Capsule wardrobes are already extremely popular. The reason is that they’re convenient! When your clothing collection is limited, it saves you time.

You do not need to overthink your outfit when choosing what to wear in the morning. Also, you can save money by making multiple outfit combinations with fewer items so you can avoid buying more things.

What items will you need to own for it to work in real life? These tips can guide you from daydreaming about the perfect clothing to a practical, stylish look that you simply can have.

Choosing your capsule wardrobe basics

Before creating all those stylish outfits, you must decide what items will be included in your capsule wardrobe. There are several easy ways to determine what to wear.

Let’s unpack the capsule wardrobe essentials so you can start building your own capsules.

Choose colors that work for you

So, you should stick to just a few colors for your capsule wardrobe essentials since the idea is that everything matches up. For that reason, you might like to begin with some neutrals such as white, grey, cream, or black.

Then, add a few accent colors, based on what is available in your closet. That way, you can always look fashionable, but often not overdone.


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Think about your style

The capsule wardrobe is replete with style. Styles that do not match can sometimes be overlooked, but colors must be coordinated.

Think about your way of life and character when choosing a look. For example, do you prefer to stay in the office all day or go out a lot? You may need a business professional or casual outfit.

Or perhaps you work from home. You might enjoy comfortable-chic settings.

There are many different clothing styles, including casual chic, bohemian, formal, travel style, and much more. You can also create your own unique style based on what you usually wear. So, it does not have to be something preexisting.

Consider wardrobe versatility

Versatility is especially important because versatility enables you to create many looks using fewer items. Each item in your small capsule wardrobe should be versatile.

So, this means it is easy to combine it with other things, and it can create a casual, business, or elegant look. You should have pieces with simple designs that are both trendy and classic.

To test if a product is versatile, try combining it with other clothes and see how it looks. If most of the outfits look good, it’s a versatile item of clothing.

How many capsule wardrobe basics do you need?

So, how many items should you have in your wardrobe? While no one knows the exact number of items that your wardrobe should contain, somewhere in the 10-50 range is considered appropriate.

This amount will give you more than enough styles that you don`t even seem like you are wearing the same thing all the time. It can also help you avoid getting overwhelmed by having too many choices.

Key capsule wardrobe basics for your closet (30 items total)

So, if you are moving from a walk-in closet full of clothing to a minimalist lifestyle, we found that 30 capsule wardrobe essentials were the sweet spot. Of course, you can always adjust your lifestyle, but this is a good starting point.

1. Stylish skirt (1 item)

Any type of skirt is fine, but it should be comfortable, and a neutral color is best. Choose a style that you like, too. You can get miniskirts, midiskirts, full-length dresses, and more at a cozy price. Find one that you feel comfortable wearing.

2. Black and denim jeans (2 pairs)

You need some blue jeans in your wardrobe. They can be casual, but they can also be dressed up with heels. Wearing a blue denim pair and a black pair gives you more options in clothing.

3. Little black dress (1 item)

Oh, little black dress, what would we do without you? It is the perfect clothing item for any occasion and saves the day. Every capsule wardrobe should contain it so you can be prepared for a wedding, the office, or a night out.

Use these suggestions for this item in this piece from the New York Times Wirecutter. This is an expensive product, so check out websites like Poshmark and ThredUp to get a good deal.

4. Pants (1 pair)

Pants should be corduroys, linen, or any other cloth that is not denim. These pants should be versatile, and a neutral shade is best.

The garments should be appropriate for work but should also be stylish and fun to wear. For example, a slim, black pair of slacks would be a good choice.

5. Dress for the current weather (summer or winter dress) (1 item)

Pick a dress depending on the weather. Wear a long-sleeved or even thick-sleeve option for winter or wear a short-sleeve dress for summer. It’s good for this dress to have a unique color or be decorated with a motif to update your wardrobe.

6. Black leggings (1 pair)

Leggings are versatile, which is why they are part of our capsule wardrobe essentials list! You can wear them with skirts and dresses in the autumn a

Key Capsule Wardrobe Basics
Key Capsule Wardrobe Basics

7. Tank tops or camisoles (5 items)

These can be worn as extra layers or under cardigans or sweaters. So try for a variety of colors and styles. That way you can customize them as you want.

8. T-shirts (3 items)

You’ll need some casual shirts to wear with pants, skirts, dresses, and as formal wear. Black, grey, and white are suitable colors for these basics.

9. Blouses (4 items)

Find four blouses for wearing to work or school, and for going out. The blouses should be stylish yet versatile.

For example, a structured, striped blouse can work well as a basic, as can a white or black button-down. Find a few favorites that go with a lot of things.

10. Pair of shorts (1 pair)

Shorts are essential year-round. Look for something to pair with blouses and tees. A black linen or denim outfit is typical.

11. Sweaters (4 items)

A sweater wearable for three to five seasons is often worn in the spring or fall indoors. Try a variety of styles, such as V-neck, cardigan, etc.

12. Jackets (1 trench coat and 1 trendy jacket) (2 items)

A warm overcoat or coat is recommended for winter and fall. Choose something cozy made from wool or another comfortable fabric. It should look neutral, and it will complement everything else.

Afterward, a fashionable jacket can be worn in fall and winter. A popular choice is a black leather jacket, but you might also consider wearing a blazer.

13. Shoes – low heels, tennis shoes, flats or sandals, boots (4 pairs)

Low heels are great for parties but also work with jeans or to the office. They are a capsule wardrobe essential.

