How to build a capsule wardrobe to save money. You may have heard a fair amount of buzz about capsule wardrobes in recent years.
Maybe you are wondering what all the fuss is about.
A few years back, I wanted to make a capsule wardrobe, like this one, myself. It has since saved me over $6000 every year, because I no longer buy new clothes.
Read on for my money-saving minimalist closet tips, as well as get yourself a free copy of my How To Build A Capsule Wardrobe book, below.
What Is A Capsule Wardrobe? My Minimalist Closet Saves $6,240 /Year
Here’s the thing. I really don’t care about fashion. Sure, I like to look presentable, and avoid looking like a slob as much as the next person.
But the capacity of what I like, when it comes to clothing is very slim. I like plain white tshirts, denim shorts or skinny jeans, black heeled booties or Vans. And that’s really it.
So why did I own so many pieces of clothing? Most of which, I never wore.
Before I had a baby, I used to spend about $520 a month just on new clothes and shoes. Which let’s be honest, is just plain stupid.
When I stopped buying new clothes, and opted for a classic capsule wardrobe instead, I save $6,240 a year!
What Is A Capsule Wardrobe?
First things first. What is a capsule wardrobe?
A capsule wardrobe is a collection of about 25-35 timeless pieces of clothing, that all could ‘go together’ so you can create many outfits without having to own many items.
The idea is that you ‘purge’ your closet, keep only the things you truly love and wear, and train yourself to stop buying clothing you don’t need.
I’ve noticed that I really only wear a few of the same items of clothing most of the time, anyway.
Personally, I love the idea of simplifying my wardrobe for a classic collection of just a few items.
So building a capsule wardrobe makes sense to me!
The actual term ‘Capsule Wardrobe’ was coined by London boutique owner Susie Faux in the 1970s. She described it as being a collection of a few essential items of clothing that don’t go out of fashion, such as skirts, trousers, and coats, which can then be augmented with seasonal pieces.
What Is A Capsule Wardrobe Made Of?
A capsule wardrobe is made up of any clothing that you personally like, that all serve a purpose.
There is no ‘filler’ or ‘occasional wear items’ you just get good use out of the few items you have.
For most of my life, I was guilty of being in the habit of buying too many clothes
Collecting clothing with a quantity over quality mindset is a terrible, expensive habit I knew I had to change.
My closet was overflowing with hundreds of dresses, shirts, pants, and shoes, yet most days I wore the same skinny jeans and basic Ts.
Why did I need so much excess? The answer is, I didn’t.
Finally one day I just realized that I have enough. More than enough! I needed to make a major change in not just my wardrobe, but in my overall thinking of how I shop.
I knew that I needed to be more mindful of what I let into my home. It was time to re-wire my brain to want to acquire less.
How To Build A Capsule Wardrobe
Now, let’s explore how to make a capsule wardrobe of your own.
I was inspired by the concept of having a capsule wardrobe a few years ago, and have now been rocking my minimalist wardrobe for a while now.
After some initial separation anxiety over parting with the things I owned, I eventually managed to give my closet the overhaul it very much needed.
I now have a streamlined, simple collection of just essential classic pieces, and I couldn’t be more happy about it!
How To Build A Capsule Wardrobe eBook
If you are wanting to build your own minimalist closet, be sure to grab a free copy of my How To Build A Capsule Wardrobe eBook below.
It is packed with tips to help you along the way!
How To Build A Capsule Wardrobe Book (Free Download!)
Learn how to make a money-saving minimalist wardrobe with this helpful style book.
You’ll get a weekly money-making/saving tip delivered right to your inbox, to help you stay focused on your goals!
1. Define Your Style
The first thing in curating a capsule wardrobe is to decide what you want your style to convey.
- Are you dressy?
- More casual?
- What will your colors be?
- Take a moment and draw up your color pallet.
Determine what your base colors will be for the majority of your capsule items, and then determine one or two accent colors.
When planning how to build a capsule wardrobe, I decided my capsule would be black, white, tan & grey, and then have blush pink as the accent color.
Keep your colors in mind as you begin step 2.
2. Purge Your Closet
Now it’s time to go through your closet and decide what to get rid of, and what can stay and become part of your capsule.
This is the hardest part in building your capsule wardrobe, but you need to be ruthless, you need to be strong, you need to let go.
Take everything out of your closet – and I mean everything. Lay it all out on your bed/floor so that you can analyze each item.
Create 4 piles:
- Love It / Keep
- Sell/Donate It
- Toss It / Recycle it
- and Not Sure Yet.
Begin sorting your items into their piles. Anything that is tattered, stained, or otherwise unusable goes into the toss pile.
