I’ve had a capsule wardrobe for about two years now, and I’m never going back! Here’s why I love having a capsule wardrobe and a few tips on how to get started.
Benefits of a Capsule Wardrobe
I enjoy having a capsule wardrobe for many reasons, including but not limited to the following benefits.
- Easy Decision Making. Limited options make choosing an outfit so much easier. It takes me no time at all to pick out an outfit in the morning. Too many choices can cause decision fatigue—and a messy room. Less is definitely best.
- Less Shopping. Having a capsule wardrobe allows me to be more intentional about what I purchase and bring into my home. I no longer desire to shop mindlessly and spend money on something that I won’t even like in a month or two. If I shop for clothes or accessories, it’s for a very particular piece that I feel my wardrobe is lacking. It ensures that I LOVE every single piece in my closet and that they all fit properly. They’re all my favorites.
- Quality Over Quantity. Having less items in my wardrobe allows me to spend more money on each piece, so it frees me to buy better quality items. Of course, these pieces are curated overtime and not bought all at once on a major shopping spree.
- More Creativity. With fewer items in my closet, I have more fun creating different combinations and using accessories to make brand new outfits.
- True Style. After taking the time to put more thought and research into each piece of my capsule wardrobe, and wearing the same pieces more frequently, I have learned which styles, cuts and colors make me feel my best.
- Good Stewardship. A capsule wardrobe allows me to say “no” to fast fashion labels. Fast fashion is not only bad for the earth (it’s made us look at clothes and accessories as disposable), but it’s also bad for the millions of people who are subject to poor labor conditions and pay. Having a capsule wardrobe has helped me be more aware of the companies and morals (or lack thereof) my money is supporting.
- Learning Opportunities. I have had to learn how to take better care of my quality clothes so that I can make them last longer. I’ve enjoyed and am still enjoying improving my skillset in laundry and mending. I’ve found that looking at mundane chores as an important art form makes daily life so much more pleasurable. Did you know you can easily dry clean at home??
Where to Begin
If you’re interested in creating a capsule wardrobe, the following steps will help you get started.
Step 1: Declutter
There are many ways to approach a capsule wardrobe, but every way begins with a good decluttering of your closet. Designate three piles: 1) Toss, 2) Donate/Sell, and 3) Keep. Put on some good music, pour a glass of wine or favorite beverage, and have fun with it! Go through every single piece of clothing and accessory. Look at each item. Try it on.
- What to Toss: If an item has bad pilling, stains, stretches, odor, or holes and cannot be fixed, then toss it. Thrift stores and other charities sort through donations and don’t keep these items anyway. Do them a favor and don’t give them pieces that are in poor condition.
- What to Donate or Sell: If an item is in good condition, but…
- It Doesn’t Fit. Don’t keep it…even if it’s an aspirational piece. A capsule wardrobe allows you to love and embrace your wardrobe with where you are TODAY. You can still work towards a weight goal, but don’t use it as an excuse to clutter your closet and brain. You can buy clothes that fit AFTER you reach your goal and sell or donate the ones that have become too big. That’s a more exciting way to celebrate anyway, right?
- You Don’t Love It. Some people may keep an item they don’t love because it was expensive. Donate or sell it! If you don’t love it, you’re not going to wear it, so just get it out of your closet. From now on, you’re going to be more intentional and will only buy pieces that you will love a long time.
Step 2: Choose a Type of Capsule Wardrobe
Once you’ve weeded out the pieces that are too worn, not loved, or don’t fit, then it’s time to decide on your personal guidelines for your wardrobe. Choose a limit. About how many pieces do you want to limit your wardrobe to? Again, there are so many ways to go about this. You can make up your own limits and guidelines or follow a pre-written plan. There are many blogs, books, websites, and social media accounts that lay out a capsule wardrobe plan. Here are some resources that may help get you started:
- Jennifer L. Scott’s 10-item wardrobe, which you can learn about on her YouTube channel, The Daily Connoisseur; her TED Talk; or her Madame Chic books. This approach focuses on ten core clothing pieces plus “extras,” which includes shoes, accessories, T-shirts, and other layering items. This is the concept that I personally follow.
- Project 333: The Minimalist Fashion Challenge That Proves Less Really Is So Much More by Courtney Carver. This popular process focuses on wearing only a total of 33 clothing items and accessories for three months.
- Frump Fighters: This is a website, e-newsletter, and collection of printables that help guide you in putting together a capsule wardrobe and creating outfit ideas.
Step 3: Shop Your Closet
Once you have established a plan that works for you and your lifestyle, it’s time for the fun part…shop your closet! Select the clothing items that you already own that fit into your capsule wardrobe plan. You probably already own some basics that are versatile. Do you have some pieces that you don’t usually wear on a daily basis but absolutely love? Turn them into statement pieces for your capsule wardrobe and build the rest around them! Take this as permission to wear your favorite items on a regular basis and feel amazing.
Step 4: Reassess Your Closet
Don’t immediately go shopping. Wear what you have for a couple of weeks and then reassess your wardrobe. You may find that you already own everything you need for your capsule wardrobe. Or you might find that you need a couple of items to fill in some gaps. Take the time to think about which items you truly need and to find that perfect piece you know you’ll love and wear for a while.
Step 5: Continually Evaluate and Curate
As you continue to live with your capsule wardrobe, declutter as you go by keeping a basket or bag in your closet that is designated for donation. As the seasons change, plan your wardrobe accordingly. Keep the items that still work for you and replace those that no longer fit, are too worn, or you no longer love. Over time, you will discover for yourself all of the benefits of having a capsule wardrobe.
Curating a capsule wardrobe isn’t a process of instant gratification. It’s a slower, more thoughtful process that results in long-term satisfaction. Enjoy the journey to less stress and more fun and freedom in fashion.
If you’re interested in more ways to add simplicity and minimalism to your family’s life, check out these articles: