Even though having plenty of clothes in your closet, do you ever feel as if you have nothing to wear? Do you ever spend too much time, money, and energy shopping for clothes that you don’t really need or love? Do you ever wish you could simplify your wardrobe and create more outfits with fewer items?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you might want to try a capsule wardrobe. An essential capsule wardrobe contains a variety of items that can be mixed and matched to create a variety of outfits for different occasions. It can help you save time, money, and space, as well as express your personal style more easily and confidently.
In this article, we will explain what a capsule wardrobe is, how it originated, what its benefits are, and how you can start your own capsule wardrobe in four simple steps.
What is a capsule wardrobe?
The capsule wardrobe consists of essential pieces that can be mixed and matched to form various outfits for various occasions. The term capsule wardrobe was coined by Susie Faux, a London boutique owner, in the 1970s. She suggested that women should have a few timeless and versatile pieces that can be worn with seasonal accessories. She described a capsule wardrobe as “a selection of a few timeless apparel essentials, such coats, skirts, and trousers, which can then be supplemented with seasonal items.
The concept of a capsule wardrobe was popularized by Donna Karan, an American fashion designer, in 1985. She launched a collection called “Seven Easy Pieces”, which consisted of seven interchangeable items that could create a week’s worth of outfits.
Since then, many people have adopted the idea of a capsule wardrobe and adapted it to their own preferences and lifestyles. There is no fixed number or rule for how many items a capsule wardrobe should have, but a common range is between 30 to 40 items, including tops, bottoms, dresses, outerwear, shoes, and accessories.
How can capsule wardrobes benefit you?
It is beneficial to have a capsule wardrobe for a number of reasons. Here are some of them:
- You can save time by having fewer clothes to choose from. You can also plan your outfits in advance and avoid the stress of deciding what to wear every morning.
- You can save money by buying less and choosing quality over quantity. You can also invest in more durable and classic pieces that will last longer and not go out of style.
- You can save space by having less clutter in your closet. You can also organize your clothes more easily and see what you have at a glance.
- You can express your personal style more easily and confidently by wearing clothes that suit you and make you feel good. You can also add some statement pieces or pops of color to spice up your outfits.
- You can reduce your environmental impact by buying less and choosing more sustainable and ethical brands. You can also donate, sell, or recycle your unwanted clothes and avoid contributing to the fast fashion industry.
How to start a capsule wardrobe in four simple steps
If you are interested in starting a capsule wardrobe, here are some simple steps to follow:
Step 1: Sort and Declutter Your Clothes
The first step is to get rid of the clothes that you don’t wear, don’t fit, or don’t love. You can donate, sell, or recycle them. This will help you clear some space and see what you have left.
To declutter your wardrobe effectively, you can use the following methods:
- The KonMari method: This method was created by Marie Kondo, a Japanese organizing expert and author of the best-selling book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”. The main principle of this method is to keep only the items that spark joy in you and discard the rest. To do this, you need to gather all your clothes in one place and sort them into categories (such as tops, bottoms, etc.). Then, you need to pick up each item one by one and ask yourself if it sparks joy in you. You can keep it if it does, otherwise, let it go with a thank you. You can also use the same method for your accessories and shoes.
- The capsule wardrobe planner: This method was created by Caroline Rector, a blogger, and founder of the website “Unfancy”. The main principle of this method is to create a capsule wardrobe for each season (spring, summer, fall, and winter) and limit yourself to 37 items per season. To do this, you need to print out a capsule wardrobe planner and fill it out with your goals, lifestyle, color palette, and core pieces. Then, you need to go through your closet, select the items that fit your criteria, and put them in a separate section. You can also use the same method for your accessories and shoes.
Step 2: Pick Your Essential Items
The next step is to select the important items in your capsule wardrobe. These are the items that you will wear most often and that can be combined in different ways. The number of core pieces depends on your preference and lifestyle, but a good rule of thumb is to have around 30 to 40 items, including tops, bottoms, dresses, outerwear, shoes, and accessories.
