WHAT IS A CAPSULE WARDROBE?
“A collection of a few essential items of clothing that don’t go out of fashion, such as skirts, trousers, and coats, which can then be augmented with seasonal pieces.” According to Susie Faux, who coined the term in the 1970’s.
A capsule wardrobe consists of your personal definition of “wardrobe staples” consisting of 12-30 pieces including shoes, shirts, pants, etc. Every piece should be high quality, timeless, and cohesive. The goal is that the core of your wardrobe is a fashion staple so that each piece stays relevant through changes in the fashion world. Some people organize their capsules by seasons, others try to have a year long wardrobe with only a few pieces that they interchange between seasons or trends.
Along with most things in the downsizing world, you can really make it whatever you want to be. The main guidelines to stick to are:
Quality over quantity.
Stick to basics.
Color scheme is key.
As long as you have those three things in mind, you’ll be on the right track!
CREATING YOUR CAPSULE WARDROBE
I’ve been working on a capsule wardrobe for about a year now and I’m finally at the step of getting the pieces that will make up my capsule wardrobe. The pieces that I’m going to actually invest thought, time, and money into. This is the part that’s always scared me, but I think I’m finally ready to commit. It’s been a journey getting here. I’ve taken a lot of steps to really make sure the wardrobe I’m creating is going to stand the test of time. I’m not a millionaire, or a thousand-aire so I can’t go and make a new, high quality wardrobe if this one doesn’t work out. That’s why I’ve taken these steps to really find confidence in making my fist capsule wardrobe purchases.
ESTABLISH YOUR STYLE
I don’t mean find a style that defines you. I mean a style that works as a tool to empower you on whatever journey you find yourself on. Cultivating a wardrobe is not about telling people who you are through what you wear, it’s about finding what makes you feel comfortable and confident while pursuing your passions.
If you’re not sure what style suits you, use my guide to help you find your style! ->
START WITH A PURGE
Along with getting rid of stuff that is taking up space, purging helps with getting over the fear of not having enough or needing the perfect wardrobe right now. You’d be surprised how many of the clothes you hold onto that never really get worn. Just get the purge done now. I promise you will still have things to wear. After all, you’re wearing the clothes you already own right now, so you obviously have something! Just try slimming that something down.
PICK A GOOD COLOR SCHEME
The key to a capsule wardrobe is that you can make a lot from a little. Choosing a versatile color pallet will allow you to mix and match each and every piece; giving you a plethora of choices from just a few pieces. Usually people will stick with neutrals and add a color pop or two. Even having an all color pop wardrobe can work. It doesn’t have to be black and white as long as everything is cohesive in one way or another.
This is nice for people who can’t take the plunge on any high quality pieces in the beginning. Buying second hand or very inexpensive pieces gave me the chance to try pieces that were similar to what I thought I might want in order to understand how it feels throughout my day to day. There were a lot of items that wound up sitting in my closet, never getting worn because I realized after owning it that it just wasn’t me. I can honestly say that I needed to take some items for a test drive beyond the dressing room to realize they weren’t worth it. On the flip side, I found a lot of pieces that I love which taught me that quality doesn’t always have to mean expensive. Sometimes it’s just about loving what you have regardless of where it came from.
DON’T FOCUS ON OTHER CAPSULE WARDROBES
Try to stay focused on what you really need and want from your clothes. There are so many guides and cheat sheets for basics you “need” in your capsule. It can be confusing because a lot of those guides recommend more pieces than you truly need. It makes capsule wardrobes seem intimidating and sometimes impossible. I mean really, how many people need 4 different white t-shirts? (yes I did actually see that on a capsule wardrobe guide) Aside from that, different lifestyles require different wardrobes. As a mostly stay-at-home mom, I don’t need blazers and trousers. I just need some good jeans and t-shirts most of the time.
TAKE IT ONE PIECE AT A TIME
Once you get an idea of exactly when you’re looking for, start with the most important or exciting piece and go from there. You don’t need to buy your whole wardrobe all at once. Taking your time will allow you to get to know brands, materials, and fits without committing to a whole wardrobe of things you may not love in the end.
I waited until I found a piece that stood out to me. One that fit the idea of my wardrobe perfectly. It was my staple and my standard. It motivates me to spend wisely because I know what quality feels like. Not just the feel of the material or the fit on my body. I mean the incredible confidence boost I get anytime I put it on.
Photo by Style Bee