Build a Dream Capsule Wardrobe on a Budget (+ Free How-To Printable!)

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woman pointing at Capsule Wardrobe free printable

Build your dream capsule wardrobe. 😍

We’re sharing how you can perfect the new minimalist way of living – dressing with a capsule wardrobe! 🙌 Imagine owning roughly 20 pieces of clothing and getting an entire month’s wardrobe out of it! Well, as wild as it sounds, that’s the idea behind a capsule wardrobe and living a bit more simply.

holding Capsule Wardrobe printable

Below, I’m sharing exactly how you can easily build one on your own while sticking with a budget. And make sure to read until the end so you can score our free printable, too!


capsule wardrobe clothes laid out on floor

Why do a capsule wardrobe? 🤔

By downsizing your wardrobe, you’ll be freeing your mind and space from physical clutter which can oftentimes turn into stressful mental clutter.

However, just because you’re downsizing doesn’t mean you can’t have an amazing closet! A capsule wardrobe will focus your attention on beautiful, simple, quality clothes that truly bring you joy. Plus, it’s less to think about each morning when you get dressed so it’s a win, win really.

jean jackets hanging on store aisle

With home organization on the rise, many people have already started to embrace minimalism (me included! 🙋‍♀️). Plus, surveys say that many women only wear 20% of their wardrobe anyways – how shocking is that?! 😱

woman standing in walk-in closet with clothes and organized shoes

I personally love the idea of streamlining closets. Even better, you can give your own closet a total refresh on a budget if you have the itch to do it all right now! While quality is obviously the main factor in the longevity of this wardrobe lifestyle, you can find perfect, stylish pieces at inexpensive prices at retailers such as Target and Amazon!

Hip Tip: Need help purging stuff from your closet? Check out our 4-week clean-out challenge which comes with a free printable and will help you do a full clean out with day to day tasks.

beige and rust colored sweaters hanging on rack

Do some thinking before you get started.

  • You’ll want to curate pieces in your capsule wardrobe that are relatively neutral. This will allow each piece to work seamlessly with many different outfit options and then some.
  • It’s also important to pinpoint your style so you don’t feel like you’re settling for pieces you don’t actually love. By purchasing items that truly make you feel good, they’ll be less likely to collect dust in the closet, too.
  • Neutral doesn’t mean boring. Neutrals can be classy, timeless, and the possibilities are endless with mixing and matching. You can still have tons of style while getting the most out of each piece!

Remember, this is a generalized list so you can choose pieces based on your preference to reflect your own personal style because everyone is unique and different!


hand holding a capsule wardrobe list

Ready to get started?! 🛍️😍

woman wearing black cargo utility jacket outside

Layers:

1. Cargo jacket

2. Jean jacket

Hip Tip: Here’s a capsule wardrobe outfit I styled using a white denim jacket – entirely from Walmart!

3. Neutral Cardigan

4. Neutral Winter jacket


Tops:

5. Button-down

6. Basic white tee

7. Fitted t-shirt

8. Tank top

9. Sweater


sweaters, shoes, and jeans

Shoes:

10. Booties

11. White sneakers

12. Neutral heels

13. Sandals


Dresses:

14. Neutral maxi dress

15. Knee-length dress


Accessories:

16. Earring studs

17. Hat or Scarf


Bottoms:

18. Shorts

19. Dark jeans

Hip Tip: If you’re looking for more great jean ideas check out these 4 cheap pairs our team loves more than designer brands!

20. Black leggings

21. Colored denim


This is what your completed capsule wardrobe might look like! 😍

entire capsule wardrobe clothing items with numbers

Again, this list includes links just for reference and you’re free to purchase items that are better suited for your style. However, to make a capsule wardrobe work, it’s crucial to stick with NEUTRAL colors.

woman holding yellow sweater and brown booties

As a bonus, if you already have some of these items in your closet and they’re in good condition, by all means, use what you have on hand rather than buying new! It’ll save money and chances are you already love the item you have.

capsule wardrobe printables on top of clothes

Download our capsule wardrobe printable now!

You’ll be curating your capsule wardrobe in no time!

Now it’s time to get dressed! 

woman wearing gray tank top

As I mentioned before, by purchasing neutral tones, you’ll have a wider variety of options to pair into outfits. But that doesn’t mean you have to nix color altogether. Let your personality shine through with accents such as handbags and your favorite jewelry pieces.

