As the New Year approaches, it’s a perfect opportunity to reflect on the changes you want to bring into your life. Whether it’s setting health goals, pursuing career aspirations, or reaching personal development milestones, the possibilities are endless. If building a capsule wardrobe in 2024 is one of your resolutions, then you’ve landed in the right spot.
In this blog post, we’ll guide you on how to build your 2024 capsule wardrobe and curate a timeless collection of clothes that will take you through the years.
What Is A Capsule Wardrobe?
A capsule wardrobe is a curated collection of clothing that includes a minimal number of versatile, essential items that can be mixed and matched to create numerous outfits. The concept emphasises quality over quantity, with each piece being carefully chosen for its durability, timeless style, and alignment with your personal aesthetic.
The idea behind a capsule wardrobe is to streamline the process of getting dressed, reducing decision fatigue, and making it easier to create outfits that you love and feel good in. Instead of having a closet full of clothes with nothing to wear, a capsule wardrobe ensures that every item serves a purpose and can be used in multiple ways.
The items in a capsule wardrobe are typically neutral in colour and simplistic in design, allowing them to be easily paired with one another. While the specific contents of a capsule wardrobe may vary based on factors like climate, lifestyle, and personal taste, the focus is always on versatility and personal expression.
The Benefits Of Building A Capsule Wardrobe?
If you’re someone who loves to shop and has a closet bursting with clothes, the idea of reducing your wardrobe may seem daunting. Personally, I know the stress and the mess that comes from having too many clothes and nothing to wear. But believe me, building a capsule wardrobe has its own set of benefits that make it worth the effort.
- Saves time and energy: With a limited number of items in your closet, getting dressed becomes effortless. You don’t have to spend hours trying on different outfits or rummaging through piles of clothes to find something
- Embrace Personal Style: Capsule wardrobes allow you to focus on what you truly love and feel best in, helping you refine and define your personal style.
- Saves Time and Energy: With a limited number of items in your closet, getting dressed becomes effortless. You don’t have to spend hours trying on different outfits or rummaging through piles of clothes to find something that works.
- Versatility for Various Occasions: The mix-and-match nature of a capsule wardrobe ensures you have an outfit ready for any occasion.
- Improved Self-Confidence: Wearing clothes that you love and feel comfortable in can significantly boost your self-confidence, impacting your interactions and experiences positively.
- Get Dressed Faster, More Efficiently: With fewer choices, picking an outfit becomes quicker and more efficient, saving you valuable time each day.
- Reduces Decision Fatigue: By eliminating the numerous choices we face each morning, a capsule wardrobe reduces decision fatigue, leaving us with more energy for important decisions throughout the day.
- Less Clutter, Reduced Stress: A simplified wardrobe means less clutter, making it easier to keep your space tidy and reducing stress associated with decision-making.
- Save Money, Cost-Effective Wardrobe: By investing in high-quality pieces that last longer, you can save money in the long run. Plus, with less impulse buying, your spending becomes more intentional.
- Mindful Consumption: Building a capsule wardrobe encourages mindful consumption, helping you reduce fashion waste and contribute to a more sustainable fashion industry.
- Environmental Impact, Lower Footprint: By buying less and choosing sustainable brands, you’re reducing your environmental footprint.
- Traveller-Friendly: A capsule wardrobe is easy to pack for travel, as its pieces can be mixed and matched to create various outfits, reducing the need for excess luggage.
- Reduces Shopping Stress: When you know what items make up your capsule wardrobe, shopping becomes less stressful. Instead of being overwhelmed with trends and sales, you can focus on finding quality pieces that enhance your wardrobe.
- Harmony in your Aesthetic: A curated wardrobe helps to harmonize your aesthetic, creating a consistent and cohesive look that complements your lifestyle and personality.
In essence, a capsule wardrobe isn’t just about having fewer clothes; it’s about having the right clothes and living in a way that’s aligned with your personal values and lifestyle. By building a capsule wardrobe, you’re not only simplifying your closet but also your life.
How Many Pieces Are In A Capsule Wardrobe?
The number of pieces in a capsule wardrobe can vary from person to person, as it is based on individual needs and preferences. However, the general rule of thumb is to have around 30-40 items in your wardrobe, including tops, bottoms, dresses, outerwear, and shoes. This number may also depend on factors such as seasonality and lifestyle.
Some people may choose to have a smaller or larger wardrobe, and that’s completely fine. The key is to find the number of items that work for you, ensuring it meets your lifestyle needs while still maintaining the core principles of a capsule wardrobe – versatility, quality, and personal expression.
Capsule Wardrobe Checklist
If you’re looking for a full 26 piece capsule wardrobe checklist, you might also want to read Capsule Wardrobe Checklist: The 26 Essentials. Here’s a short overview of what you can start building you wardrobe with.
- Structured Blazer
- Black Trousers
- Denim Jeans
- Basic T-shirts
- A Minimal Skirt
- White Shirt
- Little Black Dress
- Comfortable Sneakers
- Classic Heels
How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe in 2024
1. Carve Out Your Style Persona
Before you start building your capsule wardrobe, it’s essential to understand and define your personal style. Whether you’re drawn to minimalism, quiet luxury, or Parisian style, knowing your style persona will help you curate a wardrobe that truly reflects who you are.
