When I first heard about capsule wardrobes a few years ago I thought it was such an inventive idea for people who wanted to declutter their lives. So what exactly is a capsule wardrobe? It would be described as a compact wardrobe made up of specific staple pieces in neutral or similar color tones. A capsule wardrobe is normally comprised of 30 items or fewer which includes everything from clothing, shoes, bags, and accessories. It is essentially a fool proof way to get dressed on a daily basis.
Before you decide on a capsule wardrobe, ask yourself, is this really something I could achieve?? Initially, most people have a minor panic attack at the thought of only having 30-40 pieces TOTAL in their wardrobe. But the thing is, most of us have already compiled our very own capsule wardrobe by wearing the same types of clothing over and over again. So toss those old stragglers… There’s no need to hang on to something you haven’t worn in a year or more, unless it’s seasonal.
For me, getting rid of 75% of my clothes almost gave me a heart attack… What am I going to wear?? I literally have NO clothes now!! Sound a little over dramatic?? Think about it… If you’re like me, you gravitate towards the same garments on a daily basis and some of my clothes wouldn’t even get touched for months or years!! Why even hang on to something you know you won’t wear?? I know I don’t want to look at it everyday in my closet knowing that it doesn’t really go with anything. TOSS IT!! You can always restock items later because by the time you would actually wear it, it’s probably old and not in style anymore.
How do you know if a capsule wardrobe is for you? Let’s do a little test…
Are you shopping for clothing, shoes, bags, etc. more than once a week?
Do you just shop to shop??
If you had a bad day or just frustrated in general, are you shopping?
Do you have too many clothes and don’t know how to put outfits together?
Do you find yourself constantly browsing online just to buy something?
Does this sound like you?? This used to be me when I started my wardrobe styling company years ago. I had accumulated so many clothes that I hadn’t worn in years but I hated to just let them go. So dumb because who wants clutter?? I needed to stop making emotional purchases and really focus on things that I would actually wear and get my money’s worth from. I wanted to stop filling my closet with cheap, crappy clothes, costume jewelry, shoes, etc and I wanted to stop believing more nice, designer or even crappy stuff would bring me happiness. Because it doesn’t. It was a bad habit! In the end, no one cares about that stuff!
I understand a capsule wardrobe isn’t for everyone; some people need a larger work wardrobe, etc. So focus on an extended capsule wardrobe with maybe double the amount of pieces so you don’t feel like you’re doing to be walking around naked everyday with nothing to wear!
Personally, I knew I needed to make a change and declutter my entire life, starting with my cluttered wardrobe. No one should be overwhelmed when they walk into their own closet trying to find something to wear. The entire process should take a matter of five minutes tops. With a capsule collection, you can easily see everything you have and know that every single piece will easily match with one another. Who’s ready to make some changes?!
Let’s start off easy…
Find your style. Yes, that’s easier said than done. It took me years to get to a point that I realized I just don’t like color… Get a pen and notepad and start taking notes on what styles you love, what styles look best on you and a color palette you want to stick with. Most people aim towards neutrals – blacks, greys, ivory, white, camel, denim, etc. All of these neutral tones work extremely well together.
Time to sort. While this is fresh on your mind, get in that closet and start making piles; love, maybe, negatory and seasonal. Go through EVERYTHING. Try things on. Make sure things still work for your body type. Then organize colors and styles of your favorite pieces. Start looking for trends in what you wear on the regular. Don’t be shocked if you are left with only a select amount of pieces. That means it’s working!
Make a list of items that you need to complete your wardrobe. If you need more basic tops, a leather jacket, etc. I recently did a post on how to get organized and what to keep when cleaning out your closet.
Plan out specific pieces you absolutely need to achieve your new wardrobe, do a little research on who actually has these pieces and either order online or shop in-store. Planning this step out will help you avoid any unnecessary shopping, because how many times are we in stores and see something that we just have to have right then and there!
Now, time to implement this new style into your life.
If you’re willing to splurge, the list below is for you!
If you’re more on the budget friendly side, check out these MUST haves!
Once I made this change my stress level went way down. I no longer had to stand in my closet aimlessly browsing the racks trying to find something to wear. The one thing that takes pressure off of me is knowing that everything I have in this capsule wardrobe actually fits and will go with anything I pair it with. And for me, that’s a win!
If you’re going to take on the capsule wardrobe challenge go through the steps above and try and focus on that specific wardrobe for at least 2 months. That means absolutely NO shopping for 2 months… Why would you need to if you already have everything you need?? After a couple of months, start adding in supplemental pieces that you know will work. We don’t want you to get back into unnecessary shopping so make sure you plan out what you actually need.
As the seasons change, start planning again for things you’ll need when the warmer weather starts rolling out and then again when summer hits.