Can Capsule Wardrobes Save You Money?

Develop the perfect capsule wardrobe to save on timeless fashion.

Clothing being folded into neat piles
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What you have in your wardrobe encapsulates who you are, bringing your favourite styles and colours to life, but it can cost a fortune to get it right. This is where a capsule wardrobe comes in. Below, we are going to break down what a capsule wardrobe is and how it could save you money.  


What is a capsule wardrobe?

Old wooden wardrobe next to an armchair against a bare red brick wall

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Before we can discuss whether a capsule wardrobe will save you money on your latest fashion, it’s important to establish what a capsule wardrobe is. 

Wikipedia defines a capsule wardrobe as “... a small collection of clothes that can be put together in different ways to create an outfit suitable for any occasion without owning an excessive amount of clothes.” The term first appeared in American publications as early as 1940 and has remained in circulation since. We’re sure the money-saving and environmentally-friendly aspects may have something to do with it!


How much should you budget for a capsule wardrobe?

Pink piggy bank

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Although the idea of a capsule wardrobe centres around a small number of good quality garments, the question of budget still rests at everyone’s lips. 

Your budget will depend on the brands you choose to include in your capsule wardrobe. With this in mind, you could complete your wardrobe with as little as £200 or as much as £2000. You can minimise your budget by choosing brands with budget-friendly collections; retailers such as TK Maxx and Matalan are brilliant for this; including preloved items and charity shop finds are another great way to add interesting style whilst keeping costs down. 

Equally, if you’re looking to add bigger names to your capsule wardrobe, take a look at the sales sections for brands like Nike, Adidas, and French Connection to name a few. Check out our ‘Top Tips For Buying Clothing On A Budget’ article to get your favourite styles without spending too much. 


Finding your own personal capsule style

A girl fixing the ankle of her chino trousers with long white socks

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Creating a small wardrobe can seem like a daunting, difficult task. The first port of call is to look at your current wardrobe and pick out the items that you wear the most frequently. Vogue’s Naomi Smart and Joy Montgomery's top tip is to “Turn all your coat hangers to face the same way, then every time you wear something, turn it around. By the end of the month, you’ll have a good sense of the wardrobe heroes that you can’t live without … these are the pieces you should be basing your capsule around.” (https://www.vogue.co.uk/fashion/article/capsule-wardrobe-essentials

Whether it’s frills or straight lines, details or simplicity you prefer, deciphering your personal taste is key to creating your own capsule wardrobe. There are basics which are a must in any wardrobe; take a look at the list of timeless basics below according to Vogue’s ‘How Do I Build a Capsule Wardrobe That Stands The Test Of Time?’ 

  • White t-shirts
  • Simple shirts
  • Smart trousers
  • Jeans
  • Blazers
  • Smart shoes
  • Hoodies
  • A trench coat
  • And a pair of white trousers for when you're feeling casual.

Each capsule wardrobe lasts roughly 3 months so you can roll your wardrobe over with the seasons each year but your basic jeans and a t-shirt stretch the test of time! Once you have figured out your personal taste, you can begin the best bit - shopping! Neutral colours are the easiest way to guarantee you can create several outfits with a minimalist wardrobe. Neutral colours can create both a casual look and a sophisticated style so you can confidently pull an outfit for any occasion. 


Colours and Prints - Are they possible in a capsule wardrobe?

Green and gold leopard print fabric

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Although neutral colours are the easiest pallet to work with when you’re building a capsule wardrobe, it doesn’t mean that you can’t include colours and prints at all. Anna Cascarina, fashion editor turned influencer, told Who What Wear that, despite common belief, colours can be included in a capsule wardrobe. 

It needs to work for you, and if you’re a colour lover, then your wardrobe needs to reflect that! Just ensure that your clothing can be mixed and matched and not too trend-led. A good way of tying everything together is to include a few good basics so that you can enjoy over and over again without getting overwhelmed by all the print and colour.” Keep this top tip in mind when you’re doing your capsule shopping and you can’t go far wrong!  


Spend less on better quality

Most of us are guilty of spending far too much on clothes that we never wear and a capsule wardrobe is a great way to break this habit. Purchasing fewer items means you can focus your efforts on better quality clothing that will last longer and create beautiful outfits easily. Not only can a capsule wardrobe be a substantial money-saver, but it’s also an easy way to jump into sustainable fashion; something you can learn more about with our ‘What is sustainable fashion and how does it affect the price?’ article. 

If you have more clothes than you know what to do with and yet only wear a tenth of your closet, then a capsule wardrobe may be your solution. You can make money by selling your unwanted clothing using apps such as Vinted, Depop, and eBay and use that cash to make sure you get your capsule wardrobe right. Unsure of what app to go for? Check out our ‘Shopping Sustainably and Saving Money with Preowned Clothing Apps’ article for a rundown on what each one offers. 

A capsule wardrobe offers an outfit for every occasion in every season, sustainability, and a shrinking fashion bill that includes some of the biggest labels - what could be better? 

Shona Moreland
Fashion Editor

Hi there! My name is Shona and I’m the Fashion Editor here at MyVoucherCodes. I’ve been writing for 5 years, and now I’ve been focusing on fashion, and I’m loving every minute of it! From the freshest releases to the hottest trends and movements that keep the industry buzzing.

I have a number of interests, ranging from playing the drums, drawing, reading and writing to enjoying nature with my puppy! And let’s not forget about the all-important interest … Fashion!