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Slim down your wardrobe and save time in the morning by creating a capsule wardrobe that will see you through the year!

Women wearing smart neutral outfit holding a coffee cup. Caption reads create your capsule wardrobe for beginners

Create a capsule wardrobe for beginners

If you are knew to the idea of capsule wardrobes then you have come to the right place!

This post will take you through the basics of a capsule wardrobe so you can begin working on your own.

What is a capsule wardrobe?

The idea of having a capsule wardrobe has grown in popularity in recent years, probably because it combines minimalism, eco-friendly fashion and frugal living-all growing trends!

A capsule wardrobe was an idea first put forward by Caroline Joy at

The basic premise is that you reduce your clothing to a selection of key pieces that will see you through the whole year. The capsule wardrobe contains all the clothes you would wear for day-to-day wear and work-wear. It does not include the following:

  • Swimwear and gym clothes
  • Underwear
  • Pyjamas
  • Accessories and jewellery
  • Shoes and socks
  • ‘Wear when doing DIY’ clothes

Some capsule wardrobe followers will set a specific number of clothes that are allowed in the capsule wardrobe and adopt a ‘one-in, one-out’ policy whilst others follow a more ‘whatever feels right’ approach.

Why have a Capsule Wardrobe?

The concept of ‘fast fashion’ (the idea that we can buy a t-shirt for £3 and then discard it in a few months and buy another one for £3…) and the impact it has been having on our planet is a growing concern.

By investing in good quality pieces, that will see you through many years, you will be helping to reduce your impact on the environment. You will also save money in the long run (particularly if you follow my cost saving tips below).

You will also save time each morning by reducing your wardrobe options. You will know that you have a selection of outfits ready to go and you won’t have to spend ages digging through mountains of clothes.

How to Create a Capsule Wardrobe

Creating a capsule wardrobe does take some time but you will be rewarded with plenty of time saved each morning in the future.

The first step is to do an audit of your wardrobe. That means taking everything (and I mean everything!) out of your wardrobe and chest of drawers and anywhere else you store your clothes. Remember you do not need to include the following items as part of your capsule wardrobe so they can go back for now:

  • Swimwear and gym clothes
  • Underwear
  • Pyjamas
  • Accessories and jewellery
  • Shoes and socks
  • ‘Wear when doing DIY’ clothes

Go through all of your items and start deciding what will be staying and what will be going. Items to go include:

  • Clothes that do not fit anymore
  • Clothes that are beyond wearing anymore due to damage or stains
  • Clothes that you genuinely do not like anymore

Donate anything that is still in reasonably good condition (some clothes collection banks will accept ‘rags’ in order to reuse material, so do check before you throw anything out).

You should now have a selection that clothes that:

  • Fit you and are in good condition
  • You could conceivably see yourself wearing

Now it’s time to slim down your wardrobe some more. This process will vary depending on exactly how many clothes you had to start with! Decide what will be included in your capsule wardrobe (see below), keep items you already own and create a shopping list for any future purchases. You will then be able to donate all the extra pieces you own that will not become part of your capsule wardrobe.

It’s very important to be honest with yourself during this process. Do you really need five, plain, white, t-shirts?? No, so get rid of 3 (or even 4!).

What to Include in Your Capsule Wardrobe?

There are no hard and fast rules about what should be in your capsule wardrobe. Everyone’s life is different. Think about how you spend your time during the day? Do you need work clothes? Do you spend a lot of time outdoors? Do you have young children so frequently have to change your top??

The following is what you will find in my wardrobe to give you some inspiration.


  • Two pairs of jeans (I live in jeans, so I really do need two pairs, but you may cope with just one)
  • One pair of long, linen trousers -great for those ‘in between weather’ days
  • One pair of harem pants – great for summer
  • One pair of long, smart, black trousers- good for work/formal events

I’m not a fan of shorts but you may want to add a pair.


  • Two knee length A-line skirts
  • One full, vintage style skirt
  • One knee length, smart skirt


I love dresses-so a lot of my wardrobe is made up of dresses!

  • One vintage style, tea-dress
  • Two short-sleeved, A-line dress
  • One full-skirted, vintage style, dress
  • One long, fitted dress
  • One linen dress
  • One maxi dress
  • One short, black, day dress
  • Two evening style dresses
  • One formal dress for weddings etc.


When my child was younger, I did keep a larger store of T-shirts in the house than I probably would do otherwise! I prefer button-up shirts over t-shirts these days.

  • One long sleeved, white shirt
  • One short sleeved, white shirt
  • One short sleeved, striped shirt
  • Two long sleeved, patterned shirts
  • Two fitted jumpers
  • Two long sleeved cardigans
  • One long sleeved, Breton style top
  • Two vest-style tops
  • Two blazers


  • One thick, winter coat
  • One waterproof coat
  • One denim jacket
  • One light, spring coat

How to Save Money on Your Capsule wardrobe

You do not need to throw everything out that you currently own and start again when creating your capsule wardrobe!

Use the items you already have and then fill in the gaps where you need to over time.

You do not need to buy everything brand new either. Make it a habit to visit charity shops or car boot sales to see what you can find. I once picked up a brand new (still with tags inside!) Jigsaw dress at a charity shop for £9!

You could also create your capsule wardrobe alongside friends or family and swap any items you no longer need for something that your wardrobe is missing.

If you liked this post on creating a capsule wardrobe for beginners then you might want to check out how to declutter when you love stuff!

I hope you found this guide to creating a capsule wardrobe for beginners useful! Do you have any wardrobe staples that you couldn’t live without? Any advice on how to create the perfect capsule wardrobe? Then leave your tips in the comments below! Remember to share or pin before you leave to help other people.

Women wearing smart neutral outfit holding a coffee cup. Caption reads create your capsule wardrobe for beginners

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