How To Start A Capsule Wardrobe (with Colors & Patterns): 5 Step Visual Guide

Learn how to create a capsule wardrobe with colors and patterns using the 5-step visual guide! Step-by-step, you’ll find out the easy way to create a wardrobe you’ll love! Download the Capsule Wardrobe in 5 Steps Guide Sheet below!

I’ve been using the capsule wardrobe concept for about two years now…and, I have saved $1,000’s each year from buying unnecessary clothes!  I rely on my capsule wardrobe every season to get dressed quickly, always wear my favorite clothes, have a neat closet, have many outfits ready to wear and save money too.

If you’re not familiar with a “capsule wardrobe”, it is a set number of clothes that can mix and match with one another to create many outfits.   Typically, you wear a capsule wardrobe for 3 months, then at the end of those 3 months, you update it for the next season.  By having a set number of clothes per season, you limit your shopping, thus saving money!  When a piece is worn or doesn’t fit right anymore, then shop for a replacement.  You will find capsule wardrobe ideas everywhere on the internet, including here on  I also sell several seasonal capsule wardrobe e-books in my Capsule Wardrobe e-Book Store.

Here’s one of the e-books in my online store:

Do you need a Capsule Wardrobe that is complete & ready to use?

Do you want 400+ Outfit Ideas from just a few items in your closet?

Do you want to get dressed quickly everyday?

Get This Complete Capsule Wardrobe!

Simplified Style - A Year-Round Core Closet Essentials Capsule Wardrobe

To start a capsule wardrobe, pull everything out of your closet so that all you see are the walls of your closet.  Set everything from your closet aside for now.  If you use a clothes rack, take everything off  the rack and set it all aside.  Without having anything in your closet, you can easily put together your capsule!

Here’s the exact steps to use when creating your capsule wardrobe:

Download the Capsule Wardrobe in 5 Steps Guide Sheet below to help you create your capsule wardrobe! Click on the image to open it. You can save it to your device or print it to use to create your capsule wardrobe.

Capsule Wardrobe In 5 Steps Guide Sheet image pin

Step 1: Select “Navy” or “Black” As Your Base Color

First, you’ll need to decide if you want to use navy or black as your base color.  If this is your first capsule wardrobe, you may want to choose navy OR black, just one base color.  It’s easier to learn the concept if you use just one.  You’ll see why it’s easier when we get further in this tutorial.  Black and navy are the two most commonly seen colors in capsule wardrobes.  Black is an all-around great base color to use because it goes with so many other colors.  If you would rather not use black, then navy goes well with several other colors as well.  If you don’t like navy or black, you can use a shade of brown as your base instead.

Step 2: Select Your Neutral-color Coordinating Essentials

You might be thinking, “what are neutral-color coordinating essentials”?  Let me first explain what “essentials” are.  They are tops and bottoms that are solid colors, like black, white, gray, chambray and beige, that are classic pieces that never go out of style.  Examples of essentials are a white button-up shirt, gray short sleeve tee, beige sweater, white long sleeve tee, black skirt, etc.

When you select these essentials, make sure they are all neutral colors, like black, white, gray, chambray or beige.  Chambray is a type of material that looks like denim but is soft.  It comes in light blue, medium blue or dark blue shades.  All these colors coordinate well with each other.

Note: When selecting your essentials from the list below and you select any navy or black items, be sure and use the same as your base color you chose above.  Navy and black looks awkward when worn together.  For example, a navy top with black pants doesn’t coordinate well, but a black top and black pants look great together.  A navy top and navy pants also coordinate well.

I chose 5 bottoms: skinny jeans, denim skirt, gray skinny jeans, black ankle pants and black pencil skirt.

I also chose a gray short sleeve tee, gray cardigan, white short sleeve tee,
white button-up shirt, chambray shirt, beige cardigan and black dress.

