How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe

Some guys love fashion and style. It comes to them naturally and it’s a way for them to express themselves through clothing. Other guys just don’t have either the money or the eye to put together a bunch of outfits. They’d rather keep things simple, and have a few go-to outfits they absolutely love.

If that sounds like you, you’ll love the concept of a capsule wardrobe. Which is basically reducing your wardrobe down to the absolute bare minimum amount of clothing. You’re sacrificing quantity for comfort and quality, which means the few outfits you do have will for sure look amazing on you, and be made up of high-quality garments that can last thousands of washes and wears.

Here’s how to make your perfect capsule wardrobe.

We want every piece to be interchangeable so just from a few items we can create a variety of outfits. But before you buy a single piece of clothing, you have to figure out what aesthetic you’re actually going for.

For example, if you want a super versatile capsule wardrobe and your style is not super specific, we can look at this capsule wardrobe by @iamtabar:

  • Pleated trousers in black & beige
  • Jeans in blue and cream
  • Striped oxford shirts in off-white and blue
  • Crewnecks in grey & beige
  • A grey hoodie
  • Overcoats in taupe and black
  • Adidas samba sneakers
  • Black leather loafers
  • And black leather Chelsea boots

This is an amazing capsule wardrobe if your style is more minimal and old money. But if your style leans towards more streetwear, your capsule wardrobe might keep some of the basics, but switch out some details to match your aesthetic.

For example:

  • Instead of overcoats, you might go for puffer jackets.
  • Instead of pleated pants, you might opt for cargo pants.
  • Instead of loafers and Chelsea boots, you might opt for a pair of rugged combat boots instead.

The point of a capsule wardrobe is to build a minimum amount of solid high-quality basics and round out the details with your own aesthetic.


Accessories are where you can get really creative. Two people can have the exact same wardrobe but give off a totally different vibe based on their accessories. Invest in pieces like bracelets, rings, necklaces, watches, hats, bags, and belts.

You don’t need to go designer. If you want high-quality pieces for your capsule wardrobe, brands like Uniqlo will give you both quality at a pretty reasonable price.

If you want a full list of brands I like for high-quality basics, check out the section below.


You already know about some basic brands like Uniqlo, H&M and Zara. Here is a list of lesser known and more underrated brands:

1. Everyday Essentials & Sustainable Brands:

  • ASKET: This brand is focused on ending fast fashion and offers everyday essential items. Their mission is clear: to produce covetable everyday essentials.

2. Mediterranean & European Luxury & Craftsmanship:

  • AurĂ©lien: This brand offers timeless Mediterranean style footwear, garments, and accessories for discerning customers.
  • Luca Faloni: Specializes in luxury Italian men’s clothing.
  • Oliver Cabell: Luxury Italian footwear and accessories.
  • Velasca: Handcrafted shoes made in Italy.

3. Minimalistic & Quality Essentials:

  • CDLP: A Swedish design house that provides luxury essentials developed with innovation.
  • CLAE EU: The brand emphasizes minimalism, quality, and comfort.
  • Form&Thread: They offer mindfully sourced excellent essentials.
  • ISTO.: Luxury essentials made affordable.

4. Unique European Mix & Craftsmanship:

  • CLOSED: A fusion of German tradition, French imagination, and Italian craftsmanship. They offer unique clothing for both men and women.

5. Modern Gentleman & Contemporary Luxury:

  • Collars & Co.: Outfits the aspiring modern gentleman with a mix of timeless style, contemporary luxury, and creative innovation.
  • Hamilton & Hare: Offers items made from premium natural fabrics, made with care in Europe.
  • JAK: Specializes in Portuguese leather sneakers.

6. Eco-friendly & Sustainable:

  • Somewhere Sunny: An eco-friendly sun wear brand that crafts swimming trunks from recycled ocean-bound plastic.

7. Watches & Jewellery:

  • Waldor & Co.: A Swedish label specialized in crafting contemporary watches and jewellery.

8. Contemporary Menswear:

  • Wax London: Provides quality, contemporary menswear.

Capsule Wardrobe Examples

1. Minimalist

  • Tops: White tee, black tee, light blue button-down, charcoal gray sweater.
  • Bottoms: Black slim-fit jeans, gray chinos, navy tailored shorts.
  • Outerwear: Black minimalist bomber jacket, gray wool overcoat.
  • Shoes: White leather sneakers, black leather Chelsea boots.
  • Accessories: Black leather belt, simple silver watch.

2. Streetwear

  • Tops: Graphic tee, oversized hoodie, flannel shirt, ribbed tank top.
  • Bottoms: Ripped jeans, joggers, cargo pants.
  • Outerwear: Denim jacket, camo print bomber.
  • Shoes: High-top sneakers, combat boots.
  • Accessories: Beanie, chunky gold chain, backpack.

3. Preppy

  • Tops: Polo shirt, striped tee, Oxford button-down, cable-knit sweater.
  • Bottoms: Chino shorts, khaki trousers, navy slacks.
  • Outerwear: Navy blazer, tan trench coat.
  • Shoes: Brown loafers, white canvas sneakers.
  • Accessories: Leather braided belt, aviator sunglasses, silk tie.

4. Bohemian

  • Tops: Linen shirt, graphic band tee, henley shirt.
  • Bottoms: Linen pants, distressed jeans, drawstring shorts.
  • Outerwear: Fringed suede jacket, patterned kimono.
  • Shoes: Espadrilles, leather sandals.
  • Accessories: Beaded necklace, woven hat, leather wristband.

5. Athleisure

  • Tops: Performance tee, zip-up hoodie, muscle tank.
  • Bottoms: Joggers, athletic shorts, compression leggings.
  • Outerwear: Windbreaker, fleece jacket.
  • Shoes: Running sneakers, slide sandals.
  • Accessories: Baseball cap, sports watch, gym bag.

6. Business Casual

  • Tops: White dress shirt, pastel button-down, v-neck sweater.
  • Bottoms: Navy dress pants, gray chinos, brown trousers.
  • Outerwear: Structured blazer, lightweight cardigan.
  • Shoes: Black oxfords, brown brogues.
  • Accessories: Silk tie, leather messenger bag, cufflinks.

7. Rugged/Outdoor

  • Tops: Plaid flannel, thermal long-sleeve, graphic nature tee.
  • Bottoms: Cargo pants, denim jeans, durable shorts.
  • Outerwear: Field jacket, quilted vest.
  • Shoes: Hiking boots, trail sneakers.
  • Accessories: Trucker hat, leather gloves, canvas duffle.

8. Vintage/Retro

  • Tops: Ringer tee, bowling shirt, retro patterned button-down.
  • Bottoms: High-waisted trousers, cuffed jeans, tailored shorts.
  • Outerwear: Tweed jacket, 70s leather jacket.
  • Shoes: Penny loafers, retro sneakers.
  • Accessories: Fedora, pocket square, suspenders.