Thinking of creating your own capsule wardrobe? It doesn’t have to be difficult and you do not need to sacrifice your personal style in order to build a capsule. This article will show you how to start your capsule wardrobe and a list of items that should be included, beyond a white shirt and a pair of jeans!
What is a capsule wardrobe? Capsuling can be described as refining or editing your current wardrobe down to your favourite pieces. These will most likely be clothes that suit your lifestyle at this present time, can be used to create new looks, offer versatility thereby enabling you to shop less and intentionally. Building a minimalist capsule wardrobe can resist the urge to splurge on unnecessary items and allow us to show our wardrobes love and appreciation. A capsule will normally consist of “a set number of pieces of clothing that you wear for a season before starting the next capsule.” (Fashionista, 2017) You’ll focus on adding some quality pieces (don’t forget, based on your lifestyle and what your wardrobe is currently lacking) at the start of your capsule. It’ll allow you to re-wear, remix and re-create rather than shopping impulsively.
How to create a capsule wardrobe
We’ve all heard the phrase “less is more” but how many of us are actually living up to this? Well, a capsule wardrobe will help you live it out in a realistic way. Creating a capsule wardrobe can:
- Control your shopping habit
- Help you to develop your personal style
- Save free up space in your wardrobe
- Improve your environmental and social responsibility – consuming less and reducing the impact on landfills.
- Here’s how to build your own capsule wardrobe:
Empty out your wardrobe
Take a look at what’s inside your closet. Start with one category (for example, knitwear, tops etc) and slowly move on to the next one. Go through each category and add the items you love back into your wardrobe. This process will allow you to see the percentage of items you wear regularly. It’ll help you to decide what to toss or donate.
There’s something so satisfying about laying everything out and getting a close view of what you already own and what works well together. Important note: if you’re unsure about a specific item or haven’t worn it in a couple of months, it’s a sign that you need to let it go!
Pack unwanted items
Once you’ve mindfully selected your capsule pieces, pack everything else and keep it out of sight! Yes, that also includes keeping storage away from places where you may be tempted to pick out pieces now and again. Sell your quality items on Vestiaire Collective or Depop. Think of it this way – you’re giving your old clothes a new life and placing them in a new home.
Make decisions based on your lifestyle and wardrobe goals
If you spend 90% of the time working from home your capsule wardrobe will look slightly different, compared to someone who works in a corporate office environment. Consider your lifestyle and be real with yourself. If you work from home, then think about building a work from home capsule that’s stylish but also comfortable. If you work in an office, determine the dress code and build your capsule around that.
Stick to it for 3 months or until the end of a season
Now you’ve got your capsule wardrobe sorted, it’s time to start living in it! The aim here is to only wear the pieces you’ve selected in your capsule, for three months or until the end of the season if you’ve built a seasonal capsule. You might get bored and be tempted by the latest fresh, new pieces but look at the bright side – it can certainly help you find your personal style, identify what works best for you and get your creative juices flowing as you consistently create new ensembles. You’ll also be saving a lot of money!
Start all over again
Once the three months or season has elapsed, you’ll be in a good position to reflect on what worked for you and what didn’t. Your discoveries will help you plan your capsule wardrobe for the next season. You’ll want to use this time to analyse any gaps in your wardrobe that you wish to fill in the new season.
Remember that it doesn’t need to be perfect
If you focus too much on perfection, it’s likely that you’ll never create your capsule wardrobe. Your wardrobe might not be perfect at the beginning but that’s okay. Embrace the imperfection and be at peace with it.
How many clothes should be in a capsule wardrobe
Many people will advise you to limit your capsule to about 35 pieces consisting of tops, bottoms, dresses, outerwear and shoes. While this may benefit some, my advice would be to not just focus on the numbers but ask yourself a couple of questions instead when adding pieces:
- Can I style this item in numerous ways?
- Is it something I’ll actually wear regularly rather than occasionally?
- Season/weather friendly?
- Is it durable – can I trust it to last through to the end of the season with repeated wear?
- By asking yourself these questions, you’re paying attention to the pieces you’re adding to your wardrobe rather than just focusing on how many items you should have. Once you’ve become more experienced with capsuling, then you can start to think about building seasonal capsules, limited to a certain amount of items.
How much should you spend?
The costs relating to building a capsule will entirely depend on your wardrobe needs and how much you have planned to budget for it. If you’re creating your capsule wardrobe with pieces you already have then minimal costs will be involved. Assess your own financial situation and make decisions based on that.
Capsule wardrobe essentials – a list of must-have pieces for your capsule!
- Button down
- Tank top
- Silk Blouse
- Wool sweater
- Cotton tees
- Long sleeve cotton tops
- Black jeans
- Indigo denim jeans
- Light blue jeans
- Cotton trousers
- Midi skirt
- Midi dress
- Wrap dress
- Shirt dress
- Sweater dress/knitted dress
- Black dress
- Black blazer
- Camel/beige blazer
- Trench coat
- Denim jacket
- Leather jacket
- Rain jacket
- Black wool coat
- Camel wool coat
- Puffer jacket
- Tailored coat
- Fleece jacket
- Black loafers
- Ankle boots
- Slip on sandals
- Ballerina flats
- Pumps (optional)
- White sneakers
- Lace up boots
- Knee high boots (optional)
- Crossbody bag
- Tote bag
- Weekend bag
- Black belt
- Brown belt
- Scarf (optional)
- Jewellery (optional)
- Everyday sunglasses
So there you have it, the complete beginner’s guide to building a capsule wardrobe!
Remember to take it slow and steady. Understand your personal style and make conscious decisions when it comes to shopping for your wardrobe, in order to get the most wear. What are your capsule wardrobe essentials?