How to Build a Seasonal Capsule Wardrobe

Capsule wardrobe

The capsule wardrobe is much more than a trend: it is a practical way of creating daily stylish looks that are comfortable and chic. Capsule wardrobes are built with the must-haves based on personal style. It is a way to make self-expression and fashion more efficient.

The idea is to have a limited number of clothes that are easy to combine and adapt to different occasions and styles. The goal is to save time coordinating outfits from a more efficient and sustainable wardrobe.

Origin of the capsule wardrobe

Although the term was first used in the 1970s, its popularity is attributed to Donna Karan. The American designer, ambassador of the chic minimalism of the 90s, created a world-renowned collection entitled ‘Seven Easy Pieces’. It was made up of seven pieces capable of covering everyday needs.

The capsule wardrobe is made up of a series of essential pieces that are both  versatile and quality oriented. The idea is that they can be combined with each other. It is a popular method due to its relation with sustainability and conscious consumption.

What is the capsule wardrobe?

The capsule wardrobe is the set of good-quality essentials. Those timeless items can make up a complete wardrobe by themselves, achieving a large number of looks with few clothes. 

It is a matter of analyzing people’s style, looking for the basic clothes that should be in the closet, having seasonal pieces, and betting on quality. What is truly important is that the items are consistent with the person’s style and combine well with each other.


  • Be true to personal style: It requires analyzing a personal style including body type and color palette to dress in both a practical and stylish way, not about following the current trends. 
  • Prioritize the essentials: Pick only essential items to save time getting dressed every day. These key items can be combined with each other creating different looks.
  • Bet on quality: A good cut, high quality, and an impeccable finish last the wardrobe in style.

How many clothes does a capsule wardrobe have?

Donna Karan opted for 7 basics, but it can go up to 40 pieces. Although the number of clothes will be depending on the person, it is normally set at 30 on average, including accessories and shoes. However, this number excludes sportswear, underwear and some garments for occasional use, such as party dresses. The capsule wardrobe lasts a season, so divide the clothes by seasons and choose for each of them between 7 and 10 pieces.


To select the garments that will make up your capsule closet, it is important to analyze your body type, daily routine and personal tastes. In addition, the capsule wardrobe should be adapted to the different seasons.

Capsule wardrobes start from a base of very versatile pieces. The 10 essentials that men and women should have in their capsule wardrobe:

  1. White t-shirt: This basic yet essential item cannot be missed in any capsule wardrobe, since it is a must for mixing and matching. For a timeless look, choose a scoop neckline and a cut that is not too tight, but not too baggy either.
  2. Well-fitting jeans: No capsule wardrobe is complete without jeans. Take your time to see which style suits the person best and which timeless jean cut suits them best.
  3. A variety of shirts: For men, shirts and polo shirts in a wide range of colors are a must for daily life and work. For women, basic shirts and blouses are suitable for the office, but can be wonderfully integrated into a casual look.
  4. White sneakers: Whether worn with jeans and a t-shirt or with a suit, white sneakers have evolved from being a trend to become a classic.
  5. Black ankle boots: Ankle boots are as essential as white sneakers. A pair of black Chelsea boots is a must, as well as formal shoes like heels and loafers.

Capsule wardrobe

  1. A classic coat: It will match with all the clothes and will be as timeless as the rest of the capsule wardrobe.
  2. A well-fitting suit: This gives women an office look that can be varied with a few simple changes. The blazer can be worn open or closed, also with the sleeve rolled up. It is a good option to tuck the blazer into the pants. For an informal outfit, the suit can be combined separately: the pants with a basic t-shirt, or the blazer with jeans.
  3. Black bag: It is an ideal all-rounder for women and men, who will opt for a masculine design. Make sure it is big enough to hold everyday items like the wallet, a laptop, makeup, and the cell phone. It is best to invest in a high-end bag made of leather or quality materials.
  4. Knitted sweaters: Sweaters are essential items for the spring, fall, and winter capsule wardrobes. Make sure to add one or two turtlenecks in your closet, as they add elegance to the outfits.
  5. Little black dress for women and chinos for men: Dresses are perfect to mix-and-match with most of the wardrobe for any season of the year. They look great with a white shirt underneath or with a sweater (high neck) and boots. On the other hand, chinos are the ideal pants for men to create relaxed yet sophisticated looks.


  1. Find the colors that best suit the personal style: Pick base neutral colors to build up the capsule collection. This increases the number of possible combinations and various wardrobe styles. Stick to a few colorful tops and accessories adding a touch of color to complete outfits.
  2. Get the quality clothes: High-quality clothes add luxury to style. It is the best option to look great and stay sustainable.
  3. Rotate wardrobe every 3 months: Add or replace clothes for season changes as needed: lighter clothes for spring and summer, and warmer clothes for fall and winter.


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