How to build a Capsule Wardrobe

Want to build a Capsule Wardrobe? Although this plan would be perfect for the workplace it doesn't have to be formal, you can make it work for any lifestyle. 

Perhaps you think it sounds indulgent but organizing your wardrobe is not the act of a woman overly concerned with appearance - rather the opposite.

A well planned foundation allows you to succeed with any project and putting together your 'working wardrobe' whatever your lifestyle, gives you the same kind of freedom.

You can forget about clothes and concentrate on the job in hand - looking, feeling and performing at your best.   

How to build a Capsule Wardrobe #capsulewardrobe #buildacapsule

A smart appearance indicates a smart mind ...

  • Dress for the job you want not the one you have!
  • Invest in yourself and impulse buys become a thing of the past; operate efficiently to save TIME and MONEY!
  • At the beginning of a new season plan to add a couple of basic pieces to the mix.

1 Choose neutral shades that work with your coloring

  • Choose 2 or 3 neutral shades to suit your coloring for the backbone of your wardrobe - neutral shades are classic and will never date whereas fashion colors change every season. Shades of beige, taupe and black always work well together but if you know your color direction then choose your own best neutral shades.

2 Buy the best you can afford

  • If you're starting from scratch then the best buy is a 3 piece suit, jacket, trousers and skirt; plus one other suit, skirt or pants; a white silk blouse; and a coat or raincoat that will top everything. A good dress that will tone with both jackets is a bonus, it will take you to lunch or dinner for the ultimate occasion.
  • If you're using your existing wardrobe after a Wardrobe Edit, go through each item in turn and decide whether it fits well; is flattering to your figure; and if the quality is good enough to keep or to replace when possible.
Build a capsule wardrobe #capsulewardrobe #buildcapsule

3 Follow a basic plan

Depending on commitments and schedule, this will vary - but this is a good mix to aim for initially.   

  • 2 Jackets and 2 skirts that tone. Each should be interchangeable with the other skirt.
  • 1 pair trousers - preferably matching one of the skirt suits
  • 1 Plain dress - a shift dress is best that can be teamed with both jackets and dressed up or down
  • 1 white shirt - if it's too firm for your figure choose the more feminine look of polyester or even better silk. 
  • Raincoat - preferably with a detachable warm lining to wear all year.
Build a capsule wardrobe #capsulewardrobe #buildcapsule


  • 3 or 4 tops that will co-ordinate with both the suits to ring the changes
  • 1 pair well cut jeans - with a flattering fit
  • 2 cardigans - less formal than a jacket

4 Work initially with what you have

  • Work initially with what you have and identify the obvious gaps
  • Start to build your capsule wardrobe with the items you'll find most useful
  • Aim to buy or replace one item at a time as budget allows maintaining the quality
  • Ensure that anything you spend money on fulfils your brief, it should:
  • fit you well
  • make you feel good and look good
  • is an appropriate fit for your wardrobe and lifestyle
  • and will co-ordinate with at least 3 items in your closet

5 Plan to replace/purchase accessories the same way

Quality accessories are equally important as an investment and say a lot about the person you are.

Decide to buy one item at a time in classic styles and neutral tones - but spend your money only on those items you will feel justifiably proud to wear or carry long term.

Just one high quality accessory will lift the look of the entire outfit. Make your own priority list.

  • good leather court shoes and boots
  • quality watch and good pearl or stud earrings
Build a capsule wardrobe #capsulewardrobe #buildcapsule
  • leather briefcase or large tote bag with small leather clutch that will fit inside
  • a good pen and notepad will always make a good impression
  • leather belts for texture and interest and a couple of beautiful silk scarves for softness

6 Add your link items and color

Once you add accessories and different tops into the mix, you're beginning to breathe life into your outfits. Initially, you will need to use your existing collection of tops, blouses, scarves etc to add color and interest but, over time, you can replace these with better quality items. 

There is, however, always a place for some feminine flair - a brighter tone, a fashionable color - introduced inexpensively in your tops, scarves or even lipstick! 

Build a capsule wardrobe #capsulewardrobe #buildcapsule

The rules to build a Capsule Wardrobe

Quality not Quantity

Buy the best Wardrobe Essentials you can afford. Better quality garments will give you longer wear and retain their looks. One quality item will lift the look of others.

Less is More

Instead of having lots of clothes in your wardrobe, many of which you never wear, choose fewer versatile garments which you will wear more.

Neutrals Rule

Neutral shades are classic and timeless. When they form the backbone of a wardrobe it will take you from season to season. Inexpensive fashionitems can be added in each season - tops, blouses, scarves. 

Fit not Fashion

Your priority must be a perfect fit.

Dress for your shape and learn to use your clothes wisely - accentuate the positive and eliminate the negatives of your body shape. 

The workplace is not a place for fashion - the most important factor is good Presentation and Grooming!

Allow 'Your Style' to visit you!

The latest features on Color Analysis, Body Shape and Style to your Inbox, twice monthly.

Plus a Free copy of my book 'Shortcut to Style', it works for you, whatever your age shape or size! 

Pamela x

Your style magazine : color analysis, bodyshape and style

Sitemap or locate all features relating to...

Like on Facebook

or share your comments

Leave me a comment in the box below.

Homepage >> Capsule Wardrobes >> How to build a Capsule Wardrobe