Create a Capsule Wardrobe – What you need to buy to mix and match clothes

How to build a capsule wardrobe - Help to create a better timeless wardrobe with some basic garments which you can wear year-round

capsule wardrobe

Are you overwhelmed by the clutter in your wardrobe and wish that you could look effortlessly fashionable with a few classy staples and some accessories? This post can give you some pointers for building a capsule wardrobe like that. 

What is a Capsule Wardrobe ?

Capsule Wardrobe is a collection of ever-green clothes which you can have in your wardrobe and wear year-round. These items can be paired with other in-fashion clothes and accessories to create a versatile wardrobe. Less-is-more is the underlying philosophy of a capsule wardrobe. 

A girl can never have enough clothes. I have absolutely zilch space in my wardrobe. But I never stop craving more clothes. I bet it is the same thing with you too. But that can sometimes mean a bit of an overwhelm. A feeling of not having enough even when you have a wardrobe full of clothes. But do you need all those?.

Whatever you have in your wardrobe, there are some staples you definitely should have – get them in  your closet and you will never be saying ‘I don’t have anything to wear’ ; because your choices get multiplied by the possibilities of mixing and matching these essentials. 

You can populate your closet with things you will love whatever the occasion with these classic pieces, which are chosen after considering some factors like color, your complexion, and your lifestyle.

Choose the right Colors for your capsule wardrobe.

When you think of a sober color scheme that goes with everything, the first thing that comes to mind is white and black. But choosing these alone can be incredibly boring. It is a good idea to plan your capsule wardrobe around neutral colors like Grey, off-white, Beige, Brown, Caramel, Charcoal, or Navy and one or two accent shades which essentially depend on what suits your complexion.  

Choose accent shades that flatter your complexion. For example, dusty pink is my color, and along with grey, it looks good on me. You can also add color ( a pop of vivid color, maybe) that works well with your neutral color choice, as well as the accent shade.

Other factors to consider when selecting your clothes are: 

  • Fabric type & Quality
  • You bodyshape 
  • Age appropriate or not

Decide based on your lifestyle

A mom will have a different wardrobe requirement than an office-going single girl. If you are working, you will have to first decide on the proportion of office wear and casual wear.  

Your office may have a strict dress code so you may need a proportion of clothes in that dress code dedicated to office wear. But if this is not the case, you may have to plan your wardrobe to suit your office dressing style.

Decide on the proportion of clothes you need for the following:

  • Office-Formal wear
  • Office- Smart casual wear
  • Special Occasion wear
  • Lounge wear (House)
  • Going out – Casual wear

Decide depending on weather

Even the hottest place on earth will have nights with a super cold climate. In other places, there may be all the seasons of the year coming in a regular cycle that you cannot but have a summer wardrobe, a winter wardrobe, and a spring one, without fail. 

Decide on the silhouette suited for your body shape

All of us have different body shapes – but there are broad categorizations to suit a large number of people according to certain proportions of the body.

For e.g., if you are bottom-heavy, you are called pear-shaped or triangle shaped, and there is a category of clothes that can enhance this body shape.

You can read helpful posts on determining your bodyshape and dressing for bodyshape here and also here – Dressing tips for inverted triangle body shape; Triangle body shape; Round body shape; Petite bodyshape; Rectangular body shape

Capsule wardrobe essentials

T Shirts – 3 numbers

3 tshirts in neutral colors can be the basis of a capsule wardrobe

The white T-shirt is no doubt a closet favorite. Any day of the year you can don a t-shirt and look comfortable.

White tshirts with graphic prints

Do not limit yourself to white – buy at least three basic colors like white, black, and grey, or one in your favorite color. T-shirts can be worn in so many ways. They can be paired with pants, jeans, skirts layered under jackets, cardigans, or even formal shirts if they are fitted. Under a jumpsuit, they can change your looks. Shorts also pair very well with t-shirts.

Perhaps you would like to embellish your white t-shirt with some embroidered flowers or embroidered letters, or favorite wordings;  Checkout how to embroider on a t-shirt

Tops and Tunics  – 4 or 5 numbers

4 casual tops and tunics

Select 3 or 4 tops and tunics that you can wear with the bottom wear that you have. It can be in the neutral shades you have decided on or in a color that suits you. Light blue, peach, and pink are universally liked colors, and they all pair well with neutral colors. 

Most girls will have at least one blacktop in their wardrobes; the Black color has the ability to make the wearer look slim; hence this is a popular choice when looking for a thin silhouette.

A black top should be a part of wardrobe basics

You can accessorize your black top with appropriate accessories to add some color to your outfit. Make a black blouse in the dolman style and you will never go wrong or an off-shoulder top or a coldshouldered top in black.

Tunics are great for women of all body shapes. They can be worn either loose or well fitted, depending on your body shape.

tunic kurta wardrobe essential

If you want to emphasize your waist get yourself a well fitted tunic or wear a belt. Empire waist tunics look good on girls with a heavy waist. Wear your fitted tunic with baggy pants, and loose tunics with slender bottoms.

Get a Kaftan tunic top and pair it with leggings for a comfortable look.

Checkout the easy tunic top tutorial or the Kurta pattern & tutorial for stitching up your own versatile pieces to your capsule wardrobe.

Outerwear – 6 Numbers

outerwear-buy 6

Coats and Jackets can change the look of all your other clothes; they are the key to layering, which converts a few pieces of clothes into an endless variety.

These outerwear can be buttoned up, open, or paired with your favorite t-shirts and blouses. They even look good with Maxi dresses and cocktail dresses. They add an edge to the rest of your clothes.

2 blazers

Buy 3 blazer jackets for mixing and matching. Select a well-fitted one for the maximum impact. 

