capsule minimalist wardrobe for men

How to build a capsule wardrobe for men – 2023

by Dylan Baker
Updated on

Do you have too many pieces in your wardrobe but still find it difficult to construct outfits out of them?


Do you hate your current wardrobe and want to build a new one from scratch?

well, we are here to your rescue. We will tell you how exactly you can build your very own capsule or minimalist wardrobe.

You don’t need dozens of pieces to look good all you need is a simple, solid wardrobe that covers all the basics.

Whether you want to start a fresh new wardrobe on a budget or you are someone who hates shopping and need a simple wardrobe that doesn’t need a lot of time to build and can last you for years, we’ve got you covered

what is a capsule wardrobe?

capsule wardrobe for men. minimalist wardrobe for men

A capsule wardrobe is a simple wardrobe that contains just the essential pieces, it contains a small number of pieces that you can use to make multiple different outfits for all sorts of different occasions.

It is ideal for people who are either on a budget and don’t want to spend a lot on their wardrobe but still want to look great or for people who just don’t like shopping or maybe for people who need simplicity in their lives.

Either way, a minimalist wardrobe is a great foundation for a stylish wardrobe.

Once you have got your capsule wardrobe in place you can just mix and match the pieces to form multiple different outfits and over time you can keep adding pieces to it to form the ultimate wardrobe.

Things to consider while making your capsule or minimalist wardrobe

capsule wardrobe to me means simple, clutter-free, and versatile.

A minimalist wardrobe needs to be as uncomplicated and simple as possible. Your goal should be to minimize the number of pieces that you have in your wardrobe which means while buying any piece you will have to look at the wardrobe as a whole instead of just looking at every piece individually.

Before buying any piece of clothing, think of how versatile it is and how well it fits with the other pieces in your wardrobe.

Think of a capsule wardrobe as a puzzle consisting of multiple smaller pieces where each piece has to fit well with the other pieces.

Classic style over latest trends

capsule wardrobe for men. minimalist wardrobe for men

I am a huge fan of classic men’s fashion and always advise people to pick timeless pieces over trendy options.

Having a few trendy pieces in your wardrobe is great but when it comes to building a capsule or minimalist wardrobe where you are trying to minimize the number of pieces in your wardrobe I would definitely suggest you avoid all the latest fads and go with the classic pieces of clothing.

Classic style pieces will not only remain in style for years or even decades to come but they are also way more versatile than any of the trendy options.

colors and patterns

capsule wardrobe for men. minimalist wardrobe for men.

Again, we want our clothes to be as versatile as possible which means we should avoid colors that are too saturated or too vibrant and should instead go for more muted or neutral color options

The same goes for patterns and designs, try to pick solids over patterns and graphics. But you can have a few pieces with patterns to elevate your wardrobe a bit.

You should start with basic colors like black, white and grey and then you can move on to colors like navy, maroon, tan, olive green and you should avoid colors like bright red or green


capsule wardrobe for men. minimalist wardrobe for men

The fit of your clothes can make or break your entire outfit.

While building a minimalist wardrobe you should avoid clothes that are either too loose or too tight and go for a more neutral fit.

Instead of buying baggy or long-cut T-shirts, you should go with a regular cut, well-fitted t-shirt.

Similarly instead of buying skinny fit or baggy jeans or trousers you should for slim fit pants

Individual style and needs

Final thing to consider before building your capsule is to understand your personal style and needs.

There is no single wardrobe that would work for everyone. Everyone has their own style and everyone has different needs and you should consider it before you start building your own wardrobe.

There are multiple things that change from individual to individual, your age, the place where you live, your physique, and your style preference all plays a role when you are building a wardrobe.

If you live in a hot climate then you don’t need overcoats or multiple jackets, if you are a professional who mostly wears suits and shirts then you probably don’t need sneakers.

You need to look into your lifestyle and style preferences before you start building your wardrobe.

Our picks for a capsule wardrobe

Top Wear


white buttondown

Every man needs at least one white buttondown in his wardrobe.

You can wear it with a suit or wear it with jeans for a casual look. It looks great, it is easy to style and most importantly it is extremely versatile.



Another must-have shirt to have in your wardrobe is a flannel.

You can use it in multiple different ways, you can use it for layering or wear it with jeans for a simple outfit.

I would definitely suggest you have at least one flannel in your wardrobe.



