose a wrap dress or fit and flare that makes you feel confident and comfortable. dress it up with sandals or down with trainers.

2. Jeans and a shirt: A pair of dark indigo jeans and a plain white cotton shirt can create a casual yet chic look. Make sure your jeans are comfortable to wear and your shirt is tailored and not oversized.

5. Crossbody Bag: A crossbody bag is an excellent option for carrying your essentials during lunch with the girls. Choose one that matches your shoes and belt.

Capsule Wardrobe Ideas For The Evening

You should focus on elegant, timeless, and versatile pieces when choosing evening wear. If you are attending an event which calls for you to wear an evening dress, consider hiring one from here or use an app like Loanhood to hire from someone else.   Alternatively, here are some ideas to get you started:

1. Little Black Dress: A little black dress is a classic evening wear option that should be a staple in any capsule wardrobe. Choose one in a simple fabric that can be dressed up or down with accessories.

2. Wide-Leg Trousers and Blouses: A pair of wide-leg trousers paired with a blouse can create an elegant and sophisticated look. Make sure your trousers sit comfortably with your chosen shoes, and your blouse has a flattering cut and colour.

3. Statement Jewelry: Statement jewellery is a perfect way to add sparkle and glamour to your evening outfit. Choose a necklace, bracelet, or pair of earrings that complement your outfit and match accordingly.

4. High Heels: A pair of high heels can add height and elegance to your look for evening wear. If heels are not comfortable for you consider ballet flats instead. 

5. Clutch Bag: A clutch bag is an excellent option for carrying your essentials during an evening out. Choose one that adds some glitz and matches your shoes. 

Minimalist Capsule Wardrobe Ideas

A minimalist capsule wardrobe focuses on essentials that can be mixed and matched to create a variety of outfits, usually in neutral shades. Examples are:

1. White T-Shirt: A classic white t-shirt is versatile and can be dressed up or down. Choose a high-quality, well-fitting t-shirt, avoiding anything oversized that can be paired with jeans, skirts, or blazers.

2. Black or navy Trousers: A pair of black or navy trousers is a wardrobe staple that can be worn to the office or dressed up for evening wear. Learn which style works for your body type and purchase accordingly.

3. Blazers: Blazers can add a stylish touch to any outfit. Choose a tailored style in a dark shade, like black navy or charcoal, that fits well and can be worn over dresses, t-shirts, or shirts.

4. Neutral V-neck jumper: A neutral V-neck jumper in a classic cut and colour can be dressed up or down. V necks suit most body shapes and can be worn independently or over a shirt. Choose a comfortable style worn with jeans, skirts, or trousers.

5. Black or Navy Dress: A little black (or navy) dress is a timeless piece that can be worn to various events. Choose a simple style like a shift or wrap that can be dressed up or down.

Stick to a neutral colour palette and choose pieces that fit your personal style and make you feel comfortable and confident.

Get Professional Help With A Capsule Wardrobe

By creating a capsule wardrobe and focusing on essentials that can be mixed and matched to create a variety of outfits, you can simplify your wardrobe and save time, money and space whilst more intentional purchase decisions. 

But where do you start? Consider booking a consultation with me. As your professional stylist, I will provide personalised advice based on your preferences, body type, colouring, and lifestyle during my online consultations. Book now and elevate your style game today!


A polaroid of a capsule wardrobe
Outfit ideas for a capsule wardrobe

What Next?

The information given in the post is the best of my knowledge at the time of writing. If you are embarking on anything new get professional advice if required.

If you enjoyed this post and wish to create a capsule wardrobe, I can help you create one quickly and easily. Get started immediately with one of my personal styling services or book in for a complimentary consultation

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  • The Capsule Closet Stylist Colour Analysis looks at the natural colouring in your hair, eyes and skin tone and shows how you can complement your natural colouring in your clothes. The Body Shape Style Guide teaches you how to make the most of your best assets, hide what you do not like, find clothes that complement your shape, and choose the perfect fit.

Still Not Sure?

Book a discovery call with me where we can discuss colour, style, decluttering, body shapes and much, much more.  I can identify where you most need help and point you in the right direction. 

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Capsule Closet Success testimonials

'When you join the membership it isn't generic it is tailored to your needs. Michelle considers each individual person and provides advice and guidance based on their needs. I have learnt so much since I joined I feel like I could sit an exam on it now! Honestly, without a doubt if you feel like you are lost with what to wear, you don't know what suits your body shape or your shape has changed, you've lost confidence, you're starting a new job, or you want to minimise your wardrobe, Michelle's membership is without a doubt for you. You can not get better for the price, I have looked!'
I joined Michelle's facebook "capsule wardrobe challenge" in June 2020. I loved her approach of starting off with a concept of what colours and styles you were attracted to, followed by what your lifestyle required functionally. It helped me assess my existing wardrobe with a checklist in mind instead of feeling overwhelmed and indecisive. I found the video format and weekly check-ins easy to follow and explained each stage of building a capsule well. She has been quick to answer any queries I have and to offer her professional stylist's opinion with a gentle manner. I am most grateful for Michelle's overarching aim to help her clients "find their happy place". This membership is about being comfortable in your own skin, not about being super fashionable, and that is exactly what I needed. Thank you for helping me find my confidence again. 😊
There is no doubt in my mind that having a personal stylist online is worth the investment. In fact, at the end of the day I will spend considerably less while looking and feeling so much better. Why? Because I will never again mindlessly spend and spend and spend on clothes that just aren’t right for me and that don’t make me happy. I think we all dream of that wardrobe that makes us happy and confident, but it is so easy to just give up and just wear something. I know I did. And that is just plain crazy because I love clothes! I have always been attracted to styles that I lacked the confidence to try out. Now, with the help and guidance of Michelle, I can finally explore those styles with confidence knowing that whenever I run an item by Michelle, she will give me her honest feedback on whether or not it will fit with my colors and with how I want to look and feel. In short: Michelle’s advice really is priceless. I feel an A-lister in the garments I have purchased since becoming a member! Pssst: One secret, you don’t have to become a minimalist if you don’t want to. Michelle is not about legalistic minalism, she is all about you finding out what works for you and that – along with her very deep knowledge of style – is why I think her membership works for me when in the past nothing else has.

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