What is a capsule wardrobe?
A capsule wardrobe is a small collection of your favorite clothes.
Essentially, you create a wardrobe of versatile, high-quality and well-fitting clothes to create multiple outfits you wear for a period of time, usually a season.
The key to building a sustainable capsule is to invest in classic staples that will serve as the base of your wardrobe so that each season you will only need to add a few pieces for vibrancy and variety.
The term ‘capsule wardrobe’ was coined by Susie Faux in the 70’s and it caught on even more in the 80’s when Donna Karen released her 7 Easy Pieces Collection. Its relevance today is undeniable as the modern woman continues to embrace minimalism.
Minimalism and the capsule wardrobe lifestyle are both about maximizing the value and appreciation you have for your things.
The benefits of having a capsule wardrobe
Less Money Wasted
As you focus on purchasing classic, high-quality pieces, you’ll get more wear out of them and as a result, reduce how often you need to shop.
Reduces Decision Fatigue
Getting dressed becomes easier and less stressful because you have fewer options to choose from and everything goes together.
An Increase in Happiness and Confidence
You truly get to enjoy and express yourself authentically with each piece you own and naturally, looking and feeling the way you want, boosts your confidence and affects the way you’re perceived.
Your Style Will Improve
Limited options give you no choice but to wear your most gorgeous and favorite pieces every day. It gets you out of the habit of saving your nice things for another time.
Creates More Space and Time For The Things That Matter
Shifting your focus from clothes and shopping will open up room for you to focus on the things that truly fulfill you.
Why you should create a capsule wardrobe
To have a streamlined, flexible and high-quality collection of clothes to save money, time, energy and space that will give you a deeper sense of appreciation for the things you have, inspire your confidence and ultimately develop your signature style.
Having a capsule wardrobe is a lifestyle driven by a need for change or a love for minimalism, so whether you:
- are on a budget and want to spend less money on clothes
- want to curb a bad shopping habit
- want to develop your signature style
- want to spend less time on clothes so you can focus on more important things
- don’t have the space to have tons of clothes and want to live a stress and clutter-free life
Find your reason and let that guide your capsule wardrobe philosophy.
Step 1: Refine Your Style
Refining your style is not about being stylish, it’s about expressing who you are and knowing what you truly love so that you can fill your wardrobe with those things to enable you to look and feel the way you want every day. You won’t be able to build a capsule you love or endure having one if it’s not filled with your favorite things.
Think About Your Current Lifestyle Needs In Terms Of Where You Need To Be Dressed For
- Divide your wardrobe into those lifestyle categories and give each one a style concept or theme. For example, your Work Wardrobe's theme could be:fashion editor chic.
Create Your Style Profile
- Make a list of word associations that visually define your overall style and how you want to be perceived.
- Pick a style icon: this is any celebrity that inspires your style and that represents how you want to be perceived.
- Determine your signature pieces: these are the things you never leave the house without that further define and represent who you are, for example, a watch or a pair of hooped earrings.
- Create your signature beauty routines and must-haves from hair and makeup to manicures and perfumes.
Create A Vision Board
- Having a vision board will be really powerful for you because it will help you to organize the images that influence and inspire your style and if you ever feel confused or uninspired, you can use it to guide you and keep you motivated to looking the way you want. I highly recommend doing this on Pinterest.
Step 2: Reduce + Declutter
Now it’s time to choose the pieces from your existing wardrobe that will make it to your capsule.
Take Everything Out Of Your Closet and Drawers.
- Give your closet and your drawers a good clean.
Try On All Your Clothes And Ask Yourself These Key Questions To Determine What To Do With Them:
- Do I love this?
- Do I ever wear this?
- Does this fit and flatter my body?
- Does this reflect my style?
Then Place Each Item In It’s Appropriate Pile:
- Keep: the pieces you love and absolutely want to keep
- Maybe: the pieces you're not ready to let go of yet
- Donate or Sell: all the pieces that don’t work for you but that could for someone else
- Trash & Burn: your damaged or overworn pieces
Now Organize Your Piles
- Get rid of your trash and burn pile.
- Donate or sell the clothes that are in good condition that you don’t want.
- Hide the clothes you’re not ready to give up yet in another room or closet.
- Categorize the pieces you are keeping by season and put off-season items in the back of your closet or in storage containers.
- Then sort the remaining pieces into lifestyle categories, eg. work, weekend and going out clothes and put them back in your closet in order.
Step 3: Wait
This step is optional but it’s an amazing way for you to develop and continue to refine your style before you go shopping. It will also give you more time to discover the pieces you want to add to your wardrobe.
Create Outfits From Your Existing Wardrobe With Your Refined Style In Mind
- Try to wait for at least 3 weeks.
- Then make a list of the pieces you keep wishing you had every time you create an outfit.
Step 4: Build
Now it’s time to identify the pieces you’ll need to fill the gaps in your existing wardrobe to complete your capsule and create those stunning outfits.
Create Your Shopping List
- Add all the items from your wishlist to your shopping list.
- Then go through each wardrobe category and add all the essential items you need to make that wardrobe complete.
- Shop around to see where you can find the items on your list; don't just focus on price but also quality.
- Each new piece you add to your wardrobe should fit you well, blend well with your existing pieces, be well-made and most importantly be a piece you absolutely love!
- Try everything on and return anything that simply doesn't work.
Things You Should Know:
- The point of a capsule wardrobe is so that you can spend less time thinking about and shopping for clothes. Always prioritize choosing classic and versatile pieces you can use to create multiple looks each season because the strength of your capsule comes from having a great base wardrobe you rarely have to update, so that each season you'll only need to add or swap out a few pieces just to add variety.
- Usually, workout gear, lounge clothes and delicates aren't considered to be a part of your capsule.
- Create your own capsule wardrobe philosophy; it is your own way of maintaining and updating your capsule, so always go with your gut and do what feels right for you, so things like how many pieces you have, how often you update or how much you spend is totally up to you.
- Don't neglect to consider the climate you live in when you are building your wardrobe, how hot or cold it gets will significantly determine what needs to be added (or removed) from your wardrobe.
- Embrace the fact that your wardrobe will never truly be complete and that it will be ever-changing as naturally, your style will evolve.