Looking for capsule wardrobe planning ideas? No ideas what to wear or what to buy? I get it, having a closet full of clothes and having nothing to wear is frustrating, to say the least.
You feel bad wasting so much time trying to decide, and also if there is nothing that fits you, the result is an ok outfit, where you don’t shine but at least look presentable.
Let’s put an end to that situation, shall we? Throughout this article, I will recommend different kinds of capsule wardrobe planners to easily-breezy plan your personalized outfits.
BUT, you will also learn why it is important to have a capsule wardrobe and how to create versatile multi-wear outfits, without the need to be a professional fashion stylist. Keep reading to find out how!
Table of Contents
Why Do You Need A Capsule Wardrobe Planner?
Photo by Paico Oficial on Unsplash
What are the benefits of having a capsule wardrobe, and when do you need one?
Good question. Capsule wardrobes are incredibly beneficial for optimizing your day to day life, here are some reasons why you should think of capsule wardrobe planning:
Less Decision Fatigue
Every decision you make takes energy. Decision fatigue is a consequence of not having enough energy to make a good quality choice, making it difficult to make important decisions later on, as your brain is tired from previous decisions.
When you do capsule wardrobe planning, you save precious time and energy that you will need during the day, because you don’t have to worry about selecting clothes – as everything will fit you.
Save Time And Money
When you have your basics covered, and you are able to mix and match to your liking, you have the chance to focus on things that matter to you the most..
By creating your personalised capsule wardrobe you will be more conscious of what your style, preferences, and needs are, meaning: you will spend less – more money towards your goals and savings!
Less Clutter, More Clean Space
Again, as you will become more conscious of your spending, you won’t have a cluttered closet that makes you feel anxiety by just looking at it.
On the contrary, you will enjoy a neat clean space that will make you feel peaceful and calm.
More Sustainable, Conscious Choices
Surprising? By having a capsule wardrobe, you will be less likely to spend emotionally, especially because you will develop the mindset of purchasing quality over quantity. These items will last, therefore you will have an incredible return on your investment. It also proves capsule wardrobe planning isn’t just a fancy term, it has benefits even when looking at the big picture.
BONUS: You will feel fabulous, as you will be wearing items you love, and won’t have to suffer every day to think about what to wear, as everything in your closet matches with one another.
#1 Capsule Wardrobe Planner Recommendation
Why? Comes with a video tutorial so you can easily learn how to use the pdf, and 2 free templates to inspire your capsule wardrobe creation.
How Do You Plan A Capsule Wardrobe?
Photo by Sarah Brown on Unsplash
There are different steps to plan a capsule wardrobe, in this article I will show you how to do it in 5 simple steps, which are:
- Think About Your Activities
- Make Outfits Categories
- Choose Your Favorite Color Palette, Patterns, And Styles
- Learn How To Style Your Capsule Wardrobe – From Office To Party
- Purging And Deciding On Shopping
Note: Avoid the mistake of jumping quickly to point 4-5, as the first 3 steps are very important because they will set the base to decide which items you should keep, replace or buy to create a cohesive wardrobe to effortlessly dress and save time.
Capsule Wardrobe Planning Step 1- Think About Your Activities while capsule wardrobe planning
This is one of the most crucial steps to create your capsule wardrobe.
The reason for that is because it is common to get excited about different capsule wardrobe planning ideas on Pinterest boards or in fashion blogs, without taking into consideration a key piece: your lifestyle.
The needs you have are not the same as someone else’s.
The best way to identify those needs is to break down your activities into two: work and personal activities.
Let’s begin with work. Do you work from home or in an office?
Every office has its own dress etiquette, so you would need to adapt, and create outfits that you like but that also comply with your company dress requirements.
Some jobs would require you to have dressy tops, high neckline shirts, silk blouses, or button-down tops (for example), while others may be more business casual.
So it is wise to identify what type of items you will need, and the frequency of days you go to the office to plan your capsule wardrobe and work outfits accordingly.