Once you’ve completed your closet overhaul, you’ll notice that almost all of your pieces work together seamlessly thanks to the neutral palette! Great job! 👏

If you do a capsule wardrobe on your own, make sure to snap a few pictures and tag us on Instagram or Facebook!


Check out these Lululemon dupes we found! 😍

Join The Discussion

Comments 40

  1. Stevmill8809

    You should make a list for guys.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Great idea! Thanks so much for the request! I have passed this on to the team!

  2. Mia

    I’m a “plus-sized” person. I love the whole idea of neutral. Many clothing manufacturers make loud clothing for plus-sized. I don’t like looking like a walking pylon. I also don’t like to spend a lot of $$ on clothing…love sales & clearance. Thoughts about where (sites/stores) to look for plus-sized clothing. Some of the links you provided have XXL but I wear 2XL and I always thought it was the same but it’s not. Thanks for a GREAT post! Can’t wait to go through my closet and purge!

    • Dee

      Chicos has some very good, pretty (and packable) styles for plus sized professionals. You might want to start with the Travelers Collection. The current season clothes are not priced like Target or Walmart, but they don’t fall apart or fade after two trips through the laundry, either. They do have some great sales. I like that they make clothes for regular/petite/plus and not separate lines.

      • Mia

        Thank you! I’ll check their site. I think we use to have that store in the mall but now that COVID hit, many have closed or at the very least, not re-opened.

    • Sara

      I’m so glad you enjoyed this post, Mia! Let us know how your closet purge goes, I can’t wait to hear!

    • Dee

      What I did was found two styles of shirts I love at Torrid (their Harper blouse and their tunic t-shirt) and I bought three of each in different neutrals (black, navy, taupe and grey in the Harper… black, grey and olive in tunic tee). For jeans, I chose one style from Old Navy and bought them in three different colors as well. Mercari, Poshmark, ebay, facebook marketplace — all great places to find name brand for cheaper than retail. That’s where a bunch of my torrid stuff comes from or of course like a true couponer, I wait for sales

      • Sara

        Great ideas, Dee! Thanks for sharing!

  3. DealAddict

    The simplicity of it makes me curious so I always have to check out the pictures & read the posts even though I know it’s not for me. I think clothes are fun & a way of being creative. Sometimes I dress for my mood/how I’m feeling & the weather. I like lots of choices to mix & match & accessorize. More is more! BUT I can definitely see how this would appeal to people & it looks so nice & simple.

    • Sara

      It’s definitely not for everyone, but so glad you could appreciate the post nonetheless. Thanks for stopping by, DealAddict!

  4. mlj211

    Love this idea! I’ve been slowly working towards this goal. My problems are that I’m 5’11” so I always have the problem of finding pants in lengths. It’s been a lifelong battle but I plug along. Thanks for sharing these tips!!

    • Sara

      You’re so welcome, I’m so glad you loved this post!

    • DealAddict

      I find great tall jeans at gap, old navy, madewell, jcrew & target! So many options for us tall girls these days!

    • KayleighW

      I’m 5’11” too! I also have a difficult pear shape to fit. Depending on your budget, try Buckle for loooong jeans. Old Navy Tall jeans are great, too! I have a 34/35″ inseam. Some jeans at Target also work, in the Long styles.

  5. Suzanne

    I’ve been doing the minimalist fashion challenge Project 333 for about six months and love it! Less is more 💕

    • Sara

      So glad you’re loving the change, Suzanne! Thanks for sharing with us!

  6. Melissa Ann

    Thank you for this post and ideas! I’ve been enjoying a minimalist wardrobe for several years now after being inspired by Jennifer L Scott’s Tedtalk on Youtube: The Ten Item Wardrobe. I will never go back! Less is more. It is amazingly freeing! There are different approaches to having a minimalist wardrobe. Jennifer’s approach is to have a core of 10 items each season which she fills out with some extra items such as t-shirts, sweaters, and accessories. She has videos for each season where she curates her choices. She actually buys very little each season. The goal is to not only pare down to a smaller wardrobe, but have everything that you have be something you truly enjoy wearing because it looks good on you and can be mixed with other items in your wardrobe.

