How to Create a Capsule Wardrobe

How to Create a Capsule Wardrobe

What is a ‘Capsule’ Wardrobe?

The term ‘capsule wardrobe’ has been around for decades now, and it’s not about to go away any time soon. Coined in the Seventies by Susie Faux, the idea was popularised by Donna Karen in the Eighties and today stylists like Gok Wan champion it.

The idea is that you have a seasonal ‘minimal’ wardrobe made up of a set number of pieces that will never go out of fashion and are interchangeable with each other, making it perfect for those tight on space or with a small budget.

capsule wardrobe 2016
Photo Credit:


How to Create a Capsule Wardrobe

Cartoon Self Storage Swapping Winter and Summer WardrobesIt’s that time of year when we’re swapping our summer wardrobes for our winter ones.  Now is the perfect time to consider a Capsule Wardrobe but you have no idea where to start.  We’ve come up with a step by step guide to creating the perfect Winter Capsule Wardrobe for 2016.

The first thing you need to do is to go through your entire wardrobe and pare it down.  It may take a bit of time but is well worth it.  How far you go is entirely up to you and the number of pieces that suits you. Some say as little as 24, others as much as 37, but the best way to do it is to think about how many of each item you want. For instance, you might choose seven pairs of shoes, ten bottoms, ten tops, two dresses and three coats.

Your capsule wardrobe should not include:  Gym Clothes, Jewellery, Accessories, Bags, Swimsuits and Pyjamas

1. Empty your wardrobe and sort into piles.

Take everything out of your wardrobe and pile it all on the bed and start sorting through it, you may not see your bed for a while.  Now start sorting the clothes into 3 or 4 piles possibly Keep, Charity and Maybe.
  • Grab all of the stuff you can’t live without and place in the ‘keep’ pile. 
  • E-bay, Charity, or pass on to a friend anything that you haven’t worn in a while, no longer fits and is unlikely to anytime soon, any that fall into the category of ‘what was I thinking’ or still has price tags on. 
  • Any items that you are not sure about put them in a ‘maybe’ pile this may include sentimental items or things a little out of your comfort zone.
While working through the piles take into consideration the colour schemes and whether the items will go with more than one thing.  Typically, pick two base colours to go with absolutely everything, including black, white, brown, grey or navy. Choose items such as trousers and coats in these colours. Then, choose one or two accent colours in brighter tones that co-ordinate with your base colours. Tops and dresses can also be bought in these colours. This will ensure that whatever you wear, the pieces you choose will always complement each other. When choosing your colour scheme, you should think about your complexion and how to match it.
If you are struggling with your colour scheme you may consider one of your favourite multi-coloured scarves (e.g blue, grey and burgundy) and build your wardrobe around that item.

2. Count your items - Do you have more or less than the recommended amount?

Now count your items in the keep pile if you have less than the target number go back to the ‘maybe’ pile.   It’s a great time to have an honest friend around and/or a full length mirror.  Be really honest with yourself, pop on the items; do you feel comfortable in it, are you likely going to wear it again, does it go with anything else or is it flattering?  If not, put in the Charity pile.

You should now have a solid foundation to your capsule wardrobe and your style should be ‘screaming out at you’.  Now it’s time to see how many outfits you can put together with the items you have left but make sure you have balance of work and casual outfits

A clothes rail can be really useful for this.  When trying on different combinations take a photos, which you can print off and put inside your wardrobe or keep on your camera roll for those days when you can’t think of anything to wear.

3. Make a list of any items you need

If you were ruthless with reducing your wardrobe you may have space to add a few new classic items.  As you're trying everything on make notes of things you could be possibly missing.  But never forget when you’re shopping to only ever consider purchasing items that will go with a minimum of three other items in your wardrobe.

Wear these for a ‘season’, i.e. winter, spring, summer or autumn, around three months.

4. Towards the end of the season - Repeat 

During the last week of the season, plan and shop for the next three months.

You may also be interested in 'Planning your weekly outfits in 4 Easy  Steps' featuring stylist Mel Wall. 

Discover more fashion tips on Safestore’s blog where you’ll find a range of topics; from tips on how to store your clothes to getting your wardrobe organised and more. Or, if you’re looking for more storage space for seasonal clothing, we have a range of personal self storage options in over 100 locations – find your nearest store for a quote today.

Get a Self Storage Quote

Find a store by entering a postcode, city or town below.
Find a store & Get a quote

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
 Security code
There are no comments yet
Complete your quote

You’re almost done!

Complete your quote at