How to build a capsule wardrobe

Here at AW, we like to call it the minimalists wardrobe. Clothes that are easy to wear everyday, made from quality fabrics and that you’ll feel confident wearing daily. So how do you create a wardrobe that needs minimal thinking time. We show you how…

I’m one of those people that like minimalism. I don’t want lots of ‘stuff’.

I’ve just gone on a spring cleaning rampage. Seems the clocks have sprung forward and I have also quite literally sprung into action. Six load of black bags out the door (clothes bank) and I’m looking thinking why on earth did I buy any of this stuff.

This led me to think about why we choose the pieces of clothing that we do in our wardrobes, and have broken down what you can do to make style and dressing for the occasion more enjoyable.

Simplifying your wardrobe

I have a casual wardrobe and I have a work wardrobe and I also colour code. My life’s crazy and the less choices I have to make, quite frankly the better. I love fashion but I don’t want to spend an hour scratching my head every morning wondering what to wear… Mark Zuckerberg apparently wears the same thing every day to erase this issue.

I’ve been asked to make three shades of suits and to just keep them coming for one my customers who then adds a crisp white or blue shirt with an assortment of ties; job done. Whatever works for you, our guide will at least give you some helpful tips on what you need for the following:

The weekend

  • T-shirts – Keep them plain in a pure cotton, with a little stretch if you like them more fitted.
  • Smart chinos – For a christening or formal lunch with the parents, these are ideal.
  • Casual blazers- Either with a firm shoulder for formal or a lighter construction (relaxed) for a chilled BBQ, lunch date. Always have a classic, navy sports jacket to hand, a lighter weight plain, textured tweed in a couple of colours and something a bit more fun.
  • Smart trainers (please no hi tech clunky trainers!) We love these from Oliver Sweeney
  • Relaxed brogues or loafers These are ideal to wear with dark jeans and smart chinos. Like these from Oliver Sweeney 

Sporting occasions / Weddings

  • Choose smart chinos that can be easily paired with a variety of jackets.
  • Smart sports jackets from navy to check, to add a little variety.
  • Smart, classic lace up shoes from Barkers, Oliver Sweeney or Churches.
  • Smart leather or suede loafers to add a little more of a casual look.
  • Choose a merino sweater for when it gets a bit chilly. Merino works well as it adjusts to the temperature of your body.


  • Slim fit, sharp business suits- You ideally need 4-5 suits for a great rotation
  • Business shirts- 5-10 Choose twills and Oxford fabrics that last. Hard collars are recommended to look sharp.
  • Smart shoes Classic, Italian lace ups
  • Ties Keep classic width ties (7-8cm) with subtle textures, patterns and spots.

Sarah Gilfillan of Sartoria Lab commented on what she finds herself shopping for with her clients:

“The things that I find myself recommending and shopping for over and over again with clients are dark wash jeans, chinos, a navy blazer or bomber jacket (depending on their lifestyle), shirts in white, pale blue and a darker colour like navy, and fine knit sweaters. You can buy any of these in a casual or formal style and in a shape to suit your physique”.

We’d love to hear from you about how you make your wardrobe choices, what are your staple pieces and if you have a capsule wardrobe. Want to speak to one of our tailors? Just pick up the phone or send us an email, we’re always happy to help! We have our Savile Row consultations and our Bishops Stortford store for appointments for made to measure.