How To Create A Capsule Wardrobe

Look chic, on repeat.

If you think about someone whose style you admire, there’s probably one thing they’ve well and truly nailed: consistency. Your favourite celebrities, fashion editors, stylists and buyers all have one thing in common—they’ve constructed a consistent wardrobe of staple pieces that can work with multiple outfits, also known as a capsule wardrobe. But if you’re not a celebrity, why is this something you need to add to your already exhaustive to-do list?! Well, a capsule wardrobe makes it incredibly easy to get dressed in the morning, since it cuts out the time it takes to plan an outfit. Convinced? We asked Sara Crampton, of @harperandharley and The Undone, to explain to us exactly how we can create a capsule wardrobe.

Here, she shares how it works and the five pieces you should start out with (oh and we guarantee you already own them!).

What is a ‘capsule wardrobe’?

A capsule wardrobe is an edit within our wardrobe that holds the minimum number of pieces that will create the maximum number of outfits, and are mainly made up of wardrobe essentials. You can have several capsules within your wardrobe and they’ve very practical when you split them up into seasons, like a summer capsule or winter capsule. Creating a work capsule is also really helpful if you’re back into the office 9-5. However you can create a capsule for the stage of life you’re in, like a pregnancy capsule or breastfeeding capsule, in a nutshell you’re creating an edit, and this edit will help you get dressed quickly and easily. 

How does a capsule wardrobe work and how does it help you get dressed each day?

To create a capsule you physically need to place the items within that capsule together and separate them out from the rest of your wardrobe. When you go to get dressed for the day, and let’s say you’ve created a work capsule, you’re looking at just those pieces that suit your edit and not being distracted by the rest of your wardrobe.

A capsule helps you get dressed each day as everything within that capsule can be styled back with each other, so you have a lot of outfit options, but at the same time a limited choice so you’re not overwhelmed.

What are 5 pieces we should start with in a capsule wardrobe?

A great place to start with is:

  • A plain white t-shirt. My favourite is a crew neck style as I find this is flattering for all sizes and works for both work and off duty. 
  • Blue jeans. High-waist straight leg with no rips or tears.
  • White shirt. A cotton white button up shirt that you could tuck in or leave loose.
  • Black blazer. A classic black blazer that has tailored shoulders that’s both not too oversized and not too fitted.
  • Black trousers. Dressy black trousers that you could wear both for work or out with friends.

What colourways are best for a capsule wardrobe?

I am unapologetically committed to a neutral wardrobe as it means that all your hard earned investments work back with each other. A neutral wardrobe includes tones of black, white, beige, camel and brown, khaki, deep greens, grey, blue jeans and navy. 

What do we do with the clothes we already have—we don’t want to throw everything away to buy new things, how can we transition sustainably?

Exactly right, wearing the clothes that you already have is the smartest, most sustainable choice. We shouldn’t really be doing 6 or 12 month purges of our wardrobes, and if we are it’s a red flag we’re not buying consciously, or could fine tune our approach. If you’re finding yourself not wearing your clothes, go through them and sort into sections. 

Clothes To Keep

  • Clothes I’m not wearing, but know they’re classics so I’ll hold onto them. 
  • Clothes I’m not wearing, because they need to be altered, cleaned, repaired.

Clothes To Move On

  • Clothes I’m not wearing because when I try them on they don’t make me feel good.
  • Clothes I’m not wearing because they are no longer my style.
  • Clothes I’m not wearing because they don’t fit me or are ill fitting. 
  • Clothes I’m not wearing because they are worn out and can’t be repaired.

Can you share some of your own favourite pieces in your own capsule wardrobe?

1. Plain white t-shirt. I’ve got a couple of these by Re/done as you always want to have a clean white t-shirt ready to go. Buy now: Re/done Classic Tee, $130 from The Undone

2. Black trousers. It’s important to have a pair of flattering black trousers that go with everything and suit any occasion. This pair by Arnsdorf make my legs appear much longer than they are! Buy now: ARNSDORF Suit Trouser, $440 from The Undone

3. High waisted straight leg blue jeans. I would be lost without them, and Re/done do a great pair. Buy now: Re/done High Rise Stove Pipe Straight Leg Jean, $350 from The Undone

July 01, 2022

How To Create A Capsule Wardrobe

Photography: Maddi Caldwell

Look chic, on repeat.

