How To Start A Capsule Wardrobe

Are you struggling every morning to choose the outfit that will look nice and feel comfortable? Well, you’re not alone. With our closets and wardrobes cluttered with so many clothes, it’s no wonder that we can’t find the right outfit. If you want to make a change in your lifestyle and stop worrying about your outfit every day, then a capsule wardrobe is the right thing for you.

By building a capsule wardrobe, you will save your nerves and time and start your day on a positive note. You will start loving all your clothes and be able to create incredible outfits with all of them. Besides, the decluttering philosophy, that lies behind its concept, will make your life healthier and less stressful.

This article will help you understand the concept of a capsule wardrobe and assist you in building your own.

A Little Bit of History

What is a Capsule Wardrobe?

A capsule wardrobe is a mini wardrobe, a limited selection of clothing that can be easily paired with one another. A capsule wardrobe allows you to create different outfits with a small number of clothes. These are usually classic pieces of neutral colors, that are timeless and will never go out of fashion. Less is more, and a capsule wardrobe can prove that. Typically, you wear it for 3 months and then change it for the next season. Many specialists claim that a capsule wardrobe should consist of 30 to 50 items, but you shouldn’t think of it as a rule. The purpose of creating a capsule wardrobe must be to choose clothes that you love and feel comfortable wearing. It should be built around your lifestyle and preferences, not by following someone’s rules.

Though it seems to have been a recent phenomenon, capsule wardrobe actually emerged decades ago. In the 1970s wardrobe consultant and author Susie Faux opened a boutique in London called “Wardrobe”, as she was frustrated due to the lack of “well-made clothing”. She was selling minimalist-style clothes that could be easily paired with each other. She wanted to help women to gain confidence in how they looked.

A decade later in 1985, the idea went mainstream when designer Donna Karan created the Seven Easy Pieces line, the first capsule collection. The collection consisted of only 7 pieces of clothing and models showcased various outfits with them. The idea of having a few interchangeable clothes became popular and now it’s trending again.

What is a Capsule Wardrobe? A Little Bit of History

Signs That You Definitely Need a Capsule Wardrobe

You spend too much time deciding what to wear

If you spend more than 5-10 minutes every morning deciding what to wear then it’s too much. This is a very simple decision and no one should spend their precious time choosing the daily outfit. The reason for this struggle is that you probably have too many styles of clothes and don’t know how to pair them.

The idea of choosing an outfit makes you stressful

Have you heard of decision fatigue? Our brains can only make a certain number of decisions during the day, and if you spend too much time on this simple decision, you won’t be able to concentrate on more important things after. You will get tired, frustrated and will enjoy your day less.

If only the idea of choosing the outfit makes you feel stressed, then you must start a capsule wardrobe. Don’t let any less important decision make you feel unhappy.

The idea of choosing an outfit makes you stressful
There are too many items in your wardrobe

There are too many items in your wardrobe

Can you honestly admit that you wear every single item of your wardrobe? If not, don’t worry you’re not alone. Many women wear only 10% of their wardrobe! You may be wearing more than that, but imagine how many unnecessary clothes you have.

You are not satisfied with your look and your outfits

Probably each of us has some item in our wardrobes that we don’t like that much. But it’s not okay when you don’t like half of your wardrobe. Your outfits must define your lifestyle, your uniqueness and they should resonate with your personality. If you don’t seem to like what you wear, stop buying so many clothes. It won’t fix the problem. Try to find your style and preferences, then you’ll be satisfied.

You are not satisfied with your look and your outfits

You feel uncomfortable in your clothes

Do you feel discomfort when wearing your clothes? Never ever wear them again, especially for a long time. Surely, every girl wants to wear high heels and a chic dress for parties. And that’s okay to wear them sometimes if that makes you feel like a queen. But wearing uncomfortable shoes or clothes every day is bad not only for your self-confidence but also for your health.

You think you spend too much money on clothes

If you’ve thought about this, then you’re definitely overspending, because many people don’t even notice how much they actually pay for clothes. Instead of buying clothes that you’re not going to wear, you need to analyze what you have and what you need, and only then buy something new.

You want to live more sustainably

A capsule wardrobe is a sustainable approach to your closet. If you want to contribute to the well-being of our planet, then you should buy less and more consciously. When you don’t have many clothes, you wear every single piece of them and you don’t waste anything.

Building Your Capsule Wardrobe

Let’s start creating your own amazing capsule wardrobe. Follow these steps and you’ll have the wardrobe of your dreams.

