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Style Talk: How To Build A Capsule Wardrobe From Scratch

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camel hoodie dress

Have you ever been caught up in a style rut just trying to find the right cloth to wear to work? Normally, you’ll find ladies with a closet full of clothes but when it comes to finding an outfit for an evening date, hours go by just ransacking that closet. How unfortunate! Very many ladies have asked me how to create a stylish, functional yet very basic wardrobe that they can feel confident in and yeah, today, I share a guide on how to build a wardrobe from scratch, most importantly, a capsule wardrobe that you will love.

I am a slim lady and I found my self confidence in style. I mean, by dressing my body, I significantly felt more confident unlike before when I used to be teased for being the slim one around. Years later, I built a very solid wardrobe that most of my friends always want to ransack!

When I was building my capsule wardrobe, I first identified my personal style by experimenting on a lot of fashion pieces until I defined my style in a three- word rule: I’m chic, artsy and sophisticated! This fashion formula became my way to a great capsule wardrobe. And right now, I can boast of having some very covetable fashion pieces.

Well, if you also want to build a capsule wardrobe, it’s not too late! Let’s already build one.

But what is a capsule wardrobe?

How To Build A Capsule Wardrobe From Scratch

A capsule wardrobe is collection of fashion pieces that seamlessly pair well together, ensuring you create sets or outfits you love easily. Talk about a maxi skirt pairing so well with a crop top or a polo neck top; or a pair of denim jeans pairing perfectly with a tee or even an off-shoulder top.

With a capsule wardrobe, you can easily create looks for all occasions; right from work to school to a date to shopping or even to a girl’s night out. This ensures you don’t waste time when it comes to dressing up because actually, you have no worry with repeating clothes. I mean, if Macy Stucke can repeat clothes, why can’t you?

Well, here are 10 steps to building your capsule wardrobe from scratch:

1. Understand your current lifestyle.

I'm Chic, Artsy And Sophisticated

Usually, our daily activities, the places we go to daily or even our different cultures tend to dictate the type of wardrobe we build. So when building a wardrobe, this is the first thing you should keep in mind because for you to feel confident in your look, you will require to be comfortable; and this is also affected by what the society expects from us.

Basically, when your style is not mapped into your current lifestyle, then there is a serious problem with your wardrobe and it’s time to change it.

Read Also: 5 Reasons It’s Time to Update your Wardrobe.

Do you need a wardrobe for school, work or just hanging around the house?  Then ensure you match your closet to your lifestyle.

2.Understand your body type

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Looking good means dressing your body type. We all have different body shapes and in order to look your best, you must show appreciation to your body by dressing it well. Are you curvy or slim? Or are you pea-shaped? Knowing this information will ensure your new wardrobe is only full of pieces that look best on you. I’m slim hence my love for over-sized knits!

Read Also: I’m Chic, Artsy and Sophisticated

3.Understand Your New Style Aesthetic

Style Talk: How To Find and Define Personal Style

There is absolutely no magic when it comes to dressing well! Macy Stucke was not born with her gorgeous coats not was Marri Pazz with high wide –legged pants! At one point, they just had to sit down, define their styles and build those gorgeous wardrobes!  That means that it all boils down to you! When discovering your personal style, get some wardrobe inspiration from your style icons, experiment on some good ideas and be keen on the compliments you receive as well as your guts.

Related Read: How to Find and Define Personal Style

4.Establish your base colors

camel hoodie dress

Understanding what works for you is just one step towards building a great wardrobe! Next, you have to establish your base wardrobe. What this simply means is that you have to establish the colors that work for you.  Simply look into the colors that appeal best to you and what colors look beat when paired together. Do you love pastels? Or metallic? Then note that down!

Afterwards, build up your base colors. I mean, look at your base colors and build your wardrobe around them. You can consider adding more accents, prints and patterns to it if this appeals to you. For example: pick one color and adjust its intensity; then switch over time to other base colors. As well, pay attention to how you mix and match or block your colors.

Now that you have found what colors to build your wardrobe around, define holistically your style in a three-word rule and let’s build your wardrobe!