If you think about someone whose style you admire, there’s probably one thing they’ve well and truly nailed: consistency. Your favourite celebrities, fashion editors, stylists and buyers all have one thing in common—they’ve constructed a consistent wardrobe of staple pieces that can work with multiple outfits, also known as a capsule wardrobe. But if you’re not a celebrity, why is this something you need to add to your already exhaustive to-do list?! Well, a capsule wardrobe makes it incredibly easy to get dressed in the morning, since it cuts out the time it takes to plan an outfit. Convinced? We asked Sara Crampton, of @harperandharley and The Undone, to explain to us exactly how we can create a capsule wardrobe.

Here, she shares how it works and the five pieces you should start out with (oh and we guarantee you already own them!).

What is a ‘capsule wardrobe’?

A capsule wardrobe is an edit within our wardrobe that holds the minimum number of pieces that will create the maximum number of outfits, and are mainly made up of wardrobe essentials. You can have several capsules within your wardrobe and they’ve very practical when you split them up into seasons, like a summer capsule or winter capsule. Creating a work capsule is also really helpful if you’re back into the office 9-5. However you can create a capsule for the stage of life you’re in, like a pregnancy capsule or breastfeeding capsule, in a nutshell you’re creating an edit, and this edit will help you get dressed quickly and easily. 

How does a capsule wardrobe work and how does it help you get dressed each day?

To create a capsule you physically need to place the items within that capsule together and separate them out from the rest of your wardrobe. When you go to get dressed for the day, and let’s say you’ve created a work capsule, you’re looking at just those pieces that suit your edit and not being distracted by the rest of your wardrobe.

A capsule helps you get dressed each day as everything within that capsule can be styled back with each other, so you have a lot of outfit options, but at the same time a limited choice so you’re not overwhelmed.

What are 5 pieces we should start with in a capsule wardrobe?

A great place to start with is:

  • A plain white t-shirt. My favourite is a crew neck style as I find this is flattering for all sizes and works for both work and off duty. 
  • Blue jeans. High-waist straight leg with no rips or tears.
  • White shirt. A cotton white button up shirt that you could tuck in or leave loose.
  • Black blazer. A classic black blazer that has tailored shoulders that’s both not too oversized and not too fitted.
  • Black trousers. Dressy black trousers that you could wear both for work or out with friends.

What colourways are best for a capsule wardrobe?

I am unapologetically committed to a neutral wardrobe as it means that all your hard earned investments work back with each other. A neutral wardrobe includes tones of black, white, beige, camel and brown, khaki, deep greens, grey, blue jeans and navy. 

What do we do with the clothes we already have—we don’t want to throw everything away to buy new things, how can we transition sustainably?

Exactly right, wearing the clothes that you already have is the smartest, most sustainable choice. We shouldn’t really be doing 6 or 12 month purges of our wardrobes, and if we are it’s a red flag we’re not buying consciously, or could fine tune our approach. If you’re finding yourself not wearing your clothes, go through them and sort into sections. 

Clothes To Keep

  • Clothes I’m not wearing, but know they’re classics so I’ll hold onto them. 
  • Clothes I’m not wearing, because they need to be altered, cleaned, repaired.

Clothes To Move On

  • Clothes I’m not wearing because when I try them on they don’t make me feel good.
  • Clothes I’m not wearing because they are no longer my style.
  • Clothes I’m not wearing because they don’t fit me or are ill fitting. 
  • Clothes I’m not wearing because they are worn out and can’t be repaired.

Can you share some of your own favourite pieces in your own capsule wardrobe?

1. Plain white t-shirt. I’ve got a couple of these by Re/done as you always want to have a clean white t-shirt ready to go. Buy now: Re/done Classic Tee, $130 from The Undone

2. Black trousers. It’s important to have a pair of flattering black trousers that go with everything and suit any occasion. This pair by Arnsdorf make my legs appear much longer than they are! Buy now: ARNSDORF Suit Trouser, $440 from The Undone

3. High waisted straight leg blue jeans. I would be lost without them, and Re/done do a great pair. Buy now: Re/done High Rise Stove Pipe Straight Leg Jean, $350 from The Undone

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