I never saw myself owning a capsule wardrobe, but I have to say that using one this past month has been rewarding in more ways than one. This wardrobe concept is too great not to share and if you’ve ever thought about doing one yourself, I encourage you to at least try it and follow the steps I’ve listed below to get started!
You may be thinking, what is a capsule wardrobe?
A capsule wardrobe is a minimal wardrobe typically consisting of 30-40 pieces or less that are interchangeable. This does not mean just tops and bottoms. This means tops, bottoms, shoes, hats, bags, tank tops, jackets, etc. However, everyone has their own idea of a capsule wardrobe and I don’t think there should be strict rules applied to the concept. Personally, I think a capsule wardrobe should consist of 30-40 items with wiggle room to fit your lifestyle.
What are the benefits?
I’ve found there are many advantages to owning a capsule wardrobe. This will obviously depend on the person and why they are doing it in the first place. For me, its saving money by limiting unnecessary purchases, doing less laundry, and making more room in my closet. As like any other woman, I love shopping – it makes me happy! And although I will always love to shop, owning a capsule wardrobe has helped stop those impulse buys and to shop in moderation. I’ve also noticed while sticking to neutral colors I’m able to create more outfits with fewer items.
So, are you in?!
Step 1. Strip Closet & Separate Items into Piles
First, I completely stripped down my closet and separated everything into three piles: Yes, Maybe and No. You should only put items in the yes pile that you absolutely love and always wear or the items you can’t part with this fall season. The maybe pile should consist of items you like but may not necessarily love. I ended up having so many items in my yes pile that I didn’t have a choice to choose from items in my maybe pile.
What to do with the no pile? The no pile should be donated or sold. Why have items sit in your closet that you don’t care to wear for a whole season? This whole process is about getting rid of the extra baggage and letting the clothes go that you keep telling yourself “you’ll use eventually,” when the truth is, you probably won’t.
Step 2. Eliminate
After separating your clothes into piles and you’re left with your yes pile, start eliminating. When looking through your clothes, consider all situations. What do you do for a living? Can you wear most of these items to both work and out with friends? Maybe your yes pile consists of all items you love, but there are other items you’d wear before others. Try to keep an open mind and get rid of anything you don’t need. At this point you want to try to get your items down to 50-60 pieces, max. If you hit a road block on eliminating and can’t eliminate anymore, give it a rest and move on to step three.
Also, I just want to say that it’s understandable to not want to get rid of items in your maybe pile. Some may call me a cheater on this step, but the items that I couldn’t come to a decision on, I stored away under my bed. Next year, I’ll take the items out and go through them again, deciding what I do and don’t need. Personally, I don’t think a capsule wardrobe was meant to be made overnight – it’s a process and we’re just getting started. This whole experience has been about letting go of the extra baggage I’ve kept over the years, and getting rid of the clothes that don’t bring happiness or serve a purpose for me anymore.
Step 3. Establish Your Color Palette
While looking at your remaining items, what colors do you consistently see? Pick 2-3 neutral colors to have as your base colors. These colors will help you eliminate further and will create more outfits in the long run. This step was a little easier for me as I rarely have vibrant colors in my closet and mostly neutrals.
Step 4. Narrow Down by Color & Style
Now the hard part. After you’ve figured out your color palette, it’s time for another round of elimination. Your goal is to get your items down to 35-40 items or less. Start looking at your color palette and eliminate the colors that may not be versatile with the colors you’ve chosen. If you’re like me and have an abundance of neutral colored tops that all work together, it’s time to start eliminating repetitive items. For example, I have two black cardigans that I wear all the time. But do I really need both for three months? No. I chose one and stored away the other one. This approach is important when eliminating your shoes as well – you don’t need two pairs of the same color and style.
Step 5. Create Outfits
Start by laying out your outerwear pieces, or items you’ll be wearing over t-shirts and by themselves (cardigans, sweaters, jackets, etc.). From there, take your t-shirts and tank tops and see what will pair well with your outerwear pieces. Remember, your items should be working well together because of your neutral color palette. You shouldn’t have much clash, if any. This step is about putting items together and seeing what works.
And there you have it – a fall capsule wardrobe! For the next two months I will continue to use the same items while sharing my process, tips and experiences with you all. In my next post I will be sharing the pieces I’ve been using, along with some budget-friendly pieces you can add to yours. Make sure to subscribe to my emails so you never miss a post!