At muted.com we love capsule wardrobes. When building a capsule wardrobe you should look to achieve three things:
1. Interchangeability – When building a capsule wardrobe you should utilize complementary styles and colors. This allows you to make the most combinations possible. Mixing let’s say classic styles with street styles would limit the number of successful outfit combinations you can create. Most guys fall into this trap when they go shopping see something they like and realize it doesn’t go with anything in their wardrobe. A little pre-planning helps with this a lot.
2. Time Savings – Becuase you’ve taken the time to plan your wardrobe with items that complement each other you can basically throw almost anything on and it’ll go together. This results in a lot less time shopping and contemplating what to wear.
3. Cost Savings – Building a capsule wardrobe that fits your lifestyle will save you a ton of money. With a little pre-planning, you’ll always have something to wear you look great in and won’t feel the need to constantly go shopping.
Also, if you already have a full closet, you’ll want to check out our guide: How to Create a Minimalist Wardrobe in 7 Steps.
4 Season Capsule Wardrobe FAQ
Below I try and answer the most common questions concerning 4 Season Capsule Wardrobes.
A 4 season capsule wardrobe includes all the items you need to make it threw all 4 Seasons. No matter the weather conditions you should be able to easily put together outfits to make it through the week.
This 4 season capsule wardrobe includes 24 items: 7 Tops, 5 Bottoms, 6 Coats/Jackets, and 6 pairs of shoes. Underwear, socks are not considered a part of your 24-piece wardrobe. And you should ideally have 10 days’ worth of each. We’ve also not included accessories, as these are unique for each person. You should have at least one of each of the items listed below and more of the types of pieces that you wear on a daily basis.
In this wardrobe, I stick with classic pieces. This means items like Oxford shirts, Polos, and T-Shirts. Paired with chinos, jeans, and wool pants. I also kept to patternless fabrics, without logos making much easier to create outfit combinations.
If you’re building a capsule wardrobe you want every piece to be interchangeable. That means sticking with neutral colors that all go with one another. This allows for easy mixing and matching of different articles of clothing. Also, choose items that can be layered, as this eliminates the need for separate, seasonal wardrobes. My favorite wardrobe color is black. I understand not everyone likes this so my next choice would be blues and beiges. Once you’re comfortable with those colors you can start adding olives, and greys.
The first 24 clothing items you should buy for a 4 season capsule wardrobe for men.
In our Style section, we will have in-depth articles on each of the clothing items in this capsule. We will also have Fit Guides to make sure you’re absolutely looking your best and not dated or frumpy. Fit and Tailoring cannot be underestimated. I leave links below where necessary.
Shirts & Sweaters – 7 Capsule Wardrobe Essentials
Oxford Button Down Dress Shirt
(Color Options: White, Light Blue) – The Oxford shirt is the workhorse of your wardrobe. It provides you with a polished option that can be dressed up or dressed down. And the thicker material makes it an ideal shirt for cooler weather. I don’t see many capsule wardrobes being complete without this shirt.
4 Oxford Shirt Brands for Men
1. Todd Snyder Japanese Selvedge Men’s Oxford Button-Down Shirt ($185)
2. Alex Mill Men’s Overdyed Oxford Shirts ($90)
3. J. Crew Men’s American Pima Oxford Shirts ($78)
4. Uniqlo Men’s Oxford Shirt ($30)
1. 13 Best Men’s Oxford Shirts Buying Guide
Broadcloth Dress Shirt
(Colors: White, Light Blue) – The Broadcloth Dress shirt is the formal go-to shirt in our wardrobe. This is the shirt you’re going most likely wear with suits and the occasional blazer. When using in this capsule wardrobe it would also be fine to layer under a sweater
Related Dress Shirt Articles
1. 5 of The Best Dress Shirts for Men
(Colors: Black, White) – The Polo Shirt is a lot more versatile than most people think. Of course, it’s a great casual option with Jeans and shorts. But it will also look great to dress down a suit during the hotter months.
Related Polo Shirt Articles
1. 6 Best Polo Shirts for Men
(Colors: White, Black) – Plain T-shirts are a must for any essential wardrobe. They’re comfortable and look great if fit properly and matched with the right items. Just stay away from big Logos. Heck, stay away from logos period.
Related T-Shirt Articles
1. 15 of The Best Plain T-Shirts for Men
Denim or Twill Shirt
The Men’s Denim Shirt is a great option for the cooler fall and winter months. It goes great with either chinos or jeans and gives you a comfortable, casual option that can be worn alone or layered.
Related Denim Shirt Articles
1. 10 Best Denim Shirts for Men
I live in my hoodie in the cooler months. Along with my track pants, this is the outfit I wear when I’m chillin’ at home. A great pick for cooler weather and a zippered one will give you a more put-together, layered look. Whether you choose a sweater, hoodie, or zip-up for your capsule wardrobe go for quality and you’ll have it for years to come.
Related Men’s Hoodie Articles
1. 11 of the Best Men’s Hoodies Buying Guide
A v-neck sweater is a versatile option that can be dressed up or down and worn alone or layered for a stylish look. A great look with your favorite button-down with or without a tie. It also looks great under a blazer.
