Building a Capsule Wardrobe: Intro and Inspiration

Building a Capsule Wardrobe

{Image via Cladwell}

Building a Capsule Wardrobe: Intro and Inspiration

I can’t remember when I first heard the term ‘capsule wardrobe’ but it’s been a long-time dream of mine to have a wardrobe that works for me. Clothes that I love to wear, that feel good on and that do not overflow out of my closet and dresser drawers! I’ve come a long way with purging over the last year but I still have lots of pieces that I don’t love and are not at all versatile.

After reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up early this winter it refueled my craving to build a real capsule wardrobe or at least my version of one that works for my lifestyle. If the term is new to you don’t worry, the idea is very simple. A capsule wardrobe is a minimal wardrobe that only contains pieces that are very versatile and that truly make you happy! Doesn’t that sound great?

Building a Capsule Wardrobe: Unfancy blog

{Source: Unfancy blog}

When I was doing some research a year or two ago when I came across the blog UnfancyCapsules have been around for awhile and a lot of people have written about them, but for me Caroline is like the modern Master Yoda of the capsule Jedi warriors. Her minimalist fashion blog epitomizes the use of a capsule wardrobe and she tells you everything you need to know from how to get started to printable wardrobe planners.

Typically when I shop I just buy what I like, especially when it is on sale, and this strategy just doesn’t work. It clutters my closet and makes it super stressful to get dressed every morning.

The capsule wardrobe takes a little bit of time thinking and planning upfront but I think the end result will be life changing. Some great questions to ask yourself when planning your capsule are: How many outfits can you create with a piece? How does it feel when you wear it? And can it go from day to night?

Here are the initial steps I’m taking to jump start my capsule:

1. Decide what your capsule wardrobe will look like (everyone’s will be different) and find a tool to help.

It’s time to put pen to paper and break down how your wardrobe needs to work for you. Think about the type of clothing you need that will align with your lifestyle. For example, I don’t go out a lot at night or need dressy clothes, other than the occasional work event or wedding, so it is more important for me to have pieces that I can dress up for nighttime instead of having lots of separate pieces.

My work attire is casual but if your work requires a business dress code take into consideration pieces that can be used for more than one outfit. Maybe you buy a skirt and top instead of a dress because they can play double duty. Think about the blouses you buy to wear under your suit jacket so that they can function at other times too!

This is also the time to set a goal range for the number of pieces you want your capsule to hold. Caroline only has 37 pieces per season!

I recently discovered the Cladwell site which is a step-by-step capsule wardrobe planning tool that I’m going to be using to help me through the process and I’m so excited to introduce them to you. You should check out this inspiring video about why they believe in the capsule!

Cladwell helps you figure out what color palette works best for you, it helps you then choose your own color palette and even identify your style. And yep my style is the girl next door :)

Building a Capsule Wardrobe: Cladwell

It walks you through each of your lifestyle activities and then you add the pieces that you need for each one whether it be dressing for work, home, church or working out.

Building a Capsule Wardrobe: Lifestyle activities

Building a Capsule Wardrobe: select pieces

Once you set up the parameters for your capsule then the app guides you through the process of cleaning out your closet and taking the next steps for completing your capsule by shopping your own closet and buying additional pieces.

Building a Capsule Wardrobe: My Capsule


3. Purge your closet.

Donate or sell items that you don’t love or that will not function in your capsule wardrobe. Local online yard sales or Facebook groups are a great way to sell items that are still in good condition. Watch out MICIT Charlotte, I’ve got a lot coming at you!

3. Set a budget.

I’m sure, like me, you guys can’t up a buy a whole new wardrobe. Figure out a realistic budget and stick to it. Once your purge or research sales you may have a more than you think! For my capsule I’ll be using Itsums, my favorite online budget tracking tool which I’ll be talking more about in the coming days.

4. Research items online and look for sales and discount codes.

Once you figure out what you have and the holes (if any) in your capsule wardrobe start thinking about purchasing a few quality pieces. The capsule is meant to be thought through piece by piece so take your time when shopping. Spend time online looking for sales or researching discount codes to get more bang for your buck!

5. Make a shopping list.

Create a detailed shopping list of the necessary pieces for your capsule and describe them and their function. Example: green cargo vest: can be paired with striped shirt and skinny jeans; chambray shirt with leggings.

I may or may not have jumped the gun and went on a little “research” trip to Target to look for some of the pieces I know I’m missing!

Building a Capsule Wardrobe: shopping

So does your closet stress you out every morning when you are getting dressed? What do you think about creating a capsule wardrobe!

Love color? Don’t worry, the capsule wardrobe doesn’t have to be all neutrals. For me its easier to buy neutrals and accessorize with color but if you wear a lot of color just pick your favorites and make sure the pieces can be worked into multiple outfits! This is where the Cladwell color palette feature really comes in handy!

I’ve put together a capsule Pinterest inspiration board that I’ll be adding to in the coming weeks! This is a great way to follow along the journey and get inspired! Oh and I realized that I really love stripes and distressed skinny jeans!

Building a Capsule Wardrobe: pinterest

Here are some pieces that I already have in my wardrobe that I know will be staying!

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And here are a few items already on my wish list!

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Okay y’all, I know this was a crazy long post but stick with me! And if you want to join along make sure to sign up at Cladwell! It’s only $5 per month (or $15 per season) and I promise it’s totally worth it to get your capsule off the ground and running!



*Thanks to Cladwell letting me review the capsule wardrobe planner and thank YOU for supporting the brands that make Simple Stylings possible. All thoughts, ideas and opinions are 100% my own.

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  1. This a facinating idea! I’m curious what your opinion of both the capsule wardrobe and Caldwell are after the process. Were you able to keep on track; did you miss items that you later purchased inspite of your capsule?

    1. Thanks for your comment Heather! I let my subscription to Cladwell lapse because I have a pretty good handle of things. I’m still weeding out my wardrobe but I’m very intentional in anything I’m buying. I would say that just studying the capsule wardrobe and purging with that mindset has really set me up for maintaining it! Hope that helps :)

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