Once you have the solid shirts in your wardrobe, depending on your style preference and need you can move onto patterned shirts.

Checks, stripes or floral, full sleeve or half sleeve, you can go with whatever you like.



White crew neck

This one is a staple for every men’s wardrobe.

You definitely need one good white T-shirt irrespective of your style preferences or body type etc.

If you are someone who usually dresses casually then you should probably have multiple of these.


Black crew neck

Similar to the white t-shirt you also need to have a solid black crew neck in your wardrobe.

It’s extremely easy to style, super versatile, and definitely a must-have in every wardrobe.



Once you have got yourself the solid black and white t-shirts then you can consider adding a henley to your wardrobe.

It is an optional piece but definitely a great add-on that you must consider adding to your wardrobe.


pattern T-shirt(optional)

After the basics, it’s time for some style pieces that make your wardrobe stand out.

Again the pattern could be anything of your choice be it floral stripes or graphics.

If you are a classic fashion purist then you can skip this one, although I highly recommend having at least one patterned t-shirt in your collection.



Leather jacket

the leather jacket is a staple of classic men’s fashion.

It makes you look masculine and stylish.

You can pair it easily with both casual and formal outfits.

Go for a black or dark brown leather jacket as they are two timeless colors and will always remain in style.


denim jacket

You can also check out our article on denim jackets to find different ways you can style a denim jacket.

Denim jackets are in trend for more than a couple of years now.

It has been around for decades and will definitely remain stylish for years to come.

It is a great piece to have in your wardrobe, considering how versatile this jacket is.


bomber jacket

Bomber jackets are one of my favorite jackets because they are extremely easy to style and can elevate a simple outfit instantly without much effort.

It is a great add-on to your collection.

They go really well with t-shirts and jeans and make for a killer weekend or nighttime outfit.



If you live in a cold climate then this is a very important piece for you.

Having a good overcoat is a must for people living in colder places.

You can go for a simple solid overcoat or maybe even try some with checks but avoid anything with too much pattern or color to it.


puffer jacket(optional)

Puffer jackets are extremely hot right now and rightly so, they look amazing.

It is a great secondary piece to have once you have got your basic jackets in place.


Sweater or Pullover:

Another important piece is a sweater/ pullover or you can replace it with a hoodie depending on your style.

If you live somewhere with a hot climate then you should avoid this and instead look for a full sleeve t-shirt.


Bottom Wear


You need at least one good pair of jeans in your wardrobe.

The most versatile of all is dark-washed blue jeans and that is the first one that you should buy.

Once you have the dark-washed blue jeans then you can buy black or light-washed blue jeans.

Your first jeans should not have any distress and wash patterns. Once you have got the basic jeans then you can try out different wash or styles like the ripped jeans.

chinos / formal pants:

Another important piece is chino or formal pants.

How many chinos you need depends on your style and needs. If are an office-going person then you’ll need more of these, whereas if you are a college or high school student then you should be fine with only one or two of these.

Pick colors like- black, charcoal, navy, grey, tan, brown

, and avoid flashy colors and patterns.

track pants

Finally, you will need track pants or a jogger.

The important thing to consider here is the fit. Avoid joggers that are too baggy or too skinny.


formal shoes

You have multiple options for formal shoes:

monk strap




You need one good pair of loafers in your wardrobe which you can pair with both formal and casual outfits.

Go for simple penny or tassel style loafers in black or brown color and avoid getting other flashy colors or styles, especially if you are only going to have one of these.


Having a good pair of sneakers is very important.

I would recommend a clean white leather sneaker for a capsule wardrobe as it is the most versatile sneaker you can own.

another good option could be canvas shoes

once you have these then you can add other trendy shoes to your wardrobe.



You need at least one good belt that can be worn with formal outfits.

I recommend getting a black or brown leather belt which works well with both formal and casual outfits.


Shades are pretty important for men, they not only look great but also protect your eyes from UV damage.

You don’t need to spend a lot on sunglasses, just make sure you chose the frame that fits your face.


I am a big fan of watches. they can make a simple outfit look great instantly.

Again you don’t need to spend a lot on a watch, you can find some really good watches for very cheap prices.

You can check out our article on best watches for men to learn more about them.

Photo of author

About the author

Dylan Baker

Dylan is a Men's fashion and image consultant, He is also the man behind Dapperclan. He is extremely passionate about fashion and wants to help men style and look better.


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