Adventures in Starting a Capsule Wardrobe

A few months ago, I saw some articles about a capsule wardrobe and at first glance I thought it was just one of those fads. You know the ones, where everyone hops on the bandwagon about a miracle, life saving something or other and then a few months later it’s almost as if it never existed? This might be one of those things but despite that, I still feel like this might just work.

Let me explain what exactly is a capsule wardrobe. It’s simply a refined wardrobe consisting of 37 versatile pieces that you absolutely love. At the base of the idea is the phrase, “less is more.” By paring down the items in your wardrobe to about 37 pieces, you have more room to keep track of your clothing and have an easier time picking out something to wear. Having only 37 key pieces of clothing might seem scary but by having less you get more of the things you love; you get a wardrobe that you actually like. Obviously 37 isn’t a cut and dry number, you can have as many pieces of clothing that you absolutely love but 37 is a good start.

The capsule wardrobe is a season dependent wardrobe. Meaning that at the end of each season, you go through your wardrobe and clear out the things that you won’t be able to wear into the next season or you just didn’t wear it as much as you though you would. When starting out at first, pair down what you already own to 37 items and try to live with them for a week or so without doing any shopping. This way you can really see what is lacking from your wardrobe and what you absolutely need to get. Once you’ve got your ideal wardrobe, start a shopping fast until the next season. This might be a deal breaker for some but in all honesty you probably won’t want to shop as much because you’ll be truly happy with your wardrobe the way it is.

So after being a little fed up with a constantly messy wardrobe and feeling like I have nothing to wear all the time, I decided that this would be a good option for me. I went through my entire wardrobe, took everything out, and looked at each piece of clothing and placed them into one of four piles.

  • I love it and I would wear it right now. It fits, it’s well suited to my lifestyle, and I feel confident in it. These are the pieces that are going to start your capsule wardrobe so put them back into your closet.
  • Maybe. These are items are ones that either don’t fit right, you paid a lot for and don’t want to get rid of, it has sentimental value or you just don’t wear it. Pack these clothes into a box and store them away for now. At the end of the season, if they are still in the box then it’s time to donate.
  • No. You never wear it and don’t even like it. Donate.
  • Seasonal. You love these pieces and they are a necessity but don’t work for the season that you’re in. Store these away and come back to them in the next season.

 Now I got rid of stuff that I wore in high school and things that really don’t suit my personal style anymore as I’ve grown quite a bit in my personal taste. Some of the stuff I couldn’t believe that I still owned. I really do feel like I have more clothes to work with despite having less because I have cleared out all of the “cluttered” clothes from my closet and only have what I really love.

Next, we’re on to how to structure your capsule wardrobe. Everyone’s will be different but a good base is to think in terms of three’s. Three tops, three sweaters, and three button-up’s and then fill in with a jacket or vest. Three jeans, three pants and three skirts and fill that in with a dress or another piece like that. Seasonally you might opt for two winter jackets, or maybe three pairs of shorts instead of pants. Shoes are another part of the Capsule Wardrobe and a really good number to start with is six pairs. For winter you might have tall boots, ankle boots, sneakers, slip-on sneakers, oxfords and maybe a pair of heels. The capsule wardrobe doesn’t include handbags, accessories or clothing essentials like undergarments, formal wear and gym attire. This leaves you a lot of room to change up different outfits with different handbags and accessories.

With only just starting my capsule wardrobe I already feel at ease when deciding what to wear in the morning and it really does shorten my getting ready time. The whole point of the capsule wardrobe is to have an efficient wardrobe that fits your everyday lifestyle. Look for my next seasons post on my capsule wardrobe update and new purchases. If you try this out, let me know how it goes!

 

 

 

Advertisements