How to Build Your Spring Capsule Wardrobe

Worldwide, fashion is a $2.5 trillion industry with constantly rotating trends. This causes the average American to produce an average of 82 pounds of textile waste each year. In order to combat the constant change of fashion trends, the idea of capsule wardrobes was brought to life by Susie Faux in 1970. However, the idea didn’t go mainstream until designer Donna Karan created a capsule collection in 1985 called “Seven Easy Pieces.” Capsule wardrobes are designed to transcend seasons, trends, and decades by focusing on staple items. This allows consumers to ditch fast fashion and pare their wardrobe down to basics that fit well and get worn. 


Most capsule wardrobes are categorized by season; winter, spring, summer, and fall. It’s recommended to have around 20 items for each capsule wardrobe. These pieces should be a mix of tops, bottoms, shoes, dresses, and accessories.

When thinking of creating your own capsule wardrobe, begin with the popular 10 x 10 Style Challenge, created by Style Bee. It is an exercise designed to help individuals get creative with their wardrobe choices and be comfortable with re-wearing pieces more often. The challenge includes choosing 10 staple items to wear over a 10-day period, from work to play. The beginner’s formula for the ten items to include is listed below.

  • 2 Pairs of Shoes
  • 4 Tops (Consider pieces that layer well)
  • 1 Dress
  • 2 Bottoms
  • 1 Top Layer (Such as a cute jacket)
These items were curated from Goodwill of Central Iowa stores and ShopGoodwill.com

 It’s important to note that you can choose as many accessories as you want to pair with the outfits. When selecting the items for each category, you may want to prioritize neutral tones, so each piece matches well with the others. You can add in accessories that emphasize your style, without taking away from one of your ten coveted pieces. Accessories may include earrings, purses, and necklaces. Once you’ve mastered the 10 x 10 Style Challenge, you will be ready to take on a seasonal capsule wardrobe!

When creating your own capsule wardrobe, remember that it’s not one-size-fits-all. The clothing needed in a business-attire focused wardrobe differs from someone who works from home. Pick the items that will work best for your lifestyle! 

As you pare down your wardrobe, consider adding extra life to your discarded pieces by donating them to your local Goodwill. Not only will the clothes gain extra life, but you help fuel Goodwill of Central Iowa’s mission. 

If you are seeking to add specific items to build your spring capsule wardrobe, you can shop 24/7 at ShopGoodwill.com/DesMoines!

You Donate. We Train. Jobs Earned. Lives Changed.

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