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Creating a Minimalist Capsule Wardrobe: A Guide to Streamlining Your Closet (Plus, The 12 Essentials You Need)

 Are you looking to simplify your life and create a minimalist capsule wardrobe? You’ve come to the right place. We've personalized thousands of capsule and minimalist wardrobes with sustainable and ethical brands. The result? We're experts in building capsule wardrobes, finding capsule pieces and making a positive impact with your wardrobe.

In this article, we'll walk you through the process of creating a minimalist capsule wardrobe. We'll include practical tips, share the benefits of a minimal wardrobe , the seven essential pieces you should own (including shopable links), and overall tips for streamlining your closet. Read on to start a minimalist capsule wardrobe of your own! 

Also, we've curated our own minimalist work capsule wardrobe featuring 12 essential styles that make nearly 50 outfits. These styles will take you from WHF to board-room glam. 

minimalist capsule wardrobe checklist guide closet

What is a minimalist capsule wardrobe?

A minimalist capsule wardrobe is a collection of only the essential items you need to get dressed on a day-to-day basis. Often, wardrobes can be filled with pieces we never actually wear. A minimalist closet is focused on quality over quantity, and the few pieces it contains work together to create numerous outfits or looks. It's also focused on timelessness rather than trends or fast fashion.

What are the benefits of a minimalist capsule wardrobes?

A minimal capsule wardrobe makes it easier to get dressed in the morning, travel and can save money in the long run. By having fewer clothes and classic pieces, you'll own only what you love and wear. Plus, you’ll be able to quickly create different looks without having to search through your entire wardrobe.

Beyond the personal benefits, any capsule wardrobe is better for our planet. Fashion is among the greatest contributors to climate change, and owning fewer items and wearing them for longer helps bring down the carbon footprint of our closets.

In summary, the benefits of a minimalist capsule wardrobe are:

  • Financial savings – By buying fewer but higher quality clothing items, you’ll be able to save money in the long run
  • Save time and mental energy – You'll have less clothing to go through when putting together outfits, which makes getting dressed easy.
  • Outfit versatility – With a minimal capsule wardrobe, you can create multiple looks with just a few pieces. This allows you to get more use out of the items you own. Plus, the right clothes will mix and match into multiple outfits.
  • Organization – Having fewer clothes will make it easier to keep your closet organized and clutter-free.
  • Quality over quantity – By focusing on quality clothes, your pieces last longer
  • Save the planet – A timeless, minimalist capsule wardrobe reduces your carbon footprint

What are the differences between a minimalist and capsule wardrobe?

Before we dive into our minimalist capsule wardrobe checklist, it's worth noting that a minimalist wardrobe and a capsule wardrobe are not always the same thing. While the terms have been used interchangeably, a minimalist capsule is one that is composed of only the most essential, timeless items of clothing with minimal colors or patterns. A capsule wardrobe is not as bare bones. It's made up of versatile pieces too, but also includes color, statement items and more variety. The main difference between the two is the number of items in the wardrobe and the level of versatility that those items provide. A minimalist wardrobe typically consists of the fewest possible basic items. For example, a capsule wardrobe might include building upon a minimalist wardrobe with a jewel-toned blouse, a pair of wide-leg trousers, pencil and midi skirts, and a patterned dress. In conclusion, the main difference between a minimalist and capsule wardrobe is the number of items and the level of versatility they provide.

Creating your minimalist capsule wardrobe

Before you start shopping, it’s important to spend some time considering your personal style and what type of capsule wardrobe you want to create. Where will you wear your minimalist capsule? Will you be wearing these oufits to work or while running errands on the weekends? Is your work environment business formal or casual? How many outfits would you like to have this capsule make? The more specific you are about the use of your capsule, the more effective your minimalist capsule wardrobe will be.

Next, consider how many outfits you'll want your minimalist capsule to create. Do you need to go two weeks without repeating an outfit? When you start with the end result of your wardrobe, you can work backwards from there to determine how many core pieces you'll need.

Once you have a good idea of what you’re looking for, go through your current wardrobe for pieces you may already own.

Tips for streamlining your current wardrobe

Once you’ve determined the use and number of pieces for your minimalist capsule wardrobe, it’s time to start streamlining your closet. First, identify any capsule wardrobe essentials you own that you can build your minimalist closet around. Put those items aside, we'll need them later.

Next, set aside items that are no longer useful, give you joy or that you no longer wear. Discarding will free up more space in your closet and make it easier to find the items that will be in your minimalist capsule wardrobe. This part can be scary. We're used to looking at stuffed closets. If it doesn't give you joy, you haven't worn it in six months or don't have use for it, we recommend donating or recycling it.

Next, let's reorganize. When reorganizing your closet, consider grouping items together by type. For example, all of your shirts can be hung together, while all of your pants can be folded and stored in a drawer. Consider investing in storage solutions too. This can include hanging organizers, shoe racks, and drawer organizers. A good mantra to remember is that 'every item should have a home'.

