Capsule Wardrobe for Beginners: Core Collection

Here’s a quick how-to for building a custom capsule wardrobe from just a few basics. If you’ve considered creating your own capsule wardrobe or need a refresher, this is a great resource for getting started! Let’s go!

core collection

When putting together a seasonal capsule wardrobe, you should always start with a core collection. This core collection could be the same every season or you can update it according to the weather or your current lifestyle. For this example, we’ll keep fall and winter in mind as well as the idea of keeping things casual since most of us are spending the majority of our time at home!

Your core collection is unique! Here’s how you find it: quickly pull your 3 most worn or very favorite pieces in your wardrobe right now. Then add 2 more practical items that coordinate with the first 3. Now you have 5 pieces total. That’s your core collection; the base to build your capsule wardrobe from.

Again, this is a unique collection for everyone, but we’ll use some of our favorite core styles from the shop to build an example capsule with!

  1. Dark skinny jeans
  2. White crew neck tee
  3. Cotton pullover sweater
  4. Distressed denim overalls
  5. Leopard print cardigan

Real quick, imagine all the outfits that can be styled out of just these five pieces…

  1. Jeans + tee
  2. Jeans + tee + cardigan
  3. Jeans + sweater
  4. Overalls + tee
  5. Overalls + tee + cardigan 
  6. Overalls + sweater
Girl wearing fuzzy leopard print cardigan and dark red fedora hat

These are basic outfits that you can spice up by simply switching out shoes and accessories! And by adding just a few more pieces to this mix, you get an even more versatile collection.

As you continue building your seasonal fall capsule wardrobe, stay true to your style, but have some fun with it! If your core collection is really neutral, add a couple of accent colors or maybe try a more monochromatic pallet, but mix things up with prints and textures.

building from your core collection

Continue to build your capsule wardrobe by adding 2 or 3 pieces at a time to your core collection. Think about how each new piece will pair back with the original items.

For example, a couple more items that could be added to this group for building a comfortable and casual collection are:

  1. Striped sleeve sweatshirt
  2. Black distressed skinny jeans

And with just those two pieces, the following outfits can be made:

  1. Jeans + sweatshirt
  2. Overalls + sweatshirt
  3. Black jeans + tee
  4. Black jeans + tee + cardigan
  5. Black jeans + sweater
  6. Black jeans + sweatshirt 

Girl wearing black mock neck sweatshirt with white stripes on sleeve

We’re already at 12 outfits total with just 7 pieces of clothing! Now, we’d never ask you to have a 7 piece wardrobe but the idea is to get creative with styles that you love, are comfortable to wear and reflect your personal style. You don’t have to have a huge wardrobe to have a unique sense of style, but you do need to know what your style is and have some great quality pieces to build your wardrobe with from season to season.

There’s no specific stopping point when it comes to building your custom capsule wardrobe. This process should come to an end organically and more often than not, once you’re done working through your wardrobe, you’ll have pieces you realize you no longer need as well as a list of items you’d like to buy and add to your closet.

We hope this post is an inspiring starting point for you, but if you’d like help customizing your capsule wardrobe, we’d absolutely love to!

Shoot us a message to learn more about our closet styling services and the My CoCapsule Membership program.

Cheers, friends! Now go capsulize that closet!


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“Simplicity involves unburdening your life, and living more lightly with fewer distractions that interfere with a high quality life, as defined uniquely by each individual.”

-Linda Breen Pierce, 1947