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How to Build a (Trendy) Capsule Wardrobe

Everyone on TikTok is talking about their capsule wardrobe, but no one explains how to build one. Here's our useful guide to becoming more practical with your wardrobe.

Learn how to build a capsule wardrobe that is not super expensive. Unlock your style potential on a budget with our guide to building a trendy capsule wardrobe in NYC, which has been going viral on TikTok. Discover essential pieces, smart shopping tips, and creative mix-and-match ideas to curate a versatile wardrobe. From classic white shirts to comfortable shoes, learn how to express your unique style while saving money.
Photo: Unsplash

In the bustling streets of New York City, where fashion reigns supreme, developing a personal style can seem like a daunting task, especially if you're on a budget. But it doesn't have to be. Building a capsule wardrobe can be an exciting and affordable way to curate a versatile collection of clothing that reflects your personality and keeps you aligned with trends.

Define Your Style:

Before diving into the capsule wardrobe journey, it's essential to define your personal style. Take some time to explore various fashion influences, browse through magazines, blogs, or Pinterest boards to gather inspiration. This exploration will help you understand the aesthetics you are drawn to and the key elements you'd like to incorporate into your wardrobe. If you don't know where to start, check out your "Following" list on IG. If you follow people for their style, what is it about it that you like?

Assess Your Current Wardrobe:

Next, take a critical look at your existing wardrobe. Empty your closet and evaluate each item. Separate them into three categories: keep, donate/sell, and reconsider. The "keep" pile should consist of timeless pieces, versatile basics, and any items that bring you joy and align with your style vision. Donate or sell items that no longer fit or suit your style, and reconsider items that have potential but may need alterations or styling to fit into your capsule.

Identify Your Capsule Wardrobe Essentials:

A capsule wardrobe is built upon a foundation of timeless essentials that can be mixed and matched effortlessly. These essentials form the backbone of your wardrobe and should be versatile, high-quality, and durable. Here are some key items to consider:

a. Classic White Shirt: A crisp white shirt is a versatile piece that can be dressed up or down and paired with various bottoms.

b. Tailored Blazer: A well-fitted blazer instantly elevates any outfit and adds a touch of sophistication.

c. Little Black Dress: A timeless LBD is a staple for any capsule wardrobe. Choose a versatile style that can transition seamlessly from day to night.

d. Dark Wash Jeans: Opt for a pair of dark wash jeans that flatter your figure and can be dressed up or down effortlessly.

e. Neutral-colored T-shirts: Invest in a few high-quality, neutral-colored t-shirts that can be paired with different bottoms and layered under jackets or sweaters.

f. Versatile Skirt: Choose a skirt in a neutral shade or a classic pattern that can be worn for various occasions.

g. Tailored Trousers: Look for well-fitted trousers in a neutral color that can be paired with blouses or sweaters for a polished look.

h. Comfortable Shoes: Invest in a pair of comfortable shoes that match your style and can be worn daily.

i. Outerwear: Depending on your climate, choose a coat or jacket that suits your style and can be worn throughout the year.

Mix and Match:

The beauty of a capsule wardrobe lies in its versatility. With a handful of carefully selected pieces, you can create numerous stylish outfits. Experiment with mixing and matching your essentials to create different looks. Pair a white shirt with jeans and a blazer for a sophisticated ensemble, or layer a t-shirt under a slip dress for a casual yet trendy outfit. By being creative and exploring different combinations, you'll discover the true potential of your capsule wardrobe.

Accessorize to Elevate:

Accessories are the secret weapons of any fashion-savvy individual. They have the power to transform an outfit and add a personal touch. Invest in a few statement accessories such as scarves, belts, hats, and jewelry to enhance your capsule wardrobe. These items can breathe new life into your outfits and provide endless styling options.

Smart Shopping:

Building a capsule wardrobe doesn't mean you have to splurge on expensive designer pieces. With some smart shopping strategies, you can find budget-friendly options that still maintain quality and style. Consider the following tips:

a. Thrifting and Secondhand Shopping: Explore thrift stores, consignment shops, and online marketplaces to find unique and affordable pieces. You might stumble upon hidden gems that perfectly align with your style.

b. Sales and Discount Websites: Keep an eye out for seasonal sales, discounts, and online flash sales to snag high-quality items at a fraction of their original price.

c. Quality Over Quantity: Instead of buying numerous cheap items, invest in a few quality pieces that will stand the test of time. Pay attention to fabric, stitching, and overall construction to ensure durability.

d. Rental and Borrowing: For special occasions or trendy statement pieces, consider renting or borrowing items instead of purchasing them outright. This allows you to experiment with different styles without committing to long-term ownership.


Building a capsule wardrobe in New York City is an exciting journey that allows you to express your unique style without draining your bank account. By defining your personal style, curating essential pieces, and employing smart shopping techniques, you can create a trendy and versatile wardrobe that meets your budgetary needs. Remember, fashion is a form of self-expression, and your capsule wardrobe should reflect your personality, lifestyle, and individuality. So, embrace your creativity, mix and match, and unlock your true style potential through the art of building a capsule wardrobe.


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