If you’re working from home, your needs may be different. If this is your case, check out my post Why Working In Your Pjs Is A Bad Idea, where you will get working from home outfits ideas + learn why your outfit, and motivations are so closely related!
Now, let’s think about your personal life. What do you like to do?
Going out with your friends, being cozy at home, going to parties, working out, or just taking casual strolls at the park?
By thinking about the types of activities you usually do, it is easier to figure out what types of outfits will suit your lifestyle.
For instance, an outdoorsy person would prefer clothes with wrinkle and odor-free fabrics such as merino wool, while a person who just wants to be cozy at home would like oversized, and/ or soft clothes to wear, such as a cozy set of loungewear.
Note: Weather-wise, you should always consider the weather, as you will need to layer up due to the weather.
However, the capsule wardrobe planning ideas in this article will teach you how to create a strong base wardrobe, regardless of the season.
Capsule Wardrobe Planning Step 2 – Make Outfits Categories
After thinking about your daily activities, the 2nd step to planning your capsule wardrobe is to write down the outfit categories you can identify related to your daily activities, hobbies, and preferences. If you want to do capsule wardrobe planning right, you need to make sure you are well-organized.
These categories could be:
- Sport outfits
- Everyday-casual outfits
- Cozy outfits
- Evening-party outfits
- Work outfits
The key here is to identify a pattern and write down the frequency of use. It is up to you how many days you will be registering and categorizing your outfits, but a month or two should suffice to have an idea about your frequency of use.
You can also take photos to make the process easier and save them on your laptop or a private Pinterest board.
In the end, you could end with something like this: Casual Outfits 40%, Work Outfits 40%, and Evening Outfits 20%.
After knowing the frequency the first thing you will know is what clothing items and outfit styles you prefer to wear weekly. You may use cozy outfits over sports outfits or maybe you love wearing denim and t-shirts over dresses.
However, there are other important things you will realize that will help create your capsule wardrobe, those are:
- Identify the garments you use over those that just take space in your closet.
- Identify gaps in your wardrobe, maybe you would like to wear different outfits, but you’re stuck to the same pieces over and over again.
- Identify what colours and patterns you prefer to wear.
#2 Capsule Wardrobe Planning Recommendation
Why? Gives comprehensive information about core pieces to create a year-round capsule wardrobe, with ideas for every season and capsule wardrobe tips.
Capsule Wardrobe Planning Step 3 – Choose Your Favourite Colours, Patterns, And Styles
Once you have completed the first two steps of capsule wardrobe planning, it is time to sit down and identify your favourite colours, patterns, and fashion style preferences!
This is important to create a capsule wardrobe, as it will give you the necessary direction to create cohesive outfits with pieces that seamlessly work together.
To know which colours and patterns are best for you, follow these simple effective tips:
- A good starting point is to look at your key garments and check for repetitive colours and patterns. If you feel beautiful wearing those, that is a good sign those colours/patterns should be in your capsule wardrobe.
- Check my article: basic rules to fashion, here you will learn the basics of fashion to know what works best for your skin tone, and the principles to create an outfit that enhances your beauty. Plus, I have a FREE pdf about general outfit ideas!
- Use Pinterest as an inspiration tool to source the outfits that pick your attention (kind of unsurprising, right? After all, it is one of the best tools to get you inspired!)
Getting a little deeper about how to use Pinterest to search for inspiration ideas, you could create a list with the outfit categories, favourite colors, and daily activities you identified before. So, you could search for Sporty Outfits, Classic Outfits, Bohemian Outfits, or Neutral Mood Outfits.
However, do not only stick to the most common fashion styles and colour labels, make use of keywords that are related to your lifestyle and what inspires you!
For example, you may be a cool, and relaxed person who loves elegance, and Parisian vibes so why don’t look too for casual Parisian styles?
Also, if you are looking for specific weather season outfit inspirations, I have articles with top inspiring outfits ideas for women and men, here are some of them:
- Winter Outfit Inspiration Ideas For Fashion Week Lovers, ideas for capsule wardrobe winter outfits.
