If the idea of a capsule wardrobe sends you into a cold sweat, you’re not alone. When I first came across this idea, I thought there was no way it would ever work for me. I love clothes. And I love style and fashion. A capsule wardrobe is devoid of all that!
Well, actually, it’s not.
A capsule wardrobe can be anything you want it to be. You can design your capsule to span the entire year, or have one for each season. Whatever makes you comfortable. But once you start, I promise, you won’t look back.
Pinterest. Yep. That old time-suck is going to be your best friend in the early stages of developing your capsule wardrobe. So get pinning!
The key is to start with entire outfits and then work down to individual items. Scour Pinterest for outfits that you love. Scour fashion sites, other capsules, online magazines and blogs, pinning everything you love. You will soon discover you actually do have a certain je ne sais quoi – your own style. There will be images you have pinned more than once, and you’ll find that many of your outfits will be very similar. Which is great! You’ve found your style.
This step will depend on whether or not you are a hands-on old-school type, or more comfortable with doing things on the screen. Whichever you chose, the idea is to cut down your images and collate them into seasons.
I’m old-school, so I printed off my Pinterest board and cut out each outfit. I then grouped ones that were similar and discarded the ones I liked the least. By the end, I had about six outfits for summer, ten for winter, a couple in-between seasons, and three work-wear outfits.
Write down which pieces of clothing are required for each outfit. This will form the basis of your capsule wardrobe. I found that my base wardrobe was jeans, leggings, skirts, shorts, t-shirts and jumpers.
Now, make a list of each item of clothing. Again, grouping them in seasons makes listing easier.
Head to your wardrobe and be prepared to make a mess. This step isn’t one that can be undertaken in an hour or so. I’d set aside half a day at least. That way you won’t rush your way through it.
Firstly, pick out all the items of clothing from your list that you already own, set them aside, and tick them off your list. This is the beginning of your capsule wardrobe.
Do this for your tops, bottoms, shoes, and jewelry. At this stage of your capsule, we are concentrating on casual and work-wear. I find that evening wear, leisure/sportswear and underwear, are capsules in themselves, or you can apply these steps to help you pare them right back too.
Next, add in a few extra pieces out of your wardrobe (not on your list), that can easily interchange with your capsule outfits. Make sure you only put in items that fit you, and items that you know you will wear. And don’t go overboard, three or four items should be your limit here.
Grab a suitcase and place all the remaining items of clothing from your wardrobe, into the suitcase. The idea of initially keeping your items makes it easier to let them go (as you still have them!), and if you find you dearly miss a piece of clothing you can grab it out and pop it in your capsule.
After 3-6 months, or whatever time period you are most comfortable with, you can then donate your suitcase of clothing to your favorite good will charity store.
Your capsule list now will have the items ticked off that you already have, and you will be left with a (hopefully) small list of items you need to buy to complete your capsule.
So now, rather than heading out to the shops and just buying the first thing you ‘think’ you like, you are buying with purpose. You won’t buy anything you don’t need and you’ll save money. Win, win!
Now your capsule wardrobe is ready to start wearing. I found it helpful to have a display folder of my outfits in my wardrobe to inspire me each day. But there are plenty of apps available that can help you do the same thing.
Once you have your capsule, it doesn’t mean they are the only clothes you will wear for the rest of your life. However, adapting your capsule needs to follow one simple rule: one piece in, one piece out.
Try not to fall back into impulse purchases that won’t fit in your capsule. It’s helpful to go back to pinning some new outfits as the seasons/fashions change and then gradually bring a new item or a new outfit into your capsule, making sure you still to the rule!
A capsule wardrobe doesn’t have to be dull and boring, nor does it mean the end of being fashionable. It’s just a smarter way to go about it, and it will save you time and money! So what’s not to love?