How to create a dress based capsule wardrobe and save time in the morning

You've heard about capsule wardrobes, but do you know what a dress-based capsule wardrobe is? It's a small wardrobe built around dresses that cover several different functions from work to fun. 

Does that sound crazy to you? It did to me at first, but then I spent several years building my own dress-based capsule wardrobe, and now I can't imagine going back to a regular wardrobe. 

There are several benefits of a dress-based wardrobe, but the most important one is this: it reduce the time and effort spent on putting together an outfit. Because the top and the bottom always match (duh.)

Here is my all-season wardrobe as of March 2017:

Not pictured: underwear, tights, leggings, sleepwear and socks

Not pictured: underwear, tights, leggings, sleepwear and socks

Yes, I realize that my wardrobe is a little extreme. I can function with such a limited wardrobe partially because I work from home. But my wardrobe also covers a wide range of activities from moderate hiking to attending a classical music concert. 

So are you starting to get interested in creating your own dress-based capsule wardrobe? Let's look at a couple of examples. 


Business casual


So, this example is for someone who has the traditional 9-to-5 (or more like 8-6 nowadays...) office job. 

  • Choose a similar silhouette. All of the dresses have an "I" line which limits the style of tops, but it also means one top goes with the majority of your dresses, making mixing and matching easier when you're pressed for time. 

  • Choose the core color for your dresses. Mine is mainly black, but you could also choose other neutrals such as ivory, cream, gray, navy, tan, khaki or even red. Think of the dresses as your blank canvas on which you can add different elements to complete your outfit (or leave it as is for a minimalistic effect.)

  • Wear the dresses on their own during the warm season and with a layer during the cold season. 

  • If you want to change things up, do it with accessories such as scarves and belts. 

  • Don't invest in an expensive piece while you're still building your wardrobe. 





Here is an example that can potentially cover office to trail, weekdays and weekends. 

  • No-sleeve dresses can be worn on their own on beaches and trails. Wear them with a pair of Capri leggings and a cardigan to the office. 

  • Sweater dresses make fall and winter dressing in the morning super easy! Just roll out of the bed, and put one on without even looking.

  • Again, sticking to a similar colour scheme makes shopping and dressing easier. 

Last but not least

Are you uneasy with the idea of wearing the same thing all the time? The thing is, though, people don't look at your outfit all that much. Can you remember what your colleagues were wearing a couple of days ago? I didn't think so. 

Also, I don't recommend jumping into a brand new wardrobe. You should start with paring down your existing wardrobe and slowly add pieces and experiment what works and what doesn't. 

That's it for today! Comment if you have any question.