How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe | Part 1

Flats, Jeans, Black Tee & Jacket

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So how does one actually go about building an effortless, beautiful, capsule wardrobe?

Well, it’s an ongoing process really, we’re still working on it ourselves. Besides, our lives and our tastes aren’t static. They change with each passing season of life and style. We have to be open and adaptable to change.

That being said, the point of a capsule wardrobe is to create a timeless, chic, mini wardrobe that will save you money and have you feeling confident and beautiful in your own skin every day. So we don’t want to sway too much with the changing winds of fashion.

In this first part of our Building a Capsule Wardrobe Series, we wanted to get you started with some preliminary questions to ask yourself. Before you jump in and clean out your closet or rush out to buy anything new, it’s important to gain some clarity first.

+ Why are you creating a capsule wardrobe? What do you hope to gain? 

Your answer to this question will help guide you and keep you on track when blogs, Pinterest or Instagram start to make you feel like you just wanna go out and shop your face off – just for fun. They have a way of doing that, don’t they? Your whys will help you stay strong.

White Tee & Jeans

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+ What type of clothing does your lifestyle require? (Use the Tues. Afternoon vs. Sat. Evening Rule)

What do you do for a living? And what does that require you to wear? The sad part about this is that for a lot of people, your work clothes are your least favorite clothes. But, unfortunately they’re what you spend the most time in.

For me, I work from home in Upstate New York. I’m actually in my trusty blue bathrobe at the moment, still in bed, don’t judge me.

My clothing needs are vastly different from what they were a year ago, living in Hoboken and working in a private equity firm on Madison Avenue. Not only do I need far fewer clothes but I also need a different kind. And even when I get dressed up for dinner or date night, the vibe is obviously much different up here than it was in New York City.

Perhaps you’re a stay at home mom? Perhaps you work in a business casual office? Or perhaps you spend your days in a creative place where you can wear whatever you want. It’s important to realize what you need to be wearing on a Tuesday afternoon first and foremost – because that’s what 80 percent of your capsule should be appropriate for. The remaining 20 percent should be for Saturday evening or Sunday afternoon brunch, etc. Bonus points if items work for both.

Black Turtleneck, Jeans & Flats

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Bell Bottoms

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+ What type of clothing do you actually like to wear? 

Are you a wrap dress and boots kind of lady? Could you live entirely in Lululemon? Do you prefer t-shirts, jeans and sneaks? For work, does a pencil skirt and blouse make you feel great? Or perhaps wide leg trousers and a cashmere tee? What items in your closet do you find yourself reaching for over and over again? What items are you most comfortable and confident in?

When I was in an office, I had a J. Crew sweater in three different colors that I basically wore on repeat with a black pencil skirt or black high-waisted, wide-leg trousers. When we recognize these personal preferences and shop accordingly, we save ourselves a whole bunch of time, energy and money. And we wind up feeling better in our clothes every day because we have a closet full of what we feel most confident and comfortable in.

Good style becomes a habit instead of a frustrating struggle.

Now that I work from home, it’s all about denim, tees, and cozy sweaters – until it warms up. I basically wear the same thing every day. And its so comfortable and easy. And I know you might be thinking “but you work from home”. Well, yes but you can wear the same thing every day too, regardless of where you wear it.

So what’s your version of those outfits? What’s your favorite, go-to combo? It makes sense going forward to work with that as you prune and purchase vs. branching out to stuff you will literally never wear a.k.a impulse purchases.

Oxfords & Jeans

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+ What style and color palette are you you drawn to? 

Here’s where a Pinterest Board comes in handy. I’ve realized that I’m drawn to neutrals, denim, and simple, classic, French-inspired looks. Black d’orsay flats, cashmere crews, denim, menswear-inspired shirts, simple dresses. So now that I’m good with looks I love, I’m going to work on creating a capsule full of them in the best fabric and fit that I can find, from the most ethical brands.

There are just too many options out there, so it’s easier to choose what you love and stick with it.

Grey Sweater, Jeans, Heels

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Take a minute to create a ‘Dream Capsule’ Pinterest Board ands start pinning some inspiration. It’s so much fun! And think of it as your personal development homework this week, wink.

Once you have your answers to these questions, and your Dream Capsule Pinterest Board, we’ll move on to How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe | Part 2. Stay tuned.

And as you go through this process, here’s something important to remember: this isn’t going to happen over night. Think of it as an evolution, a shift in habits away from an overstuffed closet and shitty, fast fashion toward style that feels better. Bridget and I definitely don’t have it all figured out but, we’re working on it. And we’re excited about it too. It’s fun! We’re aspiring to effortless style, while making better choices to support positive change. That’s what this is really about.

If you’re interested in 5 simple steps to improve your style without buying a thing, pop your email address in below and we’ll send your our free guide. We interviewed our favorite stylist for it. Find out the one exception, in all of time, to Step #2!

Also published on Medium.



  1. Yes I’m still compiling mine too. It does consist of wearing a uniform and ensuring that I have the staples which are the men’s shirt, cashmere polo, little black dress, a-line dress, trench so that they aren’t seasonal but classic! Looking forward to next post X

    • Hi Simi! Thanks for commenting!

      Yes this is definitely a work in progress, I’m in a need of a little black dress myself!

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