Capsule Wardrobe Part Two

I’m back with part two of the Capsule wardrobe series.  This was the fun part!  Putting together collections of clothes to work together.


So here is what I did to create a total capsule wardrobe.

  • I created three collections with 10 pieces in each one.
  • Each collection can make at least 10 different outfits.
  • Additional outfits can be made crossing between collections.
  • Each collection has two pair of pants, one dress, tops, and jackets.  Some collections have a skirt also.
  • Follow this formula when putting together your own capsule wardrobe.
    • A patterned blouse
    • A classic blouse or tee
    • Two pair of classic pants (one can be a jean)
    • A stand the test of time dress in a solid color
    • A jacket or blazer
    • A cardigan for layering
    • A not so ordinary knit top
    • A sleeveless option
    • A skirt

So let’s talk about these collections.  First, start by looking at what you already have.  More than likely you have black pants, jeans, gray pants, navy pants etc…Pull out your pieces that could fit into one of these scenarios and then look for the gaps in your own wardrobe.  Are you missing a cardigan? blazer? knit top? patterned blouse?

Once you can identify the components you are missing you can look for those items to fill in the collection so it works fully for you.


Gray and Camel Colorway


This may be my favorite collection.  There is just something so chic about gray and camel to me.  It seems effortless and easy for fall dressing.

Once you build your collection make a cheat sheet for yourself out of combinations on your computer and print it off.  Put it on a clipboard in your closet and when you wear a combination to work or an event, mark it off on your sheet.  This way you can make sure you don’t wear the same exact combo too close together.  Here’s what I would do for this one:

Gray and White Capsule Wardrobe

  1. Gray dress / black blazer
  2. Gray dress/ camel cardigan
  3. Denim dress / black blazer
  4. Denim dress / camel cardigan
  5. Gray pants / striped top / black blazer
  6. Gray pants / black knit top
  7. Gray pants / leopard tee
  8. Tan skirt / striped top / camel cardigan
  9. Tan skirt / black knit tee
  10. Jeans / leopard tee / black blazer
  11. Jeans / striped top / camel cardigan

Plus you could even make more outfits!  Isn’t that fun?  Now, let’s take a look at another one.


Navy and Gold Colorway

I also try to mix in a little refined with a little casual.  I think it keeps things more modern looking.  I love good denim because it can go with anything.  This denim shirt and denim dress can carry you past fall and into winter with some tights and boots.  I’m really loving this sort of mustard color I’m seeing right now and will for sure be working in at least one piece into my wardrobe.  Probably this cardigan from J. Crew Factory Store.  Let’s break down these outfits.

Navy and Gold Capsule Wardrobe

  1. Navy pants / white blouse
  2. Navy pants / striped blouse + cardigan if it’s cool out
  3. Green pants / denim shirt
  4. Green pants / blue tee/ navy blazer
  5. Navy skirt / blue tee/ cardigan
  6. Navy skirt / striped blouse
  7. Navy skirt / white blouse
  8. Green pants/ white blouse
  9. Navy pants / denim shirt
  10. Denim dress / cardigan

If you wanted to swap out the green pants for white jeans, that would work great in this collection also.  I can only wear jeans to work on Friday so I only need two pair.

Now, don’t even get me started on how you could mix pieces from the Navy and Gold Capsule Wardrobe with the pieces from the Gray and Camel Capsule Wardrobe.  There would be many more outfits there if you just start mixing and matching.

Black and Blue Colorway

A couple things about this collection.  Never underestimate the power of a black maxi dress.  If you don’t have one, get one.  It will be your best friend…pinky swear.  To me, this is a great transitional collection to bridge the gap between summer and move into fall.  This cute little black sleeveless sweater is such a staple in my wardrobe.  I love layered blouses underneath a sweater shell like this to give a preppy polished classic look.  It’s a little unexpected but still classic.

Let’s make some outfits.

Black and Blue Capsule Wardrobe

  1. Black pants / black sleeveless sweater
  2. Black pants / floral blouse / blue cardigan
  3. Black pants / blue sleeveless blouse / denim jacket
  4. Back pants / striped tee / denim jacket
  5. Jeans / white blouse / black sleeveless sweater
  6. Jeans / floral blouse
  7. Jeans / blue sleeveless blouse / cardigan
  8. Black maxi dress / denim jacket
  9. Black maxi dress / cardigan
  10. Black pants / black sleeveless sweater / cardigan

So we just took 30 items of clothing and made 30 outfits!  Plus, if you mix these three collections together there are even more possibilities.  I know I could easily get 6 weeks of work outfits out of this collection along with many outfits for going out on the weekends.  Having thirty items of clothing and not repeating an outfit in six weeks?  Yes please!

I would also recommend investing in some basics that stay in your mix all the time.  For me, these would be items like basic layering tanks in black, white, navy, and gray.  Also layering tees in the same colors in short sleeve and long sleeve.  This would add an additional twelve items to your closet but they would be basics that can stay in the mix all year long and could easily be replaced when they are looking tired.

I know what you’re thinking…that’s great Nancy but I don’t own all these cute clothes.  Here’s how you move forward.

  1. Take one of these collections and start laying out the pieces you do own.  If you don’t have a blue cardigan you can substitute a different color from your closet in.  Let your closet guide you in the colors you are choosing.
  2. Figure out your “cut” of clothing.  Big bust?  Go with a scoop neck.  Narrow shoulders or long neck?  Go with a crew neck.
  3. Set a budget to add in pieces you are missing.  This is going to depend on how much you already had in stock.
  4. Look for pieces to fill in the gap.  My favorite stores are J. Crew, J. Jill, Banana Republic, Land’s End, and Target.  Shop at your price point because there are options everywhere.

If you want to shop the clothes I put in these collections you can click over to my Polyvore board HERE.  Some of these items are on a great sale right now.

Let me know in the comments if you have any questions I didn’t address and I’ll try to answer them.  It really does take the stress out of getting dressed in the morning and I actually look more pulled together than when I had a closet stuffed with clothes.




    August 15, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    Great suggestions, Nancy! I can see that I need to go through my closet yet one more time! Seems like I can part with a few more items since Summer is almost over! Have a great week! Again, thanks for all your info! Blessings!

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