Building a Capsule Wardrobe For Your Professional Style and Image | Mechellet Armelin | Image Coaching

Mechellet Armelin
4 min readMay 24, 2021


In the business world, image is everything. As such, professionals need to dress for the occasion. The phrase ‘dress for the job you want’ comes to mind here, and it’s true. A professional is more likely to succeed if they dress up, that is to say, dress better with their ultimate career goals in mind.

Here’s where having a professional capsule wardrobe comes into play. A capsule wardrobe has been slimmed down to only favorite clothing items — articles that you consistently wear.

Capsule wardrobes streamline a closet, reducing the amount of clutter within. This also makes the morning routine more straightforward, as the outfit combinations have already been predefined.

There are several different tactics for creating a capsule wardrobe with a professional bend. It’s crucial to pick the one that feels right for you and your clothing needs. However, here is some advice to get started.

Step One: Clean Out Your Closet/Wardrobe

The first step in any significant wardrobe makeover is to go through what is already there. Remove every single article of clothing from your closet, dresser, or anywhere else you may be storing clothing.

Step Two: Try Everything On

Step two is admittedly going to take longer than step one, but it is vital in this process. The goal of a capsule wardrobe is to have a set of clothing that can be worn all the time. As such, it is essential that the clothing is an ideal fit.

Does the item fit nicely? Is it too baggy? Too tight? How does the silhouette look? Do you like the neckline of this style of shirt? What about the shape of the pants? If an item is perfect for your wardrobe, minus the fit, remember that tailoring is an option.

Most articles of clothing are designed for an average fit. That means that they will not fit everyone. The best way to get a professional and custom-fit is to head to the tailor and have them do the work. This is both common and expected with higher-end clothing.

Step Three: Choose a Base Color

Technically, a person doesn’t have to limit themselves to one base color, but it does make things simpler, especially in the beginning. Base colors are black and/or navy. These colors are an essential foundation, as they can go with anything with just a little bit of planning.

Step Four: Selecting Additional Core Colors

Next, it is time to pick the core colors: white, gray, beige, etc. These colors will finish the foundation of the wardrobe. Essentially, what you are looking for here are neutral colors.

The base and core colors should be the largest part of your professional wardrobe and should be capable of complementing any/all of the outfit combinations you’ll create down the road. These colors are the unifying part of the wardrobe.

Step Five: Finalize Color Decisions

When it comes to deciding on a color palette, the last step is to pick the accent pieces. These are the articles of clothing that will have more color in them, so it’s okay to go bold and bright.

This should make up the smallest portion of your wardrobe, according to most experts. Depending on your style, this is naturally open to change. Don’t forget to include textiles and patterns in this stage as well.

Step Six: Focus on the Essentials

When choosing items that will go into your capsule wardrobe, it’s important to ask yourself a few basic questions. This is especially important when shopping for new items to add to the wardrobe.

  • What is the office dress code?
  • What are the temperature and seasonal concerns for this area?
  • Will this item go with at least three other items in the capsule?
  • Is there a lot of combination potential for this item?
  • Does it match the style of the capsule wardrobe?
  • Does it match my style?

Step Seven: Accessorize

When designing a capsule wardrobe, it’s important not to forget about the accessories! Shoes, jewelry, watches, etc., all play an important role in the professional look and should be considered during this process.

When picking out shoes, it is okay to go with one or two pairs in the base or core colors. Consider having one casual, a seasonally appropriate option, and alternatives for when dressing up is necessary.

As far as accessories are concerned, one of two handbags should be plenty, just make certain that they match the wardrobe you just designed. Neutral colors will go with everything, remember.

Finally, a statement necklace, scarf, or other accent pieces will help to complete the look and add further options when designing an outfit for the day. The amount of variation is limitless.

Originally published at on May 24, 2021.



Mechellet Armelin

Mechellet Armelin is an Image Coach and Lifestyle Manager in Los Angeles, CA operating Image Consultant Excellence (ICE), her business.