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A Guide To Creating A Capsule Wardrobe

Posted on December 27 2021

Ever stood in front of your closet trying to get ready for the day and proclaimed: “I have nothing to wear!”?

Well, what you’re actually saying is that you do have clothes, just not the right clothes. 

Enter the capsule wardrobe, the magical solution to all your fashion woes. But how exactly does it work? And how can you create one for yourself? 

Admittedly, it’s not an easy task, especially since it’s more of a lifestyle change. Don’t worry, though; this guide will simplify the process of creating your very own capsule wardrobe. 

A capsule wardrobe is a wardrobe that consists only of those items that you absolutely love to wear every day. 

Technically speaking, everyone has a capsule wardrobe within their actual wardrobe. You know, that one sweatshirt that you throw on almost every day, or that special dress that fits your body just right. 

Now, imagine if your entire closet was full of clothes like that— clothes that you actually want to wear every day. Well, that’s the basic idea behind capsule wardrobes. 

As you can imagine, having a capsule wardrobe can be life-altering in the best ways. Beyond having a wardrobe full of clothes that you love, there are other benefits as well: 

  • Capsule wardrobes help save a lot of time getting ready. 
  • They also save a lot of money since you won’t have any reason to impulsively shop. Plus, you ensure that you actually get to use them, meaning that it’s money well-spent. 
  • It reduces the amount of waste you produce in the form of discarded clothes. 
  • It encourages you to be creative and helps you develop (or even discover) your personal style. 

 what is a capsule wardrobe

Basic Capsule Wardrobe Rules

Before you set off on creating a capsule wardrobe, you need to know some basic principles and rules to help you develop the right mindset. 

The first rule that many people abide by is that your wardrobe should include between 30-45 items of clothing to last you all year. To be honest, though, this shouldn’t be such a hard-and-fast rule because everyone has different lifestyles that require different quantities (and styles) of clothing.

In fact, your foremost guideline should actually be your lifestyle. When you adjust your wardrobe according to your lifestyle, you’ll automatically reduce the number of clothes you own. We’ll talk more about this shortly. 

Some people like to keep a separate “base wardrobe,” which includes things like pyjamas, workout clothes, swimwear- basically clothes that you use beyond your day-to-day wearing. 

Similarly, some people also like to create a new capsule wardrobe each season, while others stick with the same one throughout the year. Indeed, your capsule wardrobe should include clothes that are durable and long-lasting, such as those made from hemp or bamboo. 

The point is that there are no hard-and-fast rules for creating a capsule wardrobe. As long as you stick with the basic principles, you can play around with the rules as much as you want. 

basic capsule wardrobe rules

You know what a capsule wardrobe is and what it should look like. Now, let’s put words into action and overhaul your wardrobe. 

 

Step 1: Analyze Your Lifestyle

As we discussed previously, your lifestyle should be the main guiding force in creating your capsule wardrobe. What this means is that your clothes should reflect your lifestyle. 

For example, let’s say that you like to stay home on most days. Yet, most of the clothes in your closet are “going out” clothes. When you stand in front of your closet deciding what to wear for the day, of course you’re going to feel like you have nothing to wear. 

In reality, though, you do have ample clothes to wear, but you don’t have any that complement your lifestyle. 

Once you analyze your lifestyle, you can easily identify which style of clothing should make up the majority of your wardrobe. 

capsule wardrobe

Step 2: Declutter

Next, empty out your entire closet and lay out everything in front of you., including your shoes, bags, and hats. Here comes the hard part: decluttering and organising. 

As you look through your clothes, organise them into three piles: “essentials,” “maybes,” and “letting go.”

Here are some questions you can ask yourself to make this categorisation easier:

  • How many times have I worn this item? 
  • Have I worn this item in the last month? 
  • How many times have I seen this item in my laundry pile? 
  • Do I love the way it fits my body? 
  • Do I feel confident every time I wear this item? 
  • Does it fit into my lifestyle? 

At the end of this process, you should only be left with items that will definitely go into your capsule wardrobe. As for the ones you’re letting go of, there are plenty of ways you can ethically dispose of your unwanted clothes

 creating a capsule wardrobe - sustainable fashion

Step 3: Work With What You Have First

At this stage, shopping for new clothes should be at the absolute bottom of your to-do list. Instead, stick with the clothes you already have first. 

The thing about shopping for a capsule closet is that it should be a gradual and mindful process. If you shop for clothes you think you need right now, you’ll easily fall back into old habits. 

On the other hand, by working with what you already have for a while, you can be more sensible about what you should buy. 

 wardrobe planning capsule wardrobe

Step 4: Create Outfit Ideas

After sorting through your clothes, you might feel like you don’t have enough of them left. 

But remember that this project is all about using creative ways to conjure up new outfits. 

By creating outfit ideas, you can see whether the clothes you have actually complement each other. If you have a few outliers that don’t go with anything, you can then start to fill in the gaps. 

 create outfit ideas capsule wardrobe

Step 5: Fill in The Gaps

At this point, you’ll probably be looking at a disproportionate and mismatched collection of clothing. Maybe you’ll have too many tops and not enough pants. Or, maybe you have a statement piece that you can’t pair with anything. 

But don’t whip out your credit card just yet. 

Instead, keep adding those items that you need to your wishlist as you test drive your capsule wardrobe. As you do so, you will be able to optimize your wishlist, after which you can shop for new clothes and fill in the gaps. 

 

Conclusion

When you first start creating your capsule wardrobe, the first few weeks can be tough. But don’t fall off the wagon by making bad purchasing choices. 

When you start to shop for new clothes, do so with the principles of capsule wardrobe guiding you. In other words, you need to become an intentional shopper, which basically means that you should approach shopping with thought, strategy, and longevity in mind. 

Over time, your capsule wardrobe will start to look more and more whole as you start being a more intuitive shopper. 

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