- Soft Summer Sailor Outfits, ideas for capsule wardrobe summer outfits.
- Fresh On The Mind – The Best Men’s Spring Fashion Outfit Ideas You Should Not Miss, capsule wardrobe spring ideas for men.
Also, as a basic rule to create your colour palette, it is advisable to pick 2-3 colours that work as your base colours and from there add 1-5 complementary or ‘accent’ colours and patterns.
Note: Before going to steps 4 and 5, remember my recommendations are to create a core capsule wardrobe that is highly versatile and suitable for day and night outfits.
So, even though this recommendation won’t fit all contexts, it is still a solid example of how to create a capsule wardrobe for multiple purposes, so please take this as an inspiration to learning how to create your personalised capsule wardrobe.
Styling A Capsule Wardrobe – From Office To Party
Before getting to the purge and shopping phase, you have to learn the in’s and out’s of capsule wardrobe styling! So, let’s begin by answering two common questions related to capsule wardrobe planning.
How Many Pieces Should Be In A Capsule Wardrobe?
This will depend on your lifestyle and preferences.
However I would suggest creating a strong base wardrobe, where you have 5 daytime outfits, that can be easily transformed into nighttime sets.
As an example, I have created a list where you will need an approx. of 16 pieces, but as I say this will highly vary based on your lifestyle and personal needs.
What Items Do I Need For A Capsule Wardrobe?
For women, I would suggest a mixture of:
- 1 pair of denim
- 2 pairs of pencil pants (for example)
- 3 dresses – a mix of short, midi, maxi
- 3 blouses
- 3 t-shirts
- 1 blazer
- 1 coat
- 1 sneaker, and 1 elegant shoe (based on the weather of course).
Taking this list as an example, you would be able to create a strong versatile capsule wardrobe to wear different outfit options for casual, cozy, work, or party contexts.
As for capsule wardrobe men ideas and what items you could need, check out my article Fresh On The Mind – The Best Men’s Spring Fashion Outfit Ideas You Should Not Miss, where you will find lots of clothing items ideas to create your capsule wardrobe!
How Do You Style A Capsule Wardrobe?
Ok, we already know which items are suitable for women and how many clothing pieces to have, but how to transform a day look into a night look? How to create a versatile capsule wardrobe?
With the crucial fashion key…ACCESSORIES!
Accessories help you make a strong fashion statement and are what you need for creating versatile outfits.
Now, let’s learn about some basic accessories to switch from day to night/party outfits.
To make it a party outfit, you will need elegant shoes. In my opinion, every woman should own at least one pair of comfortable high heels.
Elongates the legs, makes your posture more chic, and adds that extra glow. And, trust me. It does not have to be 15cms (although those are my favourite, as I like being tall), but if it’s 5cms, that is already perfect.
Another tip to make it more nighttime is the bag. I would suggest getting a clutch that matches your style – but versatile, therefore it falls a bit more to the basic side.
If you’re on the hunt for versatile clutches I would suggest checking out Karkoda clutches, why? It is a high-quality product, has a sleek elegant design and they are also vegan-friendly! So, if you’re looking for leather alternatives, this is an excellent option.
The best pro tip: Jewelry. A pair of earrings, a bracelet, or one necklace, that will make it pop.
Trust me, it always works.
My personal trick, which I do whenever I am going out and I need to wash my hair, is that I am either making a strong sleek bun or a messy bun, and I add earrings, plus a bit heavier make-up. Works like a charm.
If I just have a bun, it always flops, but with a bit of care, it’s usually one of my go-to.
Another great thing about buns is how versatile this hairstyle is, there are a lot of variations to play with, in this article, for example, you can learn different styles including the messy+chic Ethereal Updo (pic below).
Finally, remember to bookmark my Basic Rules To Fashion as you can use it as a fashion basics checklist when you’re creating new outfit ideas.
