What is a capsule wardrobe, and why would I need one? You have probably asked yourself these questions many times, I know I used to. While I have pretty much adopted a minimalist lifestyle, my wardrobe was the ‘last man standing’ so to speak’. You see, I was an impulse buyer when it comes to clothes. I was very aware that this needed to change as I had a wardrobe full of clothes I didn’t enjoy wearing.
What is a Minimalist Capsule Wardrobe?
A minimalist capsule wardrobe is a:
* Collection of clothes and accessories that include only items considered essential
* Person’s basic collection of coordinating clothes that can be used to form the basis of outfits for all occasions
* Set of clothing, normally around 24 items, which can be mixed and matched to create a wide variety of outfits.
What are the Benefits of this Wardrobe Wardrobe?
As you move to a more minimalist lifestyle, you enjoy the feeling of space, and being easily able to find what you are looking for. One of the last bastions of your minimalist journey is often the wardrobe. Why is this? If you are like me, it just contained too much stuff. I had clothes that were too small, that I hoped to fit into one day, and clothes that I just didn’t like, but they were too expensive to throw away. I also had multiple jackets, and we live in a hot climate. There were also gloves, scarves, beanies and hat – all for cooler weather, and rarely worn. I also had old favourites for around the house that should have gone out, but were so comfortable!
The end result of all of this was clutter – and not being able to find what I wanted.
I envied friends who thoughtfully crafted their own style and understated elegance. It seemed so much more effective than running after seasonal fashion trends. By developing a minimalist capsule wardrobe you will see the following benefits. You will:
* Know what works best for you
* Know where to find what you need
* Develop a keen eye for quality
* Take better care of your clothing
* Not get caught up in trends
* Not need external validation
How do you create such a Wardrobe?
Now that you know what the benefits, are of a capsule wardrobe it’s time to get into the nitty gritty of building one. There are nine steps to the process:
EVALUATE YOUR LIFESTYLE
Take time to summarize to what you want to convey or express about yourself through your style. Consider how important elements of your lifestyle and routine heavily impact your style.
UNDERSTAND YOUR UNIQUE AESTHETIC
This step involves gathering an assortment of outfits inspiration that will serve as a visual roadmap to follow as you move through the rest of the process.
EVALUATE YOUR WARDROBE
You need to assess what you already have in your wardrobe vs. what’s missing in relation to your aesthetic and lifestyle needs.
CREATE YOUR CHECKLIST
In this step you need to create a list of the essential items you want in your capsule wardrobe then take inventory of what you have vs. what you need to purchase.
DETERMINE YOUR BUDGET
After you make your checklist, it’s important to have a set budget in mind before you go on a shopping excursion so you don’t break the bank. That would defeat the whole purpose of simplifying.
DECIDE ON YOUR GO-TO BRANDS
The benefit of this shortlist is that in the future, whenever you need to replace an item, it will save you time and effort because you already know where to turn.
SHOP WITHOUT IMPULSE
With your checklist in hand and a clear breakdown of your budget you’re ready to go shopping. However, you need to know how to avoid falling into the trap of impulse purchasing.
INCREASE LONGEVITY WITH PROPER CARE
If you wear a capsule wardrobe you should be especially mindful of the upkeep of your items if you want to extend their longevity. Maintain your commitment!
After all this work you wouldn’t want you to revert back to a wardrobe full of stuff you don’t love, so it’s important to revisit the process above periodically to maintain your Capsule Wardrobe.
What should be in a Capsule Wardrobe?
Every capsule wardrobe will look different. You may be a stay-at-home mum, a busy executive, a grandmother etc. The items that go in your wardrobe should reflect your lifestyle and needs. I have got my wardrobe down to 25 items, not including underwear and socks.
Here are some suggestions that could work in any capsule wardrobe:
- Classic white T-shirt
- Good pair of jeans
- Black jacket
- A good pair of tailored black pants
- A pair of white sneakers
- Well styled white shirt
- A pair of black shoes
- Good jumper or cardigan
- A skirt
The above is a good way to start your capsule with the basics. You would then add items that reflect your lifestyle and needs. Also consider your hobbies and interests – do they require you to have special clothes, for example sports clothes or uniforms? The above items are mostly black and white – the neutral colours. Add touches of other colours for variety. The benefits of having the basics in neutral colours is that they will go with everything. Lots of bright colours are great if that is your style, but they are much harder to mix and match.
Have fun creating your new wardrobe! Not only will you have much more space, you will also not have to lie in bed each morning wondering what to wear. Best of all, you will save a heap of money on buying things you won’t wear, things that don’t match anything you own, and generally just too much stuff.