How to build a capsule wardrobe

Clothing and accessories for a capsule wardrobe

Fathima A. Kader

The New Year is the time for new beginnings in every field of your life. An attempt to live your life in a more disciplined way also means attempting to clean your wardrobe and learn to live with the absolute necessities, all without compromising on style. This is where the concept of ‘capsule wardrobe’ comes in. According to Susie Faux, who coined the term, “A capsule wardrobe is a collection of a few essential items of clothing that don’t go out of fashion, such as skirts, trousers and coats, which can then be augmented with seasonal pieces.”

The person who popularized the capsule wardrobe concept is Caroline Rector (, who has a basic wardrobe of just 37 versatile clothing pieces, which she refreshes with a few needed items every three months to update it. It is stylish, economical, disciplined, and saves time and energy which can be put to better use.

As this New Year rolls around, I am going to help you figure out how to put together a capsule wardrobe for the Indian teenager.

What do you need to do to get started?

  • Pick a number for the items you are going to buy. If you can’t pick a number, try and figure out your style and lifestyle necessities and you will know when you have enough.
  • Clean out your closet into three: 1. ‘Favourites’ which you want to keep, 2. A ‘Maybe’ pile which you may use in the future, and, 3. A ‘Never’ pile which you know you won’t be using at all.
  • What to include in the numbered wardrobe: Tops, bottoms, dresses, jackets, shoes.
  • What to exclude: Undergarments, pajamas, accessories, workout wear, festive wear.
  • Keep the items you have from the ‘Favourites’ pile and the select few from the ‘Maybe’ pile and buy the remaining necessities.
  • Store what you will use and donate the rest of the clothes.
  • Refresh the wardrobe every 3 months to make sure it is kept up-to-date and to do the essential shopping for pieces suited for the season.

PLUS! Sample Wardrobes for Guys and Girls

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Fathima A. Kader
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Fathima A. Kader

Fathima A. Kader loves fashion, make-up and style, a wishful Francophile in the making. Lives and breathes for the dream of working at Vogue someday. She is currently doing her UG with a triple main in literature, communication and journalism at MES College, Marampally in Kerala.