The best place to start with this is by collating inspirational images, creating a mood board or even making a list of words that describe your ideal aesthetic. This exercise will help you identify the colours, textures and silhouettes that appeal to you and guide your shopping decisions.
An easy way to do this is by creating a Pinterest board or a mood board with images that resonate with you. Look for common themes and styles, and use this as a guide when selecting items for your capsule wardrobe. If you have any influencers you follow for fashion, don’t forget to pin their images to your board too.
You’ll want this to be as specific as possible, so don’t be afraid to delete images that no longer feel relevant, or that look like outliers once they’re all put together. Also, it can help to build it up, leave it for a week and see how you feel about it afterwards. It can be overwhelming, so this is a good way to ensure you’re picking styles you’ll like long term.
If you’re like to explore more Parisian fall basics, check out our guide 11 Parisian Style Basics To Add To Your Fall / Winter Wardrobe.
2. Identify your colour scheme
Once you have an idea of your style persona, it’s time to decide on a colour scheme for your capsule wardrobe. Picking a colour palette that complements your skin tone and personal style will make it easier to mix and match pieces and create cohesive outfits.
The best way to figure this out is to pull out colours you’re naturally drawn to and see if they work well together. You can also research into what season you belong to based on your skin tone, and use this to guide your colour choices.
Typically for a capsule wardrobe, you would start by picking a base colour, such as black. Then, add 3 coordinating neutral colours such as beige, grey and cream. To finish your colour palette, choose 1-2 accent colours that you love and reach for often, such as navy blue or chocolate brown. The key is to select colours that complement each other and can be worn interchangeably.
To check whether your chosen colours work well together, lay out items from your wardrobe in each colour next to each other and see if they create a cohesive look. Or, if you are missing pieces of a certain colour, you can put together a chart in Canva similar to the one above.
If something stands out too much, or doesn’t seem to fit in with the rest of the colours, consider swapping it out for a different coloured item.
3. Audit Your Current Wardrobe
This is where the fun begins. Before you can start adding new items to your wardrobe, it’s essential to evaluate your current one first. The best way to do this is by pulling everything out (yes, everything) and taking a good look at each piece. Does it fit well? Is it in good condition? Does it reflect your personal style and suit your lifestyle? Do you feel confident and comfortable when you wear it? These questions will help you decide which items deserve a place in your capsule wardrobe.
From there, sort your clothing into three categories – frequently worn, rarely worn, and non-aligning pieces. Frequently worn items are those you wear often and feel good in. Rarely worn items are those you seldom reach for, perhaps due to fit, style, or condition.
For items that are rarely worn, or don’t align, consider why you don’t wear them, and if there’s a way to incorporate them into your capsule wardrobe. If not, it may be time to let them go. Or, if you still love them but they just aren’t right, consider replacing them with a better-fitting or more suitable alternative.
I’ve done this myself with a black blazer I bought. I found I kept reaching for it, but it was too form fitting and I couldn’t layer it over anything comfortably. I then swapped it out for a slightly oversized, boxier blazer that fits my style better and I wear that constantly.
You might want to consider storing non-aligning items initially rather than getting rid of them right away. This allows you to reassess these pieces after living with your capsule wardrobe for some time. If you find you didn’t miss them, you can then choose to donate or sell them.
Remember, the goal of a capsule wardrobe isn’t to get rid of all your clothes but rather to curate a collection of items that you genuinely love and wear regularly. By assessing your current wardrobe, you’ll gain a better understanding of what already works together and what pieces you may wear more by filling in gaps in your wardrobe.
4. Select Your Core Pieces
Selecting core pieces that are versatile and timeless is crucial in building a capsule wardrobe. These items serve as the foundation of your wardrobe and can be mixed and matched with other pieces for a variety of outfits. Whether you’re saving pieces from your current wardrobe or investing in new items, prioritize quality over quantity.
When it comes to selecting fabrics, I always go for durable and timeless materials like cotton, linen, wool, or denim. These fabrics have this amazing ability to stand the test of time and outlast any cheaper alternatives. Trust me, when you choose these high-quality materials, your garments will keep their integrity and hold up to the daily wear and tear for a long time.
By focusing on building a high-quality, versatile capsule wardrobe, you’ll save money and reduce waste in the long run. Below is a guideline to which key pieces you should get first when building your capsule wardrobe.
10 Capsule Wardrobe Essentials
1. Structured Blazer
A well-fitted blazer can instantly elevate any outfit. Choose one in a neutral colour like black, navy, or grey for maximum versatility.
If you want one that will work with your wardrobe year-round, choose a slightly oversized blazer. Then, you can layer your sweaters underneath for extra warmth.
2. Black Trousers
A pair of straight black trousers is another day to night staple that can be paired with various tops, sneakers and even heels.
The key tip here is to find a shape that works for you, whether that be straight leg, tailored or wide-leg.
A cosy sweater or cardigan is perfect for layering during colder months. Opt for neutral colors like classic greys or soft creams for a timeless and sophisticated look that effortlessly pairs with any outfit.
