Let me start off by saying congrats! If you’re reading this article then you’re probably looking for ways to perfect a minimalist year-round capsule wardrobe. Or maybe you’re just reading this because you’re bored and have nothing better to do. Either way, go you! You’re cool.
I knew I needed to start building my year-round capsule wardrobe when my styles weren’t able to rotate throughout seasons. By this, I mean I would buy a super cute, trendy dress one summer and not be able to wear it the next because frankly, I didn’t like it. Maybe you’re in the same boat and you’re sick of buying trendy items with a short lifespan or maybe you’re just looking to update your wardrobe.
No matter your reasons, I’m here to help you out. Trends come and go. And by no means am I a perfect shopper! I’m definitely still guilty of shopping for trendy items I know will be “out of style” by the same time next year. But with this guide, I’m going to show you how to build a year-round capsule wardrobe with basic, timeless items, no matter your style or budget. Let’s get into it.
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What Items Should Be In Your Capsule Wardrobe?
Alright, what exactly should be in your capsule wardrobe? Before you buy any capsule wardrobe items you need to ask yourself three questions.
- Is it transitional? Aka, can you wear throughout multiple styles?
- Is it a quality item? I’m not asking for the item to survive the apocalypse. But you definitely don’t want to buy your capsule wardrobe from Forever 21 or Shein. There are better quality, affordable places to shop like H&M. I’ll talk more about this later.
- Is it trendy? If it’s a super trendy item, you’re probably going to get sick of it eventually. Remember, you want to buy minimalist items that you can wear for years to come.
I’ve found these three questions are the most important when selecting items for a capsule wardrobe. You don’t want an item that’s hella trendy, low quality, and that you’re unable to transition through multiple styles and seasons.
Now that I drilled that into your brain, let’s get into what exact items should be in your wardrobe. Scroll through my recommendations below and please note, these are all items I either have in my wardrobe or dupes of items no longer available. I’d never recommended something I wouldn’t wear myself!
Short Sleeve Tees
Long Sleeve Tops
As you can see, all of these products are “basic” items that are timeless and can be worn for years to come.
What Defines A “Basic Item?
There are a few things, in my opinion, that constitute a “basic” item.
First, is the color palette. I know a lot of people have beef with capsule wardrobes being restrictive to only neutral colors. I totally get it. But for me, neutral colors are the easiest for me to work with and I feel like that’s probably the case with most people. Here’s the color palette that I try to follow when building my wardrobe.
The next thing that constitutes a “basic” item is something that you can wear multiple times within a variety of styles. You can mix and match throughout seasons. It’s timeless. I touched on this a little bit before, but if you have trouble figuring out if an item is considered “basic”, refer to the three questions above. They’ll help you out.
How Big Should Your Capsule Wardrobe Be?
Above, I listed 33 items. But if we’re being honest, I definitely have more than that in my capsule wardrobe. Those items are just the “must-haves”.
How many items you want in your capsule wardrobe is up to you. But definitely don’t go overboard. You don’t want to drown your entire closet in minimalist styles or you won’t have any room for fun pieces!
I would stick to 30-50 items in your capsule wardrobe. It may seem like a lot but think about wearing these items throughout the entire year (for the most part). 30-50 really is not that much (again, just my opinion. You do you, boo).
How Much Should You Spend On A Capsule Wardrobe?
This is the golden question because like I said above, you don’t want to buy your capsule wardrobe at Forever 21.
Over the past few years throughout my early 20’s, I’ve started to learn that quality is really important to me. And as someone who tries my best to shop minimally and sustainably, I find that if you spend a little bit more on quality items, you will have them longer and they won’t contribute as much to the overconsumption of fashion.
So to answer your question, how much you should spend on your capsule wardrobe is up to you. But just remember that if you buy a super low quality item, it likely won’t withstand the test of time and you’ll end up spending more money on replacements when you could have just spent a little more in the first place for a higher quality item.
