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How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe From Scratch in 10 Easy Steps

How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe From Scratch in 10 Easy Steps

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How to build a capsule wardrobe and why?

I woke up today and when I looked into my closet I discovered a few things.

First, I’ve spent a lot of money on pieces that I haven’t worn even two times in total.

Also, I need more bottoms than tops and the last thing is I need more clothes with different patterns.

So, I decided to start building a capsule wardrobe. I wanted to do that before too but I just didn’t manage time for that.

But now, let’s do it together and find out how to build a capsule wardrobe from scratch.

What is a capsule wardrobe?

If you are unfamiliar with the meaning of a capsule wardrobe, let me explain it first.

So, there are a few things to know about a capsule wardrobe. These are the things that help you to build it from scratch.

A capsule wardrobe is a set of clothing items that never go out of style.

The amount of capsule wardrobe that you should build during a year depends on the place you live in.

It should be different for all seasons, so you just need to build a capsule wardrobe 4 times a year (if you live somewhere where you have only one or two seasons, you are just going need to build 1 to 2 capsule wardrobes, but you need to change pieces by the time so that it doesn’t become boring).

Many people and stylists are saying that it should be a set of 30-40 pieces (depending on seasons as well) from the wardrobe.

Most commonly, people consider having only neutral colors in their capsule wardrobe. (Personally, I don’t agree with this!)

You can do or don’t add shoes and accessories to the capsule wardrobe. But that doesn’t mean you don’t need them.

No, you MUST use accessories to create stylish looks, because they make any outfit complete.

Not only accessories but also underwear, swimwear, and sports clothing don’t count in the capsule wardrobe.

Why you should build a capsule wardrobe?

  • Building a capsule wardrobe will help you to save extra money for other things.
  • A curated wardrobe saves time and boosts confidence. You get to wear pieces you adore and feel ready to take on the day.

There are other important reasons why building a capsule wardrobe is a great thing. Like the fact that you are gonna be more organized throughout a season.

  • Also, you will have pieces that you can wear over and over again during the season.
  • The good thing is that you are gonna have all different outfits with it and not the same ones all the time.

I will share two examples of spring and summer capsule wardrobes that I will build just with these steps.

How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe From Scratch

After finding the purpose and necessity of a capsule wardrobe, I think it’s time to actually start building it.

So, let’s get started!

First of all, get a FREE workbook that I made to help you create a capsule wardrobe even more easily.

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Step 1: Take everything out of your closet

Let’s start with finding all the pieces you have in your wardrobe.

Take all of your clothes out of your wardrobe and place them on your bed.

Everything, yes everything!

We need to know what you have in your closet to build a capsule wardrobe that you will enjoy later.

Step 2: Leave only seasonal pieces with you

For now, we are building a capsule wardrobe for only summer.

So, you are not gonna need things like knits, jackets, coats, sweaters, and boots for your current capsule wardrobe.

Take them out and keep them in another place (get them when they become appropriate for the weather).

  • You have to have these things left on your bed: dresses, tops, shirts, skirts, pants, bottoms, cardigans, blazers + shoes, and accessories.

For an updated capsule wardrobe, I made another example for spring. So, there are some things you will need.

Step 3: Divide clothes into two parts – what you wear and what you don’t

Now, look at the things you have left on your bed.

Create two sections for them.

The items are divided into two sections.

  • One for pieces you haven’t worn in a while, and another for things you love and have worn before.

You can sell, gift, or donate the items in your wardrobe that you don’t need.

  • Keep the second section with you. These are the pieces that we are gonna use to build a summer capsule wardrobe.

Currently, the number of pieces is not important.

Step 4: Find the matching pieces to your lifestyle

Are you working from home? Or are you going to the office every day?

Do you need comfortable or formal clothes for work? Also, are you planning a summer vacation? By the way, that sounds amazing!

So, what I mean to say is you need to answer all questions like this in your mind. Because there still would be some things you don’t need for your capsule wardrobe.

If you are a woman over 40 and you need a fall capsule wardrobe, here is an article you can check out.

For example, if you are a sports teacher or a gym trainer you are not gonna need a skirt, dress, or blazer for your daily outfits. But you can keep one piece of them for your night out looks.

Or another example: if you are working at the office you are not gonna need many shorts. Instead, you need to have classier pants for work.

Different offices require different types of outfits. I mean you may need to style outfits under either smart or business casual dress codes. They are both different. So they have different rules.

You can write down all of these activities in the workbook I’ve shared above.

Put the average hours you spend on each one and you are gonna discover what clothes you need the most depending on your daily activities.

