Don’t you hate getting ready for the day and getting stuck in your closet? And it’s not because you’re so engrossed and obsessed with your clothes. No—you’re stuck because you don’t know what to wear! Outfit struggles are the worst, and it’s time to leave those days behind. You need everyday pieces you can mix and match to keep trendy. Start a capsule wardrobe in seven easy steps to get yourself right on track.

What Is a Capsule Wardrobe?

Before we have you clean out the closet, let’s run through the basics. If you’ve never heard the term capsule wardrobe before, you’ve come to the right place. A capsule wardrobe is a collection of selected essential items that are timeless and don’t go out of fashion.

You’ll never have to worry about if you’re trendy or current when you step out of the house because these pieces never go out of style. That said, a capsule wardrobe is specific to your style too. Choose items that you love to wear every day and build the wardrobe around your lifestyle.

How To Start

Some say you can build a capsule wardrobe in three steps, while others say five. We feel seven is a nice and complete number. It’s not so many steps that the task feels overwhelming, and it’s detailed enough for the average shopper to cover all their bases.

Step One: Define Your Style

As we said, a capsule wardrobe is not a general style—it’s specific to your taste. Therefore, you need to start by defining and analyzing your style and lifestyle. Ask yourself three primary questions:

  1. What is my primary activity?
  2. What do I like to do in my free time?
  3. What items predominate in my closet?

Getting back to the basics will help you explore further down the line. You become more aware of what clothing you need to accompany these activities. For every season and function, there is a look, and your wardrobe needs to reflect that.

For example, if you live in California and spend most of your time on the beach, you’re going to need plenty of breezy garments and freeing clothes. On the flip side, if you’re more of a corporate type, you’ll need business attire in various colors and styles to mix and match appropriately.

Step Two: Track Your Outfits

Next, track what you like to wear for 30 days. This range gives you plenty of time to see whether some fan favorites reappear and if you change up the way you wear them. You can manually track what you wear in a journal, or you can start to take pictures of your fits before leaving the house.

Be sure to get pictures of any outfit changes and loungewear. Even if you don’t leave the house and lounge around in yoga pants all day, write it down! You’ll need an excuse to buy more than one pair. If you have a long day at work before spending an evening out with friends, document the outfit change. Include accessories and shoes in any lists you create.

Step Three: Audit Your Closet

And now, the hard part: if you have a rough time tossing things away, you won’t enjoy this step because you need to throw some things away. Auditing your closet and wardrobe means taking a good look at your current items.

Ask yourself, “When was the last time I really wore this?” Some of us are guilty of buying clothes for a specific event or affair and then forgetting about them completely. They served their purpose, and we no longer need them. Those need to be the first items you toss out. Next, get rid of anything that doesn’t fit.

Instead of altering your current body shape, accept the way you look and dress for this size. Don’t hold onto what you don’t need to. Think about the activities you do the most and see if you have enough outfits for these outings.

Step Four: Create a Color Palette

What’s your signature color? We all have one. You might even be someone who feels great in every color! Either way, you will want to start creating a color palette. After tracking your clothes for 30 days, you’ll see what colors you often wear.

Add these colors to the color palette reference guide so that when you start to shop for new pieces, you’ll have your color palette in mind. Decide on a base color. The most common options are black, white, tan, or navy. When looking for outfits online, choosing colors will be easier with a palette on hand.

Step Five: Map Out Your Capsule

Now comes the fun part. It’s time to map out your capsule wardrobe! You chose the items you can’t live without and got rid of the rest. Divide your clothes into categories based on season and activity. Try to find new ways to layer and challenge yourself to reinvent looks.

Check to see what you lack for various seasons. Create a wish list on some of your favorite websites. Remember that any items you consider for a capsule wardrobe need to be pieces for everyday looks. Brainstorm a couple of different ways to incorporate every item of clothing before adding it to your cart. Each garment needs to serve more than one purpose.

Step Six: Test the Looks

Consider this next step the “try before you buy” step. Here, you’ll challenge yourself to re-wear the current clothes in your closet before buying anything new. Remember, at this stage, all you have is a wish list. You still have not hit the purchase button.

Have fun during this step because it’s your experimental phase. Let’s see how creative you can get. You might surprise yourself with what you cook up! During this phase, you’ll get an even better idea of the pieces you’re lacking.

Step Seven: Choose Quality Over Quantity

Above everything else, always choose quality over quantity. Having a closet full of clothes means nothing if most of the items are for fast fashion. You need pieces that will last you a long time and can work to create several different looks.

As you craft your capsule wardrobe, consider shopping with us. We always choose quality over quantity—especially when it comes to our boutique women’s dresses. These pieces are timeless and will work for several different ideas. Plus, you can wear them for more than one season!

Hopefully, our seven steps to start your capsule wardrobe were helpful. But if you need any more guidance, feel free to visit our South Boutique website for ideas and inspiration.

How To Start a Capsule Wardrobe in 7 Steps

August 02, 2023 — Blake Spruiell