Read Also: How to Describe Your Personal Style in a Three-Word Rule

 5.Evaluate and clean out your Closet

How To Build A Capsule Wardrobe From Scratch

Unfortunately, we all have those tops with some tags still intact and those pieces we hold dear from 14 years ago although we never wear them! So if this is you, it’s time to declutter your closet!

Start by emptying your closet and separating the pieces you need and those you don’t. When evaluating your closet, keep in mind your style aesthetic, your body shape and also your lifestyle needs.

You can pile all your items in several groups consisting of items to keep, throw away, tailor or even reserve. Keep those pieces that strongly fall for your new aesthetic, throw or give away the pieces that don’t appeal to you any more or those that you don’t wear, tailor the ones that need some repair for better fit or correction and reserve pieces of sentimental value like a wedding gown.

6.Create a Shopping List

How To Build A Capsule Wardrobe From Scratch

It is also important to realize that when building a new wardrobe from scratch, you could actually need to do some shopping hence the importance of a shopping list.

But instead of buying new clothes right away, give yourself some breathing room and live with your wardrobe as is for however long you like-suppose a week so that you sober up to the idea of getting a new wardrobe, and to get some fashion inspiration.

You might be so excited about getting a new wardrobe and you end up getting boring pieces. Take your time and go around on Instagram, Pinterest or to your favorite fashion blogs and get more ideas on how other fashion enthusiasts pair pieces that are almost similar to what you prefer. If you love bohemian maxi skirts, just look at a lot of ways in which these pieces can be paired. This ensures that you note down such pairs in your shopping list.

When creating your shopping list, also note down where to buy these clothes. Will you need to order online, get your outfit tailored or go to a thrift store?

Read Also: How to Shop Online For Outifts

7. Go shopping and start with wardrobe foundational and essential pieces!

How To Build A Capsule Wardrobe From Scratch

Foundational pieces basically include items that must be in your closet like lingerie while essential pieces talk of items that you need to keep up your lifestyle needs.

Essentially, there is no way the closet of two people will look alike. However, there are some items that pretty much every lady needs. Like a black dress and an evening dress; a great pair of jeans and some formal pants; a blazer and that long coat; a nice blouse, a button-down shirt and a beautiful t-shirt; a maxi skirt and a pencil skirt; a beautiful bag, gorgeous stilettos and flat shoes!

When shopping your wardrobe, remember to buy quality and that does mean spending more! Trust me, with a good wardrobe full of just quality pieces, you can say goodbye to the hustle of shopping for cheap rusty clothes a thousand times a year. Quality speaks! And is so durable!

Read Also: 10 Stores With The Best Discounts

Also, don’t worry about shopping a perfect wardrobe! It’s just your start and you learn as you evolve. Give yourself time to try out your wardrobe; always adding and removing pieces that don’t seem to resonate with your style.

8. Go on a wardrobe challenge.

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Many start out with a 30*30 wardrobe challenge while others go for a 7*7 wardrobe challenge. What this simply means is that after you’ve shopped your closet, it’s time to try your pieces out.

For instance, if you are undertaking the 30*30 wardrobe challenge, you will need to wear 30 sets of clothes in 30 days as you gauge which ones you prefer most. During this period, you might realize that you might get bored with some clothes while others appeal to you much more that you find yourself repeating them.

Keep a record of the items you love most and those that you wouldn’t want to keep n your closet. And after the 30 days, go through your closet again, repeating the process of building a wardrobe. You should do this until you’re finally comfortable with the pieces in your wardrobe.

9.Get those accessories now!

Style Talk: How To Build A Capsule Wardrobe From Scratch

Look at a lady with enviable style and you’ll notice that what sets her apart often comes down to the accessories.

Once you get more comfortable with expressing yourself through your personal style, you’ll see that there are even more ways of showing yourself off apart from just the clothes you wear. This includes the type of bag you carry the shoes you wear or even the jewelry you wear.

10. Take care of your wardrobe for longevity.

How To Build A Capsule Wardrobe From Scratch

You’ve struggled to build a wardrobe and that hustle was too much so to enjoy the beauty of your wardrobe for the longest time possible, you have to take very good care of your clothes.

