Thursday, March 31, 2011

Building A Capsule Wardrobe

I've been mildly obsessed with the idea of a capsule wardrobe. A capsule wardrobe is really a minimalistic approach to mixing and matching to create a wide variety of outfits. Susie Faux invented both the phrase and the concept back in the 70s. The owner of the London shop Wardrobe, she's a great believer that women require less quantity, more quality.

Items in a capsule wardrobe are usually classic, timeless pieces that can traverse fads and trends. Some capsule wardrobes have one or two trendy items that can be swapped out but the essentials pretty much hold their own. I've done a fair bit of observing what capsule wardrobe-rs have in theirs and read what most capsule wardrobe consist of. It must be remembered that capsule wardrobes have no room for ill fit or anything you don't have love for. Every piece pulled out and worn must look nothing less than fabulous on you and dressing up each morning will be a breeze.

Most capsule wardrobe-rs have shirts, tshirts, pencil skirt, pants, jeans, blazer in their mix but when considering how I should put together my own capsule wardrobe, I replaced a pencil skirt for an A-line and pants with more jeans since this capsule wardrobe must fit my lifestyle and my body shape and most importantly, what I feel great in. I haven't found a pair of pants or a pencil skirt that I feel that I look my best in so jeans and A-line skirts are pretty much my wardrobe staples. I also added in shorts based on the fact that I live in a very warm country all year round. In fact this post is inspired by a blogger who has a simple capsule wardrobe which she dresses differently by the use of accessories. She has a collection of the most gorgeous Hermès scarves and bags which she uses on all her outfits. Of course, I don't have the means for that type of high end accessories but if I do adopt a capsule wardrobe, it would mean much more conscious spending and less on frivolity and I sincerely believe that it is possible then to slowly build up more quality items.

I love all the items above, kept most of it simple so that I can accessorize them easily. I can honestly say that I can pair every single top in there to the bottoms and be proud to wear it out. You might see some items in there I already have since the best way is to build a capsule wardrobe from what I already have and then fill in the gaps. I concede it is impossible for me to give up my current wardrobe because I haven't really made use of it to the best I can so this capsule list that I've made up will currently serve as a useful vacation capsule wardrobe. I hope to get rid of more things in my wardrobe slowly and start to pare it down to this.

What do you think of my capsule wardrobe selection? :) If you are going to build yourself a capsule wardrobe, what are some of the essentials you must have?

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posted by The Merry Traveller at


Blogger Thicker Than Your Average Girl said...

I really love this great selections

March 31, 2011 at 11:00 AM  
Blogger laura said...

Dee, these are such lovely pieces. I especially like the floral shorts! :) I would probably end up with a lot of greys and blacks, with the occasional pop of red or pink.

hearts, laura♥
the blog of worldly delights

March 31, 2011 at 11:03 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Oh! Links please! Especially to the pleated black skirt on the third row to the left and the blush sequined top with the sweetheart neckline!
I would be awful at having a capsule wardrobe - I'm not so good at accessorizing, so mostly I wear statement dresses!

March 31, 2011 at 3:32 PM  
Blogger alliejayne said...

The idea of a capsule wardrobe is such a good one! I think if everyone getting dressed would be so easy. I don't think I could do this as I have so many random bits and bobs I like to wear every now and then haha
Your choices are fab though :) You done really well!


March 31, 2011 at 4:15 PM  
Blogger The Merry Traveller said...

Thank you Ms. Thicker Than Your Average Girl!

Laura: I think having safe colours are the easiest NOT to go wrong and yes, occasional pops of colours are a must so as not to appear we didn't launder our clothes!

lillipilli: :( The skirt has been discontinued but there it is and the sweetheart neckline sequin top is from Topshop!

alliejayne: I have a lot of random bits too and sometimes I'm lost at what to wear. I think I definitely have quantity over quality. I guess when you restrict yourself to only that many pieces, you force yourself to be creative. I like the idea but am sure I will take a long time to be able to carry this idea out!

March 31, 2011 at 4:29 PM  
Blogger Mode Plus said...

The minimalist way of living is becoming very popular now in the Netherlands. I just read an article of someone living on only 20 clothing items excluding shoes/accessories. I also tried to minimise by participating with 30x30 challenge. Well, I wasn't a star in this challenge. But what I stopped doing, is buying whenever something is on a discount. It helps me not to overbuy and have regrets. For example it's been ages since I ordered from ASOS. Hmm, this capsule wardrobe thing ain't as easy as it looks. Please share more details when u'r so far. <3

March 31, 2011 at 7:37 PM  
Blogger Laurel Ann said...

I really love the idea of a capsule wardrobe and it's definitely a skill I need to practice with! I've been traveling quite a bit lately and being able to pack with this much purpose and variety would be very helpful. Your pieces are beautiful! Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

March 31, 2011 at 8:39 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I love your capsule wardrobe! My favorites are the lace overlay skirt, the bow top, and the polka dot dress. I can definitely see how you could mix and match each piece into a different outfit so many times. This is a great idea!


