Capsule Wardrobe

Want to find out how to save a ton of money and living space in your home by working your wardrobe? Simply, create a capsule wardrobe.

Capsule Wardrobe

What’s that? Well, it’s a minimalist wardrobe. It’s a collection of clothing that can be remixed and worked. The idea is to maximize your wardrobe while limiting the number of items in your wardrobe. If you’re thinking of revamping your wardrobe, as I did recently, you’ll find having a vision for a capsule wardrobe is extremely helpful. If you think about stores like J. Crew or Banana Republic, you’ll see that each season they come out with a collection of new arrivals and most all of the pieces can be intermixed. That’s the idea for this post. The last thing I want to do is tell you what to wear. I have my own sense of style that fits my lifestyle and you should too, but I hope this inspires you and helps you to create a vision for your capsule wardrobe. I’ve created a Fall 2012 Capsule Wardrobe collection, featuring my favorite trends. I’m also creating an e-book/look book to show how to mix the looks. If you’d like to get the e-book for free when it is released, sign up here.

Capsule Wardrobe via ManeandChic

Now, let’s talk about the capsule wardrobe.

Step 1: Dress to flatter your assets. Choose color schemes and silhouettes that make you look your best. Refer to the How To Build a Wardrobe post and How To Build a Wardrobe Worksheet.

Step 2: Quality and care. Look for pieces that will stand the test of time. A capsule wardrobe features fewer items, so you will be wearing many items over and over again, you want to make sure you care for your items properly in order to keep them looking fresh.

Step 3: Think about trends. If you’re style is more classic, you probably don’t care too much about trends, but you might update your classic silhouettes with this season’s hottest colors. If you love trends, but are trying to create a capsule wardrobe, you might just add a few key pieces to your wardrobe each season.


A typical capsule wardrobe would be very minimal, featuring under 30 and often under 15 pieces. That’s not practical for me, so I’ve made this wardrobe more expansive. This wardrobe contains 55 pieces. Admittedly, I’ve gone a bit overboard with the shoes, but it’s just to show all the great shoe trends.

14 Tops

6 Jackets/Cardigans

6 Dresses

2 Skirts

7 Pairs of Pants

4 Bags

2 Scarves

4 Belts

10 Pairs of Shoes (Perhaps a bit excessive).


The base of any outfit are your pants, rompers/jumpsuits, skirts and dresses. How many bases you have will depend on your lifestyle. You can do 5 for a classic workweek, 7 for a full workweek, 10 for 2 workweeks, 14 for 2 full workweeks and so on and so forth.

FALL 2012 Style Trends

Now, let’s talk about the fashion trends for Fall 2012 to look for (many of these are classics). A trend is not a fad.


  • Draped collars
  • Pajama-influenced silhouettes
  • Peplum
  • Lace
  • Polka Dots
  • Colorblocked
  • Stripes
  • Asymmetrical hems
  • Rounded collars
  • Contrasting collars
  • Black details on white
  • White details on black


  • Military-inspired
  • Leather panels
  • Fur panels
  • Animal prints
  • Tuxedo style
  • Longline blazers


  • Military-inspired
  • Peplum
  • Midi length
  • Long-sleeve
  • Two-tone black and white
  • Crew neck
  • Shirtdress


  • Midi length skirts
  • Pencil skirts
  • Wide leg pants
  • Tuxedo details on pants
  • Black and white patterns
  • Leather leggings
  • Slim fit/cigarette pants
  • Joggers (pants with elasticized waists and ankles, relaxed/slouchy fit throughout waist)


  • Satchels
  • Houndstooth and other black/white patterns
  • Patterned clutches
  • Quilted shoulder bags


  • Scarves in black/white patterns
  • Lace Scarves
  • Skinny belts in au courant colors
  • Waist belts (thick belts, almost corset-like, but modern and sleek)


  • Ankle boots
  • Two-tone
  • Silver or gold cap toe
  • Wedge Sneakers
  • Pumps with ankle straps
  • Metal
  • Sculptural
  • d’Orsay
  • Mesh detailing
  • Lace-up boots


  • Cabernet (burgundy)
  • Saffron (goldenrod)
  • Cobalt/navy
  • Black & White
  • Houndstooth
  • Metallics

  • jsheran

    Thanks so much for posting! I am in the midst of assessing and refining my wardrobe and this is an awesome guide.

  • Nora

    I love the dresses! Where are they from?