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How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe to Save Money

If you find yourself buying new clothes because you can’t find your favorite jeans, or if none of your outfits ever seem to be put together, you may want to try out building a capsule wardrobe to save money. Not only will it save you money, but it can also help you save time, energy, and frustration when picking clothes to go about your day.

This post was written by our regular writer, Kimberly Studdard.

How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe to Save Money

So what is a capsule wardrobe? While a capsule wardrobe hasn’t truly been defined, it can be considered as a small collection of fashion pieces that never go out of style. The biggest key to having a capsule wardrobe is to have it be as minimal as possible, typically anywhere from 15 pieces to 40 pieces.

With any great capsule wardrobe, all the items in it should work together. This helps you to streamline your wardrobe and help you utilize your pieces more than a handful of times. This in turn helps you save money, because you won’t buy a bunch of different items that you won’t wear.

capsule wardrobe to save moneyClothes Should Fit The Season

If you live in an area where you have all four seasons, you will probably need more than a 15 piece wardrobe. You can still save money and time, but you should choose pieces that work with the weather. You don’t to be walking into puddles with flip-flops!

If you are buying clothes to fit the season, choose well made jackets, jeans, and boots. Sure, they may cost a little more money up front, but if you can wear them for years to come you will save more money in the long run. Also, you can choose clothes you can transition to fit all of the different seasons all year round (like a lightweight cardigan!).

Basics vs. Colors

While you can have a colorful closet, building a capsule wardrobe to save money will normally revolve around colors that work well together. This includes blacks, browns, greys, whites, and nudes. You want to be able to easily mix and match, but it doesn’t have to be boring!

If you have a favorite color that looks good on you, buy a few pieces in that color and then buy basics that go well with it. So if you like teal, buy teal and match it with greys and blacks. You’ll still be able to wear your favorite color, but you would have built a wardrobe that goes with it.  

Add Your Own Flair

Okay, so now you’ve gotten the basics down. Once you’ve picked out your main wardrobe, it’s time to add your signature style. For example, if you plan on wearing tailored jeans and a nice blouse, you can add a statement necklace or lightweight jacket in a crazy print. If you have to wear a suit to work, you can still find a few pairs of shoes that make you feel stylish.

It’s important to add a little of your own style to your capsule wardrobe. If you deprive yourself of buying the clothes and pieces that you enjoy just to save a few bucks, you may end up spending more money by buying more “basics” than you really need. The biggest benefit to a capsule wardrobe is saving money, so add your own flavor when you can.

Save Money While Shopping

A super easy and great way to build a capsule wardrobe to save money is to save while you shop! You can go thrifting or snag great deals on basics like jeans and t-shirts in the clearance section. You could also find coupon codes online if you prefer to shop that way.

If you decide to go thrifting, make sure to pick out durable quality clothing. That $4 t-shirt may seem like a bargain, but it’s useless if it shrinks the first time you wash it.  

Make Adjustments

When you build a capsule wardrobe to save money, you will have plenty of trial and errors. Your lifestyle, wants, and needs change as time goes on. But if you decide to buy new clothes, make sure to donate or get rid of the old one. You want to make sure to keep your closet as streamlined as possible, and you can’t do that if you are constantly adding new items. A capsule wardrobe is supposed to be minimal.

Also, keep in mind that you can make money from the clothes you no longer wear! There are quite a few options on selling your clothes, including selling them via a consignment shop or online through Facebook or websites like VarageSale. You could even make enough money from your old clothes to buy your new ones, meaning even more money in your wallet.

This may not be for everyone, but being able to build a capsule wardrobe to save money can be super beneficial in helping you find your personal style, minimizing your closets, and keeping you sane all year long.

Is it time to find your capsule wardrobe?

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My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.


  1. Being retired, I don’t have the need for the extensive wardrobe I had when working, however, ironically, now I can afford more things than I could when employed. Go figure. And I don’t think I could have gotten by with only having 3 skirts and 2 pair of pants etc. like so many “capsule wardrobe” aficionados advocate. Why I do now is have 3-r pair of dressy jeans in basic colors and pair them with a variety of different colored basic tops. Those are for going out and doing something that requires a nicer look than my well worn sweatpants which I wear all winter, or shorts for summer. A couple of suits or dresses for funerals etc. and that’s it. Now, just tell me how I can get past my DESIRE (not need) to have more. 😉

    • Ha, good tips Kathy. Thanks!

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