Next, a comfortable and durable pair of walking shoes. You can use them for working out, hiking, or to complement a casual outfit.

Then, based on the season, you’ll need a pair of flats or sandals. Flats are appropriate for the winter because they look professional but will keep your feet warm. On the other hand, sandals make a great summer and spring option.

Next, you’ll require a pair of boots to complete your capsule wardrobe. Knee-high boots in a neutral color are a good choice, and ankle boots go well with many outfits, too.

Capsule wardrobe basics checklist

Use the capsule wardrobe list enclosed below to add items to your capsule wardrobe. That way, you won’t overspend on items that you don’t use. Additionally, while out shopping, look for items that are made of durable materials, and be on the lookout for discounts!

Example of a capsule wardrobe basics checklist

A capsule wardrobe has many benefits, including avoiding the feeling that you have nothing to wear. Check your wardrobe to see if you already own some of these pieces so you can save more money!

Different types of capsule wardrobe examples

So now you know what the capsule fashion rules are. Sometimes it is good for your design to have a template. Here are several examples of excellent capsule wardrobes.

10 Piece capsule wardrobe

The 10-piece wardrobe is an ideal minimalist’s dream! It is excellent for those who need a quick outfit and dislike spending time thinking about their clothing choices.

You may want to change out some of these items depending on the season and note that neutral colors are key for this work.

While it may seem like ten items is not a lot, you can make a lot of combinations with only six if you get creative.

Check out the 10-piece wardrobe for the busy mom by!

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20 Piece capsule wardrobe

The 20-piece wardrobe gives you a few more choices in clothing and a bit more creativity as well. So, you won’t run out of items as quickly as you would without one, but you’ll have more options from which to choose, too.

You should select four or five colors that match each other and use those for capsule wardrobe basics. Even though we favor neutrals, you can still include a few fun colors and create excellent outfits.

Rather than changing your wardrobe every season check out this year-round capsule wardrobe example on

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Casual capsule wardrobe

Casual fashion is for those that are fond of wearing more casual clothing. These suggestions will help you look good and keep your comfort. You can still outfit up a little with old standbys like joggers and T-shirts.

Try a classic style jumpsuit with boots or skinny jeans and a top for a night out.

This casual capsule wardrobe from Who What Wear provides a stylish, easy look.

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Business capsule wardrobe

Business clothes are excellent time savers. You will know what you are wearing to your office each day.

Because it’s a business outfit, use neutral colors. Navy, black, grey, cream, and other subdued colors will work best.

For inspiration and ideas, check out Loren Loo’s business professional capsule wardrobe.

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Travel capsule wardrobe

You can look fantastic every day and pack efficiently with a travel capsule wardrobe! It also gives you a ton of outfits. Try this the next time you go on vacation. has a cute and classy vacation wardrobe that covers all your vacation needs.

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Dressy capsule wardrobe

This is a good example of an outfit you can wear to work or to a special occasion. A capsule wardrobe is appropriate for the office and special occasions. Try this example if you want to refine your personal style!

If you are adventurous and want to inject some pizzazz into your wardrobe, check out this snazzy capsule wardrobe at!

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How to use accessories

Accessories can change an outfit by transforming its overall style.

For example, you might put on a T-shirt and jeans, but embellish your outfit with stylish jewelry and a belt, and the ensemble is more stylish and tasteful. Or a fancy belt can form the finishing touch.

The NewYork Style Guide advises that glasses, handbags, and belts as accessories can totally change your look.

So, it’s smart to have a lot of accessories with your capsule wardrobe. Mixing and matching different styles will make it appear as though you have two pairs of clothes.

Some people like to wear the same accessories all the time as a statement, which is a part of their “style uniform.” You could find a signature necklace and bracelet set to complement your outfit.

Or you can switch things up all the time to keep things interesting. Changing out accessories may be the best method for a capsule wardrobe, as you work with all the same clothes all the time. So, save up a little bit of money to buy a few luxury accessories to create a great appearance!

What to do with extra clothes

When you choose the clothes for your capsule wardrobe, you may end up with some items that did not make the cut. But you do not need to throw them out!

You can stick with capsule wardrobes forever, but it’s best to have some of your other wardrobe essentials around. You never know, you might upcycle some items to create a new fresh look.

Thus, do this if you have clothing that is not part of your capsule wardrobe, but you don’t want to get rid of it. Place your capsule wardrobe clothing together at the front of your closet. Then secure the rest of your clothing in the back drawers.

That way, it’s still there, but it won’t get in your way.

However, if you decide on going through your closet and finding that you have some things you wish to give away, try giving them to family and friends. That way, they will be put to good use. If you have designer clothes, you could make some extra money by purchasing them and creating more storage space in your closet.

Get tips for repurposing old clothing on this page on The Spruce.

Before you create your capsule wardrobe, plan what items you wish to receive, what you have, and what items you can keep even if not part of your daily wardrobe.

It may be helpful to select the items you want from any of the lists in this article or create your own.

Transform your style with these capsule wardrobe basics!

Use these suggestions to make replacing your wardrobe easy and fun! Choose neutral colors, choose versatile garments, and add accessories for a fresh look.

Capsules are a simple way to save money while enjoying your wardrobe.

Save money while looking great by developing a budget that works for you. You can also make simple style adjustments and find ways to spend less as you update your wardrobe!


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