In my last article I wrote about how I regained some control over my exploding wardrobe. In this article I will explain how I build the foundation of my current wardrobe and how I add pieces.
Now a small disclaimer, as already mentioned in the other article, for a lot of people a capsule wardrobe is synonymous with less is more and try and build a wardrobe with a small number of items. That isn’t what I strive for.
My wardrobe is far from minimal in numbers, but this approach has helped create my own personal style.
Creating the foundation of your wardrobe
Rebuilding your wardrobe from scratch can be a costly exercise. If you have the budget for it by all means go for it, but let’s be smart and save some cash for investments in quality. Smart as we are we are going to use your current wardrobe to build your new wardrobe.
Step 1: Make a list of all items you want to be part of your wardrobe
Creating a list will help in two ways:
- It will help you decided which items of your current wardrobe stay and which ones can go out
- The list will help to create your second list: My shopping list and it keeps me on track when buying new pieces.
To create the list I have a few criteria I use:
- Colour: My base colours are white, black, grey and blue.
- Seasonal: Seasonal items can be a clothing piece that has a specific colour for the season (think brown tones in fall) or is a piece you wear in a particular season but aren’t a part of your foundation rotation (no the best idea to wear an overshirt mid winter)
- Smart / Casual: I need to be able to create a smart and casual look to accommodate my personal and work life (although I excluded dress shirts and suits from the list).
- What’s that smell? For some items you want a buffer, you don’t want to wear a T-shirt twice in a row as they can get smelly quickly.
- Accessories don’t count: Accessories are a great way to change the look and feel of your outfit. Personally I love a good watch and a clean bracelet and that’s it for me, but use these to get creative!
Step 2: The list and the cleanout!
This is the list that I created before I jumped in my closet and started to clean it out.
These T-shirts I would wear on a pair of jeans, shorts, trousers
- 2x White tee’s: 1x plain and 1 playful
- 2x Navy tee’s: 1x plain and 1x playful
- 2x Grey tone Tee’s: 1x plain and 1x playful
- 2x seasonal rotation: 1x Breton stripes x 1 season colour
For an extra layer under your shirts or sweats
- 4x White
- 2x Navy
- 1x Black
- 1x Grey
We all need a good sweater!
- 2x Navy sweaters: 1x plain and 1x playful
- 2x Grey tone sweaters: 1x plain and 1x playful
- 2x rotation sweaters: Seasonal colour or a statement piece
I prefer Zip hoodies as it’s a bit more versatile and handier in my opinion but you can go either way
- 1x Navy Hoodie
- 1x Grey Hoodie
Such a versatile piece!
- 1x White
- 1x Denim
I love knits, but chunky knits make me feel chunky :s and Cashmere, I am way to clumsy so Merino is my go to. I also like to go for crew neck and a polo version
- 2x Navy knits: 1x crewneck and 1x Polo
- 2x Grey tone knits: 1x crewneck and 1x Polo
- 2x Oatmeal knits: 1x crewneck and 1x Polo
- 1x seasonal colour: either crew or polo
I’m always a bit mixed on long sleeves but I have two in my rotation which do get used in spring time or under a suit every now and then
- 1x Striped version
- 1x statement colour
I used to live in jeans but trousers are my go to now.
- 1x Light blue:
- 1x Grey tone
- 1x Black :
- 1x Dark denim (raw)
A staple in every man his wardrobe.
- 1x Navy
- 1x Olive
- 1x Sand
- 1x black
As said I have excluded my suits so those pants don’t count. I keep it pretty basic here
- 3x Navy knits: 1x plain, 1x flannel for the winter and 1x with stripes or check
- 3x Grey tone: 1x plain, 1x flannel for the winter and 1x with stripes or check. With grey I also like to play with the grey tone.
- 1x Black: Everyone needs a black trouser
For those lovey summer days we need some shorts. Although handy I’m getting rid of the cargo shorts.
- 2x Navy
- 1x Olive
- 2x Sand
- 1x black
Now sneaker are my addiction… So I have more than listed, but this is what I recommend
- 1x pair of black dress shoes
- 1x pair of Brown dress shoes
- 2x pair of white sneakers: 1x minimal and 1x sporty
- 1x pair of black sneakers
- 2x pair of Canvas sneaker: 1x white and 1x black
- 1x statement piece
Pieces for all seasons to keep you warm!
- 1x Parka in navy
- 2x Mac’s: 1x navy and 1x camel
- 2x Overcoat’s: 1x navy and 1x grey
- 1x Denim jacket
- 1x Leather jacket: I have a dark navy one but would go black
- 1 location based piece: For instance a raincoat if you need that in your area or an additional casual jacket like a bomber.
Now that you have created your list, go through your closet and get the clothes out that aren’t on your list. I personally either try and sell them on Depop or United Wardrobe or give them away. If you are a bit scared of getting rid of the clothes all at once, then I would advise you to but them in your attic or somewhere you won’t be grabbing them easily for a month, and I not used or missed get rid of them after that month.
Step 3: Extending on your foundation
[/col] I used the above list to create my shopping list which I store on my mobile phone. I have highlighted what I need, or which piece needs to be replaced. Based on the season, the state of my wardrobe for that season, I prioritize what to buy.
So last summer my summer wardrobe was fine, and I bought winter pieces in sale. Great way to get some quality pieces on the cheap.
Well that is how I started rebuilding my own wardrobe. Far from minimal with 72 items but also not too much. Not all pieces are in my possession yet (still need to get a Denim jacket) so I am also still on my journey, but the above really has helped me refine my style and keep a focus on what I need without getting an exploding closet again.
In the near future I am looking at getting some additional colours in the closet to switch things up a bit, but I don’t want to add more than 8 items. Stay tuned for the next post around my wardrobe where I will share some of my favorite brands per item.
Thanks for reading!