March 31, 2011 at 9:50 PM  
Anonymous Bella said...

Dee, I'm totally into the capsule wardrobe. However, it's prompted by the fact that I don't own any trendy items even if there are a few quality pieces somewhere in the deep recesses of my closet! hee hee! I love your selections, especially that lace tiered skirt. What a beauty!

March 31, 2011 at 10:19 PM  
Blogger Pretty Penny Mae said...

Great idea & great selections! You must tell me where to find that blue polka dot dress!!!! I LOVE it!

March 31, 2011 at 10:35 PM  
Blogger Stiletto Siren said...

Such a great post I love all those pieces espeically that mesh dot dress and the peachy sequin top! LOVE

March 31, 2011 at 10:37 PM  
Blogger Katrin said...

At the moment I am actually thinking of the opposite of that, I just became friends with the thought of a living Wardrobe. Like not staying with a piece of clothing for a long time, buying it, wearing the hell out of it for several weeks and sell it again, so you can really change you style and stuff every week.
I like the idea, cause I often see pieces I would like to wear once a lifetime, or just in a special combination, and that is it. So I thought of selling a lot of my stuff to get buy new and than...sell it again...or maybe kind of trade it with someone skirt for yours...;D
I do love the stuff you picked, but I think I coudln't live with something like that, I am chancing my mind constantly and there is to many trends I really, really want to live. But I think if you like it, it can be a really great way of having a really classic but still awesome looking style!

March 31, 2011 at 10:53 PM  
Blogger The Merry Traveller said...

Mode Plus: I agree. I saw people struggling with the 30x30 challenge and I know that completely doing away with my existing wardrobe into this would be unthinkable. It is more like a utopian dream I want to work towards gradually one item at a time by downsizing my wardrobe to start, to make less impulsive buys and really sit and chew on what I should be spending on and hopefully I will achieve it some day!

Laurelann: Wouldn't it? I found that I suck at packing for vacation and planning outfits but in doing this post, I found it helpful and very purposeful in thinking carefully of what I can do to minimize what I bring on travels but yet look good. My aim for travels is to usually look good for day and night but yet be comfortable for a whole lot of walking and this is created with that in mind. You can also spend some time and search for images on the internet that mimics what you already have and put outfits together! That way, you can just throw things into your luggage and still know you look great! It's like a guideline.

Kristin Marie: I don't have all the pieces over here but it's a combination of what I would like to have and some of the things I actually own. I have that bow blouse and the skirt but I don't have the exact polka dot dress.

Bella: A capsule wardrobe need not have ANY fashionable items in it. You can just work it with quality pieces and that's actually a great start! I only include some trendy pieces in mind because these are trends I know I would like to wear even if they go off.

Pretty Penny Mae: Sadly that polka dot dress I've googled is what I'll love to own but it's from F21 which means it's too small for us folks. I have this one without sleeves though -

Stiletto Siren: Thanks girl. I just ordered that mesh dot dress hehe but I can't fit into the peachy top for sure. It's from Topshop.

March 31, 2011 at 10:55 PM  
Blogger The Merry Traveller said...

Katrin: That idea works too. I've also toyed with the concept of one item in, one item out, meaning when you buy an item, you sell one and that way, you keep your wardrobe from exploding but the problem is, at where I am at, it's difficult to sell used clothes, there are no thrift shops and people are not huge on eBays and stuff so I often can't get rid of it.

March 31, 2011 at 10:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post!!! Love the idea of a capsule wardrobe and have thought about it myself but I just can't imagine giving up all of my fun, trendy clothes! It would be so much more simple though, which would be nice. Oh, and I LOVE that sequined sweetheart top! Do you know where its from?

April 1, 2011 at 10:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you :) This capsule wardrobe idea sounds fun! These are definitely items that would be put in MY capsule :p

April 1, 2011 at 12:01 PM  
Anonymous Eryn said...

Im sending you a thousand years of hugs and kisses! I love love love these types of wardrobe collections but I'd never heard the tearm "capsule wardrobe"! Do you have any favorite bloggers that use this type of fashion that you could share some links to?
I think my love for capsule wardrobes are the reason I get such joy looking through all the 30 for 30 challenges on

Ive been trying to use some tips from Lauren Conrads "Style" book, collecting basics, and Im excited to get some of them back from the tailor!

April 1, 2011 at 2:25 PM  
Blogger Vanessa said...

Love all of your capsule items. I definitely see a cohesiveness to it all. (Feminine details, colors, florals, etc!)
I can't live without skirts, so my capsule would be full of skirts.

April 2, 2011 at 12:29 AM  
Blogger Nnenna said...

I really love the items you've chosen! I'm not sure I would ever have the willpower to pare my wardrobe down this way, but if I did, I would add a pair of black flats- so essential to me!

star-crossed smile

April 2, 2011 at 12:21 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

It's enjoyable to learn more and more from your blog. Thanks for sharing.


September 25, 2015 at 3:56 PM  

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