Okay, ladies, listen up! Are you crazy busy? (The answer to that is yes, because every lady is busy af). Do you need MORE outfits in your life while spending LESS money on them? (Also yes, because who doesn’t). Never fear – I’m going to show you how to create a basic capsule wardrobe example that gives you 288 outfit combinations using 17 pieces of clothing YOU ALREADY OWN!
This article is continually updated to maintain a fresh perspective on building a complete capsule wardrobe, so be sure to check back periodically for new information.
What Is A Capsule Wardrobe Anyway?
In a nutshell, a capsule wardrobe is a basic set of pieces that can be mixed and matched many ways with each other to give you a wide range of basic outfit combinations you can accessorize upon.
I know you’ve probably seen capsule wardrobe images all over Pinterest. Maybe you weren’t even aware that that was what you were looking at. While some of them are actual capsules, many of them are very loosely pulled together.
So to help you understand more about capsule wardrobes, we’ve pulled together a Capsule Wardrobe Pinterest Board to help you see all the different kinds of capsules you can create – for example, a minimalist capsule wardrobe, work capsule wardrobe, travel capsule wardrobe, stay at home mom capsule wardrobe, basic capsule wardrobe, year round capsule wardrobe, and even more.
Pin the image below so you’ll always have this article for reference!
When To Create A Capsule Wardrobe
A capsule wardrobe is a smart idea when you have:
- a limited shopping budget;
- no spare time to shop for new clothes;
- limited time in the day to pair up new outfit combinations (hello, I have a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear! Sound familiar?)
Why Build A Capsule Wardrobe?
Creating a capsule wardrobe for yourself helps you eliminate the time it takes to get ready in the morning, because you already know you have a set of basics that can be mixed and matched many different ways. As I mentioned, my capsule wardrobe contains only 17 pieces of clothing, but it gives you 288 possible outfit combinations. That’s a lot of value!
This capsule wardrobe will be the envy of any stylist or fashionista. And you shouldn’t even have to go out and buy a single thing (unless you want to, and then who am I to stop you? Heck, I’ll even throw some great options into the bottom of this article for you).
You’ll Also Love: Our Amazon Shop has tons of pieces you’ll want to add to your capsule wardrobe (and non-capsules, too)
How To Create The Best Capsule Wardrobe To Maximize Your Budget
For this exercise, I purposely chose pieces of clothing that every woman might have, or might have something similar to, so that every one of you reading this can create a cool and extremely functional capsule wardrobe of your own.
I went through my closet and I found 17 pieces of clothing that are either black, white, grey, or a combination of those colors. Keeping a monochromatic theme makes this wardrobe more versatile because absolutely everything can be mixed and matched.
I double-checked my math with my dad, who has been a math teacher his entire career, and luckily, he reassured me that my simple math skills are still sharp.
My basic capsule wardrobe example goes like this:
4 pairs of pants x 6 tops x 3 jackets x 4 pairs of shoes = 288 outfit combinations
Tip: Don’t forget to Pin the image below!
WHAT?!?! Yes, it’s true. By carefully combing through your wardrobe and finding 17 pieces that follow my capsule wardrobe formula, you can build a closet of basic outfit combinations that will get you through exactly 78.9% of your year.
Of course, you’ll be wearing black, white, and grey most of the time, but then hey, you can splurge on other pieces the other 77 days. And of course, you can accessorize with beautiful jewelry, scarves, sunnies, and handbags.
Capsule Wardrobe Checklist
Here’s how my own wardrobe is broken down even further, as you can see by the pictures. I’ve created this handy capsule wardrobe checklist so you can easily build your own capsule wardrobe. You can purchase pieces similar to these, or vary it slightly for each season and for your personal taste.
And budget is never a concern with creating a capsule, because we live by the mantra that style hath no budget. You can find great pieces whether you’re shopping at Target or Saks.
- Blue Jeans
- Black Jeans
- White Jeans
- Black Leatherette Skinnies
Feel free to substitute a skirt, or a pair of grey jeans or even another pair of blue jeans or black trousers. Each of these pieces should be able to mix in nicely with the other items. That’s the great thing about a capsule wardrobe – it can be very flexible based on your style and your lifestyle!
- Grey Tank Top
- Black Tank Top
- Grey Tee
- Black Tee
- Black Blouse
- Grey Blouse
You can substitute white tops or another neutral color that goes with the rest of the capsule items. I omitted white for this exercise simply because the pieces didn’t present too well on a white background.
- Grey Faux Fur Jacket
- Black Leather Jacket
- Black and White Tweed Jacket
Your jackets can be changed out each season, as the weather, or your mood, changes. For example, you can exchange the fur jacket for a fur vest or even a simple black blazer. You can also substitute a trench coat or a pea coat for the tweed or leather jackets.
I went with all black shoes in the following styles:
Again, pick styles that reflect your personal style (are you a ballet flat type of girl?) and your lifestyle (if you’re on your feet all day, then a four-inch heel won’t do).
Another Great Read: Check out our Mom Jeans Guide for some great jeans to add to your wardrobe.
Shop the Looks From My Capsule Wardrobe Infographic Above
To help you complete your own capsule, you can shop items we’ve curated that fall into each of the above mentioned styles.
Tip: Don’t Forget To Pin This Capsule Wardrobe To Keep It Handy!
That way you’ll always have it around for quick reference. Also, follow LUXYMOM® on Pinterest, so you can be inspired by all of our great finds!
Go through your own wardrobe tonight and see if you can come up with a similar capsule collection that fits your own personal style as well as your lifestyle.
Share with us the wardrobe you’ve created for yourself, and tag us on Instagram and Facebook @luxymomofficial using #luxymom. We’d love to see what you’ve come up with, and we just may share with our readers!
I’m so glad you like it! Thank you!!
Thanks Miki! I appreciate your kind words! Xoxo 🙂 – Libby
Great post on mixing and matching for a capsule collection!
Thanks Christianne! So happy you found it helpful! Xoxo, Libby 🙂
Thanks Ana! I’m glad you like it! 🙂
I love reading about capsule wardrobes! I feel like this would be so hard for me, but I love it!
Emily Soto says
This is awesome! I’ve always wanted to try a capsule wardrobe.
This is so neat and helpful. Love the idea.
I’m so glad you like it, Lynda, and I totally agree with you – mixing and matching is SO much fun! XOXO
Thank you so much! That makes me so happy! 🙂
Ana Prodanovic says
Love this post!! xx
I love this! Mixing and matching is so much fun. Thanks for the suggestions on how to bring all of it together.