How To Build A Capsule Wardrobe | Always Look Chic

Caught up in the how to build a capsule wardrobe haze? If you’re new to capsule wardrobes, you’ll find easy to follow, step-by-step instructions to build the best capsule wardrobe.

There are many benefits to creating a capsule wardrobe and one of my favorites is saving time and money!

why I capsule wardrobe

Throughout my teen years and most of my 20’s (I’m 30 right now) most of my money was spent on clothes, purses, and accessories.

I have many dresses, jeans, shirts, and belts that I’ve never worn. Some pieces I’ve donated because I’ve come to the realization that I’m probably never going to wear. Other pieces I keep for that maybe one party I might go to or that vacation I might take….

What can I say, some are harder than others to get rid of!

What I didn’t realize was that my $10 shirt was really costing me $100 down the road. Why? Because I was buying that $10 shirt multiple times. Many times I bought another one because the quality was really bad and others because I just wanted a new shirt.

My problem was that when I was getting dressed in the morning, I had very limited options. I had a closet full of clothes but nothing to wear. How? Why? I had so many random pieces; club dresses, vacation shirts, vacation shorts, etc., etc. I had clothes yes but very few pieces I could actually put together and make an outfit.

capsule wardrobe basics

So how do you build a capsule wardrobe? Do you have to get rid of all your clothes and buy new ones? Can you keep some of the clothes you already have? 

First, there is no “right way” to build a capsule wardrobe. As you start creating your own, you will see that some things will work and others don’t.

Second, my biggest takeaway is that in order to build a sustainable capsule wardrobe, you have to plan. And no, you do not have to go out and buy a bunch of new clothes.

Creating a capsule wardrobe is fun and I’ve enjoyed coming up with as many outfits as possible with the least amount of pieces.

As I walk you through each step I will be showing you what I came up with for my fall capsule wardrobe.

how to build a capsule wardrobe

When it comes to building a capsule wardrobe, there are only three steps you need to follow. The process is simple.

Follow these step-by-step instructions and you will be on the path to building the best capsule wardrobe.

I hope you get inspired by my capsule wardrobe and find that it’s really easy to start once you’re guided in the right direction.

Let’s get started!

step #1 – choose a color palette

Choose neutral colors first. Neutral colors include; black, white, beige, and grey. Next, choose accent colors. Accent colors include; blue, green, burgundy, purple, yellow, pink, etc. Your color palette can be anywhere between 4-6 colors. That is not a strict number to follow, just a suggestion 🙂

The goal is to keep your color palette small because you will be doing a lot mixing and matching. Ideally, almost every top will match with every bottom.

color palette:

update this image as step #1 in how to build a capsule wardrobe.

step #2 – select your pieces

start with the basics

Now that you’ve selected your color palette. Start pulling items (keep the season in mind) from your closet that match those colors.

The key here is to start with the basics. Build a strong foundation first. The basics include; solid color tops, blue jeans, black or white shoes, and simple accessories. Start with 2-3 bottoms and 4-5 tops. The idea here is that your basics should match with everything.

As far as the total number of pieces for your capsule wardrobe. There is no right or wrong answer. I suggest starting with 20-35 pieces, remember to keep in simple.

the basics:

the rest:


As you can see from my accessories, I’m a minimalist when it comes to jewelry. I never liked wearing multiple rings, bracelets, and necklaces all at the same time. Less is more for me!


step #3 – plan & organize

You’ve selected your pieces. Great!

Now it’s time to start planning and organizing.

When you start planning, you don’t have to write down every single outfit. I suggest you write down about 10-15. It’s more to help you remember your outfit ideas. As you start putting the pieces together, more combinations will come to you. That’s what’s great about a capsule wardrobes, you can mix and match almost every piece and you have so many options.

When you organize, it’s about making your pieces visible so that you don’t forget about any of them.

I suggest putting everything in one place. Anything in your closet that you are not going to use during this capsule wardrobe, put it away or store it in the back of your closet.

capsule wardrobe outfits:

Capsule wardrobe outfits.

My capsule wardrobe includes 25 pieces and 40 outfits. I can continue mixing and matching and probably come up with 45 outfits.

I’m not a big fashionista but I like the idea of a capsule wardrobe because it keeps my outfit selection easy and I know that I will always look chic and put together.


To summarize, these are the three simple steps to building a great capsule wardrobe:

  1. Choose a color palette.
  2. Select your pieces.
  3. Plan & organize.

Remember, there is no right or wrong way to build a capsule wardrobe. You don’t have to buy new clothes or have a certain number of pieces. It’s about starting with the right foundation (3 steps above) and creating one until it’s right for you.

Have fun and be creative!

Leave a Comment