Step 5: Check the details again

how to build a capsule wardrobe from scratch

Okay, so now look at your pieces again. Take them one by one and decide which ones you love the most and which ones don’t.

It seems a bit complicated but don’t worry, I won’t let you stuck anywhere. )

You can ask yourself questions like why you like this and don’t like that. Is it because of their color, fit, material, or amenity?

Answer these questions in the printable workbook as well.

It will help you to be ready for the next step.

Step 6: Choose the main colors

How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe From Scratch

I’ve said that most people consider the capsule wardrobe should be full of neutral colors (black, white, beige, blue…). But I also said I don’t agree with this.

Let me explain why.

Personally, I like black clothes, but wearing them for three months straight would get boring.

I prefer mixing colors for modern and comfortable outfits.

But in case you need some outfit ideas with all-black outfits you can read my article about it here.

Step 7: Choose your favorite pattern

Whether you decide to stay in neutral colors or not, you still need to have some pieces with patterns.

The most common and useful ones (even with neutrals) would be polka dots, stripes, animal prints, or florals.

But you can also go for different textures, plaid, or any other patterns that you like.

You can find some options in the workbook. You can print it and look at and write down everything, while you are reading the post.

  • Just remember, choose the pieces that will beautifully go with your main color.

Step 8: Take out all the pieces that don’t match your requirements

Since you find your perfect style (fit, material, necklines, cuts) and colors you can get away from all the other pieces that you have on your bed right now.

You can already find those by answering all of the questions in my capsule wardrobe workbook (scroll up again).

Step 9: Add layer pieces

How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe From Scratch

Even in summer, sometimes we need to have something warmer to put above the top or shirt.

It’s not only for feeling warm, but it’s also very important to make all your outfits look complete.

I will share what I choose and what I get for layering but I wanna recommend you pick 1-3 pieces for layering.

These can be a jean jacket, a blazer, or a simple lightweight cardigan.

And when it comes to all other seasons, you are gonna need more than 3 layer pieces, definitely.

Layer pieces are very important for plus-size or curvier women. They will help to flatter and highlight your curves better.

Here is my article on how to create a plus size business casual capsule wardrobe, so you can check out it to have so many cool options for work.

Step 10: Make a shopping list

I wanna say something before I continue talking about shopping.

All of these things like colors fit, materials, and also the number of pieces in your wardrobe depend on you.

Follow neither mine nor anyone else’s rules, because there are not any rules.

Everything is individual, you need to be as well.

Why I am saying this? Because it doesn’t matter how many pieces you’ve left on your bed.

In fact, you managed to choose the clothes that you love the most and you are gonna wearing this summer.

But still, since you are interested in this, let’s finish building your summer capsule wardrobe.

Now let’s count what you have left.

Find out how many tops, bottoms, and layering clothes you have.

How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe From Scratch

If it is above 40 you can put them back in your closet.

Keep them there for around two weeks, watch yourself, and then after the time goes, avoid things that you haven’t worn for these two weeks.

Organize everything that you’ve left.

Put your tops together, pants together, etc… Look at them and think about what you are missing.

Maybe you don’t have the print you want, or maybe you don’t have enough bottoms or tops. Write down all of these in the workbook (see it above) and now you can go shopping.

  • Remember, stay with your main color. You need to purchase new things that will go at least with 2 pieces that you already own.

If you are not missing anything, that’s great.

You already have pieces that are enough for the current season.

Don’t forget to use some accessories like a handbag, jewelry, or scarves to complete every single outfit you make with these pieces in your capsule wardrobe.

And that’s it! You are done!

But if you want to step up your style journey, check out this E-book that I created just for you.

This is the ultimate fashion book where you will learn everything to elevate your style and just get better with it.

But before you start creating your first capsule wardrobe I am inviting you to the 7-day challenge. Sign up for it to get a chance of winning my E-book for free.

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My summer capsule wardrobe – an example

I said that I was going to build a capsule wardrobe from scratch with you. So, I did.

You can check out how my summer capsule wardrobe looks and what it contains.

I did all of the steps I mentioned above and I got a result that I didn’t like at all. ))

I discovered that I am missing a lot of things, but that’s good, I am gonna go shopping soon, XOXO

So, I found out that I have only 19 pieces in my wardrobe that I like the most. Lol, is not that funny?

I counted everything, starting from tops to layers. And it’s still just 19.

So there is a capsule wardrobe I’ve got after I have done all the ten steps I mentioned above.

I have 9 tops that I like to wear in my closet. 3 of them are crop tops. I’ve just discovered today that I enjoy wearing crop tops.

I didn’t know that before.

There is another thing I discovered while I was organizing things in my wardrobe. I have pieces mostly with floral and striped prints, so the fact is I enjoy wearing those too.

