Building a Capsule Wardrobe: Budgeting with Itsums

Building a Capsule Wardrobe

{image by Laura Sumrak}

Well guys, I spent the weekend closet cleaning and I’m back with more capsule wardrobe talk!  Today is all about the BUDGET.

I’m not going to lie, it did get a little messy but once I got going it really wasn’t all that bad. I went through every piece of clothing I own in about 3 hours!


Obviously I can’t afford to buy a brand new wardrobe, and I’m guessing most of you can’t either (although I would like to!). So I need to set a realistic and intentional budget for myself. This will help you stay on track with your capsule as well as give you something to look forward to. And to know you’re filling in the gaps to create a complete and versatile wardrobe is going to be so rewarding!

I know creating a budget for a capsule wardrobe is a subjective thing, differing for everyone of course, but there are a few things you should take into consideration.

  1. Think about quality vs. quantity. A capsule wardrobe is about filling in the gaps of what you already own by purchasing quality pieces that last and are versatile. Less is definitely more. It’s easy to buy things that you think you like because they are on deep discount but I’m confident in saying that was my old self and my new self is not afraid to spend a little more on a piece that will last longer. If I follow the capsule wardrobe philosophy and the teaches of Marie Kondo then I must LOVE the pieces I purchase.
  2. Only shop before each season. Once you’ve established your capsule for that season, don’t shop until it’s time to evaluate your wardrobe for the next season. In my case I’m planning my wardrobe for the year so I will hold off on purchasing some of the pieces that I need until closer to that season but it’s essentially the same concept. I will probably re-evaluate after each season but since I keep all of my clothes out vs. packing the seasons away, planning for the year made more sense.
  3. Create a written budget. I know for me if I don’t write things down and have something to reference I can easily get off track. My favorite way to stay on budget is the online budgeting tool, Itsums. I’ve used it for numerous projects like our playroom makeover and holiday budget and I love how I can visually see where my budget stands and where it’s being spent. As a creative person, being able to see the budget in a design board form is a huge plus!


Once I cleaned out my closet and shopped what I already owned, Cladwell created my shopping list. I am in need of two blouses, one sweater, two pairs of dress pants, one pair of jeans, one daytime dress, a pencil skirt, a midi skirt, a pair of booties, flats, loafers, sneakers and wedges. Wow, that was a mouthful! That is 14 new pieces which isn’t terrible but not something I’m going to be able to purchase all at once. Since I’m working on a yearlong capsule, I will put off purchasing fall/winter items until later in the year.

After I started creating my budget I realized that the tool goes hand in hand with my capsule planning. First I set a budget, then I create a pretty board by installing the bookmarklet into my browser and adding the pieces that I love from any retailer across the web. You can also add custom categories so you can see how much of your budget is allocated towards, tops, bottoms, shoes, etc. When you are on the retailers site simply click the bookmarklet in your browser and this box will pop up for you to add detailed information about the item.

Building a Capsule Wardrobe: The Budgeting


I set my capsule budget at $500. Given the amount of items needed and average prices, this seemed like a reasonable number to work towards. I’m also estimating about $85 worth of clothes I’ll be selling from my closet clean out so that helps! I’m going to slowly and intentionally shop for the pieces I need, making sure that I truly love them and they are decent quality.

I would love to move away from fast fashion towards more ethical fashion but it’s a slow process and my budget isn’t quite there yet. I have done a little research and found a few companies such as American Apparel and H&M Conscious that offer more sustainable clothing options. This is definitely a subject for another chat. But, recycling clothes is another smart way to shop so you better believe I’ll be scouring Ebay!

My Capsule Wardrobe Itsums budget board.

My sum and budget is on the far right side with the amount I have left, how much I’ve purchased and a chart of where the money is allocated. All you have to do is click on an item and you’ll be taken directly to the retailers site if you’re ready to buy it. Then just mark as purchased.

Did you see my total board is under budget at this point?!

Building a Capsule Wardrobe: ItsumsBuilding a Capsule Wardrobe: The Budget with Itsums

My FAVORITE part of the budgeting tool for the capsule wardrobe is the note section! I can add notes about what I can pair each piece with so I have all my options at my fingertips. It’s also a great spot to add sizing information and reminders.


Here are a few items already in my wardrobe:

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And here are my shopping list items:

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This is one of my favorite dresses that could work as the day dress in my capsule! I don’t think it’s going to make it in the budget but with the ShopBop Friends and Family sale going on it sure is tempting! Everything is 25% off with the code: INTHEFAM

Building a Capsule Wardrobe: The Budgeting with Itsums

I love how Chassity of Look Linger Love styles it here!

For more inspiration make sure to check out Itsums gorgeous Instagram feed as well as my Capsule Style Pinterest board! Unfortunately after lots of looking I wasn’t able to find some of the sources that I pinned :( so if you know them give me a shout!

Wow, what a post friends! I really and truly hope this helps with all you budgeting needs as well as inspiration for attempting a capsule wardrobe! It’s actually quite fun and challenging! Make sure to sign up over at so you can start budgeting for your next project! You wallet will thank me later, I promise :)



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