How to choose minimalist wardrobe staples

Now that you have a vision for your minimalist capsule wardrobe, have edited your closet and have a few key pieces to start building your capsule with, it's time to start shopping.

When choosing pieces for your wardrobe, look for quality items that are made sustainably and ethically. Investing in timeless pieces that will last you for years to come is key to building a capsule wardrobe.

Look for pieces that can be dressed up or down, and classic colors. Consider investing in timeless pieces that can be worn in multiple ways. Choose neutral colors that can be easily mixed and matched. This will help to create a more cohesive look and make it easier to create different outfits.

minimalist capsule wardrobe checklist guide style outfits

The clothes: minimalist capsule wardrobe checklist

There are a few key pieces that every woman should have in her minimalist capsule wardrobe. These pieces streamline your wardrobe, never go out of style and are worth investing in.

Some of the best minimalist wardrobe pieces for women include a pair of slim fit denim jeans, a good quality t-shirt, a blouse, a timeless blazer or trench coat, a dress, black pants, a pair of white sneakers and pointy flats. In addition, consider investing in timeless accessories such as a watch and a few pieces of jewelry. These items help to add a bit of personality to capsule wardrobes.

1. Classic Jeans

Any year-round capsule wardrobe needs a good pair of denim that suits your body shape and makes you feel confident. We're not taking sides on the skinny vs. slim vs. wide-leg debate. Pick any style that gives you joy. Remember, fashion moves in cycles but your unique personal style is forever.

2. Black pants

Same as with classic jeans, a comfortable black pant leg style is a personal preference. A black pant is a piece in helping you create a capsule wardorbe and should be one that you're comfortable wearing.

3. A Timeless Tee

Class t shirts are anything but basic. Their versatility is never ending. Dress them down with jeans and sneakers, or dress them up under a blazer and skirt. These will quickly become your capsule wardrobe essential. We recommend a lighter color for this essential

4. A Blouse

Even if your minimal capsule wardrobe isn't for work, we recommend investing in a classic blouse. White is our favorite color, but any neutral or pastel will work. A long sleeve blouse has so many benefits, it can be taken from casual dress code all the way to formal events.

5. A Blazer or Trench Coat

We think capsule wardrobe rules are made to be broken. Some argue that you need both a blazer and trench coat, but we realize midi-length coats are not for everyone. A real life minimalist wardrobe will feature at least one of these key outer layers.

6. A Wear-Everywhere Dress

The classic black dress exists for a reason. Like a basic t shirt, it removes decision fatigue and you'll never wonder how to style it. It should reflect your unique style and figure. It can be among your statement pieces and will be one of your favourite outfits.

7. A Key Skirt

Not everyone loves to wear skirts, so these are optional. A classic skirt can be dressed up with flats or heels and dressed down with sneakers. We love pencil and midi-length skirts.

The shoes: minimalist capsule wardrobe checklist

After styling thousands of capsule wardrobes, we often get asked what shoes to pair outfits. There are two styles we recommend investing in to build a capsule wardrobe.

1. Light, classic sneakers

One pair of classic sneakers will be among your on-trend pieces that will last years. Like a classic white shirt, a white or light sneaker will dress down even your most formal minimalist looks.

2. Dark flats

A sturdy pair of dark (we recommend black) flats will help create a capsule wardrobe that never goes out of style. It will pair with any look and we suggest a pointy toe to give the illusion of length.

The accessories: minimalist capsule wardrobe checklist

Jewelry can add variety to a wardrobe with fewer options. Once you've got your clothing and footwear together, wear each look paired with minimal-inspired accessories.

1. A pair of stud earrings

These are classic and will brighten up any look. Paired with a red lip, your minimal looks will pop with French elegance.

2. A watch or bracelet

This is a piece of jewelry to truly invest in as you can wear it through the different seasons. Pick something that will pair with any of your new clothes.

3. An elegant necklace

A dainty necklace will finish any style or look in a minimal wardrobe.

Seasonal pieces

A few additions will give you more inspiration and give you a perfect capsule wardrobe for each season. Pick neutral colors in quality items. Depending on how many clothes you already own, a tank top or cami along with shorts can round out your summer wardrobe. A sweater and warm coat will finish off your winter looks. Add a warm scarf of additional warmth.

How to style a minimalist capsule wardrobe

Now that we've gone through our minimalist capsule wardrobe checklist, it’s time to start styling. Start by creating a few basic looks that can be dressed up or down depending. For example, a pair of jeans, white t shirt and blazer can be dressed up with a pair of flats or heels, or dressed down with a pair of sneakers.

Your new minimalist capsule wardrobe should feel effortless to style. Start by wearing any bottom, then pick a top followed by outer layer. Finish with accessories that meet the occasion. Viola!


Creating a minimalist capsule wardrobe is a great way to simplify your life and create a more organized closet. By investing in a few essential pieces and streamlining your closet, you can create a wardrobe that is easy to manage and style. Start a minimalist capsule wardrobe of your own today or let us help you!