How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe in 3 Simple Steps

Ever wonder if less is more? The lesser time you spend choosing what to wear equals to more time to do other things. A capsule wardrobe can do just that.

10e how to build a capsule wardrobe steps

We all have different bodies and lifestyles and we deserve to dress for that unique purpose. One perfect capsule wardrobe will not work for everyone but it’s definitely a start to a content, minimalist lifestyle. It may be confusing at first, as you figure out what works best for your body, and your lifestyle.


Basically, a capsule wardrobe is a minimal set of essential items only, which one needs according to their lifestyle, and nothing else. One needs 33 to 37 types of essential clothing to make this method work.

4 Reasons To Build A Capsule Wardrobe

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1. Figure Out What Matters

If you are overwhelmed with stuff and busyness, you may have forgotten what really matters to you, how you like to spend your time, and the dreams you had for your life. Living and dressing with less helps you reconnect and remember. Sometimes to figure out what matters you have to get rid of everything that doesn’t.

2. Reduce Decision Fatigue

Deciding what to wear requires mental energy better spent on other things. Instead of trying on several outfits getting ready in the morning in hopes of finding the perfect thing to wear, curate a small capsule wardrobe. Then there are no daily decisions required. You get to wear your favorite things every day.

3. More Space and Time For What You Love

Even if you don’t know what matters yet, or what you love, by dressing with less you’ll have a little more time and space to figure it out. A little more time and space to breathe.

4. Good for the Environment

Last but not the least, a minimalist lifestyle works wonders for the environment. Fast fashion and modern consumerism encourages us to shop more as items we love are increasingly getting more affordable. The modern brands also know how shopping gives us the happy feeling, and they exploit it by putting sales or sending reminders about items in our cart. However, all this makes us spend more overall, and this contributes to humans dumping tons of waste in the sea everyday.

A capsule wardrobe helps us feel content with less and helps us do our part for the environment, to keep the oceans cleaner for the sea life.

How to Build A Capsule Wardrobe

Building a capsule wardrobe is easy. It’s keeping up with it forever that’s difficult. Understanding why you want to build a capsule wardrobe will help you stick with it after you learn how to build a capsule wardrobe.

#1. See


Put all of your clothes, accessories, jewelry, and shoes on your bed. All of it. If it’s on your bed, you’ll be motivated to finish the project before bedtime. If it’s too much, start with sections – like casual wear, night wear, work wear, accessories, lingerie, etc.

Seeing what you have is an important step in building a capsule wardrobe. Look at what you’ve acquired, what you’ve spent, and what you never wear. It might make you laugh or cry, but either way, you’ll never want to do this again.

#2. Sort

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Move the clothes on your bed to piles on the floor with a ruthless first pass sort. Don’t give it too much thought, just go with your first reaction. Sort items into the following piles:

  • Love: I love these items. They fit me well and I wear them frequently (at least once a month).
  • Maybe: I want to keep this but I don’t know why. (You know you have those items, but haven’t worn them more than once in the last year).
  • Donate: These items don’t fit my body or my life. (You have’t worn these in the last one year, and had even forgotten you had them).
  • Trash: These items are in poor condition. (Re-purpose if possible).

Keep going until your bed is clear. Take a second pass at your two remaining piles (love & maybe). Try on clothing you aren’t sure about and ask the following questions:

  • Would I go to the store and buy this today?
  • Will I wear this in the next 3-6 months (or ever)?
  • If the answer is no, start a new donate pile and immediately add it to your other items for donation.

#3. Choose

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Make a list of your 33 items by category. Start with the items you already use every day, and your go-to clothing items. This list may change over time as seasons change, or work/life situations change.

I know the following things are usually going to start my list:


  • Jeans
  • Dress
  • Skirt
  • Simple t-shirt or v-neck
  • Button down shirt
  • Blazer
  • Indian wear
  • Dress pants
  • Shorts (denim/chino)
  • Camisole
  • Casual jacket


  • Bracelet
  • Earrings
  • Necklace


  • Sunglasses
  • Purse
  • Scarf


  • Flats
  • Heels
  • Walking shoes

That’s 20 core items, so I have room for another 13 when building my capsule wardrobe of 33 items. A typical collection for me breaks down to 20 items of clothing including outerwear, 2 jewelry pieces, 5 accessories, 4 pair of shoes and 2 sets of workout clothes. I don’t count underwear and sleepwear clothes into this.

Also read: 10 Wardrobe Essentials for Every Girl: Must Have Clothes

Do I Have to Give It All Up?

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Less isn’t nothing. Feeling sad about parting with your stuff? Here’s how to do it in stages.

Once you’ve cleared your bed, taken care of the donate lot and trash piles, and picked your 33 items, you do not have to give up the items remaining in your love or maybe piles. Instead, box them up and hide them for a while. A little separation goes a long way.

After 3 months of dressing with less, revisit the items you chose to box up. Use them for a future capsule, or if you feel differently about them, let them go.

In conclusion, experiment on these ideas and see what works best for you. If you like the idea let us know what how you would build a capsule wardrobe, too. Would you like to live with less and use clothes essentially? Post your comments below, or tweet us @shilpa1ahuja.

Happy capsuling!

Read next: How to Give Yourself a Makeover? An Easy 15-Step Guide

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