Some examples of core pieces are:
- A white shirt
- A black t-shirt
- A denim jacket
- A pair of jeans
- A black skirt
- A little black dress
- A pair of sneakers
- A pair of boots
- A scarf
- A belt
When choosing your core pieces, consider the following factors:
- Your body shape and color palette: Choose clothes that flatter your figure and complement your skin tone, hair color, and eye color.
- Your personal style and taste: Choose clothes that reflect your personality and mood. You can also add some statement pieces or pops of color to spice up your outfits.
- Your lifestyle and needs: Choose clothes that suit your daily activities and occasions. For example, if you work in an office, you might need more formal clothes than casual ones.
Step 3: Make 10 Outfits for Everyday Wear
The third step is to create 10 everyday outfits using your core pieces. You can use a clothing app or a spreadsheet to plan your outfits in advance. You can also take photos of your outfits and store them in a folder on your phone or computer.
Here are some examples of everyday outfits using the core pieces mentioned above:
- White shirt + jeans + sneakers + scarf
- Black t-shirt + black skirt + boots + belt
- Denim jacket + little black dress + boots + scarf
- White shirt + black skirt + sneakers + belt
- Black t-shirt + jeans + denim jacket + boots
Step 4: Spice Up Your Wardrobe for Different Seasons
The fourth step is to add some seasonal items to your capsule wardrobe. These are the items that you will wear occasionally and that can add some variety and freshness to your outfits. The number of seasonal items depends on your preference and climate, but a good rule of thumb is to have around 10 to 15 items per season.
Some examples of seasonal items are:
- A sweater
- A coat
- A hat
- A pair of gloves
- A pair of sandals
When choosing your seasonal items, consider the following factors:
- The weather and temperature: Choose clothes that are appropriate for the season and that can keep you comfortable and warm or cool.
- The trends and styles: Choose clothes that are in fashion and that can update your look. You can also experiment with new colors, patterns, or shapes.
- The events and holidays: Choose clothes that are suitable for the special occasions that you might attend or celebrate during the season.
What to Do with the Leftover Clothes
The final step is to decide what to do with the clothes that are left after you have created your capsule wardrobe. You have three options:
- Store them: You can store them in a separate closet or in boxes under your bed or in the attic. You can also label them according to the season or category. This way, you can access them later if you need or want them.
- Donate them: You can donate them to a charity or a thrift store. You can also give them to a friend or a family member who might appreciate them.
- Sell them: You can offer them for sale online or at a garage sale. You can also exchange them for other items at a swap party or a consignment store.
Starting a capsule wardrobe can be a fun and rewarding experience. It can help you simplify your wardrobe and create more outfits with fewer items. It can also help you save time, money, and space, as well as express your personal style more easily and confidently. You can also decide what to do with left clothes after you have created your capsule wardrobe.
We hope this article has inspired you to start your own capsule wardrobe. Happy dressing!
Q: Why make a capsule wardrobe?
A: There are many benefits of having a capsule wardrobe. You can save time, money, and space by having fewer clothes to choose from. You can also express your personal style more easily and confidently by wearing clothes that suit you and make you feel good. Moreover, you can reduce your environmental impact by buying less and choosing quality over quantity.
Q: How many clothes should be in a capsule wardrobe?
A: There is no fixed number or rule for how many items a capsule wardrobe should have, but a common range is between 30 to 40 items, including tops, bottoms, dresses, outerwear, shoes, and accessories. However, you can adjust the number according to your preference and lifestyle.
Q: How to choose the colors for your capsule wardrobe?
A: There is no right or wrong way to choose the colors for your capsule wardrobe, but a general guideline is to pick a few neutral colors (such as black, white, gray, navy, etc.) and a few accent colors (such as red, green, yellow, etc.) that you like and that go well together. You can also use a color wheel or a color palette generator to find complementary or contrasting colors.
Q: How to accessorize your capsule wardrobe?
A: Accessories are a great way to add some interest and variety to your capsule wardrobe. You can alter the style and feel of your clothing by adding accessories like scarves, hats, belts, jewelry, purses, etc. You can also use accessories to express your personal style and mood. However, be careful not to overdo it with accessories and keep them simple and minimal.
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