Capsule Wardrobe Ideas

A combination of factors, including limited budget, closet space and time, makes having a capsule wardrobe the ideal solution for most women. You'll always have something to wear without having to spend valuable time searching for the perfect top to go with a pair of trousers. A capsule wardrobe is one that enables you to mix and match pieces to create a number of outfits greater than the sum of individual items in your closet.


Start with some basic pieces in one or two neutral colours that go with everything. Slacks and skirts in khaki, navy, grey, black or brown can be paired with almost any colour top. Add a jacket or sweater in a contrasting neutral, and you have an outfit that looks sophisticated, yet effortlessly put together. Invest in classic pieces that are well designed and constructed.


Choose two or three of your favourite colours to your capsule wardrobe to flatter your skin tone and provide interest to the outfits. You may even decide to choose seasonal colours, such as burgundy and forest green in the winter or coral and turquoise in the summer, to add to neutrals that work in all seasons.


Select footwear based on your lifestyle and climate. If you live in a cold climate, you'll need boots for winter. A tropical climate may be more conducive to sandals and lighter weight canvas slip-ons. For working in an office, you'll need a pair of flats and a pair of heels in neutral colours to complement the rest of your capsule wardrobe. A good pair of athletic shoes is essential to staying fit and healthy.


Purchase outerwear pieces according to the climate where you live. A neutral trench can serve as a raincoat as well as a layered piece over your business attire. If you live in a cold climate, you may need to invest in a classic wool coat as well as a transitional jacket.


Accessories take up very little space, so use them to expand your capsule wardrobe. Scarves can add a punch of colour and keep you warm in the winter. Belts change the lines of a dress and add a polished look to tunics. Swap your chunky daytime jewellery for an elegant pendant necklace to add sophistication to your outfit.


The versatility of a capsule wardrobe makes it ideal for travel because you can have a variety of outfits and still pack light. Sally McGraw on Already Pretty recommends choosing a colour scheme in easy-to-care-for fabrics. Jot down some of the combinations for each day so you won't have to make last-minute decisions when you need to get ready.

Edit Your Wardrobe

OT Magazine recommends editing your capsule wardrobe frequently. Discard anything that isn't comfortable or you don't wear often enough for it to take up space in your closet. You may choose to take them to a consignment shop, sell them at a garage sale or online auction, or donate them to charity.

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About the Author

Debby Mayne started writing professionally in 1992. Her work has appeared in regional parenting magazines and she has been managing editor of the magazine, "Coping with Cancer." She was also fashion product information writer for HSN. During college, Mayne worked as an instructor at a fitness center. She holds a Bachelor of Science in health, PE and recreation from the University of Southern Mississippi.