What is a Capsule Wardrobe, and How Do I Start One?

Capsule wardrobes are more than a trend; they’ve swept the fashion world for decades. Read on to learn what a capsule wardrobe is and how to start one.

What is a Capsule Wardrobe, and How Do I Start One?


Between online retail outlets, fashion subscription boxes, and brick-and-mortar stores, it’s easy to end up with a bursting wardrobe. Even so, many still find themselves standing in front of their closets, bemoaning the fact that they have nothing to wear.

Surprisingly, many people’s response to this dilemma isn’t to acquire more clothes, but less. That’s where a capsule wardrobe comes in. If you’re asking yourself, “What is a capsule wardrobe, and how do I start one?” read on to find out.

What is a Capsule Wardrobe?

You build capsule wardrobes on the ideas of quality over quantity. They involve having a few clothing items in your closet that you can mix and match to create a wide variety of outfits. These outfits typically employ a minimalist style, focusing on neutral colors with a few accents.

Why Start One?

Fashion is, sadly, one of the highest polluting industries in the world. This is largely due to “fast fashion” practices that focus on producing a high volume of low-quality clothing made with toxic materials.

Capsule wardrobes focus on fewer, higher-quality pieces and ensure that fewer outfits end up in landfills. So knowing what a capsule wardrobe is and how to start one helps avoid contributing to destructive fast fashion trends.

How to Start a Capsule Wardrobe

Find Your Style

The first step to reducing your wardrobe to the basics is identifying the styles you enjoy wearing. The best way to do it is to track your wardrobe for at least 30 days. Take note of the outfits you wear often and pieces that you never even think of touching. Also, notice the colors and cuts you feel drawn toward.

Purge Your Closet

Once you know which pieces you don’t care about, it’s time to get rid of them. Since your goal is sustainability, you’ll want to avoid throwing them away. Instead, consider donating them, selling them, or giving them away. You can also consider reusing the fabric for DIY craft projects around the house.

Identify the Essentials

Capsule wardrobes focus on having a few must-have pieces that you can mix and match. If you’re having trouble identifying essential pieces for a capsule wardrobe, here are a few items you’ll want to keep in mind:

  • One or two pairs of jeans
  • A non-denim pair of pants
  • A casual dress and a formal dress
  • A trendy and a warm jacket
  • Three blouses and three t-shirts
  • Three or four sweaters
  • A pair of flats, heels, and boots

Remember that the goal is to have pieces you can mix and match, so you will want to rely on neutrals that always go together or an overarching color scheme.


An easy way to keep your capsule wardrobe fresh is to have a series of accessories you can switch out. For example, a quality fedora is a perfect year-round accessory that you can wear to formal and casual events. Statement jewelry is also a great addition to a capsule wardrobe.


Photo – Ron Lach

Disclosure – This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking and shopping, you help support Detroit Fashion News and allow us to keep reporting on all things fashionable.

Share this post

Scroll to Top