    • Sara

      Yes to all of that, Melissa! I’m so happy to hear how much you love this change!

  7. Priscilla

    What about workout gear?

    • Sara

      I decided not to include workout gear in the actual post as everyone’s needs will be different, Priscilla! For me, I have about 3 bottoms and 2 tops/bras that I absolutely love! Since I do laundry every day or every other day it works perfectly for me. 🙂 Hope that helps!

  8. A

    Thank you so much! I absolutely despise clothes shopping, and so need something like this in my life. I basically have everything already I just don’t know how to put it together. Your list is a game changer for me. I’ve declared that October will be the month I learn to put cute casual outfits together. 😊🙌🏻‼️

    • Sara

      Your whole comment made my day, A! So glad this post was helpful to you and can’t wait to hear about how October goes for you! Keep us posted. 🙂

      • A

        Yay, I’m so glad. Will do! 😊

  9. Dee

    Some tips for adapting the neutrals in this color palette to other women would be helpful. For instance, women with warm tones should swap that bright white for ivory, etc. It would be a great post to show several different women working the capsule wardrobe in flattering tones for them

    • Sara

      That’s a great idea, Dee. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Csandst1

    One sweater in NJ wouldn’t work. Sometimes the high is 12 degrees.

  11. llaura256

    I was poor when I was little so my one splurge is clothing. I love walking in my closet with so much to choose from as for everything wlse I’m a minimalist! Ha!

  12. Vanessa K

    I love this! My Pinterest board is filled with capsule wardrobes. I’ve been working on mine for awhile. But I love color and pattern, so my wardrobe is loud, it’s all about multifunction, and keeping in the same family of color. My favorite color is orange, and my favorite pattern is tiger, so those are my neutrals. It’s fun to play with once you understand the basics. Instead of a plain denim jacket, I have up cycled my with sequins sleeves to have a huge pop of bling!

    • Sara

      Sounds like you’ve got the hang of it, Vanessa! I love that you’ve added your own unique style to your capsule wardrobe!

  13. Mary

    I think you would have to do laundry almost every day!

    • Sara

      I do about one load every day or every other day. With a family of 5 it helps keep the laundry at bay and that way I won’t spend my whole weekend doing it. 🙂

  14. Evie

    Geez, is anyone a Jean’s and t short person like me!

    • Florida Girl

      Me! I am a jeans and tshirt kind of girl. See my post below for the reasons why. 🙂

  15. Kitty

    I have a smaller wardrobe now due to pregnancy and I always have something cute to wear! I have about 10 tees, 5 shorts/pants, 2 dresses. Neutrals are key so everything goes together. Definitely doing this with my regular wardrobe in a few months 😀

    • Sara

      Congratulations, Kitty!

  16. Florida Girl

    Love this post. I live in Florida. It’s HOT, really HOT! I wear jeans to work and a nice shirt. I barely dress up when going to dinner because FL is so casual. I despise dresses because I have to wear spanx and it’s too hot, plus It still does not cover all the flaws. If I do dress up at work, I wear black pants. All colored pants I try on, you can see all the imperfections on my thighs. Clothes just aren’t made the way they used to be. Do you have any tips for this FL girl?

  17. Corina

    My problem is that I yoyo with my weight. I lost 63 lbs by last summer and felt so healthy and good about myself. I bought a lot of new clothes and donated my bigger sizes. Then quarantine hit and my weight crept up 20lbs. Now those cute clothes I bought last year( a lot were from posts on here) do not fit again. Ugh….

  18. A

    This post motivated me to take a chance on a $15 black maxi dress from Ltd. At 5ft2in and very curvy, it’s not a style I’ve dared to try. Not too mention I’m not a big fan of dresses to begin with. Anyways, it came in today and actually fits me perfectly, doesn’t even need to be hemmed! I’m so excited about this new and very versatile addition to my wardrobe. Thank you!!

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      I’m so excited you took a chance, A! Now you have a new style to include in your daily wear! Yahoo!

  19. KayleighW

    Thank you for this post!! I’ve pinned several posts on Pinterest, but I love that you’ve included a list of outfits! I’ve wanted to make a capsule wardrobe for a long time now, but this is super helpful and quite possibly just the thing I need to actually get it done! 😁

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