If you’re looking for some good capsule wardrobe items at an affordable price, I highly suggest H&M. The quality at H&M has gone up immensely over the years (although it’s not perfect) and they also have a conscious line where you can find some ethically made, sustainable items.
Also, don’t disregard thrift stores! I’ve found some awesome basic items at thrift stores. If you’re shopping on a budget, this is a great option for you.
How Do You Maintain A Year-Round Capsule Wardrobe?
Maintaining a capsule wardrobe is actually pretty easy! First, let me say that it sometimes takes years to build a capsule wardrobe. I’m definitely not encouraging you to blow your entire paycheck on a new wardrobe. Pick up items you like as you go and keep inventory of what you have.
In order to maintain the size of your wardrobe it’s key to remember that if you want to add, you first need to subtract. AKA, if you see something you want to add to your capsule wardrobe, you should eliminate something too.
This is where it’s important to shop with intention. Is it a need or a want? Try you hardest not to rotate your capsule wardrobe too often because then, what’s the point? The whole point of a capsule wardrobe is maintain consistency and to shop with intention.
Also, please, please, please make sure that when you get rid of some clothes you either sell or donate them.
How To Add Spice To A Capsule Wardrobe
Now, this is where the fun comes in. Just because you have a minimalist wardrobe doesn’t mean you can’t add some flare to it!
This is where you can buy some trendy to help add some spice to your wardrobe. If you see something trendy that you like, buy it! But I definitely don’t recommend investing a lot into these items you know will fade for a few reasons.
Just a quick tip, if you don’t want to buy super trendy items that will just take up space in your wardrobe, here are my two favorite ways to find cool items without breaking the bank or contributing to the overconsumption of the fashion industry.
The first is to rent! I highly recommend renting trendy items. It’s something I haven’t dabbled much in it, but there are so many benefits to renting trendy items in your wardrobe. First, your wardrobe is constantly rotating in a sustainable manner. Second, you pay wayyyyy less than what you’d normally pay for trendy items. At RentTheRunway, they have designer clothes for great rental prices. Check it out.
If you know me, you know I’m a huge advocate for thrifting. Not only can you find some basic items, but you can find even more trendy items as well! Head to your local thrift store and poke around. Goodwill is a great option but please try to shop local, small businesses if you can.
Here are a couple outfit ideas you can use as inspiration with some of the items above!
Let’s Wrap It Up
And there you have it, people! The best minimalist year-round capsule wardrobe out there (in my opinion at least). I’d love to hear your thoughts about this collection or if you have any questions/comments feel free to message me here or leave a comment below.
Thank you always for your support.
with love or whatever,
These outfits are fantastic. I love how versatile the clothing is!
Thank you so much!
Great advice. I thought I had way too many clothes, then got a fitted wardrobe put in and amazed myself at how many drawers worth went in there. I definitely need to be less impulsive and invest in more versatile items though. Thanks
So happy to hear that! Thank you for reading
Hi Hailey! I am in the process of moving and going through tons of things that are not going with me. I am excited to create a capsule wardrobe for my next closet. Thanks for the tips!
So excited for you!
This is a really great post! I used to be addicted to shopping and I’d buy clothes that were trendy and that I didn’t need, and then I’d wear it once. Now that I’m in my early 20’s I’m becoming really conscious of what clothes I buy and how often I’d realistically wear an item. I’ve been thinking of building a capsule closet for a while now and this was a really helpful post! Thank you!
Omg sameeee, I’m so happy this was able to help you out!
I’ve always wanted to try a capsule wardrobe, and this post only pushed that! I love how you put this together, it’s so clean and pretty – I always like seeing your aesthetic posts!
Aw that makes me so happy! Thank you!
Thanks for sharing your fashion tips. This gives me an idea on how to shop and H&M is one of my favorite stores i love their designs
Me too, it’s so affordable and they have the best styles!