A Colorful Capsule Wardrobe for Every Season (Outfits Included)
A neutral trench coat, a little black dress, a white tee shirt. It’s the classic capsule that graces Pinterest boards and Instagram feeds ad infinitum. If a neutral capsule wardrobe color palette leaves you less than thrilled, it’s time to try a colorful capsule wardrobe.
Color? In a capsule? Yes, it’s allowed. And when done correctly, the results are simply stunning (see outfit ideas below to confirm).
Read on to build a functional capsule wardrobe that doesn’t skimp on color.
What is a Colorful Capsule Wardrobe?
A colorful capsule wardrobe is a thoughtfully selected collection of colorful (And versatile) clothing that you mix and match to create loads of outfits. The key to a successful colorful capsule wardrobe lies in choosing colors that work harmoniously together while ensuring you have pieces to suit various occasions.
While traditional capsule wardrobes center around neutrals, a colorful one includes vibrant hues or muted colors that reflect your personal style.
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My Colorful Fall Capsule Wardrobe
A capsule with some color allows the wearer (aka you) to mix and match the items to create unique and beautiful looks. My colorful capsule wardrobes below feature one or hero pieces that the other garments play well with.
Scroll on to see the colorful capsule, learn how I picked the colors, and get outfit ideas,
For my fall capsule, I chose pink and purple as my main colors.
🎨 Time for a mini color theory lesson:
Pink and purple sit near each other on the color wheel, making them analogous colors. These colors create a beautiful almost blended effect, unlike the stark contrast of complementary colors like the pink and green of my summer wardrobe below.
To work in more the rich fall hues, I tied in brown as my base color. My trousers, houndstooth coat, and maxi dress are all a rich chocolate hue.
This muted color palette proves that a capsule does not have to be vibrant to be colorful
Colorful Fall Capsule Wardrobe Outfits
Colorful Summer Capsule Wardrobe
My colorful summer capsule wardrobe falls on the vibrant side of the spectrum. Browse the capsule and get outfit ideas below.
I chose pink and green, complementary colors to be the colorful building blocks of this closet.
Since the vibrant dress also featured orange, I pulled that into the mix.
To ground the wardrobe and keep it easy to mix and match, I opted for tan and white as my base colors.
My white button-down, white linen pants, and tan utility vest are a few key pieces that balance out the vibrant and patterned ones.
Colorful Summer Capsule Wardrobe Outfits
Spring Colorful Capsule Wardrobe
Hello, pastel prettiness. For this capsule, I pulled pink, blue, and green from the printed dress to create a multi-colored closet.
Scroll on to check out the capsule and colorful outfit options.
Colorful Capsule Wardrobe Outfits for Spring
Colorful Capsule Wardrobe for Winter
In case it isn’t obvious, the hero piece in this colorful capsule wardrobe is the printed maxi wrap skirt. The winter color palette features a deep rust color, a navy blue, and a muted chartreuse all pulled from the print.
Colorful Capsule Wardrobe Outfits for Winter
How to Build a Colorful Capsule Wardrobe
Nonstop neutrals can be a snoozefest. Luckily, your capsule color palette does not have to be void of vibrancy.
The colorful capsule wardrobe template below will help you whip up one that’s colorful and functional:
1. Know Your Color Season
What good is a colorful closet if it washes you out? For outfits that you’ll shine in, consider your color season. Color season analysis involves looking at undertones in your skin, hair, and eyes to determine what colors will complement you best. Knowing what colors look best on your skin tone empowers you to build an ultra-flattering closet. Killer capsule wardrobe colors are the ones that make you shine.
2. Choose a Hero Piece
If there’s one thing your colorful capsule should deliver, it’s versatility. But how do we ensure clothing can be mixed and matched easily? Well, style star, you can build a wardrobe around one or two hero pieces in your wardrobe.
Hero pieces are statement pieces that involve multiple colors, a fun pattern, or some eye-catching combination of the two. With your shining statement piece chosen, let the colors in the anchor piece guide the other clothing you place in your vibrant capsule.
3. Include Neutral Wardrobe Staples
Yes, this is a colorful capsule. But we want to keep it functional and easy. You have a few colorful capsule wardrobe prints. Now, for effortless outfit creation, include neutral items like jeans, plain shirts, and muted jackets. You can see this at play in the Hawaii capsule wardrobe I created.
This next tip is just what you need for a low-effort colored capsule. Here goes: keep color in one area of your wardrobe.
For example, select an array of colored tops and then keep most of your bottoms and outerwear neutral. Or flip the script with bold-colored bottoms and neutral shirts. Printed midi skirt, it’s your time to shine.
4. Add Layering Pieces
I’ll say it again for the people in the back: versatile pieces are the backbone of a capsule wardrobe. This is true of minimalist capsule wardrobes and more.
Think cardigans, crewneck sweaters, shackets, tank tops, and blazers. In the fall/winter wardrobe above, the faux leather jacket adds structure and warmth to multiple pieces.
Want more out of your capsule wardrobe colors? Adding in a white Oxford shirt would open even more lovely layering opportunities.
5. Select Your Shoes
Keep things simple by stepping into neutral shoes that mix and match effortlessly with your attire. On a quest for more color? Examine your colorful capsule wardrobe colors and determine which are most prevalent.
To bring harmony to your outfits, choose shoes in similar colors to the main ones in your capsule. For a bold look, select shoes in a contrasting color. Contrasting colors sit across from each other on the color wheel. Blue and orange. Pink and green. You get the idea.
