Updated: Mar 21
A minimalist capsule wardrobe is a collection of classic pieces that work together with versatility, allowing you to create look after look with just a few items.
As mentioned in our trend piece about the interaplay between minimalism and fashion, minimalism is not a radical lifestyle. Minimalism is a tool that any individual can use to prioritize essential aspects of life and thus live a meaningful life - a life filled with positivity, autonomy, and focus. By stripping away many of life’s excesses and distractions, minimalism is a way to focus on the important parts of life: relationships, health, passions, improvement, and philanthropy.
A foundational styling tool for any occasion, a capsule wardrobe consists of your most essential clothing items, which serve as the building blocks of your closet. You can create entire styles and looks with just a minimalist capsule wardrobe, and you can also layer capsule pieces with seasonal pieces and select fast-fashion items.
How Minimalism Promotes Wardrobe Versatility
A capsule wardrobe is designed to be concise. There is no fat.
A capsule wardrobe is, in essence, minimalist, which means every piece unlocks a duality for you as the wearer.
A proper minimalist clothing collection, or a minimalist capsule wardrobe, contains everything an individual needs - and nothing he doesn’t. No dead weight, no trends, just time-honoured essentials that can always be relied on.
While every minimalist capsule wardrobe is different and should reflect a unique personality, there are foundational basic pieces that each wardrobe should contain:
Try a black, a white, a navy blue, and a light blue for your minimalist capsule wardrobe. As soon as you start to feel comfortable with your capsule wardrobe, layer on other colors, prints, and textures. Whether you prefer Oxford shirts or button-down shirts, make sure they fit you perfectly.
No minimalist wardrobe is complete without a versatile piece of knitwear to adapt to various climates. Knitwear is a foundational piece of your capsule wardrobe, especially for the colder months. Choose something cozy in a neutral color, like camel, cream, beige, gray, or black. You only need one or two pieces of knitwear, maximum.
Because this is a minimalist capsule wardrobe, keep these T-shirts very simple. A crewneck is a classic option. Choose neutral colors, like black, white, brown, gray, and blue. A simple white T-shirt can be dressed up or down to work with almost anything in your closet. A solid assortment of well-made T-shirts is the backbone of any good casual wardrobe.
First and foremost, white shoes. The white sneaker pairs with just about every outfit you could possibly imagine - yes, even that suit.
Crew Neck Sweatshirt
Look for something that fits well in the shoulders and has a relatively slim cut. Gray, navy, and black are fail-safe hues that’ll never go out of style in any minimalist capsule wardrobe.
Denim trends come and go, but a good pair of slim-fit jeans is eternal. Black, dark blue, and mid-blue jeans will never go out of style. For maximum versatility, go for a dark wash.
Investing into Minimalist Garments
Just like every team and organization needs a strong leader, every minimalist capsule wardrobe needs a few investment pieces. But tread carefully: these will be among the more expensive items that you’ll buy, so it is critical to ensure that you are investing into pieces that will actually hold their value and integrate with your lifestyle.
An overcoat is a minimalist classic. It is a versatile piece, and if you purchase well, it can be a garment that you hand down to your children and even their children after them. Wool is the obvious choice fabric-wise, as is camel in terms of color. Perfected with fine tailoring, but also ideal for dressing casual outfits up, the overcoat is at the bedrock of any minimalist capsule wardrobe. Make sure to check our written series on overcoats to learn everything you need to know about the classical wool overcoat that is a stable of any minimalist capsule wardobe.
A foundational black suit is an essential piece that every gentleman must always have in his closet. We recommend that the suit is tailored so that it fits perfectly, and that a simple, classic style is chosen such that it will last for decades. Separating the components of your suit allows for more versatility; for instance, you can wear the blazer over a T-shirt and jeans for a look that is more laid-back than business-casual. The strategy offers countless permutations for your minimalist capsule wardrobe.
To complete your minimalist capsule wardrobe, it is essential to select the optimal footwear. Stick with very neutral colors: black, brown, and white. If you want to dress up your look, go for something black: a Chelsea boot, an Oxford, a brogue, or another type of dress shoe. For every conceivable formal occasion, a pair of well-made Oxford shoes is your best friend. You never know when you're going to have to dress up a little bit more, and the right shoe makes all the difference with an outfit.
The cashmere sweater is a highly versatile garment that can and should play a central role in your minimalist capsule wardrobe. What makes this particular garment so excellent? It is made from an unusually fine-gauge cashmere, which makes it a great intermediate layer during winter. Specifically, a properly crafted versatile piece of knitwear will exude warmth, comfort, and sophistication all in one.
Selecting Accessories and Finishing Pieces
We should consider a minimalist capsule wardrobe that contains the items that have been mentioned in this guide to complete a self-contained, and endlessly versatile fashion repository that will last you for years. However, it should not necessarily be considered your entire wardrobe - not yet, at any rate.
The final step is to put your own final touches on the accessories and finishing pieces that comprise your minimalist capsule wardrobe.
While it is important to select a belt that is functional, you should not compromise your personal style. For your minimalist capsule wardrobe, choose a simple yet fashionable piece. A slim belt doesn't look like a corporate belt, and it can make a whole outfit look polished.
There’s no shortage of tailoring accessories, but with minimalism in mind, the most important is a tie. Ideally, you should have a few in different colors and patterns, but always favor quality over quantity.
A capsule wardrobe serves as a foundation of timeless pieces and a space to contribute your own unique ideas. Any pocket squares, watches, scarves, and glasses that you’d like to add to the outfits you create will add an air of uniqueness and flare. Pieces of jewelry can make an excellent accessory additions as well: rings, glasses, chains, even bracelets. Make it your own and impress everyone in a tasteful, sophisticated manner.
The Bottom Line
Curating a minimalist capsule will make sure you always look your best. Whether it’s impressing on a first date or nailing that promotion, it’s important to bring your A-game and show up in style. The minimalist capsule wardrobe represents versatility, simplicity, longevity, and efficiency, and will ensure that you always put your best foot forward and look sharp.
At Kahana, we live and breathe content creation. We love learning new concepts, exploring emergent trends, and writing about topics that foster creativity and wellness. If you're interested in writing with us or would like to collaborate for your dream business blog, we'd love to hear from you!