#3 Capsule Wardrobe Planner Recommendation
Why? Gives 20 items ideas to create 20 different outfits, offers 3 capsule wardrobe templates for inspiration, and a 1 blank grid that you can reuse as many times as you like.
Purging And Deciding On Shopping
Photo by Chris Reyem on Unsplash
Now that you know how to style a capsule wardrobe from day to night outfits, it is time for the big task:
- Get rid of everything you don’t need –
This is not a simple thing to do, especially for those who have dozens of pieces, and/or are demotivated after a while of decluttering, this is why I have an extensive article to accomplish your wardrobe declutter goal.
You will learn the best practical tips to declutter and motivation declutter tips/hacks to get from point A to point B, without getting into a rabbit hole, and finally execute!
Now, after decluttering, the next thing to do is:
- Getting your basics right –
What are they? Everyday, Party, Sport, Cozy.
Once you have your needs sorted out, and have identified your pieces, you are good to go and see if you need more. BUT – if you have 2 cozy outfits and 3 sports outfits that work well, you don’t need more.
When to shop?
When you don’t have 5 every day; 2 going out, 2 cozy, and 3 sports outfits. It is approx. 10 outfits for the whole season, given that every day can be turned into evening.
Surprising, right? I have been doing this the past year or so while downsizing and it feels good to know what fits me and how to wear them.
You Don’t Have To Buy Everything Right Now
If you have to buy, please remember creating a capsule wardrobe is a dynamic process, it is not forever, you change, just like the seasons, the person you are today is not the same as last year, and neither will be you in 2-5 years.
This is key to remember, as sometimes we may want to get everything working right away, and the truth is good things take time.
So, please take time to source the best quality pieces you would love to have in your capsule wardrobe, get to know your taste, and experiment, so you will have less, but valuable garments that truly express the beautiful people you are.
#4 Capsule Wardrobe Planner Recommendation
Why? Comes with 15+ planner templates in six hyperlinked tabs for easy navigation, has 5 blank paper templates you can customize, and even a shopping tracker and measurement page to make your online shopping process easier and faster.
What To Do With Your Leftovers?
Donate, donate, donate.
Or sell, sell, sell.
Purging will make you realise how much money you have spent on clothes you don’t need, and you will realise why you can (and should) invest in outfits that will help you look good, and also stand the test of time.
If you’re curious to know more about what kind of pieces are worth investing in to create an elegant impressive look, check out my article Dress to impress while investing in yourself!
About what to do with your clothes, if you can donate them. If you need the money, I suggest you sell them on FB Marketplace, DEPOP, eBay, etc.
About where to sell there are a lot of good places. However, to make things simple for you I will highlight the 5 best places to sell your clothes online, with their pros and cons, plus a bonus platform to consider at the end of the list.
You can sell pretty much anything on eBay, it has millions of visitors every day so it is definitely a place you want to look at when selling your clothes online.
Pros of eBay
- Millions of visitors per month.
- You can sell clothes, accessories, shoes, whatever.
- You can opt for the buyer to buy right now and/or bid; which is a good feature for sellers as you could sell your items for a higher price if it’s very popular.
Cons of eBay
- Fees can be high on eBay. You are charged $0.35 per listing, plus a specific product fee % on all sales + $0.30 per order, and also PayPal fees when you receive money via PayPal. So make sure to check your profit margin before hitting publish.
- You’re responsible for everything, so don’t rely on them to do the marketing, listing the items, or writing the selling pitch.
Facebook (FB) is one of the best marketplaces to sell locally, thanks to Facebook’s large audience and the option to filter based on location. It is a great option, and it is easy to use whether you’re using the app or the browser version.
Pros of Facebook Marketplace
- 100% Free to list and sell your items!
- You can easily send and receive messages from your customers.
- Best place to sell things locally and reach a big audience.
Cons of Facebook Marketplace
- Facebook marketplace is not a specific platform to sell clothes so it is advisable to take an active approach by taking photos that stand out and join Facebook seller groups to promote your items.
This is one of the best places to sell your clothes online.
