What is a Capsule Wardrobe
The term of capsule wardrobe was coined in the ’70s by Mrs Susie Faux, owner of a London-based boutique called Wardrobe.
Her idea was to have a streamlined wardrobe made up of high-quality clothing that could be worn interchangeably.
Today’s concept of a capsule wardrobe has basically remained the same: we’re talking about a mini-seasonal wardrobe made up of a precise number of versatile pieces that can be matched together as much as possible, that we absolutely love and that represent us and our style.
Personally, it’s a method that I love for many reasons.
It’s an original and very smart idea that aims to save money (not only financially) and that embodies the purpose that less is more.
Capsule Wardrobe 2021
You’re probably wondering at this point: how can I create my capsule wardrobe?
The capsule wardrobe, I’m going to propose is made up of a selection of 30 items including:
t-shirts/sweaters, pants/jeans/skirts, dresses, outerwear, bags and shoes.
This selection does not include: clothing and footwear for sports, swimwear, underwear, accessories and jewelry, pajamas and clothing that is used only to stay at home.
Capsule Wardrobe Checklist
I chose the number 30 based on my personal experience: I believe, in fact, that it is a reasonable number, neither too little nor too much, based on the activities I do and the clothes I need.
I divided the number 30 into:
10 top pieces (two for each bottom piece)
5 pieces of underwear (divided into two skirts, two jeans and one pair of pants) five dresses
3 bags (two day bags of different sizes, one evening bag)
4 pairs of shoes (heel, sneakers, ballerina/sandal, boot/ wedge)
To start creating your capsule wardrobe follow the guide below and download here your capsule wardrobe checklist .
Step 1: Understand your style
Open your wardrobe and pull out the six items of clothing you like most and wear most often, try to identify two per category (pieces on top, pieces underneath, dresses).
At this stage, think about it the characteristics of the chosen ones.
why do you like them so much: what do they have in common? The fabric? The fit? How do they make you feel when you wear them?
Write down a list of what works for you (for example: denim fabric, cotton fabric, shirts that mark my waist, full skirts, below-the-knee lengths, neutral colored dresses, etc.).
Download here the Printable Capsule Wardrobe Checklist2021
Go back to the wardrobe and this time do the reverse step:
choose 6 items that you really don’t like and never worn and regretted buying.
why don’t you like them?Make a list of what doesn’t work for you (e.g.: stiff fabrics, too tight, color , etc.).
Repeat the same process for bags and footwear.
Take in consideration all these information when creating the capsule in the following steps.
Step 2: Select
Empty your closet of everything in it (and I mean EVERYTHING, even items that are currently out of season).
Divide the items into 4 categories:
YES, I LOVE YOU:
the items that you absolutely love, that you love to wear and that you wear most often during the current season, the ones that are exactly perfect for you.
Store them in your empty wardrobe.
OUT OF SEASON:
the items that you love like crazy, that you love to wear but that are out of season and that you don’t need right now.
you don’t need right now (it’s very unlikely you’ll ever get a chance to wear your favorite wool sweater in the summer).
Store them all in a box that you’ll pull out when the seasons change.
NO, I HATE YOU:
there’s little to explain, these are all those items you haven’t worn all the clothes you don’t use and don’t want to get rid of.
Store them a place that can be reached easily (it could be a closet, the garage or the basement).
For the Maybes:
if the items are ties you to a memory, but you no longer use it; you’re sorry to give it away store them in a easy to reach place.
Step 3: Creating the palette
In order to make sure that all 30 elements are versatile and can be combined with each other, it is necessary to create a palette with a precise range of colors.
The colors that will make up the palette should be chosen according to:
the ideal colors: this will allow you to create a truly enhancing and tailored wardrobe personal tastes.What colors do you like and represent you?
the colors of the season: an excellent inspiration for the creation of the palette
Based on these three factors, choose your palette, which will consist of: three/four base tones, one/three neutral tones, two/five accent tones.
Step 4: Evaluate
At this point evaluate what you’ve put back in your wardrobe, i.e. all the items you love. How many for each category (top pieces, bottom pieces, outerwear, dresses, bags, shoes)? Are they in balanced numbers? Do the colors match the palette you’ve chosen?
If you realize you need to add a few new items, use your shopping list ( capsule wardrobe checklist)and plan targeted purchases.
If, on the other hand, there are still too many of them, put some items back in the Maybes box.
While Doing this step also think about two important factors:
when creating your capsule wardrobe take into account the typical weather forecast of where you live.
your daily commitments: having a rough idea of your daily commitments helps you to understand the uses of your 30 garments. You ll be able to create outfits according to each commitment. For example: I’m a woman who spends 40% of my day at home, 30% at work outside the home, 29% outside the home for leisure activities/friends/relatives/commissions, and 1% at the gym.
Step 5: Creating Outfits
The big convenience of the capsule wardrobe is knowing that we always have an outfit ready for every occasion that comes our way, without wasting precious time on indecision.
This precious time is saved thanks to this process of outfit creation.
You will simply have to write down that the skirt Y can be matched with shirt Z for work; while the dress A can be matched with the cardigan B and the shoes C for an evening out, and so on.
If you’ve chosen the right palette and a balanced breakdown of the 30 items, it will be a very easy (and fun, especially if done with company!).
Step 6: Extra commitments
Of course, life is not static and it happens to everyone to have one or more extraordinary commitments during a season: a trip, a ceremony, an important dinner, and the everyday clothes are not suitable. So what to do? The alternatives are two:
if at the time of creating the capsule, you already know that you have coming up a special event, simply prepare one or more outfits together, using the outfits in the capsule used for occasions or to buy included in the shopping list);
if you don’t have any special events scheduled, but you know that they could happen at the last moment, you can still prepare a number of extra outfits ready for the occasions .
The capsule wardrobe is the best solution for you if:
you open the wardrobe and you do not know what to wear despite the amount of clothes. you like to go shopping but you often make impulsive purchases that turn out to be wrong and/or useless; you feel frustrated at the thought of looking your closet full of clothes that do not represent you anymore that you do not love / do not wear and that you feel you have wasted your money
Aren’t these reasons enough for you to revolutionize your closet?
That’s why the capsule wardrobe is the right approach for you:
you’ll waste less time in front of the wardrobe figuring out what to wear at the last minute, and you can devote it to far more important things; by using your clothes seasonally you will preserve them from wear and tear; you’ll always have an outfit ready to wear, whether it’s for a business meeting, Sunday lunch or picnic at the beach; you’ll avoid impulse purchases or, put another way, you’ll save money.
Concerning the items that you have never worn, that just aren’t right for you.Donate, exchange or sell them if they are in good condition .
Looking for more guidance on your style journey?
The perfect next step for you is to Book a FREE Discovery Styling Call!
I’m Linda, your go to Stylist, Personal Shopper and Curator.
Whether we can walk together down the streets of Paris, or you would prefer the contactless virtual experience, I will enhance your wardrobe through inspiration, styling tips and tricks, and a curated shopping experience.
Read more about my story here.