How to build capsule closet – 3 ways

The idea of capsule closet you can find here: link. But did you know that there is a few ways of building it? In this post you may read about the ways of building the capsule wardrobe and that it’s not always about the minimalism. Take a moment to see how to implement the capsule closet that goes with your lifestyle.

The capsule closet

A short reminder: capsule wardrobe is a trend originating from the 70s and popularized in the next decade by Donna Karan. It is about creating a seasonal wardrobe (today we would say: everyday outfits) from a small amount (a dozen to about 30) basic clothes, usually in neutral colors that blend well with each other and accessories. The content of the wardrobe selected this way should satisfy your needs for about 3 months, i.e. one season. During this time, we do not add other things to the closet. You shop when you plan sets for the next season. The capsule includes “tops”, “bottoms”, and coats and boots. We do not count: underwear, handbags, accessories, jewelry, clothes for sports activities, pajamas and homewear.

The capsule closet – the minimalist approach (for orthodox people)

This is the most radical way to build the capsule closet that I saw and in my opinion it is dedicated for the persistent minimalists tending to have the lest you can. But I must admit that it is the best way when you have no money for clothes.

In such a closet you have a little over a dozen pieces that you combine into outfits for every possible occasion. Here the most important rule: you have to be able to mix and match everything because of that small amount. The owner of this capsule shop only when it’s inevitable, ex. when cloth is damaged or something unforeseeable happens that forces them to have something new. Possibly all clothes can be worn all year round.

This spring capsule consists of approximately 15-16 things and that can be:

  • 2 pairs of trousers (ex. black pants and classic blue jeans)
  • skirt
  • dress (the best is the little black one as it is versatile)
  • 2-3 basic t-shirts in neutrals
  • 2 shirts
  • 2 jumpers/blouses
  • cardigan (the longer one can be also an outerwear)
  • coat (especially the trench coat that is versatile and goes well with everything)
  • plain, neutral blazer
  • 3 pairs of shoes (ex. heels, ballet flats and sneakers)

This capsule is suitable for all everyday occasions: work, going out, date, travel etc. For me it is hard to implement, but there are some people happy with it: see here.

garderoba kapsulowa 3 metody

The capsule closet – optimal approach (for practical people)


The number of items is twice as large – around 40 items for a given season. This helps the less extreme minimalists or those who are starting with minimalism to do two important things: minimize the overall content of the wardrobe and refrain from buying unnecessary things. This is because clothes from one capsule wardrobe are repeated in subsequent seasonal capsules, of course as long as they can be worn at a given time of the year. This way is close to me. The owner of such a wardrobe makes purchases when something wears out or while planning the next season outfits, if it is really necessary or the purchase is worth it. If you like patterns and colors, there’s more room in this capsule for these things as we have a greater margin of error with still basically everything mixing with everything.

In such a spring capsule closet with 30–40 pieces you could have:

  • 4 pairs of trousers
  • 2–3 skirts
  • 3 dresses
  • 4 basic t-shirty in neutrals
  • 2–3 longsleeve t-shirts (ex. white, black and breton)
  • 3 shirts (ex. white, coloured/patterned, denim)
  • cardigan
  • 3 jumpers/blouses
  • sweatshirt/hoodie
  • coat (especially the trench coat that is versatile and goes well with everything)
  • jacket
  • 1–2 blazers
  • 5 pair of shoes (ex. heels, ballet flats and sneakers)
garderoba kapsula

The capsule closet – maximal approach (but still limited)

The owner of this closet prepares a set of 20-40 elements for a given season (like in the optimal approach), but each time most of the items are newly purchased. The idea behind this approach is to follow the trends, but to make it easy and quick to choose your everyday outfit.

The advantage is that you do not have to worry if a given item will survive the next few months, whether the shape or color will be up-to-date in the next season, and whether it fits most of the items you own. The downside is considerable – it doesn’t have much to do with minimalism (it only limits the number of things that we reach for in the season, easing everyday small choices), a larger budget is needed and the content of the wardrobe increases, although of course after the season is over, you can get rid of the excess by selling or by giving away redundant items.


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