Anything that you don’t wear, don’t love, or don’t fit goes into the sell/donate pile.
Any items that you aren’t sure if you want to keep or get rid of go into a ‘Not Sure Yet’ box.
Close the box and put it in the back of your closet or somewhere in storage.
If you don’t think to wear any of those items in 60 days, assume you won’t miss them and sell or donate them immediately.
If it’s something you absolutely love, it gets to stay in the ‘Love It’ pile and will become part of your capsule wardrobe.
Try to ‘shop’ what you already own. You probably already have most of what you need for a capsule wardrobe, you just need to cut out the excess!
And be sure to keep a good amount of basics. You know, items you can layer and that really go with anything.
For example, I love my Encircled pants (famously known as the ‘Dressy Sweatpants’).
These pants look like regular dress pants but feel like pajamas. They are a work-from-home staple!!
Once you have your ‘sell it’ pile, you can sell those clothes on this app.
Yes that’s right, not only will having a capsule wardrobe save you money but you can also MAKE money by selling off items you no longer need.
3. Plan Your Capsule To Fit Your Lifestyle
You need to make sure your all-season capsule wardrobe will be functional, and suit your unique lifestyle.
If you go out a lot, your capsule will need more dressy clothes, or if you have young kids running around at home, your capsule will need more leggings.
As I was purging my closet, I found that I had a lot of clothes that were no longer suitable to my current lifestyle.
I had several ‘work’ clothes leftover from when I worked in an office. But now that I work for myself as a Blog at Home Mom, all my blazers and business casual button-up shirts aren’t needed anymore (thank god).
Decide what’s right for your lifestyle and plan your capsule items accordingly.
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4. Determine The Number Of Items You Will Allow In Your Capsule Wardrobe
As you are sorting your clothes, keep in mind what your most essential clothing items are.
What items will you need for all four seasons? Be ruthless in dedicating the ‘Love It’ pile to the items you actually do love.
Think of an ideal number of items that you want for your capsule, and ‘shop’ your love it pile to fit in with that number.
The 25 Piece Capsule Wardrobe
For me, I decided that I would narrow down my overall wardrobe to 25 pieces. (You can see which items I kept in the image under step #6 )
Keeping just 25 items from my gazillion was NOT easy! But I managed to do it! Here is what I kept:
- Bottoms: Skinny Jeans (3), Little Black Dress (1), Day Dress (1), Skirts (2)
- Tops: Dressy Tops (3), Basic Ts (3), Blazers (2), Faux-Leather Jacket (1), Sweaters (2)
- Shoes: Dressy Heels (1), Heel Booties (1), Sneakers (1), Wedge Sandals (1)
- Accessories: Scarf (2), Hat (1)
- Plus allow for 2-3 additional items per season.
5. Your 4-Season Capsule Wardrobe Budget
Once you have ‘shopped’ your ‘Love It’ pile and tossed the rest, you may have room to purchase a few items, depending on how good you were at purging!
If this is the case, now is the time to decide on a yearly budget for clothing.
This is important. You want your Capsule Wardrobe to be able to be worn all year round, no matter the season.
So it is important that you invest in good quality, timeless pieces that will last for years to come.
Quality over quantity is your new motto!
After narrowing down items I already had to incorporate into my capsule wardrobe, I didn’t need much else. I decided that my yearly budget for spending on clothes is $500, or $125 per season.
6. Plan Your Outfits!
Woohoo! You made it this far!
Now that you have curated your perfect capsule wardrobe, you can plan your outfit possibilities from the items.
Inside the free capsule wardrobe planner book, you will see how I made all of these outfit formulas pictured here, with just these few items.
Where To Buy Capsule Wardrobe Clothing
Here are my favorite places to buy classic, high-quality clothing for my capsule:
- Pixie Market
- American Eagle Outfitters
- And for stylish eyewear, the obvious choice is Warby Parker.
Closet Organization Apps To Rock Your Capsule Wardrobe Planning
I use an app called Stylebook to organize my wardrobe and plan outfits.
It lets you organize your wardrobe from your phone. You can upload photos of your clothes to your ‘virtual closet,’ resize them, remove backgrounds and then virtually style and plan your outfits.
With features that allow you to track stats on your outfits, plan your daily outfits on a calendar, get travel packing tips and so much more.
You can even shop for new items to complete your capsule, right there in the app. It’s fabulous! And it’s only 3.99.
Capsule Wardrobe Style Challenges
Professional stylist Alison Lumbatis of Get Your Pretty On offers the most amazing Capsule Wardrobe Style Challenges, where she will help you every step of the way in creating a personalized Capsule Wardrobe for you – for under $40!
Check out her top style challenges here.
Download The Capsule Wardrobe Book Now
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