A few weeks ago, I created an Instagram poll to see if anyone would be interested in learning how to create a Capsule Wardrobe. 97% of those who responded said yes. So here we are. And if you were one of the 97%, then here you go…
A Capsule Wardrobe broadly refers to a small collection of clothes that can be mixed and matched to create a wider variety of outfits and looks. The theory is that you have a limited number of staples and classic pieces that you augment with seasonal and trendier pieces as required.
So why bother creating or having a Capsule Wardrobe? Well, I’ve heard it said that we typically only wear 20% of our clothing 80% of the time. So why hang on to one-off’s, unworn, or unloved pieces that take up valuable space?
The great thing about having a Capsule Wardrobe is that it saves time getting dressed. There are less pieces to go through and the ones that are there (if purchased correctly), are easily combined.
The other benefit is that it saves money and makes your dollar go further. There’s no need to constantly shop for clothes that you only wear once or twice, and when you do purchase something that works with your existing pieces, your cost per wear goes down drastically.
If you like the idea of having a Capsule Wardrobe or would like to slowly work your way towards one, here’s what I recommend:
The first thing you need to do is go through your existing wardrobe. If we typically wear 20% of our clothing 80% of the time, you need to know which items are your 20%. Those will be the basis of your Capsule Wardrobe.
Then determine why you’re not wearing the 80%. If they don’t work for you, let them go. They’re taking up space, time and energy. If they’re event or weather specific, keep them, but set them aside.
The act of paring down your wardrobe gets you Capsule ready.
Take a look at how mix and match-able your wardrobe is. If the key to a solid Capsule Wardrobe is that most of the pieces easily mix and match (and that fewer pieces are able to create a greater number of outfits), then the pieces you own should also be easily mixed and matched.
If they’re easily mixed and matched, then you’re well on your way. If they’re not, then you’ve got a bit more work to do. Figure out which pieces you’re missing to be able to make your existing wardrobe work better together and create a list.
While you’re doing that, here’s something for you to consider – your colour story. Which colours do you have a lot of in your existing wardrobe? Which do you love to wear? How well do they work together?
What about patterns? Do you have any? If so, which patterns do you typically gravitate towards? How well do they work with your colour story?
If the goal of a Capsule Wardrobe is to have fewer items that can easily work together, the colours and patterns you choose will need to as well.
For example, I tend to wear a lot of black, white and red. (See photo above.) And I love leopard print. All of which go together quite well. So many of the items in my closet can be mixed and matched easily and I don’t need a ton of clothes to create a variety of outfits. When you’re creating a Capsule Wardrobe, that is the ultimate goal.
Taking your list, and keeping your colour (and pattern) story in mind, seek out the pieces you need to create a solid, functional, easy to mix and match Capsule Wardrobe.
Which and how many pieces will you need? That’ll depend on you, your existing wardrobe, your style and your lifestyle – it’ll be different for everyone.
And moving forward, when you’re out shopping, or if you stumble upon an item that you’d like to purchase, consider how it’ll work into your existing wardrobe. And how many other pieces it’ll go with.
Follow these 3 steps and I’m sure you’ll have the perfect Capsule Wardrobe in no time.