Iron them properly, fold which ones need to and put them in hangers to prevent crease. Follow washing guidelines and do your best to keep them in good shape.

      Are you on Pinterest? Pin this…

Style Talk: How To Build A Capsule Wardrobe From Scratch

Cheers to a great wardrobe girl! Remember to rock your wardrobe with confidence too!

Anyway, how did you build your wardrobe and how do you maintain it? Please share your thoughts with us below…



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  1. Alexandra says

    Such a great post – I have never thought about my base colours before, but what you say is so correct! Dressing for your body type is also so important with self-confidence. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  2. Amber Myers says

    These are such incredible looks! I just have t-shirts and sweaters in my closet all year round. I tend to go for what is comfy and don’t focus on what is in style.

  3. Joan says

    These are really great tips, I have always been interested on building my own capsule wardrobe and I thank Pinterest for that but unfortunately I never succeed since everything becomes overwhelming and I always want to keep more than I need.

  4. Chelle Dizon says

    I can totally relate! It may look like I have a lot of clothes on my closet but I can’t find an outfit when I need it lol. Love your shoes too!

    • Dalene Ekirapa says

      Haha! Seems we’ve been through that Chelle. I’m glad currently, I’m so comfortable with my wardrobe that I don’t have to spend hours looking for an outfit.

  5. Natalia says

    Now you got me! I really need to build my capsule wardrobe from scratch! I’ve got too many clothes and sometimes it’s hard to choose something matching fast! 🙂

  6. Laurie Gannon says

    You are always so impeccably styled! I like how you provide fashion tips and advice that are approachable, thoughtful, and sensible. I’m hoping that I can figure out my three words in the near future that make sense for my current lifestyle.

  7. Bindu Thomas says

    This is such fantastic advice! You look great in these outfits. I wish I could dress like this 🙂

  8. Katherine Gamble says

    First and foremost, I’d like to say how much I admire your writing. Secondly, I love this post. As I move closer to my late twenties, my lifestyle has changed a lot. It seems like everything has changed except my wardrobe. I definitely will put all these pointers to use. Clothes donation centers here I come!

    • Dalene Ekirapa says

      Aaaw Katherine; thank you so much…I appreciate. Anyway, now that you know that your lifestyle has changed, you gotta shop for your current swing.

  9. Hollie says

    Wow these are all such great tips, thank you. As someone in their 20s, I feel like I’m beginning to establish my dressing style more. Dressing for my body type is something I need to work on.

  10. Lyosha says

    Gorgeous styles! You look fab in each outfit. I don’t actually have a capsule wardrobe but I use the main ideas of it for my vacation closet

  11. The Panicked Foodie says

    Yes, I am absolutely that person that has clothes in their closet with the tags on from 14 years ago :). I get made fun of for this all of the time!! This capsule wardrobe sounds like a neat idea, and something that goes with minimalism as well, since the pieces can be re-purposed for lots of different looks.

    • Dalene Ekirapa says

      Whooa! Now you really need to declutter. With a capsule wardrobe, you can mix and match a very minimal number of outfits instead of just clogging your closet.

  12. Silvia says

    It’s the first time I heard the term capsule wardrobe. Great tips you have here, I know my body type and my colors but I think I need to work on my accessories.

    • Dalene Ekirapa says

      Well, a capsule wardrobe is all about piecing, pairing and matching different items together to make an outfit. It can be so convenient. Anyway, you gotta get those accessories Silvia.

  13. ohmummymia says

    What beautiful outfits. Definitely, you know the type of your body and your colours. I would love to have that kind of confidence

  14. aisasami says

    What fabulous wardrobes! I’d like to build my wardrobe from scratch because it lets you explore and find something unique and new!

  15. David Elliott says

    Knowing your body type is absolutely essential. And then having an idea about what your colors are and what things work well for you. Definitely choosing a base color helps.

  16. Elizabeth O says

    Yor wardrobe looks amazing. Through your pictures you inspired me and I will try to manage my wardrobe too. Lso you look fantastic in that outfit.

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