Home > How To Build A Capsule Wardrobe

How To Build A Capsule Wardrobe

Over the past few weeks, I have cleared out my closet of pieces I no longer use or no longer fit. While I do this annually, this particular clear-out was an emotionally charged one. I had a few of my designer bags stolen late last year and every time I look at the empty space in my closet where they should be, I’m reminded of that painful experience. 

My leather moto jacket – a HUGE favourite. I will NEVER get rid of it.

While the experience frankly sucked, it jolted me into letting go of all the stuff I no longer need or use. The jerk who stole my things also did me a bit of a favour. He took some bags that I no longer used and paved the way for me to start fresh. Like a phoenix rising out of the ashes of ugly, old clothing and tired, boring, designer logo bags, the biggest closet cleanse of my life was born.

It was clearly time to let go of the leopard print mullet dress I bought for Vegas (what the hell was I thinking) and giraffe print capris (J.Crew – you should be ashamed of yourself). I also got rid of the bright red Club Monaco dress that I adored for years despite the red wine stain on the front. I took a big garbage bag and filled it with a bunch of clothing, accessories, shoes and bags that were taking up precious real estate in my closet. Once the clean-up was finished, and my two sisters had sufficiently picked through everything AND I sold items that had some value, I packed the leftovers carefully and will be dropping them off to the Youville Centre, an organization I am proud to support which assists young mothers in getting educated and attaining employment, in turn providing better lives for themselves and their famillies.

White Out | www.styledomination.com
A white blazer – a perennial fave and part of my capsule wardrobe

In addition to this major clear out, I decided to create a “capsule wardrobe” of my favourite pieces. What exactly is a capsule wardrobe, you ask? Well, it’s a collection of your favourite items of clothing which are classic, neutral-coloured pieces that never go out of style. You can reach for them safely season after season, and freshen them up with trendy pieces and accessories.

Capsule wardrobes are particularly great because if you pull together several of your favourite pieces that are high-quality and fit perfectly, you can mix and match them creating a pretty much endless array of looks. Also, it will save you money in the long run as you won’t feel the pressure to run out and buy something new as you’ll always have your favourites to pull from. Just add some great accessories and voilà! Fresh look. It also saves time as you’ll no longer be rifling through your closet while wailing: “I have nothing to weaaarrrrr!” while your husband mutters about your shopping addiction under his breath.

How To Build Capsule Wardrobe | www.styledomination.com
A good quality black wool coat is a seasonal gem that will last the test of time

I took the liberty of creating a video highlighting what exactly is a capsule wardrobe, essential pieces that comprise one and how to spot high quality pieces while you’re out shopping. Now remember, while a capsule wardrobe is best composed of neutral coloured clothing, you don’t have to stick to that. If you have a pair of purple pants with green polka dots that you adore and wear frequently, add it to your capsule collection!

How To Build and Capsule Wardrobe | www.styledomination.com
My cashmere sweater that I wear on repeat

NOTE: you shouldn’t have to run out and buy a bunch of classics to create your collection. Build upon what you already have and stop when your gut instinct tells you too. This is not an exercise in spending a ton of cash, it’s an exercise in freshening up your existing wardrobe.

Do you abide by the capsule collection way of dressing? What are some of your essential pieces that you reach for over and over again? Let me know in the comments!

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Dominique Baker
Dominique Baker

Dominique is a Canadian-based fashion and beauty influencer with a strong voice in Ottawa’s black community. Since launching her blog Style Domination in 2015, she has amassed a global fanbase. Dominique shares her life through beautiful imagery and compelling story-telling that speaks to her fans on a personal level. She’s been featured in The Guardian, Flare, The Kit and Cityline. She also hosts events for Dress for Success, the Gem Conference, and has been named a United Way Person 2 Know for the past three years.

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  1. Jen Morrow
    May 16, 2016 / 1:29 pm

    I love the justification for each piece of your capsule wardrobe, definitely helpful for my closet reduction for capsule wardrobe. Such a good article and great video! Just subscribed to your YouTube channel so I do not miss anything!

  2. May 16, 2016 / 2:56 pm

    I love this ideal. A couple of capsule pieces for me is a nice black blazer. I have one that takes me from morning , noon to night. It’s my go to piece. I also have this cute pencil skirt that I can wear with a t-shirt and sneakers or with a shirt , blazer and heels.

    • May 16, 2016 / 3:20 pm

      Hi Shantel! Thanks for your comment! I totally meant to include my black blazer, but I thought it would be too close to my black light coat (that looks like an oversize blazer). My own black blazer is something I can’t live without, along with my moto jackets. Thanks for reading! xo

  3. May 16, 2016 / 10:36 pm

    Great post! I love your sunglasses! Can you send me a link for them? Thanks

  4. May 16, 2016 / 11:45 pm

    I love the idea of a capsule wardrobe. This will be super helpful when packing for travel. Just throw in the seasonally appropriate capsule wardrobe and you’re all set.

    • May 18, 2016 / 3:42 pm

      Exactly! You’re on the right track! Thanks so much for stopping by! xo

  5. May 17, 2016 / 12:13 am

    This is fantastic! I so wish I was brave to do videos on my blog! I suck at techy stuff, so editing them would be a big issue ..anyway love all your picks here and you have impeccable style!

    Fashion and travel

    • May 18, 2016 / 3:43 pm

      Thank you so much, Valerie! Your words mean a lot! Trust me, I find YouTube super intimidating. As I’m not technically inclined either, editing my movies took a long time to “master” (if you can call my movies “mastered” – lol). I use iMovie and while it took some time to get the hang of it, it’s now really easy to use! Give it a try when you can. ;o)

  6. May 17, 2016 / 12:10 pm

    Dominque, you are so pretty and your clothes are so nice. I love all of them, but the white suite with the tan shirt is my favorite! This capsule is such a solid idea that I wanna give it a shot. I have a bunch of staple items (and know I need to add to it) so over the next few weeks let’s see what happens =]

    • May 18, 2016 / 3:44 pm

      That’s so great to read, Danielle! Please let me know how you fare with your capsule wardrobe. So happy to inspire you!

  7. May 17, 2016 / 1:29 pm

    Great video Dominique! I would also add a marine-striped sweater 🙂 Great selection (and I adore that navy zara blazer!!). Love, Kathleen

    • May 18, 2016 / 3:45 pm

      That is a fantastic idea, Kathleen! I actually have a white and navy striped sweater that I wear constantly. I can’t believe I forgot to include it! Hope you are well! xoxox

    • May 18, 2016 / 3:45 pm

      You’re hilarious. I know for a fact that you have some cool glasses and sunnies!

  8. May 18, 2016 / 4:44 am

    I love the red dress x

  9. May 23, 2016 / 3:54 pm

    I love picking out pieces that are timeless. I have a few blouses, skirts and pants that I could wear over and over again with trendier pieces. I also try and get a bag that can work as a tote, but can also be a statement piece that I can wear for almost any occasion.

    • May 25, 2016 / 10:13 am

      That’s awesome, Reese. Sounds like you have some solid and classic picks! Thanks for reading!

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