Top tips for creating your capsule wardrobe

A note from the editor of The Curated Closet, by Anuschka Rees, on the top tips for creating your capsule wardrobe. 


1.     Build your capsule wardrobe for your actual life, rather than your ideal life

While it might be tempting to design a celebrity capsule wardrobe, complete with countless paparazzi-friendly and Oscar-worthy outfits, you need to be realistic and practical when it comes to creating your capsule wardrobe.

If you spend most of your time at the office, your local coffee shop, or casual restaurants with your friends, make sure your capsule wardrobe reflects that. You should be able to reach into your capsule wardrobe without looking and pull out something perfect for your day. It’s that simple.


2.     Create a basic wardrobe structure before you start

Write down a list of the types and number of items you will need in your capsule wardrobe: planning is key. In her book Anuschka gives a perfect example of what one could look like:

-          Straight-cut jeans: 2

-          Wide-leg trousers: 2

-          Skirts: 2

-          Coats: 1

-          Jackets: 1

-          Blazers: 2

-          Cardigans: 4

-          Knit jumpers: 5

-          Tank tops: 4

-          Long-sleeve t-shirts: 3

-          Loafers: 1

-          Pumps: 2

-          Trainers: 1


3.     Be specific

Once you have your wardrobe structure, single out the specific items that you want in each category. This is where your style will come in: use it to really hone in the look you want to create. According to Anuschka, your new list could look something like this:

2 pairs of straight-cut jeans

-          dark wash

-          medium wash

2 skirts

-          forest-green pencil

-          grey mini with lace hemline

1 pair of loafers

-          black with tassels


4.      Write a shopping list

Once you’ve figured out the exact items you want in your capsule wardrobe, make sure you stay true to your list. If you wanted a black jean jacket with a print on the back and a striped blazer, buy exactly those things. Don’t settle for the first similar items you come across – shop around first and remember your goal: a perfectly curated closet.

5.     Plan your outfits

If you think you’ve finished creating your capsule wardrobe, try planning a few outfits. You could try styling enough outfits for a few days or even a few weeks – it all depends on the way you plan to use your capsule wardrobe.

6.     Make sure that every piece is pulling its weight

Since your capsule wardrobe will be a little smaller than your normal wardrobe, there won’t be room for pieces that only work half way. If you only kind of like it, if it can only be worn to certain rare events, or if it’s the type of thing you can only wear once a month, it just isn’t right for a capsule wardrobe.

7.     Be true to your style and your needs

The essence of your capsule wardrobe all comes down to you.

If you love a layered look, you are going to need more items than someone who appreciates simplicity. If you’re a fan of ‘chro-mitting’ your outfit to a certain colour, you’ll need to be more selective when creating your capsule wardrobe.

The same goes for the purpose of your capsule wardrobe. Whether you created it for a holiday, a business trip, or the autumn season, keep your original purpose in mind. How do you want to look in these clothes? How do you want to feel?

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