Style Pointer: You can create a colorful, work-appropriate wardrobe too. Browse the professional capsule wardrobe here for office staples in and outfit ideas.
Adding Prints & Patterns in a Capsule Wardrobe
Scoot over solid colors. It’s time to play with patterns and prints. To make colorful capsule wardrobe prints work, choose pieces that include the colors of your solid wardrobe items.
Here’s an example:
For my summer capsule wardrobe above, I chose a dress with pink, green, and orange in it. To support this, I selected tops and bottoms in orange and green.
For an easy way to incorporate patterns in a capsule wardrobe, use the P.O.P formula:
P – Pick Vibrant Hues: Select 3-4 colors that suit your style. These will compose the core of your capsule and set the stage for pattern play.
O – Opt for Classic Patterns: Choose timeless patterns like stripes, florals, or polka dots. Ensure they include the colors from your vibrant core for effortless coordination.
P – Patterned Statement Piece: Infuse a wow factor with one bold patterned item. Choose one that incorporates the hues you picked for your wardrobe so that it plays well with your closet.
To support this, I selected tops in these colors including the pale pink cardigan and green bodysuit. The cohesiveness of the capsule wardrobe colors makes getting dressed simple. So keep this in mind as you plan your vivid wardrobe. I go into detail on adding prints in this capsule wardrobe color scheme post.
Tips for Color in a Capsule Wardrobe
Discover Killer Color Combinations. Good news color seekers! Pinterest has a plethora of outfit color combination ideas just begging to be on your boards.
You can use the tool to find combination ideas that work with the items you already own or to build a new palette.
Ready to start? Type in a color you love and add “outfit color palettes” to see how others are pairing colors.
Implement the 3 color rule. The 3 color rule suggests that you wear no more than three colors at any given time. Lucky for us, black and white do not count as colors and can be included when following the rule.
By limiting the colors in your outfit, you’ll create effortless looks that have a cohesive feel. Try this rule out the next time you’re in a hurry and want to look put together.
Have a Monochrome Moment. For minimal effort and maximum wow factor, wear one color from head to toe.
There’s much to be said for a monochrome look from the lengthening effect it offers to the style statement it makes. If you build a capsule with pieces in multiple shades of the same color, you’ll have lots of monochrome options to work with.
Choose 3-4 Colors Max. Real talk- colorful clothing loses its allure if it’s hard to wear. That’s why I suggest picking between 3-4 hues to play with. Then, ensure you have a few neutral colors to tie it all together.
For instance, you could choose vibrant shades like cobalt blue, fuchsia, and emerald as primary colors. Then, incorporate a few neutral colors such as ivory, charcoal gray, or tan.
By strategically selecting 3-4 vibrant hues and complementing them with neutrals, you’ll blend fun and function in your capsule. What more can a color connoisseur want?
Colorful Capsule Wardrobe Checklist:
The right garments take a wardrobe from frustrating to functional just like that. These clothing staples can be mixed and matched to create color-filled ensembles. While this is not my detailed capsule wardrobe checklist, it’s a helpful starting point for your colorful closet:
- 1-2 neutral tank tops (black, white, gray)
- 2 solid color bodysuits
- 1 pair of blue jeans
- 1 printed dress
- 1 colored skirt
- 1 lightweight cardigan
- 1 pair of colored heels
- 1 pair of white sneakers
- 1 pair of neutral boots
- 1 accent purse
Your Capsule Questions, Answered
How many colors should you have in a capsule wardrobe?
When creating a capsule wardrobe color palette, choose six colors to start with. Opt for 1-2 base colors, 2-3 supporting colors and 2 accent colors. Ideally, you should have no more than 7 colors in the capsule color palette. A smaller set of colors helps you maintain an effortless wardrobe, with pieces complementing each other easily.
What essential items should be in a colorful capsule wardrobe?
To bring a colorful closet to life, gather the following essentials:
Colored Tops: Start with a few colorful statement tops that come in timeless silhouettes. Be sure to have an assortment of blouses, t-shirts, sweaters, and tanks to take you through the seasons.
Vibrant Bottoms: Colorful pants and skirts offer a fun way to stand out. When everyone is clad in black trousers, your green-tailored ones take center stage. I suggest adding a few colorful trousers and skirts to the mix.
Patterned Dresses: Since dresses are one-and-done pieces, they offer the perfect place to bring in patterns. I’m a fan of florals but geometric prints are also gorg.
Colorful Layers: If you notice you have a lot of neutral clothes, you can bring in color with layering pieces like blazers, cardigans, and jackets. Pop one over a solid-colored look for more interest and depth.
Statement Shoes: Include colorful shoes in your wardrobe, such as red heels, green flats, or patterned sneakers. Shoes can be a focal point of your outfit and add a pop of color to any look.
Neutral Basics: Don’t sleep on neutrals. Balance is key for a functional wardrobe. Include items like a classic pair of jeans and a neutral jacket and a cream top to easily weave your more colorful items together.
Can you have a colorful capsule wardrobe?
Yes! To create a colorful capsule that’s easy to style, keep color in one area of your clothing. For example, you might decide to have colored tops but neutral pants and outerwear for easy pairing and layering. Dresses can be colored and patterned too since they stand alone.
Another stellar way to build a colorful closet is to pick a multicolored statement piece and select supporting pieces to complement it. Building around one piece helps create a cohesive wardrobe.