How to Build a Men’s Capsule Wardrobe

Capsule Wardrobe

We’ve all been through phases where we feel like even though we have a mountain of clothes, we have nothing to wear. Whether you want to wear a simple black number but the blacks are two different shades, or if you feel like nothing matches – no matter how many combinations you try, we all routinely pick faults with our capsule wardrobes.

This is because most of us buy a lot of statement or standalone pieces that are the focal point of an outfit, and few people actually invest – or see the value in – basic pieces that can be layered.

There are so many tutorials on how women can build the perfect capsule wardrobe, encompassing every staple item like an LBD or a neutral blazer, but there aren’t so many options for men. We’ve put together our own guide on how men can build a versatile capsule wardrobe that will give them everything they need to look stylish and perfectly dressed for every occasion.

1. Start Top-Down

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First, we need to establish an order and think about each element individually. It’s a good idea to start from the top down, leaving out accessories for the time being. In terms of tops, it’s a good idea to have two or three options for each style.

This means having three suit shirts, three basic t-shirts, three long-sleeve t-shirts, three jumpers, and three jackets/coats. This will give you staple options that can be layered for every occasion.

Next, think about bottoms. Three pairs of tailored trousers, three pairs of shorts, three pairs of jeans, and three pairs of chinos is a good place to start. This should cover all scenarios and styles.

Shoes are their own entity. You should always have a pair of trainers, sandals, boots, and brogues/formal shoes. These are a good place to start, and you can always build up your shoe collection at a later date, but as a base, have a pair to suit every outfit.

2. Consider Colors


Next, you need to be thinking about colors. Capsule wardrobes should be neutral in tone, so every item we’ve mentioned above should ideally be in neutral tones. For T-shirts, think about white, gray, and black as a base. For trousers, Navy, stone, and black are good options, or you could throw in a gray option, too.

When layering your staple items, remember to always wear lighter colors underneath and heavier items on top. For example, you could pair your stone chinos with white trainers, a white T-shirt, and a gray jacket.

3. Accessories

Once you’ve built up the foundations of your outfit, you can then start to think about accessories. Every fashionable man should have men’s bracelets, rings, cufflinks, watches, belts, and winterwear as a starting point. You don’t necessarily need oodles of each, but at least one will see you through.

For metalware, make sure you’re matching the colors. This means not mixing silver or gold. If you have different metalware preferences, it’s worth buying one of each accessory in different colors.

Other accessories worth investing in include a holdall and a card holder. You might also want to think about different colors and styles of socks to suit the various types of shoes mentioned above. Finally, don’t forget swimwear!


That’s it! A capsule wardrobe is all about staples and basics, meaning it’s very easy to build one up from scratch. That’s not to say you need to live without your statement pieces – everyone likes a bold sweatshirt or flamboyant going-out shirt, but when you have a capsule wardrobe, you’ll have a solid base you can use time and again.

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