Understanding Wardrobe Capsules
Wardrobe capsules are an easy way of creating groups of clothes that mix and match so you get multiple outfits from fewer pieces, than if you keep garments as outfits.
They are particularly useful if you are building (or re-building) a wardrobe due to pregnancy, weight-loss or gain, change in lifestyle, body shape or colouring. When you’re starting from scratch, they are definitely the way to go. I mean, how many clothes do you really need in your wardrobe?
For some, wardrobe capsules are how they like to order and organise their wardrobes. For others, uniform or outfit formulas are better options (you can figure out which is you here). If you like the idea of a wardrobe capsule, I do recommend that you read this before you throw it all out (a capsule is not for everyone).
If you’re sick and tired of thinking about what goes with what, then a wardrobe capsule is a great way of limiting your choices (so you don’t get decision fatigue) and having a small and sustainable wardrobe.
Here I’m sharing a couple of examples of creating smart-casual capsules for winter and summer, whether you work from home or just live a smart-casual lifestyle.
They are particularly useful if you are travelling or have a limited clothing budget. 12 pieces can be mixed around to create 72 outfits (watch my video on how I pack 72 outfits into my carry on luggage!). Adding one extra piece can take that number to 96 outfits. This means travelling for a few weeks at a time with a wardrobe capsule will allow you to pack lightly but effectively.
You can create wardrobe capsules for different occasions and activities you undertake. Build them around your lifestyle. You can have them for
- Evening wear
Think about larger capsules or multiple capsules for the activities you spend more time doing, and smaller ones for the things you spend less time doing.
There are lots of capsules you can create based on what you do and the season. I’ve included a couple of capsules for someone who may work from home (or work in a casual environment) which allows them to dress up and down a little, but look smart if you need to run errands, but still remain comfortable.
As you can see, the more items you include that can be layered with others, the more outfit options you get!
If you’re building a capsule, you’ll want to think about which colours to choose – check out this post for some guidance on that.
Capsule Wardrobe Inspiration and Advice
Here are some of my previous posts on creating capsules to give you the inspiration to create yours. Remember, if you are a pant wearer, there is no point in including skirts in your capsule if you don’t wear them (and vice versa of course).