Things to consider when adding or replacing items in your capsule:

The key to a functional closet is to make sure everything coordinates together.  If you are missing any items, know what you need before you go shopping.  Try to avoid browsing the sales and give yourself time to think about a new item before you buy it. When I’m considering a new purchase, I ask myself these questions.  This helps me stay focused on what will work in my wardrobe and avoid useless spending.  

These questions are:
1. Does it go with 3 other items in my capsule?
2. How many outfits can I create with this item?
3. Does it fit with my personal style?
4. Does the fit and fabric work for me?
5. What this work with my lifestyle?

You may like these blog posts:
How To Create a Core Closet
How To Create Outfits With a Core Closet
The 10-Item Wardrobe: Makes 48 Outfits

Choose a few neutral-color coordinating essentials.  You may already have a few of these in your closet ! Just substitute the “black” color items below for “navy” if you are using navy as your base color.
(Select 5 or 6 tops, 5 bottoms and 1 or 2 dresses):


white button-up shirt
chambray shirt
gray short sleeve tee
white short sleeve tee
black short sleeve tee
gray long sleeve tee
white long sleeve tee
black long sleeve tee
white blouse
gray sweater
beige sweater
black sweater
black cardigan
beige cardigan
gray cardigan


blue skinny jeans
gray skinny jeans
white skinny jeans
blue denim skirt
black ankle pants
gray ankle pants
black skirt
gray skirt


black dress
gray dress
chambray blue dress

Note: If you want an all-neutral minimalist capsule, then you can resume with Step 5 to choose your shoes and accessories.  Otherwise, continue on…

Step 3: Choose Your Accent Color (optional)

Here’s where it gets fun!  Is your favorite color blush pink, olive, royal blue or red?  Go ahead and add a few tops or bottoms in your favorite color to your closet.  Use the Wardrobe Coordinating Color Chart Make sure your accent color coordinates with your base color.

I chose blush and sky blue as my two accent colors:

Step 4: Add A Few Patterned Items & Layers

Now, add 1, 2 or 3 patterned items.  They can be tops, bottoms, skirts or dresses. The most popular patterned item that’s even called an “essential” is a horizontal striped tee (see the picture below).  This type of top is usually either navy stripe or black stripe.  This type of top will go with nearly everything in your wardrobe.  Other patterns that coordinate well with other items in your wardrobe is polka dots and floral fabrics.  If you choose a floral top or pants, make sure the colors in the top, pants or skirt coordinates with your accent color and your base colors.


Also, a couple of blazers, jackets and/or coats if the weather-permits.  This is a way to add texture and color to your wardrobe!

black blazer | trench coat | utility jacket | denim jacket

I added a black striped top and light blue striped top as the patterned items.

Step 5: Choose your Shoes and Accessories

Now, that you’ve completed creating the majority of your capsule wardrobe, you can add your shoes and accessories.  For the shoes, you can add a pair or two in the same base color, navy or black, add a nude neutral pair of heels or flats, add a casual pair, like sneakers, add boots or sandals.  The number of pairs of shoes your choose and the types of shoes depends on your lifestyle.

For accessories, choose one or two handbags.  A black or beige handbag is always a great addition to your wardrobe because the colors go well with your outfits.  Add a statement necklace or one or two scarves to complete your capsule.

The finished capsule wardrobe!
black crossbody (similar) | cap toe shoes (similar) | black heels (similar)
leopard flats (similar)

CLICK HERE to get your copy today!
Simplified Style®: A Year-Round Core Closet Essentials Capsule Wardrobe

Your capsule wardrobe is complete!

You’ve completed creating a capsule wardrobe.  Now, enjoy getting dressed faster, having many outfits to wear, having a neat closet and love what you wear everyday!  Do you want clothes and shoes already picked for you, along with 100 outfit ideas, a packing list and more?  Click below to go to the Capsule Wardrobe eBook Store for Ready-to-wear Capsule Wardrobes!

eBook Store Banner

You may also like:

Share This Post: