How To Create A Capsule Wardrobe For Men

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Essential Pants For Capsule Wardobe
Essential Jacket For Capsule Wardrobe
Essential Shirt For Capsule Wardrobe
Today more so than ever the term “capsule wardrobe” is being thrown around. If you don’t know what that means, I’m here to help you out. Follow along with this guide so you can build your capsule wardrobe.

What is a Capsule Wardrobe?

A capsule wardrobe makes much sense when you realise how many unused items there are in your closet. The primary purpose of this method is to minimise your wardrobe by maximising the number of outfit combinations. By doing so, you essentially create a collection of clothes that you can wear for an entire season. The best example here would be pants and shirts. Every single pants and shirt you own should match each other. Let’s not forget there are four seasons a year. That means four different collections of clothes for every season. Some items will overlap which is a great thing.
minimalistic approach
Fredrik Risvik | IG fredrikrisvik

Less Clutter With Men’s Wardrobe Essentials

For some owning 30 different pair of pants is satisfying; however, for some, it might be torture. Having too many choices can make you frustrated and unhappy in many cases. By reducing the number of clothes, you buy every season consider curating and investing in high quality, versatile collection instead. This would include some of the men’s wardrobe essentials like dress pants, shirts, jackets and shoes. Underwear and other accessories are not included. I can assure you that the minimalist approach to dressing will benefit you well in all aspects.

wardrobe clutter
Fredrik Risvik | IG fredrikrisvik

A Brief History of a Capsule Wardrobe

This concept first appeared in the 1970s. Also, Donna Karen was the first designer who released a women’s workwear collection that was based on a capsule wardrobe concept. This term is more common in womenswear; however, it can be applied to men’s closet as well.

The Advantages And Disadvantages of Having a Minimalist Wardrobe

The Advantages

  • It’s much easier to get dressed.
  • Less clutter in your wardrobe.
  • It’s good if you travel a lot.
  • You’ll spend less on dry cleaning.
  • You can spend more on quality clothes.
  • Clear your closet – clear your mind which means less stress when choosing what to wear.

The Disadvantages

  • It can get a little bit boring.
  • Certain occasions require certain outfits. It would be best if you considered that.

11 Essential Pieces For Men’s Capsule Wardrobe

  1. A Bomber Jacket
  2. A Blazer
  3. A Dress Shirt
  4. A Plain T-Shirt
  5. A Polo Shirt
  6. A Short-Sleeve Henley
  7. A Crew Neck Sweater
  8. Chino Pants
  9. Dark Blue Jeans
  10. Classic White Sneakers
  11. A Pair of Boots
To give you an idea before you start getting rid of everything in your closet, I’ll guide you through 11 essential pieces to create a stylish capsule wardrobe. Mind that this approach comes with its flaws but to minimise that there are some things you need to be aware of to benefit from this method:
capsual wardrobe
Fredrik Risvik | IG fredrikrisvik
  • Versatility: a bomber jacket or a neutral colour blazer would be considered to be a versatile piece of clothing.
  • Colours: as mentioned above solid neutral tones are your best options. Avoid graphics and logos.
  • Quality: when wearing items back to back like jackets, jeans or shoes it’s better to invest in high-quality items. They are going to last much longer not to mention they feel and look much better.

1. A Bomber Jacket

With a minimal approach, we should start with a jacket that has a minimalistic design. Without a doubt, this jacket is one of the most versatile pieces of outerwear you can buy. Wear it casually with jeans or pair it for a more smart casual look with a pair of chino pants and shirt underneath.
Bombers come in a variety of colours and fabric. As for tone choose something discreet. Black, navy blue or brown would be your best options.
Avoid poorly made cheap bomber jackets. Opt for something premium instead. Suede and cotton are the best fabrics for your capsule wardrobe.

If you think bomber is not suitable for your capsule wardrobe, read this article on many other different styles of jackets.

John Shearling-Trimmed Full-Grain Leather Bomber Jacket

2. A Blazer

A blazer is a must-have item in your wardrobe. It’s not as formal as a suit. You can wear it open over a shirt or a t-shirt if you prefer it. Both jeans and pants look great with it.

Blazers are versatile which is appealing to someone who is not exactly keen on wearing a suit. Just throw it over a white casual shirt while wearing dark blue jeans and you’ll feel as comfortable as possible.

Avoid bold colours when buying a blazer for your minimalist wardrobe. Grey, black, blue are the colours you need to be shopping.

If looking for the best looks possible look no further than a good quality blazer. When buying a 50$ blazer from your local mall don’t expect much from it. They are poorly made and let’s be honest they don’t look as you would expect.

royal blue unstructured double breasted linen blazer

3. A Dress Shirt

I’m guessing you already have a dress shirt. Also, most probably not one, but at least a few. However, here’s where most men are making a mistake when buying a shirt. They don’t invest in a high-quality shirt but instead opt for something cheap that is going to last for half a year at most.

Look at it in the long run. If you buy one quality shirt (around 180$) it’s probably going to last for at least three years or so. If you do the math correctly, that would be about 6 cheap shirts for lets say 30$ a pair over a period of 3 years.

Let’s keep it simple. The best colours for your capsule wardrobe are neutral tones like white, light blue and black. After all, we are going for a minimalist approach here.

button down collar cotton oxford shirt

4. A Plain T-Shirt

T-Shirt typically associated with a cool laid back looks. However, what is most exciting about it is that it’s a comfortable and versatile piece of clothing.

It’s not flashy or eye-catching, yet it still looks fantastic. For your capsule wardrobe, I would suggest having at least 3 T-shirts in different colours.

Avoid something with prints and logos. A plain T-shirt is your best bet.
The fabric is always essential when shopping for new clothes. Cotton is what you need to look for.

deacon distressed cotton jersey t shirt

5. A Polo Shirt

A polo shirt is a choice that can be both casual and dressed-up. Throw a blazer or bomber jacket over it or wear it on its own on a warm summer day. No matter what polo is a going to look stylish.

Nowadays polo shirts are cut slim and made from breathable fabrics for your comfort.

If you take a look at a variety of Ralph Lauren polos, you can get a bit overwhelmed. I suggest you stick to a safer approach instead and don’t go crazy on colours. Here is the best option below.

logo embroidered cotton piqué polo shirt

6. A Short-Sleeve Henley

A short-sleeve henley shirt is one of those classics that will not go out of style any time soon. It started as a functional shirt at first but grew into one of the staples of men’s wardrobe.

It’s easy to wear piece that works with so many different outfits. That’s why I consider it to be a must-have garment.

Pair henley with blue jeans or chino pants for a laid back, relaxed look. Throw on a bomber for those chilly spring evenings and head down for a night out with your friends in style.

cotton jersey henley t shirt

7. A Crew Neck Sweater

Well, you have to have a crew neck sweater in your wardrobe. It’s an excellent garment for those colder days. Put it over a dress shirt or wear on its own. It’s a stylish and sophisticated option if seeking to impress your colleagues.

A cashmere sweater is my personal choice. It’s hard to describe how soft and cosy it feels. Nevertheless cotton is another fabric with a smaller price tag but still offers an excellent quality.

leather trimmed cashmere sweater

8. Chino Pants

If looking to ditch your jeans for a day or two than chino pants is your best option. They are more neutral than dress pants, yet they are still sophisticated.

You can style chino pants for both casual and smart-casual looks. It doesn’t matter whether you decide to wear it with a shirt or maybe with your favourite t-shirt you are still going to look great.

Opt for good quality cotton pants to avoid wrinkling and looking cheap.

slim fit garment dyed cotton blend twill chinos

9. Dark Blue Jeans

What is most impressive about jeans is that it’s as versatile as it can be. A good quality nice looking pair of jeans can be your go-to trousers for any occasion.

Black and blue jeans would be considered the most versatile options. This is what we are aiming for to get the most out of our wardrobe.

Make sure you buy a simple and classic looking jeans. Avoid those with too much detail on them. Minimalistic ones are the best ones.

selvedge blue denim jeans

10. Classic White Sneakers

White sneakers come in many variations from low-cut lace-ups to high-top. Different silhouettes and fabrics that sneakers have to offer make it an appealing product for everyone. Oh and not to mention it’s going to keep your look sharp and casual.

Leather white sneakers are a more practical purchase for one particular reason. It’s easier to take care of them.

saint laurent leather sneakers

11. A Pair of Boots

Boots has a rock ‘n’ roll vibe to it. Not only they look good they are very practical as well.

There are many boot styles which can be hard to choose the right one for your capsule wardrobe. But don’t worry I’m here to help you.

As stylish as they are don’t forget to consider quality and comfort. Since they are going to be your daily drivers quality is a key to reduce wear and tear to them.

fred burnished leather brogue boots

Final Thoughts

I hope this guide was useful for you. If you get the fundamentals right, it’s not that hard to build a capsule wardrobe for yourself. Many guides online can be a bit confusing and overwhelming; however, it doesn’t have to be that way. Plan your wardrobe this way to avoid clutter. Moreover, don’t be afraid to mix in a few items just make sure they are time-proof pieces.

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3 Responses

  1. I liked the idea of having a capsule wardrobe. I know something we add things in our closet that we add and don’t use for long time. So to avoid overspending and reduce the clutter this is the best option.

  2. I guess there is no difference between a minimalist wardrobe and a capsule wardrobe? Am I right. By the way, I like the choice of clothes you picked. For sure they’re going to stay stylish for years to come.

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