You can buy 3 more coats or jackets for maximum impact, including a cardigan, a denim jacket, and a black leather jacket. 

Checkout these posts on the names of different jackets and names of different coats.


Cardigans can be a great layering tool in addition to the comfort and warmth they provide. Wear them with a fitted bottom, otherwise it can sometimes overwhelm the whole look, especially if the cardigan is oversized.

Checkout these patterns to make a draped jacket or a lace vest if you would like to make similar ones.

Denim jeans -3 numbers

3 pairs of jeans

Effortless chic is what you get when you wear a pair of dark denim jeans. No need to advocate jeans to anyone. You can buy 2 pairs- one dark blue and one light blue. And if you are generous a black one. 

capsule wardrobe - 3 jeans -black, light blue and dark blue

You can wear Jeans with all the tops and outerwear you have decided on.

  • With a buttoned-down white shirt and a blazer, you have the perfect work gear;
  • With a pretty blouse, you have a girly outfit for an outing;
  • With a t-shirt and a cardigan, you can lounge comfortably;
  • With a lace tunic, you are ready for a night out;
  • With a jacket and pumps, you look ultra-chic.

Related post : How to hem jeans which is too long ; 15 different ways to distress jeans ; different ways to sew patches on jeans 

Pants – 5 numbers

5 pants in neutral colors

work pants

Khakhi pants have come to represent the business casual look. The earthy hue of these pants looks great with all colors and hence a favorite as an all time wear. Well-fitted khaki pants are a must-have in any wardrobe.

Neutral pants can be paired with a variety of tops, and no one will be the wiser that you are wearing the same bottom.

Black is always a safe choice in bottom wear. As black color goes with everything else, they can be paired with all the colors in your wardrobe.

Black pants and a white shirt can make you look picture-perfect with the right accessories.

When you buy or sew black pants, remember to select different textured fabrics for an interesting look rather than the same plain black.

It is tough to get a pair of perfectly fitting pants. If you have yet to find one in a store, do not worry. You can alter it to make it your size or sew it for a perfect fit.

A comfortable pair of leggings


A pair of leggings is a wardrobe must-have. They are comfortable as well as classy.They make running errands look stylish. They also make you want to live in them.

Just make sure they are not see-through – that is weird. And remember, they are not pants.

Learn to make a comfortable pair of leggings with this DIY pattern to make leggings .

Checkout this post on How to wear leggings under everything, the French way 

1 or 2 Scarves


A pretty scarf can transform any boring outfit.

Just one thing to keep in mind – stay moderate with patterns; A patterned scarf could overwhelm patterns in your outfit. A solid-colored top could be enhanced with a patterned scarf.

Checkout the post on the different sizes of scarves and the one with 20 free patterns to sew an Infinity scarf or perhaps you would like to make a bandana to use as a scarf

Loungewear – Pajamas & tops


Nothing can beat the cool look of pajamas, and a simple t-shirt gives you for lounging at home.

Make an easy Pyjama pants with side slash pockets by following this tutorial  or simple lounge pants with drawstring waist or DIY wrap pants (fisherman’s pants)

Comfortable undergarments

under wear essentials for a wardrobe

There is magic in well-fitted undergarments, just as poor-fitting underwear can mar your perfect outfit.

If they are the perfect fit for you, they can instantly slim you down and make your clothes look so much more fitted.

One tip to note is to check out if your underwear leaves marks after you take them off – if the answer is yes, they are not right for you.

Checkout the post with many wonderful patterns to make your own underwear ; Bra fitting guide – answers question to find the best bra for you.

Exercise gear

The right workout clothes are necessary for proper comfort when exercising. A good, well-fitting sports bra and well-fitting clothes are needed in your kitty.

Choose something other than baggy clothes or 100% cotton clothes. Baggy clothes can cause accidents in the gym, and 100% cotton fabric will become wet and clammy after absorbing your sweat.

Make sure that the lightweight synthetic fabric of your exercise gear will absorb moisture. If not absorbed by your workout clothes, your sweat can make you feel uncomfortable.

Special Occasion dress

You do not need an excuse for social gatherings and to look glamorous. When you go out, you need the necessary arsenal in your kitty – the perfect cocktail dress.  Buying a well-fitted cocktail dress for these functions is an absolute necessity.

Cocktail dresses enhance your beauty and flatter you in every way possible. They are meant to make you the star of the show. Get one that will transform you into a diva.

The classic Little black dress is a favorite of many, as it can be accessorized in many ways.  

Black is a safe color for many, but you do not have to limit yourself to black. Find the color that suits you best. Also, ensure that the dress’s neckline and length fit your body shape and accentuate your features.

Related articles :- How to select the best neckline for you ; Little black dress; Cocktail dress

Comfortable shoes

buy a flat shoes , trainers, heels and pumps

and socks.

basic clothes to buy

There are other things you could add to this list, depending on your lifestyle. For example, if you are living in a rainy place, you will probably need a good-looking and effective raincoat added to this list. If you have a corporate job, you will need a trouser suit among the essentials. 

Whatever you choose, build up your capsule wardrobe with a Plan in advance to get the benefit of sales.

Getting fabric to sew and clothes to wear in sales should not mean that you only see the big discount.

Aim to get good value from your purchases. Dressing well without spending a fortune requires planning and choosing your clothes wisely.

Classic pieces will last a long time (unless you change size) as do quality fabrics.  

You do not need a wardrobe full of clothes that you never feel like wearing ‘today’, and that day when you would wear those ‘trendy’ clothes may never come.

Purge them from your wardrobe and choose the above pieces in the best colors (not the current fashion but what suits you ) and best fit and you will always have something to wear. Get yourself that Capsule wardrobe that makes you feel good and look good.

Related posts : Choose the best styles for you out of the 40+ styles; Clothing color combinations

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Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.