Related Merino Wool Sweater Articles
1. 5 of the Best Men’s V-Neck Sweaters
Pants – 5 Capsule Wardrobe Essentials
(Colors: Light Beige/Khaki, Navy, and Olive) – I love chinos. They can be dressed up or down as needed and worn with nearly any style of shirt. Adding a blazer is tricky, but can be done with are. Check out my Chino’s Men’s Essentials Wardrobe Guide.
(Colors: Selvage/Dark Wash, and Light Blue) – I love my jeans. But they must fit correctly or they’ll look terrible. If done right they’ll be flattering on almost everyone and perfect for casual or even business casual environments. Check out my Men’s Jean Capsule Wardrobe Guide.
(Colors: Navy and Light Beige/Khaki) – Chino shorts go with anything in our minimal capsule wardrobe. They’re perfect for maintaining a polished look while still remaining cool during hot weather. One word of advice, when night comes, switch over to dark wash jeans, or a pair of long chinos for a grown-up look. If you’re looking for chino shorts for any budget check out my Best Men’s Chino Shorts guide.
(Colors: Charcoal Grey) – I’m a new fan of sweat shorts. Perfect for relaxing after a day at the beach or the pool. Also great for workouts or relaxed weekends during hotter months. Wardrobe.NYC makes a great pair.
Outer Wear – 6 Capsule Wardrobe Essentials
A Navy Suit
I chose the navy suit instead of a charcoal grey suit for this capsule because I believe it gives you a little more versatility. There are so many ways to wear a navy suit. Of course, it’ll look great with your Oxford and broadcloth dress shirts. But you can also dress it down with a white or black polo and white sneakers. One of my favorite and affordable suits is the J. Crew Ludlow.
The men’s navy blazer is perfect for business casual events or a weekend cocktail party. It’s another item that can be paired with almost anything in our minimal wardrobe. The Navy Blazer gives you a way to dress up your outfits and achieve a more polished look without going fully formal. Please don’t get a navy blazer confused with a navy suit jacket. A blazer should be made from heavier fabric (8-10 ounces) to look right with heavier pants like jeans and chinos.
The Jean Jack is my fall go-to jacket. It goes great with chinos, sweaters, wool pants, and yes even jeans. Check out our Denim Jean Jacket Men’s Essentials Wardrobe Guide.
Since I live near Philadelphia I rarely wear a full winter jacket. It’s simply not necessary in our climate zone. A quilted vest is perfect for any temperatures above freezing. Check out our Winter Vest Men’s Essentials Wardrobe Guide.
I solid winter coat is a must for any year-round wardrobe. Make sure to choose a warm, high-quality coat that looks great with your other wardrobe items. For my winter outerwear, I tend to choose black as it’ll go with pretty much anything in this capsule wardrobe. Check out our Men’s Warmest Winter Coats Guide.
The Men’s Trench coat is a must for cooler or rainy conditions or when you need to dress up an outfit. Pairs well with a variety of outfits from casual to formal. Can even work with a pair of track pants, if done right. One of our favorite brands is American Trench. I own their Black Trench and it’s one of my favorite pieces.
Shoes & Boots – 6 Capsule Wardrobe Essentials
Grey or Blue Casual Sneakers
These are your every day sneakers. The ones you throw on as soon as your feet hit the floor. Because I like to run at least a couple of times a week my favorite casual sneakers are by Brooks. They are a grey and blue shoe that go great with any of the neutral colors in a capsule wardrobe. Plus they’re functional as an actual running shoe and not just a lifestyle sneaker. When just considering style, I love wearing New Balance 574s and Oliver Cabell Rennes.
White Luxury Sneakers
If you don’t already know. I LOVE WHITE SNEAKERS!. It’s kind of an addiction. A good pair of clean white sneakers will improve any outfit. Check out our White Sneaker Men’s Essentials Wardrobe Guide.
Chukkas are a casual boot. I will normally pair these guys with jeans or chinos. If you’re going to wear a suit, I’d go with a leather dress boot or a pair of wingtips. Check Out our Best Men’s Chukkas Guide.
If you get a good pair of leather boots they will last for years. Get ones that can be re-soled if needed, and for this capsule opt for brown/tobacco colors over black.
Related Boot Articles
1. 7 Boots Every Man Should Own
(Colors: Black/Tobacco) These are going to be the dress shoe that you can dress up or down. You can wear them with any of your pants to kick a casual outfit up a notch. For this minimal capsule, I chose wingtips over Bluchers, and Loafers because of their versatility. You should also opt for quality because these shoes can also be re-soled and last for years.
Related Dress Shoe Articles
1. 5 of the Best Men’s Dress Shoes
Black Oxford Dress Shoes
These are going to be your formal dress shoes. Oxfords are the shoes you can wear with either a navy suit or a charcoal grey suit. Some will wear these with dark wash jeans as well.
Related Dress Shoe Articles
1. 5 of the Best Men’s Dress Shoes