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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Ottawa chapter.

Have you ever thought to yourself, “I have nothing to wear”, despite having a closet full of clothes? We’ve all been there. In the age of fast fashion, it can definitely be tempting to buy new clothes whenever another trend comes out. However, buying new clothes all the time creates a lot of waste… and gets really expensive! Luckily, there’s a solution to this problem: capsule wardrobes. By building a capsule wardrobe, you can create a sustainable closet with endless outfit combinations that you’ll want to wear.

What is a capsule wardrobe?

So, what is a capsule wardrobe? A capsule wardrobe is a mini wardrobe containing only versatile and high-quality pieces. The idea is that by reducing the number of clothes in your closet, it’ll become easier to visualize and create new outfit combinations you’ll actually want to wear.

Before you start

Before you start building your capsule wardrobe, you’ll need to go through your closet and get rid of the clothes you don’t want. After all, the point of a capsule wardrobe is that it’s small! There are countless online guides that’ll tell you to stick to a specific number (i.e., 12 pieces, 27 pieces, etc). Personally, I don’t recommend picking a number because it’ll stress you out trying to stay within your number! So, stick to just getting rid of pieces you know you won’t wear. This can be anything from the pair of pants that are a little too small for you or that shirt you got as a gift that you just don’t like. If you haven’t worn the piece in over a year, it goes.

Picking a colour scheme

A capsule wardrobe generally follows a colour scheme, with neutral being a popular choice. Any colour scheme works, as long as you like wearing it! My recommendation is to go with a neutral colour scheme with a few accent statement pieces. Once you pick your colour scheme, identify pieces you already own that fit your colour scheme and set those aside. As for the rest, you can either keep them as accent pieces or get rid of them!

Figuring out your capsule’s purpose

Different people have different needs when it comes to their clothing. For example, a university student will have a different closet than a working professional! Before committing to a capsule wardrobe, analyze your day-to-day activities and environment. If you’re a student, you may want to prioritize comfort, and if you spend a lot of time outdoors, you may want to prioritize warmth!

Where to get your inspiration

I highly recommend Pinterest for finding outfit inspiration. Creating a Pinterest board full of outfits you love and looking for similarities between those outfits is an easy way to identify staple pieces for your own closet! Another way to find inspiration is to figure out what exactly you like about the outfits you pin. Maybe you like form-fitting outfits, gold jewelry accents, or even a certain hairstyle! By pinpointing your individual style, you’ll be able to integrate new pieces into your wardrobe that match the pieces you already own!

An example of a year-round capsule wardrobe


  • Tank tops (3 x colours of your choice)
  • Turtleneck (1 x colour of your choice
  • Cardigan (1 x colour of your choice)
  • T-shirts (3 x colours of your choice)
  • Workout tops (2 x colours of your choice)


  • Jeans (3 x jean fit of your choice)
  • Pants (2 x colours of your choice)
  • Shorts (2 x colours of your choice)
  • Skirts (2 x colours of your choice)
  • Workout pants (2 x colours of your choice)

Outerwear (neutral)

  • Trench coat
  • Wool jacket
  • Puffer jacket