Building Your Capsule Wardrobe

Step 1

The first thing you need to do is to revise your closet. Go through every item and find out which ones you wear regularly and which ones you never touch. Probably, you already have everything you need to create a capsule wardrobe. There is no need to get rid of all your clothes. Keep the items that you love and that fit your body perfectly and proceed with the next steps.

Organize all your clothes into categories: the ones that you wear, and the clothes you don’t wear. If you haven’t worn some item for a few months, then you don’t need it (of course, taking into account the seasons). You may have clothes that you wear from time to time, just because you feel guilty for buying them. If you don’t like them, it’s better to get rid of them too. You can donate or sell the second pile of clothes. We’re going to work with the first one.

It’s recommended to have a capsule wardrobe for each of the 4 seasons. Keep the seasonal clothes in your closet and store away the others out of sight. Seasonal closets are a better choice, as this way your closet will look neater and less cluttered. Though, it still all depends on where you live, as in some places you will only need summer clothes.

To find your unique style, pay attention to the clothes that you love most, their colors, fabric, style. Also, think about your lifestyle. What is your primary activity? What do you do in your free time? Do you work out, go to parties or just stay at home? These questions will help you understand your lifestyle and what type of clothes you will need.

Step 2

Now, as you already know what your style is, it’s time to create your wardrobe. Capsule wardrobes usually consist of 33-37 items, but there is no need to concentrate on numbers. You just need to make sure that your wardrobe meets all your needs and wishes. The quantity actually depends on how much you want to wear each piece, how frequently you do laundry. After deciding on style and quantity, let’s find the perfect pieces for your wardrobe.

First, choose the base, neutral-colored coordinated essentials. Neutral colors are black, white, gray, chambray, beige. Neutral colors are great, as they can be paired with any other color and look elegant and chic. What do essentials mean? Essentials are tops and bottoms that are classic and never go out of style. Essentials include a white bottom-up shirt, black skirt, black pants, beige sweater, gray short sleeve tee, black dress, etc.

Note that, navy and black colors don’t complement each other. If you prefer the black color more, then you can’t have navy pieces and vice versa.

Choose only high-quality items. The purpose of the capsule wardrobe is to have a small number of clothes that you are going to wear more often. High-quality clothes are worth their price as you can wear them for years and they will still look great.

Tip: Don’t forget about the material. Make sure you feel comfortable in your clothes. It’s recommended to choose natural fibers like linen, or cotton. They are more breathable and sustainable. Besides, they won’t irritate your skin and are good for your health.

Capsule Wardrobe steps

Step 3

Now it’s time to add some colors. Choose 1 or 2 accent colors that you love. As you’ve already chosen the neutral colors, you can rest assured that whatever you choose in this step will perfectly be matched with neutral colors. Experiment, play with colors and styles to find what you like.

You can also choose some patterned items and layers. A horizontal striped top can go nearly with everything. Polka dots, floral prints, leopard patterns can also work well, just make sure their style and colors coordinate with your other items.

Next, choose some jackets, blazers, coats for your wardrobe. Some of them are essential items for colder seasons. These items will add some texture and colors to your wardrobe.

Step 4

Your capsule wardrobe is nearly ready. The last step is to choose shoes and accessories. For the shoes, you can choose one or two pairs of the same neutral colors as your clothes. Then add a pair of nude heels or flats, a pair of casual style shoes, like sneakers, and finally a pair of boots and sandals. This is a basic choice for everyone, but again you should choose whatever fits your style. Depending on your lifestyle you might need more casual style shoes or more classic heels. Just make sure they are of high quality and are made of sustainable materials.

And lastly, add the final notes – accessories. Choose 2-3 handbags. Beige or black colored handbags will look amazing with your other items. Then choose a statement necklace, earrings, bracelets, whichever you like most and think that will look great with your style. To complete your capsule wardrobe, add one or two scarves and you’re all set.

Capsule Wardrobe building
capsule wardrobe

And That’s It!

Congratulations! You’ve created your timeless capsule wardrobe. Remember that there are no rules and no restrictions. If you want to add more colors, then do it. The only rule is to make sure that all items can be mixed and matched with one another. You can refresh your wardrobe with 1-2 new items for every season. Whenever you want to buy a new item, think about how it will look with your clothes and whether you really need it. With all these in mind, you won’t make any unnecessary purchases and will have a healthier life.

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