How to Build a Minimalist Capsule Wardrobe

A capsule wardrobe, at heart, is nothing more than an edited wardrobe. The idea is that you edit your closet down to the most essential pieces. When you stop to think about all the garments languishing in your closet and dresser drawers, not to mention all the clothes you never wear, the benefits quickly become clear. Most of us have closets full of items that we never wear or that don't look good on us, but we can't bring ourselves to get rid of them. Well, it may be time to get rid of them. Even if you need to take the “does it spark joy?” approach, you can clean out your closet. Embrace a minimalist capsule wardrobe. It involves keeping the essentials and your favourite pieces—the items that you wear right now, the items that fit your body and your aesthetic at this moment. A minimalist capsule wardrobe consists of tops, bottoms, dresses and accessories that you can mix and match with ease. Adopting this method of dressing doesn't mean you have to stop shopping, but it does require you to shop with purpose and intent. To begin with, you have to take a look at what you've got.


Study Your Wardrobe



You can't just open up your closet and throw out your clothing willy-nilly. For the next three or four months, you're going to have the same items in your closet. Pull out all of your clothes and lay them out in your room. Study them carefully. Choose mindfully as you select what to keep and what to get rid of or store elsewhere.

Don't keep the blouse you bought three years ago and always swear you'll wear. Likewise, overly trendy pieces don't usually have much of a place in a minimalist capsule wardrobe, and for the most part, basics are your best friends. A pair of well-fitted black trousers will take you farther than brightly coloured palazzo pants that you might wear once or twice. The ideal capsule wardrobe contains 36 pieces or so, not including underwear, accessories, and workout clothes, so consider your options carefully and thoughtfully. 


Pick Out the Necessities



Any clothing that you haven't worn in the last nine months or so should probably go, because chances are you won't wear those items now, either. Pay attention to the garments that frequently pop up in your wardrobe rotation. Keep your favourite pair of jeans and the white button-down you wear all the time. It's fine to include the off-duty clothing you love to wear on the weekends, as well as your office attire. The key is to get rid of anything you never or rarely wear, as those pieces are just taking up valuable space. 


Assess Your Accessories


Your accessories are freebies, but that doesn't mean that you need dozens of handbags and twice as many scarves. There's no reason to limit yourself to a single bag, of course—that's not practical. However, the odds are good that you can pare down on your accessories, as well.

Consider keeping a single handbag for different occasions. For example, you need a clutch for formal occasions, as well as a small bag to carry to concerts and similar events. A roomy weekend bag is perfect for get-aways and adventures. On the day-to-day, a serviceable but stylish shoulder bag is all you need. Switch out your purses whenever you like, but save some room in your closet for the time being.


Fine-Tune Your Footwear


When it comes to shoes, store anything that isn't seasonal to create extra space for the shoes you genuinely want to wear. When shopping for footwear, consider quality over quantity, as a well-made pair of shoes can last for a long time.

Think about footwear that suits your lifestyle and goes with an array of outfits. Ankle boots are ideal, and your capsule wardrobe should also incorporate a few pairs of heels, flats, and sneakers, although it depends on your personal aesthetic, what you do, and where you go. With so many great options available these days, don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and experiment with different materials, colours and textures to create looks that express your individuality.


Replace What You Need


You don't have to get rid of anything you remove from your closet unless that's your choice. Store it and mix in new pieces whenever your capsule wardrobe needs to be refreshed. All the same, you may find that you lack some of the basics. An impeccable capsule wardrobe includes items such as a button-down, flattering jeans, a wrap dress, a knitted sweater, a knee-length skirt, and a little black dress. As mentioned earlier, always opt for quality. Splurge on the cashmere. Experience the sensation of slipping into a silk tee shirt.

Creating a minimalist capsule wardrobe doesn't take away your fashion choices. It simply removes the confusion. Your closet is now full of clothing that you wear often and with enthusiasm. Stepping out in pieces that flatter your figure and show off your personality is one way to set yourself apart as a style icon. You'll always appear polished and put-together—and you'll never run into a problem with finding something to wear. Have you ever considered taking the minimalist approach to your closet?



About the Author:


Tess DiNapoli is an artist, freelance writer, and content strategist. She has a passion for yoga and often writes about health and wellness, but also enjoys covering the fashion industry and the world of fitness.