8 essential pieces to build the ultimate capsule wardrobe

What is a capsule wardrobe and why should I build one?

There’s a couple of “capsule” stuff gaining popularity these past few months—and nope, we don’t mean the medicine. Ever heard of a capsule wardrobe?

Before we talk about it though, do us a favor and stand by your closet right now. Count the number of shirts, pants (including skirts and shorts, if any), shoes and bags you have. How many of those do you actually use? LOL, we bet you didn’t even know you own half of it until now.

That, folks, is precisely the purpose of a capsule wardrobe—giving your closet a good detox, getting rid of those you don’t really use (here’s an idea: donate them!) and choosing clothes that will last you years. While fashion stylist Charlotte Warburton says you need 27 wardrobe staples to build one, we don’t exactly need winter clothes in the country so let’s do it the Filipino way. Here’s what you’ll need.

Basic tee

A plain T-shirt should never be allowed to leave your wardrobe, capsule or not. It’s an easy throw-on-and-go piece, especially on days you don’t feel like dressing up.

Capsule wardrobe essential: basic tee
Assorted Basic T-shirts from Blued

There’s a lot you can do with it. You can wear it as is (on hot days) or as a base layer for a cute jacket (on rainy days). Going for a cropped look? Tie a knot. Feeling retro? Tuck it into high-rise bell bottoms. The options are endless.

Long sleeves

Capsule wardrobe essential: long-sleeved shirt
Long-Sleeved Top with Rose Print from American Boulevard

It provides the same styling privileges as your T-shirts—except it has longer sleeves (thanks, Captain Obvious!) and you won’t need outerwear for it… well unless you’re really cold.


Capsule wardrobe essential: denim
90s Boyfriend Denim Shorts from American Eagle

Think about this carefully: Do you prefer shorts, skirt or pants? Choose two out of these three and include both in your capsule wardrobe. Just make sure the designs aren’t too over the top and are versatile enough to be worn on various occasions, casual or formal.


Capsule wardrobe essential: white platform sneakers
E-Tribeka Platform Shoes from DC

If you really want to commit to a capsule wardrobe, be ready to choose comfort over design any day. A pair of white sneakers is your best option as it is versatile, breathable and suitable for long walks. You can wear them with trousers, shorts or casual (sometimes even formal) dresses. 


Capsule wardrobe essential: sandals
Tacoma Brown Sandals from World Balance

Sure, running shoes and sneakers are breathable but sandals are way easier. And it’s a great option for when you’re going out to walk your dog or run some grocery errands. It’s arguably the most casual pair of shoes you’ll have in your wardrobe.


Authentic Original Lug Loafer Leather from Sperry Top-Sider

Of course, you need something to wear to dressier events. Leather loafers are a good choice, especially if you aren’t too fond of heels and stilettos. This loafer from Sperry is a contemporary and sophisticated slip-on with a lugged outsole for a more modern take on iconic A/O styling. It’s made of premium leather uppers and lightweight EVA Lug outsole for all-day comfort with rubber pods for enhanced traction. Plus, they’re quite durable and very easy to clean!


We know, backpacks are… bulky. But come to think of it, it’s the comfiest bag you could ever wish for. You can avoid back pain as it doesn’t pull on just one side of your body. It also has several compartments to ensure your things stay organized no matter how much you move—making it perfect for traveling.

Capsule wardrobe essential: tote
PEG Water Repellent 10 Pockets 2-Way Tote Backpack from Anello

Anello has sling bags and body bags too, in case you want to add a smaller bag or two to your wardrobe.

Shoulder bag

Capsule wardrobe essential: shoulder bag
ZIRCON M Shoulder Bag from Bratpack

As usual, this one’s meant for dressy/business affairs. It is the perfect size to carry all your essentials: makeup, phone and office documents (if it’s for business). It can even fit a pair of sandals if you decide to bring something to change into once the event ends. 

Now that you’ve got the staples out of the way, what should you do next? Easy. Make it a habit to come up with good clothing combinations every day using your new capsule wardrobe items. Keep those creative juices flowing. Good luck!

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