Capsule wardrobes have become increasingly popular within the minimalist movement, and for good reason. The idea behind a capsule wardrobe is to create a wardrobe with a few timeless, never out of style pieces, and rely primarily on it when selecting outfits.
When I first heard about capsule wardrobes, I assumed it would be a boring, limiting wardrobe filled with just a few neutral colors – boy was I wrong! Thankfully I had friends who challenged me to try it, and as I tried it I realized that there are colorful pieces and neutral pieces alike that are timeless, and that my wardrobe was anything but boring! I love knowing that although it takes up less space, and actually took less money, my wardrobe is full of pieces that I love and will own for a very long time. I’m now the friend who recommends it to anyone who will listen!
The main focus in building a capsule wardrobe is selecting the right piece, at the right quality, so that you don’t need to own ten of the same item. This article is going to overview some of the tips to consider when building your own capsule wardrobe.
Step 1) Purging your existing wardrobe
The first step to forming a capsule wardrobe is making space for it, and this means going through the clothing you own. When I did it, I can honestly say I was prepared to get rid of over half of what I owned with absolutely no pain – this number shocked me but really drove home the point that maybe I did just need less.
After getting rid of it I thought I might feel pangs of regret, or miss some of the pieces, but the truth is I couldn’t tell you today what I even gave up! I felt immense relief at seeing my drawers slim down, and joy in the understanding that I would not see them that full again.
The other bonus to purging my wardrobe was that I really got time to look at the things I liked, and the things I didn’t. I was never the fashionista, so spending this much time in my own closet gave me an idea of my style (that’s step 2).
Figuring out the theme of your wardrobe
Once your existing wardrobe has been purged, it’s time to plan what will go into your new wardrobe – and what theme/style those pieces will be in. I’ve already admitted I was never the fashionista, I had no idea how to answer this question if you asked me outright. Instead, I took the time to ask myself questions about the clothes I was sorting through, and let that inform me of the styles I enjoyed.
With each piece I examined (both when getting rid of them and when purchasing new), I asked myself:
What fits complement my figure best?
Why do I feel good in this?
What are my best colors?
Over time, I gradually began to notice not only color preferences and fit preferences, but fabric preferences! I did have a style, just had no idea what it was! The same will be true of you. Ask yourself these questions while sorting through your clothes. I bet you’ll find a theme in no time, and that it will go a long way to helping you form your wardrobe.
Now it’s time to look at the factors that play into building the new wardrobe.
Factor 1: Quality
One of the fun factors to consider is quality of the clothing you’re selecting. The goal of a capsule wardrobe is to last a long time, so make sure that the pieces you’re selecting are going to go the distance for you.
Don’t be afraid to go a little higher on the initial price tag if you know it’s going to last! This lesson really hit home for bargain loving me, but it’s true. If you’re building your wardrobe around a few pieces, those pieces need to be high enough quality that they can last. Now I’m not saying you’ll never get another deal again, just to make sure the quality is worth the cost.
Factor 2: Fit
Never buy anything you can’t try on first. It is absolutely critical that each piece of your new wardrobe fit, and fit well. Take a critical look at the garment. Does it fit the way you want it? Does it look the way you thought? And is it comfortable? Because if it’s not, or if it doesn’t, chances are you won’t wear it as much as you’re thinking – avoid the purchase!
Factor 3: Lifestyle
We’ve all seen that dress that we LOVE – but know we won’t have any place to wear it. As much as this can make for a fun try-on experience, try to avoid purchasing items like these for a capsule wardrobe. Remember, the goal is to own less pieces overall, so the pieces that you do own should be able to function for more than one occasion.
Try to think of it as each piece taking up an available slot in your new wardrobe, and ask yourself if it’s really going to pull its weight in your new clothing style. There is no need to waste closet space when you’re trying to do the very opposite.
The bottom line is that a capsule wardrobe can save you money and space, but it does take some planning and time. I can honestly say it has given me a new passion for my clothing, in finding the few pieces I need to build an entire wardrobe I have really developed my personal style and taste. There is absolutely nothing hanging in my closet that I do not love, and that is a fantastic feeling.