With their timeless appeal and versatility, sweaters or jumpers are a must-have.
7. White Shirt
A white shirt is a versatile item thats a must-have in any wardrobe. Not only is it a workwear staple, but it also effortlessly transitions into casual outfits when paired with jeans or shorts.
Its timeless design and clean lines make it a go-to choice for both professional and laid-back occasions.
8. Little Black Dress
The little black dress (or LBD) is a staple in any woman’s wardrobe. It can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.
The world’s your oyster when it comes to picking a LBD. Just make sure that it fits well and is made from a high end fabric.
5. Add Your Seasonal Pieces and Accessories
Seasonal pieces are essential in elevating your core wardrobe and adding versatility to your outfits. When selecting these items, consider the colours and styles that work best for you according to your body type, skin tone, and personal style.
For example, if you have a warm skin tone, earthy tones like olive green or rust may suit you better than cool colours like blue or purple. Or, if you have a petite frame, choose smaller prints and avoid oversized pieces that may overwhelm your body shape.
When it comes to seasonal pieces, quality is still essential. However, since these items may only be worn for a few months each year, you can opt for more affordable options without sacrificing quality. Just ensure they still fit well and complement your core wardrobe items.
To complete your capsule wardrobe, consider adding in a variety of accessories like sunglasses, belts to cinch and define your waist, and statement jewellery pieces that reflect your unique personal style. These carefully chosen items can effortlessly elevate any outfit, allowing you to showcase your individuality and create endless styling possibilities.
Here are some examples of seasonal pieces and accessories to consider adding:
- Lightweight Blouse: A lightweight blouse is perfect for spring and summer and can be worn with skirts, jeans, or trousers.
- Classic Cami: A classic cami is perfect for layering under blazers, cardigans, or sweaters.
- Maxi Dress: For a summertime staple, go for a maxi dress in a flattering style or an accent colour.
- Denim Jacket: A denim jacket is a versatile piece that can be worn year-round. Choose a classic style in a medium wash for maximum wearability.
- Jumpers: For colder months, add some cosy sweaters or jumpers to your wardrobe. Opt for neutral colours and timeless styles.
- Statement Earrings: Add some personality to your outfits with a pair of statement earrings. Play around with different shapes, colours, and materials.
- Classic Sunglasses: Protect your eyes from the sun in style with a pair of classic sunglasses. Choose a shape and colour that suits your face shape and personal style.
Remember to be intentional and selective when adding seasonal pieces and accessories to your capsule wardrobe. You want them to enhance your core pieces rather than overpower or distract from them.
6. Maintenance is Key
Once you’ve built your 2024 capsule wardrobe, it’s essential to maintain it regularly. Keep an eye out for any damaged or worn-out pieces and replace them as needed. It’s also a good idea to periodically reassess your wardrobe and determine if there are any gaps or items you no longer need.
Tips for maintaining your capsule wardrobe
- Maintain Your Capsule Wardrobe: Take good care of your clothes by cleaning and repairing them regularly, which will extend their lifespan. Store off-season items properly to prevent damage. For example, use breathable fabric covers to protect your clothes from dust and moths.
- Review and Revise: Every few months, evaluate the effectiveness of your capsule wardrobe. Are there items you haven’t worn at all? Do you need to replace some? This periodic review will help you make necessary adjustments and keep your wardrobe up-to-date.
- Rotate Your Pieces: To avoid wearing out your favourite items too quickly, rotate them with other pieces in your wardrobe. This will also help you discover new outfit combinations and prevent boredom with certain pieces.
- Care For Your Clothes: Follow care instructions for each item to ensure they last longer and maintain their quality. This includes washing, drying, ironing, and storing them properly.
- Invest in Tailoring: Sometimes a simple alteration can make all the difference in how an item fits and flatters you. Consider investing in tailoring for key pieces that may need some adjustments.
- Be Open to Evolving Your Style: As you grow and change, so will your style. Be open to making changes and trying new things. Remember, the goal is not to have a static wardrobe, but one that reflects who you are.
- Swap and Replace: If a piece is worn out or no longer fits your style, replace it with something new. Consider swapping clothes with friends or participating in swap events for a sustainable option.
- Be Mindful of Shopping Habits: Impulse buys can quickly lead to a cluttered wardrobe. Before adding a new item to your wardrobe, ask yourself if it truly fits your style and if you’ll wear it regularly. Make informed decisions and only add pieces that will truly add value to your wardrobe.
Remember, curating a capsule wardrobe is a journey, not a destination. It’s about discovering what works for you and creating a wardrobe that makes you feel confident and comfortable every day.
Where To Buy Capsule Wardrobe Items
It can sometimes be hard to know where to start when building a capsule wardrobe and where to find quality pieces that fit your budget. Here are some suggestions for where to shop for capsule wardrobe items:
- The Vestiaire Collective
- The Real Real
There you have it – everything you need to know about building and maintaining a capsule wardrobe for 2024 and beyond. Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to creating a capsule wardrobe. Experiment, find what works for you, and have fun with it! The most important thing is that your wardrobe reflects your personal style and makes getting dressed each day effortless and enjoyable.