If you find yourself standing in front of your over-stuffed closet thinking, “I have nothing to wear,” then a capsule wardrobe might be the perfect solution. But if you’ve never heard of this term, you’re probably wondering, what is a capsule wardrobe?
In short, a capsule wardrobe is a collection of essential, versatile clothing items that can be styled and paired together in various ways. Rather than stuffing your closet with extra clothes, a capsule wardrobe allows you to buy less, wear your clothes more often, and invest in high-quality attire.
That said, it may seem counterintuitive to purge your closet to feel like you have more clothes. So, how do you even decide which pieces to keep in their wardrobe?
I’m going to answer all of your questions about capsule wardrobes, including what they are, where they originated, and how to create one yourself.
Let’s get into it.
What Is A Capsule Wardrobe?
To better understand the purpose of a capsule wardrobe, let’s cover the idea’s history and how it came to be.
A fashion consultant first suggested the concept of a capsule wardrobe in the 1970s. She became more and more frustrated with low-quality clothing that forced wearers to shop more often than needed. This also led shoppers to acquire an excess of clothing when, in fact, fewer high-quality pieces might work better.
Since then, the fashion industry has designed capsule collections to express artistry, and society has utilized the idea for personal style and sustainability purposes.
In essence, a capsule wardrobe is a limited amount of high-quality, timeless clothing that you can continue to cycle throughout a season. This encourages functionality and utilizing more clothing items than you typically do. So, in other words, dressing from a capsule wardrobe allows you to bypass the overwhelm of an over-stuffed closet and finally begin to wear all of your clothes equally.
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Advantages Of A Capsule Wardrobe
When looking at it in a general sense, the idea might not be all that appealing. That is, until you know what the many benefits of cutting down your closet include.
Understanding Your Personal Style
Have you ever bought a piece of clothing that you claimed you would wear all the time, but in reality, you only wore it once? (If that.)
For instance, maybe you have something in your closet that is super trendy, but you’ve only worn it once because you found yourself feeling self-conscious when wearing it. Capsule wardrobes eliminate that.
One of the benefits of narrowing down your wardrobe is finding your own style through select items rather than live by society’s trends. Instead of buying clothes that are the most “stylish” or the most “trendy,” you’ll begin to recognize your favorite things. A capsule wardrobe will help you better understand yourself (and your style) through the clothes you love to wear.
You Can Shop Less & Save More
Having a set number of items in your wardrobe—and being dedicated to that number—will encourage you to wear more and buy less. That said, you’ll save thousands every year by cutting down your shopping trips. Not to mention, only shopping once per season for updates will save you a considerable amount of time as well.
On top of it all, you’re promoting sustainable living by discouraging fast fashion and only opting for high-quality clothing that is typically more eco-friendly. You can save on cash, save on time, and while you’re at it, you can even help to save the planet.
You’ll Always Have Something to Wear
One of the primary concepts of a capsule wardrobe is to fill your closet with a small number of staple items, but only those that are your absolute favorite. Instead of consistently thinking that you have nothing to wear, your chosen collection will help you feel like you always have something nice to throw on at any given moment.
Have you ever found that you own so many clothes that you haven’t had the chance to wear as often as you’d like to? Well, with a capsule, you won’t have to worry about that. Instead, you’ll make use of everything you own.
Building A Capsule Wardrobe
When Marie Kondo’s decluttering tactics came into the spotlight a few years ago, it seemed easy to toss out all of our junk and start more of a minimalistic lifestyle. But, moving the purge to your closet can be a bit intimidating. I get it. It’s difficult to toss out clothes that you spent good money on, especially when you’ve yet to wear them. However, it’s often necessary.
If you’re anything like me, you likely already wear the same outfit throughout the week—a black shirt and black pants. If that’s the case, then stripping things down to the bare necessities can be a bit easier than you might think. And, the good news is that you can build your capsule wardrobe using a few of your already owned and beloved items as a starting point.
Although all of the capsule wardrobes that make their way to Instagram are highly specific— neutral and earthy tones and simple patterns—it’s essential to remember that creating a capsule is a 100 percent personal experience. There is no wrong way to build a capsule wardrobe.
Individuality is the key to the entire concept, and finding your personal style with a capsule wardrobe will encourage you to narrow yours down. The only rule to enjoying a capsule wardrobe is through thoughtful selections and new-found utilization.
How to Get Started
Since a capsule wardrobe is entirely specific to you and your style, there isn’t any particular way to do things. If you’re not completely sold on throwing away your entire closet just yet, here are a few useful tips to persuade you into that possibility.
Select a number and stick to it. A popular number of items used for capsule wardrobes is 37. Paring your closet down to only 37 versatile items, including clothing, accessories, and shoes, provides you with a good variety of outfits to create. If you’re not committed to only 37, start with 100, or a number that works best for you, and continue to shave things off as you go along.
Start by donating the clothes you rarely wear. A helpful tip is to turn all of your clothes hangers to face the opposite direction, and those that worn within six months can be put in the donation pile.
Try to avoid shopping for three months at a time. If you find it difficult, try less time between trips and work your way up.
Start your capsule with a base color like brown or black, and then add coordinating neutral essentials. Continue with accent colors—if you’d like—and add items that are easily layered for versatility. Then add shoes and accessories that complement your wardrobe to create a complete outfit.
If you can’t find more than one outfit to wear with it, the piece might not be the most practical. Also, consider the fit and fabric to help you decide on the item’s wearability.
To sum up, a capsule wardrobe is a collection of a limited number of clothing items that are both versatile and functional. Narrowing your wardrobe can have plenty of benefits for your life, including helping to find your personal style—additional self-confidence—alongside saving you time and money.
Everything is wearable, lovable, and practical. Not to mention, you’ll never have to opt for sweatpants and a tee-shirt because of your bulging closet. If you’re hoping to build your own capsule wardrobe, we believe in you, and you certainly won’t regret it.
What are your favorite pieces in your wardrobe?