How to Create a Capsule Wardrobe for Work

Take the stress out of what to wear for work by starting a capsule wardrobe. This article shares how to decide how big to make your wardrobe. As well as a checklist and some easy tips.

Creating a capsule wardrobe is more than just a collection of clothes containing a denim Jacket. The perfect work wardrobe mixes and matches high quality pieces of clothing with easy to find items so you can stay instyle and have daily mini capsules. This way your morning routine is streamlined so you can wake up and get to work in no time.

Wondering what all of the capsule wardrobe fuss is about? 

It’s not just the new minimalist-friendly trend. 

A work capsule wardrobe can save you time by helping you simplify your life so you can focus on what is most important and not sweat the small stuff (like what to wear). So you can start creating your outfit formula. We are going to show you how to start your own capsule / professional wardrobe. But first why?

Why a Capsule Wardrobe?

As a fellow busy creative entrepreneur, I’ll bet you’ve experienced decision paralysis too. 

It used to happen to me every morning when I couldn’t figure out what to wear!

This analysis paralysis (which is easier to remember because it rhymes!) happens when you have too many options to choose from. 

As you over-analyze each option, it’s easy for your brain to get overwhelmed and shut down. 

This is what it was like to get dressed before building my first work capsule wardrobe. 

I used to drag myself out of bed to my walk-in closet, only to get immediately paralyzed by how many outfit options I had. I didn’t have the energy to make all of those decisions so early in the morning. 

Now I don’t have to!

Building a work capsule wardrobe has paid off in more ways than one. Let me tell you how. 

What is a Capsule Wardrobe

When creating a work capsule wardrobe, you stop decision paralysis in its tracks by choosing a select number of clothing items and accessories that you can choose from each day. 

The term was coined by a London boutique owner who wanted to inspire her customers to create a timeless wardrobe that included pieces that never went out of style while introducing some seasonal pieces. 

Now it’s become a Pinterest phenomenon and is reaching far more people than fashion minimalists. Other work-from-home professionals and entrepreneurs are seeing just how amazing work capsule wardrobes can be as they are getting ready in the morning. 

Capsule Wardrobe Checklist

So how do you get started with building your own work capsule wardrobe? With everyone having different body types there is no one size fits all capsule wardrobe but you can cstomize it based on your needs and preferences.

It takes less time than you think to start building, and you can design your own without having to buy anything new. Here’s a quick capsule wardrobe checklist with tips to help you get started with you new wardrobe essentials.

Decide how many work capsule wardrobe pieces you want 

Now that you know if you are going to curate a seasonal or year-round work capsule wardrobe, you can decide how many pieces you want to include. There is no right or wrong number. Every fashion and minimalist blogger will recommend something different, so it’s good to choose a number that works for you. 

Some bloggers recommend starting with 30 pieces, but if you need more (or even less), you can decide what’s best based on your wardrobe staples. The goal isn’t necessarily to wear the least amount of pieces possible but rather to include the pieces you need in order to feel confident in making outfit choices. 

About 70% of your work capsule wardrobe will be basic pieces you can wear every day. You can use about 10% of your wardrobe for accessories and shoes, along with 20% for trendy or seasonal pieces. This is just a guide to help you start building your first capsule wardrobe.  

If you’re interested to see what other vloggers have chosen for their work capsule wardrobes, here are a few YouTube videos to give you some great inspiration:

Hopefully, all of these videos show you that you can create your own rules when designing your work capsule wardrobe. We know you are going to create some awesome outfits from the pieces you choose!

Here is a capsule wardrobe checklist to help you narrow down your wardrobe:

Don’t be too trendy

This is the quickest way to date yourself. You’ll also have to regularly clean out your closet to keep up with trends that are in and out of style. Also, don’t be like me and save stuff with the hopes it is going to come back in style. (It probably won’t, or at least not for a long time!)

Focus on a colour palette: 

It’s a good idea to choose neutrals for most of your capsule wardrobe pieces and let accessories be your accent colors. This is perfect to let your dress shoes shine or having the perfect belt or scarf.

Stay away from overly casual or fancy clothes:

 Your capsule wardrobe should be items you can dress up or down easily. Think of it as your everyday wear.

Align yourself with comfort:

 Make sure you don’t keep things in your wardrobe that are too tight or uncomfortable because you instinctively won’t wear them as much.

Assess the clothes you already have 

When you open up your closet doors or walk into your closet, what emotions come up? Does it give you anxiety or stress? 

If so, one of the first places to start is by going through your current wardrobe and getting rid of anything that doesn’t feel like a fit anymore. This could be pieces that are stained, too big or too small, out of style, or simply don’t fit your current style. 

Once you empty your closet and curate the clothes you already have, you can determine how many pieces you want to own. Just because you are making a work capsule wardrobe doesn’t mean you have to get rid of all of your other clothes! I cannot stress this enough!

Instead, you can put your other clothes to another side of your closet or, if you feel like you’ll be too tempted by them, you can pack them up in storage. Whatever helps you keep your focus on the pieces you will be choosing from for your work capsule wardrobe.

Next, you’ll want to choose a color palette that works well for you based on your coloring and get ready to make a decision between building a seasonal or year-round capsule wardrobe. 

Choose a seasonal or year-round work capsule wardrobe 

It’s common to choose work capsule wardrobe pieces each season so you always have refreshed outfits and season-appropriate choices. Some patterns and colors look best in a specific season, so a  seasonal capsule wardrobe may be a great choice if you love wearing floral prints in the spring and summer or deep jewel tones in the fall. 

The key to creating a great seasonal capsule wardrobe is looking at the seasonal weather patterns where you live and planning accordingly. 

If you only need a heavy jacket three months out of the year, why have it in your work capsule wardrobe during the warmer months? It would just be taking space in your closet and your mind. This is also true for other winter accessories like hats, mittens, scarves, and beyond. My favorite is having a denim jacket and layering. 

Using this as a guide, you can start to edit your work capsule wardrobe each season based on what you need. This is a great way to also review all of your pieces and make sure they still feel like a fit. If you’ve outgrown something in terms of style, you can donate it or toss it aside to see if you want to come back to it the next season. 

While creating a seasonal capsule wardrobe is the most popular choice, others would rather create a larger capsule wardrobe that can be in style all year round. This is usually easier for women who live in temperate climates. Luckily that describes me in California!

Year-round capsule wardrobes give you the room and flexibility to choose pieces that can be used during any or all seasons. This is great for minimalists at heart who want to keep a curated closet any day of the year. If you are building a year-round capsule wardrobe, you may want to choose more pieces to get you through each season, which we will talk about next. 

Get started with your first work capsule wardrobe

Creating a work capsule wardrobe really helps to streamline your morning routine. When you have one less decision to make, you can start the day with confidence and optimal productivity. It’s one way to seriously cut down on decision fatigue. 

These are some of my favorite pieces that I have in my own capsule collection. (these do include affiliate links)

I personally love these ballet flats, they are so comfortable and I can wear them all day long!

This dress shirt is my go to with just about anything. You can dress it up or dress it down.

If you take just a few of these tips then you will have lifetime access to your own professional wardrobe.

Start your day the right way with a work capsule wardrobe. You have some great tips to help you get started after reading this blog post, but I want to help you by giving you an inside peek into my own capsule wardrobe checklist. 

Have any questions about designing your first work capsule wardrobe? Comment on this blog post and I’ll be sure to answer them! xo

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