Let me start by saying this: I think capsule wardrobes are a wonderful idea. However, I don’t think they are for everyone.
Capsule wardrobes — a collection of clothes that include a limited number of versatile pieces to wear for a season — have become extremely popular since Caroline Rector started documenting her capsule journey on her blog, Unfancy. I remember first seeing her blog in 2014 and being fascinated with the idea of capsule wardrobes.
After reading almost all of her posts, I looked at my closet, and thought about it some more. The idea of narrowing my closet to 30ish pieces felt daunting and gave me anxiety. I kept asking myself, “What if something comes up and I need a non-capsule piece?” I’m sure everyone has those same thoughts because it’s scary not having your full wardrobe at your disposal.
It’s been two years and I still haven’t attempted a capsule wardrobe. I’m pretty sure that procrastination means I really don’t want to plan and limit my wardrobe to a specific number of pieces. Instead, I’ve taken some key ideas from capsule wardrobes and have applied them to my life.
1. Shop Consciously
I’m a firm believer in shopping consciously. I don’t just mean buying clothing that is ethically made or eco-friendly, but also planning before you shop. Capsule wardrobes require significant planning because you have to include essentials that can be worn multiple times. We should approach every shopping trip with the same amount of planning that goes into capsule wardrobes, which would also stop those pesky impulse purchases.
I only wear a handful of items bought on impulsive shopping trips because most were trendy pieces that went out of style the following week. The biggest takeaway here is to slow down and plan before you shop.
Versatility is important in capsule wardrobes for obvious reasons. Pieces that only look good with a single outfit will leave you with nothing to wear after a week. I apply this key idea to my wardrobe by only purchasing pieces I know I can wear at least three different ways. Versatile pieces not only make getting ready easier, but also contribute to a leaner closet.
3. Create Go-To Outfits
Capsule wardrobes force you to create outfits you can wear multiple times. For example, you will most likely create casual outfits for daytime activities and dressier looks for nighttime events. The same idea can be applied to your current wardrobe by creating go-to outfits for different events or even seasons. My two go-to outfits for the summer are jeans (high-waisted shorts or pants) with a black tee or a shift dress. I like to keep things simple when I get ready by wearing outfits I know will make me look and feel good. It’s essentially a capsule wardrobe, but without the restriction to the rest of your closet.
Creating a capsule wardrobe is a great way to jumpstart a more thoughtful relationship with your clothing. It helps you plan better, buy less, and be more creative with your closet. However, if the idea of restricting your wardrobe seems daunting, then don’t do it! Don’t do something that will make your life more difficult when it is supposed to do the opposite. Instead, look at the key takeaways above and apply it to your closet and future purchases.
Do you do a capsule closet? Why or why not?
Top image via Amanda Greeley