ThredUP is an online consignment and thrift store to sell second-hand clothes, it is very easy to use, as the company will be in charge of the marketing, promotion and will even donate the clothes that aren’t accepted for selling to charity!
Pros of thredUP
- Selling is pretty straightforward, you fill out an application and receive a closet cleanout kit to fill it up with your gently cared clothes and send it to thredUp, they provide the shipping label.
- You don’t pay a monthly fee or anything for listing, the process is free, and once your clothes sell thredUp will take a percentage that will vary based on the price of your item.
- They will take the photos, publish the listing and take care of everything, you don’t need to do anything besides sending your clothes.
Cons of thredUP
- thredUp is best if you don’t have time to promote your clothes or have pieces in very good condition and can sell for a high price. If not, you should know the thredUp takes 5-80% of the selling price, taking more when the item is cheap and less when is expensive.
Depop is a fashion marketplace mobile app popular for selling vintage clothes.
It has an Instagram-like interface, working like a social media platform, which makes it a great visual place to sell your clothes and explore selling quirky, unique, vintage items.
Regarding fees, Depop charges 10% of each sale + PayPal fees.
Pros of Depop
- Depop is very easy to use, you just upload your photos, write a description, and set the price, brand, condition, and size of your item.
- You can sell different types of clothes in Depop, from an elegant black waistcoat, evening clutch bags, or colorful beach floral dresses
Cons of Depop
- Depop is marketed toward Gen-Z, this does not mean you won’t sell your clothes if your target is different but it is something you should consider when selling your clothes here.
- Depop does not allow for buyers to bid, which can be a turn-off for some buyers.
Poshmark is another of the most sought-after platforms to sell and buy secondhand clothes. It has more than 60M users within North America, it is a mobile-friendly e-commerce app, and it’s ideal to sell high-end labels or designer clothes.
Regarding fees, Poshmark takes $2.95 for sales under $15, and 20% for sales above $15.
Pros of Poshmark
- It’s free to list on Poshmark and the buyer pays for the shipping fees (though you can also offer to pay for shipping costs as a sales strategy).
- Poshmark allows buyers to bid and for you to offer discounts on bundles of your items, which are good sales tactics to increase sales.
Cons of Poshmark
- It has a high sales fee, 20% for sales above $15.
As a bonus, I would like to mention Instagram! As it is a great place to connect, and many people are there. So, why don’t take advantage of it?
Tips To Sell Clothes Online Successfully
Finally, some things you should consider before selling your clothes online are:
- Learn about the trends in each platform, before applying to any platform or publishing your clothes take the time to see what’s selling best on each platform, this way you will target the ideal audience in the ideal place.
- Write detailed descriptions that include the keywords people are searching for, for this you can look at your competition, Pinterest boards, or Instagram posts with clothes similar to yours and write down the most relevant #s and keywords for your item.
- Take good pictures, people want to fall in love with the item so take pictures with good natural light, where customers see the piece clearly, also a pro tip: it is best to always to post pictures with people wearing your clothes as clients will have an idea of how the item looks on a human.
- Do not take pictures with filters that alter the colour of your item, this will be unpleasant for your clients that are expecting one thing and get another.
- This is rather obvious, but just a kindly reminder, make sure your clothes are properly clean, stain-free, and don’t have any pet’s hair, presentation is very important and you should sell clothes that are in good shape.
#5 Capsule Wardrobe Planner Recommendation
Why? Comes with a quiz to help you find your personal style, an inspiration section
color palette section and all inserts have margins for hole or disc punching.
Ok, beautiful people, I hope this article has been helpful to learn more about capsule wardrobe planning ideas.
Remember this is a process that takes time, so have fun while doing it! It is an opportunity to learn more about you, creating a personal style, and shine with outfits that truly speak to you whilst being versatile.
If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments, and if you liked this post follow me on @karmenrozsa_ and @karmenrozsa where we can connect and you can learn more about fashion, home decor, and social media strategies!