Capsule Wardrobe Concept By Tan France Masterclass

Tan France’s Masterclass Is Gold

I had been looking for ways to look timelessly stylish as a man, not too exaggerated, not too expensive, not time-consuming. I found my answer while watching the master class of Tan France on Style. For people who don’t know Tan France, he was a stylist, fashion designer and got famous in the show — Queer Eyes for the Straight Guy.

Tan France had a concept called Capsule Wardrobe. It includes only 10 basic items to look timelessly stylish. And you can always invest in cheaper versions of those items to look awesome! Sweeeeeet!

Enter The Capsule Wardrobe

What is a Capsule Wardrobe? It is the most classic, simple, and standard items that make up the foundation of your closet, and they never go out of style. They are versatile pieces that you can mix and match, and make you look stylish and fresh year after year. You can build your Capsule Wardrobe at a very low budget, but it is also where you should invest your money (Be thrifty with trendier pieces, they are only here to lay on top of your foundation). You will notice all the items’ color is muted and neutral because it is what makes the clothes timeless. It is very important that you dress and feel confident with your Capsule Collection.

Items in a Capsule Collection

  1. A great piece of outerwear: trench coat, overcoat, or something heavier weight is fine.

2. Leather jacket: Don’t buy a leather jacket that is meant for riding a motorbike. You want to tone down a bit. We want style, as opposed to function. It doesn’t have to be real leather, it could be vegan leather.

3. Button-up shirts: Go for white, black, navy, brown, beige, or blue button-up shirts that make you feel like you. Stick with a neutral color. They can be casual wear, not just for your corporate job.

4. A great fitting suit: Matching pants with a matching jacket. Make sure it’s tailored and fits you to perfection. Keep with a neutral, it can either be a darker neutral or a lighter neutral. It doesn’t matter whether you need a corporate suit for work or not, you can always break it up into a fashionable style. Tan has a black suit himself and recommends it.

5. Knitwear: Again, stick with neutral, and something that flatters your body. You can go for crew neck, V-neck… whatever suits you. If you are slightly shorter, go with a cropped sweater. If you want a longer length, go for it as well. By trying on many options, you decide what sweaters work best for you. Tan suggests solid gray, solid navy, solid black, solid cream, beigey, or khaki color (light green). You can go for cashmere or any cheaper option. You need only one or two max.

6. T-shirt: Go for neutral colors like black, white, navy, gray, brown, or khaki. Make sure you like the cut- like round neck, crew neck, V neck, or soft V… try them on, and see what works best for you, and then buy them in a few different colors.

7. Denim: Decide the shades and the fits of denim you like, by trying different options. Then whittle it down to a pair of jeans that you will appreciate for many years to come. Go for straight leg, tapered leg, nothing too wide, nothing with rips, nothing bedazzled, nothing with diamantes, and nothing with crazy splatters. You can go for black, blue (dark blue and mid-blue), or white. Unless your jeans are really dirty, then you put them in the wash, otherwise, you can put them in the freezer that kills the bacteria.

8. Footwear: You only need 3 pairs of shoes. Have a pair of white sneakers. It goes for everything. A pair of black boots or shoes (oxford or brogue). And a pair of brown boots (suede) or shoes. Don’t go for super pointy or super square. Go for a rounder shape that’s timeless.

9. Belt: Go for a slim and simple belt. If you need a belt to hold up your pants, you have the wrong pants with the wrong size. Do not wear it for function, wear it for fashion. No matter if you like gold or silver buckles, it’s fine as long as you will wear them for years.

10. Accessories: Go for mixed metals- rose gold, silver, bronze bracelet. Wear less in the daytime, and more in the nighttime to dress it up.

Styling Tricks

  1. Cinching or pushing up the sleeves to give it more structure.
  2. Having the dress billow out of the denim, instead of just laying flat.
  3. Show off your ankle by turning up your pants with just one hem with an (inner) fold-up. It will make your pants look less corporate and more casual.


  1. Go experiment! Try on different colors and fits of the Capsule Items. Find what works best for you.
  2. Buy only 1–2 items a month. You don’t need to build your capsule wardrobe in a day. Ease into it. It took me around 2 years to change my entire wardrobe. And I only pick items that I really like.
  3. Try experimenting with different looks by mix & match with different items in the capsule wardrobe. You can take reference of the photos below on how Tan France does it.

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Personal Development Coach || Business Analyst in JD (China’s Biggest E-commerce Company) || Management Consultant Background

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Jason Kwan

Jason Kwan

Personal Development Coach || Business Analyst in JD (China’s Biggest E-commerce Company) || Management Consultant Background

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