A Minimalist Capsule Wardrobe

Minimalist wardrobe

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.

Capsule wardrobe

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

Minimalist capsule wardrobe 1

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.

Minimalist 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:

  1. Classic white T-shirt
  2. Good pair of jeans
  3. Black jacket
  4. A good pair of tailored black pants
  5. A pair of white sneakers
  6. Well styled white shirt
  7. A pair of black shoes
  8. Dress
  9. Good jumper or cardigan
  10. 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.

The Minimalist Mindset

A minimalsit mindset

Minimalism is more than decluttering and simplifying alone. Those are important parts of the minimalist journey, but truly embracing minimalism involves shifting the way you think. Once you are able to do that you will adopt a minimalist mindset.

Minimalism is about committing to owning less, rather than decluttering more often. It is about changing your view of what you own and why you own it. This minimalist mindset shift happens gradually and subtly, in small ways. One day you look around and realize your relationship with “stuff” has changed. You have a different viewpoint. Your journey towards and through minimalism has changed your mindset, you now have the minimalist mindset shift.

It’s about owning less, not decluttering more

Changing your mindset can often be the biggest hurdle towards minimalism for many of us. We declutter and purge our homes and are excited to embrace a more minimalist lifestyle. But then a few months later we’ve acquired a heap of new stuff to take the place of the old. So we declutter and purge, and the cycle continues. Without changing the way we think about “stuff” and adopting a minimalist mindset, it’s difficult to make a big shift to minimalism.

Of course, even people who fully embrace minimalism need to purge and declutter occasionally. Stuff accumulates, priorities change, seasons of life change and we no longer need things we used to. But once you have fully embraced the idea of minimalism, the way you think changes. You think differently about what you have in your home and how you spend your time. Your priorities are now what you value and love.

Value experiences over physical things

Once you’ve committed to living with less, you begin looking for ways to spend your time. You are no longer spending time and energy searching for what you can buy next. You’d rather spend your time and money doing something to create memories, not add clutter to your life. Experiences, activities and adventures become more important than acquiring more things.

Stop – do you really need it?

As you embrace minimalism, you become more intentional about what you bring into your space. You stop buying things just to satisfy your need for something new.

Instead, you only buy things you have carefully thought about and decided will add value to your life. You start buying less and being more intentional about what you do buy.

Your spending habits in general change after the minimalist mindset shift. You prioritize spending money on activities and experiences rather than buying more “stuff”.

You stop seeing shopping as a hobby or a past time and begin to look for new hobbies or past times. With your new mindset, you look for those that add value to your life. You make purchases that make you happy and aren’t focused on consumerism or acquiring more.

Become a fierce and intentional gatekeeper about what you allow into your home and your life

You have done the hard work decluttering, purging and minimizing your home. The last thing you want to do is fill it right back up with stuff. You know how much work it was to get rid of your excess stuff. That is excellent motivation to stop unnecessary items from coming into your home again in the first place.

You begin to pay more attention to what “stuff” is entering your home and take on the role of a gatekeeper. Stopping unnecessary, unwanted or unneeded items from coming into your home in the first place is your priority. Instead of letting them come into your home, being forced to deal with them and ultimately decluttering them later, your focus shifts. You are able to be more careful and intentional about what you let in your space in the first place.

Focus on owning less rather than decluttering more

After the minimalist mindset shift, you stop the cycle of decluttering, then buying more, then decluttering again. Again, after all the time and effort you put into decluttering your home, you don’t want to end up right back where you started.

After the minimalist mindset shift, you realize that owning less is much easier and more beneficial than decluttering more often. Your focus changes and you actually WANT to own less because of the extra value and time it brings to your life.

Make your time meaningful

Minimalism is not just about your “stuff”. It goes beyond physical items and changes the way you spend your time as well.

You begin saying no to commitments that don’t align with what you value. As well as saying no to commitments that take too much time away from what you DO value. You recognize that your time is your most valuable resource and become more intentional with how you spend it.

The minimalist mindset shift changes what you allow to take up both your space and your time. You become more intentional with both.

Realize happiness does not come from “things”

After you embrace the minimalist mindset, you no longer feel like you always need more. You no longer tie your happiness to what you own, thinking if once you get the latest and greatest “thing” you’ll feel happy. You stop believing you’ll be happy as soon as you make your next purchase.

Your happiness and self-worth are no longer dependent on what you own. You realize the things you own are here to serve you, either by being useful or bringing you joy. What you own does not define you as a person or determine your happiness or your worth.

Stop trying to keep up with the neighbours

As you embrace the minimalist mindset, you let go of the idea of “keeping up with the Joneses”. You become content with what you have. What you own does not define you as a person. You make the intentional choice to only keep what you use and love.

You feel content with your belongings, knowing they bring value to your life rather than burdening you. With that, you no longer compare what you own to what other people own, because it doesn’t matter. Your belongings do not define your life or your worth. You are content with less because owning less makes your life better. Comparison based on what people own becomes pointless.

Don’t let fear or a scarcity mindset rule what stays in your home

You stop keeping things “just in case” or because you might need it someday. You realize how rarely those “just in case” times actually happen. On the odd occasion you do find yourself without something you could use, you know there are many different potential solutions.

Rather than hanging on to a whole bunch of stuff just in case, you look for alternatives for the thing you need. Maybe you have another item you can use in its place. Or perhaps you could borrow the item from a friend. Sometimes you can actually do without the item altogether and realize you didn’t need it after all. Sometimes if you can find no other alternative, you may have to buy something you previously got rid of.

But those times really are rare. The space and freedom you gain from getting rid of so much unnecessary clutter is definitely worth it. If you have to potentially re-buy the odd item you’ve thrown out, it’s a small price to pay for peace of mind and freedom.

Realize organizing is not the answer

I think a lot of us are guilty of thinking we need to organize when really we just have too much stuff, to begin with!

As the minimalist mindset shift happens you begin to see that organizing will never give you the freedom and peace you are looking for. The stuff is all still there and will eventually make it’s way out of your organized system and cause the same stress in your life. The only way to really fix the problem is to get rid of anything you don’t use or love. Only then will you free up both time and space in your home and your life.

The shift to a Minimalist Mindset takes time!

Remember that embracing minimalism is a process, these shifts to a minimalist mindset don’t happen overnight. Most of us have spent most of our lives being told more is better and being bombarded with consumerism. It takes time and effort to shift the way we think. And some of these shifts will come more easily for you than others. But over time, the more you embrace minimalism as a lifestyle, the more your mindset shifts to embrace a minimalist mindset.