And those are my favorite floral prints below. They are so beautiful, aren’t they?

how to build a capsule wardrobe from scratch
how to build a capsule wardrobe from scratch

For bottoms, I chose only 3 pairs of pants. 2 of them are denim jeans and the other is just a solid color, dark green pants which are very easy to wear with white pieces.

how to build a capsule wardrobe from scratch

Along with the pants I also choose a midi skirt and one dress, that is above the knee.

By the way, I don’t love wearing dresses very much but in fact, they are the best ones to have in a wardrobe.

So, if you enjoy wearing dresses choose 2-3 of them for your summer capsule wardrobe.

I do love wearing layers.

In fact, they are the essentials in my capsule wardrobe. While I am feeling almost cold all the time even in summer, lol.

That is pretty noticeable because I chose to have 5 pieces to use as layers. Two of them are denim, another two are blazers and another one is a very lightweight long vest that goes almost with everything.

I didn’t count the pieces I don’t like but I think they are more than the ones that I chose for my summer capsule wardrobe.

So that’s it! I am done with building my summer capsule wardrobe. I just think I need more pieces.

More dresses, tops, and pants are gonna be on my shopping list I guess.

Because as you can see I have none or only a few of them in my current closet.

My updated spring capsule wardrobe

Since this article is pretty old, I decided to do an update.

This will be a great idea because my closet changed a lot (after a few years) as well.

In the last capsule wardrobe I built, I had only 19 pieces. We have grown a little bit.

Now, I have 32 pieces for spring (excluding accessories and shoes).

How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe From Scratch

My country has a very unusual weather for a whole year.

Like, one day I can wear a short-sleeved crop top but on the other day, I may need a puffer jacket or something to make me feel warmer.

As a result, I got 13 tops in total.

I discovered that I have so many crop tops. Like, 9 of these 13 are crop tops. So, I found out that I love them, lol

When I made a summer capsule wardrobe a few years back, this was the first time I discovered that I was in love with crop tops.

By the way, if you don’t know, I have a pear body shape. That means that my hips are my problem area.

On the other side, the waist is the area I should highlight.

That’s why I love crop tops.

They get eye attention to my waist area, and my lower body is less noticeable.

If you know more about your body type, here is the article you can check out.

If you want to discover how to know your body shape, and all important things about it, check out this article.

How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe From Scratch

After the tops, I gathered pants that I wear all the time.

So, these are 3 denim jeans, 2 leggings and the other two are classier pants (one is flare pants), which I love wearing with a blazer.

I have to admit, I am too lazy to get a new pair of jeans because it’s hard to find a flattering one for me.

I have one more classic denim jeans that I wear all the time too. So, we can count it as well.

You know what I discovered today? – I don’t have many printed clothes. Most of my clothes are solid colors.

And that’s great because I can easily wear them together.

Another thing that I knew but proved to myself today, is that I am with a more casual side. Sometimes, I wear classy outfits but not too often.

I don’t know if you noticed here but I realized that I don’t have any dresses in my closet.

In fact, I have one or two in the wardrobe, but they are not either for spring or I don’t like wearing them. That’s the reason you cant see them here.

And the last thing I discovered is that I have TOO MANY layer pieces.

How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe From Scratch
How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe From Scratch
How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe From Scratch
How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe From Scratch

Well, I have more outerwear for fall and winter, and in general, it’s A LOT.

From 32 (or 33) pieces 11 pieces are third layer pieces.

I’ve got 3 cardigans, 4 blazers, a denim jacket, a sherpa jacket and a puffer jacket.

I have to mention that I am crazy about the blazers. I can literally wear them every season.

The blazer is the simplest third-layer piece that makes the look finished and complete.

And the last thing I left for the updated capsule wardrobe is to make a shopping list for me.

However, I think 32 pieces are more than enough for the capsule wardrobe.

I just may get a new pair of pants in a different color. That’s it!

That’s how to build a capsule wardrobe from scratch.

I shared two of my capsule wardrobes to make you understand everything I am talking about in those easy 10 steps.

Since you already have things that you are actually wearing, I want to take the next step and learn all the little nuances of styling.

Here is my newest ultimate fashion book, where you will discover everything from head to toe. Learn how you can match things by color, style, and other things. Master the dress code, and follow the steps to make yourself look the most confident while you are wearing your outfits.

I would love to see what you’ve got. Please share your thoughts on Instagram DM.

Tell me how it went and also tell me what was the most difficult thing to do while building a capsule wardrobe from scratch.

I hope you liked the post. If it’s so, don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest as well.

You are gonna find more useful things there too.

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