A capsule wardrobe contains a few key wardrobe pieces that you can easily adapt with accessories or some statement clothing pieces. The key pieces of a capsule include basic pants, skirts, and jackets that you can dress up or down depending on the accents. You don't need to purchase your entire capsule wardrobe at once and the by-definition small number of included items means this fashion theory works even for those on a budget. Make your pennies stretch even further with some careful, advance planning that can help you create the most balanced, versatile wardrobe possible without breaking the bank.

Here are some tips for creating a beautiful, personalized capsule wardrobe on a budget.

Identify Your Power Neutral

The key pieces of a capsule wardrobe are usually a neutral color that pairs well and easily with brighter pops of color or bold accessories. But don't confuse the word "neutral" with plain black or white or drab shades of light brown. Identifying the best neutral for your skin tone and the contrast in your coloring will help you identify your power neutral. 

Skin undertones come in cool, warm, and neutral. The standard self-test involves looking at the veins on the underside of your arm. If the veins look blue-toned, you have cool skin. Green tones indicate warm-toned skin and blue-green suggests neutral skin. This test isn't fully definitive, however, and those who are still unsure should consult a local makeup counter to find out for sure.

Contrast is how much the color of your hair, skin, and eyes differ from one another. A woman with black hair, blue eyes, and pale skin, for example, would have high contrast coloring. A woman with tanned skin, light brown hair, and caramel colored eyes would have low contrast coloring.

In general, people with any skintone and mid-to-high contrast coloring favor black, gray, navy blue, and shades of brown as their power neutrals. Warm toned individuals in this group might not favor true white as the cool-toned color can wash out the complexion. Paler women should keep darker colors away from the face or insert a brightly colored accent like a red shirt under a black blazer.

Low contrast women should stick to black, white, navy blue, and deeper grays. Avoid brown tones to avoid an overly monochromatic look.  

Choose Statement Jewelry to Define Your General Style

You know what power neutral or neutrals to use for your capsule wardrobe and might now want to move on to selecting the bright colored tops to go with those bottoms and jackets. But before you start choosing individual pieces, you need to choose what general style you want to come through in your wardrobe. This doesn't mean you should follow or adapt to any one particular trend, but rather identify what general eras or ideas you want to evoke through your completed outfits. You can easily guide yourself in the right direction by choosing what statement jewelry you gravitate towards.

For example, if you love the look of House of Harlow jewelry, you know that your capsule wardrobe should combine elements of Bohemian chic, vintage charm, and some Art Deco glam. A few statement pieces from that line could provide you with the visual anchors for three distinct yet easily blended fashion ideas.

You could then use your jewelry notes to start buying your bolder wardrobe pieces. Flowing tops in jewel tones could match both the Bohemian and Art Deco glam. Preppy sweaters are both work friendly and match vintage charm. The combinations are endless, and you will have the basic neutrals to fall back on regardless of your top choices.