7 steps to build a classic style capsule wardrobe

This is the title picture of the article about building a classic style capsule wardrobe.

A timeless aesthetic combined with elegant and simple attire. To create your classic style capsule wardrobe, follow specific steps to simplify the process.

Therefore, we have a list of 7 tips to follow in the precise order to build your classic capsule wardrobe.

1. Define your style

As a first step, you will want to define the style you will want to appear in. Ask yourself: What do I like to wear the most? Which direction do I want my style to go in?

These questions, even if they might seem silly, will help you a lot in defining your future classic style capsule wardrobe. Maybe, you also find that your destined style is the preppy style or old money style.

If you are still not sure, look at where you find the style you want. Instagram influencers, as well as TikTok, and Pinterest, are great sources you will find lots of inspiration. Also, you can browse through this website.

Consider your personal preferences when making your decision. If you are a very active person, opt for a sportier classic style. If you need to wear lots of formal clothes, try to opt for that direction.

Generally speaking, it is very important to determine which specific style you will want to represent, making it your own. Once you have set this foundation, the following steps will be a lot easier for you.

If you’re looking for additional inspiration regarding classic styles to draw ideas from, consider reading this article about the 5 types of classic style.

Here, you can see a woman wearing a classic outfit consisting of boots, skinny jeans, a sweater, and a simple coat.

2. Inventory your current wardrobe

As a next step, you will want to look at your current wardrobe. Do you have some sort of stuff in your wardrobe already matching the style you want to achieve? Hopefully. This will make things a lot easier.

Try to find at least 5 garments in your current closet that really define your style and the classic style you will want to achieve. Also, see if you can come up with great ways to complement them. Maybe, you will find more garments on your journey there. If not, it is totally okay as this article will help you find garments to put together your classic style capsule wardrobe.

The hardest part really is done there.

3. Choose a color palette

For your classic style capsule wardrobe, there will be many options regarding colors, mostly neutral ones though. For a timeless style with lots of opportunities to mix and match different garments, you will want to do it elegant and…classic.

This picture shows my button-down shirts considered crucial components of a classic style capsule wardrobe.

Therefore, opt for neutral tones! Perfect colors here are:

  • White
  • Black
  • Grey
  • Navy
  • Brown
  • Forest Green
  • Beige

These colors can be mixed and matched with almost any color there is. Sure, you can implement some more colorful tones from time to time, but keep it simple nevertheless.

When it comes to prints and patterns, it’s best to keep it minimal. Classic choices include checks and stripes, and a touch of embroidery can also capture the essence of this style effectively. Anything more elaborate is less typical, but if you do wish to incorporate it, aim for simplicity.

4. Identify your core wardrobe staples

I already did this in step two, you might tell yourself. Well, not exactly. With the garments from your wardrobe as well as the knowledge of colors, you can now look out for clothes matching your destined classic style.

You can find significant inspiration here by looking to influencers, magazines, or exploring this website. I highly recommend checking out my article on 12 classic style outfits for both men and women.

To get a a more concise list, the following garments will make a great classic style capsule wardrobe.

For men:

  • Suit
  • Blazer
  • Crisp white T-shirt
  • Turtleneck sweater
  • Wool sweater
  • Crewneck sweater
  • Polo shirt
  • Linen shirt
  • Dress shirt
  • Tailored pants
  • Chinos
  • Jeans
  • Pea coat
  • Trench coat
  • Varsity jacket
A man wears a urban classic outfit: He wears a pair of chinos, a T-shirt, and a blazer on top.

For women, opt for:

  • Blouse
  • Blazer
  • Simple top
  • Dress shirt
  • Simple T-shirt
  • Turtleneck jumper
  • Little black dress
  • Floral dress
  • Midi skirt
  • A-line skirt
  • Shorts
  • Chinos
  • Tailored pants
  • Trench coat
  • Pea coat
  • Bomber jacket

These garments will make up most of the classic style. If you want to change your appearance a little, feel free to opt for different garments though. At least try to have 12-15 items in your wardrobe after your shopping spree.

5. Go shopping…with a plan

With that list of garments, pick out as many as your purse will let you; make a plan, and you are free to go on a shopping spree. The key here is to stick to the plan and choose only the items you need. Do not let yourself get dragged away by all these other special offers and trendy garments. Stick to classic and timeless options for the best appearance in any situation.

To make that decision a little easier, shop at brands renowned for their classic style. Some brands include Club Monaco, Everlane, and J. Crew.

To discover a wider range of classic brands and boutiques, I suggest reading this article featuring 17 of them.

While you’re on your shopping trip, try to remind yourself of some things. Ensure you prioritize quality to enhance your outfit. Furthermore, consider adopting a more form-fitting silhouette

Additionally, keep an eye out for a variety of fabrics, with options like wool, cotton, cashmere, and linenserving as excellent starting points. Most importantly: Enjoy your shopping experience and get help from the sales associates as they can offer valuable styling advice.

Here, you can see four shopping bags representing the shopping spree of your classic style capsule wardrobe.

6. Mix and match with current clothes

Once you’re done with getting all the necessary clothes, it is time for the practical part. Now, you will want to mix and match these clothes with your current staples. By doing this, you will have a secure start as you still have some old clothes you really like to pair with those new classic ones.

Just try to create outfits according to the ones you’ve seen online. Also, you can create a lot of texture by layering and mixing different fabrics together. Try it a little more conservatively at first. If you feel comfortable in what you’re doing, go ahead and incorporate more items into your style.

Additionally, you may add some classic shoes like boots, loafers, or elegant sneakers. You can also wear your current shoes as long as they are held simple with no extraordinary colors.

So, there you have it: a full-on classic style capsule wardrobe in 6 easy steps. 

7. Accessorize properly

This watch comes with a mesh metal wristband in silver.
This watch comes with a brown leather strap and a white dial.

To round up your classic style outfits, try to accessorize accordingly. Therefore, you will want to pick timeless pieces like a watch a leather belt, some jewelry, sunglasses, and a classic purse. Try to incorporate 3 items at most, so you don’t look sloppy.

If you want to know more about classic-style accessories, check out my full-on guide about them here.

Consider accessorizing in line with the occasion, ensuring that your accessories complement your outfit rather than haphazardly selecting items. If you currently lack suitable accessories, you can explore the previously mentioned retailers, where you’ll discover basic accessories available at affordable prices.

Now, go ahead and style your classic capsule wardrobe for versatile and timeless looks.


As you can see from this article, building a classic style capsule wardrobe is not as hard as it seems. Try to focus on the main parts described in this article and you will have a great foundation for any further garments to come.

Also, the number of 12-15 garments is just the starting point as you will want to progressively add new things to it and let go of worn-out things.

As you become more comfortable with this style, consider adding your unique details to stand out from others. Most importantly though: Have fun going on this journey and enjoy the process!

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