Tips For Creating A Colorful Capsule Wardrobe To Break Up Your Boring Neutrals

With the recent rise of eco-friendliness and general minimalism, the concept of the capsule wardrobe has catapulted into the mainstream. While most people have heard about capsule wardrobes at this point, the details of exactly what defines one still tend to feel a bit like a mystery. Generally speaking, a capsule wardrobe should include less than 50 items (including shoes, outwear, and accessories). While 50 might feel like a high number at first glance, if you were to pull every item from your current wardrobe, you'd likely be faced with a tally of well over 100.

The aim of a capsule wardrobe is to conserve money, materials, space, time, and mental energy. A well-designed capsule wardrobe consists of classic individual pieces that can each — with few exceptions — be combined with three other pieces to create separate outfits. And they don't all have to be bland basics, either. If you've been considering adopting a capsule wardrobe, there is no time like the present. Here is your inspirational guide. 

Choose a dark base color

The first step to building your capsule wardrobe is to select a base color. This color will be the foundation of your outfits and keep them grounded. Black, charcoal, navy, and dark brown are all excellent candidates, depending on your skin tone and color preferences. 

Select neutral basics

Next, it's time to lighten up your base color with some wardrobe basics in light neutral colors. Look for timeless pieces like high-quality tee shirts, ribbed sweaters, and camisoles in colors like white, cream, khaki, tan, denim blue, or gray. Each basic should be able to coordinate with your base color.

Pick your favorite accent colors

After you've chosen your base color and selected your neutral basics, it's time for the most fun part of creating your capsule wardrobe. Choose up to three of your favorite accent colors to mix in. These can be individual pieces that pair well with your base color and neutral basics, or standalone pieces like dresses and jumpsuits. 

Carefully select patterned pieces

Time to show off even more of your personality. Add two or three pieces that showcase your favorite patterns. You can stick to the basics, like stripes and polka dots, or go wild with geometric or floral prints. Just aim for patterns that are in the same families as your accent color pieces. 

Add outerwear layers

Weather happens. And when it does, you don't want to be stuck wearing an ugly old coat, cardigan, or coatigan you just dug out of storage. Select a few items of outerwear (in either your base color or a light neutral shade) and have them waiting in your capsule wardrobe before you actually need them.

Mix in shoes and accessories

A wardrobe isn't really your own until you add some personality through shoes and accessories. Choose a handful of casual and formal shoes in your base color, a neutral hue, and/or one of your accent shades. Base the metal of your jewelry on your skin tone and stick to your base color for your main handbag. Most of all, have fun — and remember that there's no rule against buying an extra party purse in your favorite accent color.