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

how to build a capsule wardrobe from scratch

I woke up today and when I looked into my closet I’ve discovered a few things. First, I’ve spent a lot of money on the pieces that I haven’t worn even two times in total. Also, I need more bottoms than tops and the last thing 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 definition 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 fashion.

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 regularly 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 gonna need to build 1-2 capsule wardrobes, but you need to change pieces by the time so that it doesn’t become boring).

Many people and actually stylists are saying that it should be a set of 30-40 pieces (depends 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 contain 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 to the capsule wardrobe.

Why you should build a capsule wardrobe?

Building a capsule wardrobe will help you to save extra money for other things. Also, it will help you to choose the outfit for a day more quickly and the last reason why you should build it, is that you are gonna have pieces that you love the most, and that helps you to get ready and be confident every day, in the morning.

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.

How to build a capsule wardrobe for summer 2020

After finding the meaning and necessity of 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.

Subscribe and get capsule wardrobe FREE wokbook

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    Step 1: Clean out your wardrobe

    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 the 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 will 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.

    Step 3: Make two sections for your clothes

    Now, look at the things you have left on your bed. Create two sections for them. The first section for pieces that you haven’t worn for a long time and another section for things that you love and were wearing before.

    You can get away all the pieces in your first section. Sell, gift, or donate all these things, you don’t need them. They are just taking place in your wardrobe.

    Keep the second section with you. These are the pieces that we are gonna use to build a summer capsule wardrobe. The amount of the pieces is not important yet.

    Step 4: Find the matching pieces to your lifestyle

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

    Does your work require more active (comfy) or classy clothes? It’s also possible that you are going on holiday for a whole summer. By the way, that’s would be 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.

    For example, 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 looks.

    Or another example: if you are working at the office you are not gonna need many denim pants. Instead, you need to have more classy pants for work. Different offices require different types of outfits. I mean you may need to wear either smart or business casual dress codes. They are both different. So they have different rules. You can find out more about them in my previous posts.

    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 are the clothes you need the most depending on your daily activities.

    Step 5: Find your style sense

    how to build a capsule wardrobe from scratch

    Ok, 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 don’t let you stuck anywhere. )

    You can ask yourself questions like why you like this and don’t like that. Is it because of color, fit, material, or amenity of them? Answer these questions in the printable workbook as well.

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

    Step 6: Choose your favorite main color

    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.

    It’s true I love wearing black clothes but agree with me, wearing all black, for three months will be very boring. I prefer to have pieces with 2-3 different colors that match together to make stylish but comfy outfits for me.

    Remember we are talking about summer. You can change those colors to darker, for another capsule wardrobe that you make for fall or winter.

    Step 7: Choose your favorite pattern

    Whether you decided 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. In my case, it’s black.

    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 now get away all the other pieces that you have on your bed right now.

    You would already find those by answering all of the questions on my capsule wardrobe workbook. Get it straight to your inbox if you haven’t, already.

    Step 9: Add pieces for layering

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

    I will share what I choose and what I get for layering but I wanna recommend you to pick 1-3 pieces for layering. Those can be a jean jacket, a blazer, and a simple lightweight cardigan.

    Step 10: Make a shopping list

    I wanna say something before I continue talking about shopping.

    All of these things like colors, fits, materials, and also the number of pieces in your wardrobe depends on you. Follow neither mine nor anyone else’s rules, because, in fact, 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 reality, you managed to choose clothes that you love the most and you are gonna wearing this summer.

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

    how to build a capsule wardrobe from scratch

    Now let’s count what you have left. Find out how many tops, bottoms and layering clothes you have. 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 wanna discover some recommended products for different body shapes, you can check out the shop page on my blog. It’s easier to get something from the collection that is made exactly just for you. So, take a look at it!

    how to build a capsule wardrobe from scratch

    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!

    My 2020 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 2020 summer capsule wardrobe looks and what does it contain.

    I did all of the steps I mentioned above and I got the 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, as 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 ten steps I mentioned above.

    I have 9 tops which 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 really didn’t know that before.

    There is another thing I’ve 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?

    For bottoms, I choose only 3 pants. 2 of them are denim jeans and the one 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 one 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. And 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 which 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.

    how to build a capsule wardrobe from scratch

    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.

    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.