What Does it Mean to Put Together a Capsule Wardrobe?
Whether we admit it or not, fashion plays a role in almost all of our lives. Even those of us who wrangle children all day probably still try to dress themselves in something pleasing (whether from an aesthetic standpoint, comfort, function, or all of the above). Given this, it’s no wonder putting together a capsule wardrobe has become so popular. Maybe you’ve heard a lot of talk about how to put together a capsule wardrobe, but aren’t quite clear what one is.
A capsule wardrobe involves wearing the same basic, interchangeable items, and accessorizing them with season- or event-specific items. The benefits of this approach to fashion are numerous. Below are my favorite reasons for building a capsule wardrobe.
Why Everyone Should Put Together a Capsule Wardrobe
- Your habits. You’ll find you aren’t as swayed by the latest fashion trends. When you have a wardrobe that works for you, you’ll be much more particular about what you add to it. You’ll find that your shopping will be less aimless when you have a clear and focused goal.
- Quality over quantity. You’ll be more likely to invest in higher-quality items — especially for your interchangeable basic pieces. For example, if you’re like me and wear leggings all day, you might realize it makes more sense to invest in a higher-quality pair that isn’t see-through, washes well, and fits like a dream.
- Simpler morning routine. When all your pieces work together, it takes the complication out of choosing an outfit so you can focus on more important things, like drinking your coffee while it’s still hot. If that isn’t self-care, I don’t know what is.
- Global sustainability. When we pull ourselves away from this idea that we have to follow the latest fashion trend, we create room for slower fashion. This means fewer poor-quality items ending up in the dump, fewer people working in poor conditions to create those items, and probably more money in your pocket.
- A gorgeous closet. Ok, maybe this reason isn’t as special to everyone else, but I can’t tell you how much I love walking into my closet and seeing clothes that all stick to the same clear color scheme. Clothes I love and would feel comfortable wearing any day. It feels serene, calm, and orderly. The wooden hangers help, too. 😉
How to Put Together a Capsule Wardrobe
- Edit. Discard anything that doesn’t spark joy for you. This might include anything that has holes or tears (if a joy-sparking item needs repair, then make that happen.) Unfortunately, this also might include items that you spent good money on, or once loved, but no longer do. If that’s the case, follow Marie Kondo’s advice and thank the items before you donate them or throw them away. (Note: donating is of course preferred, but don’t let it deter you if you have to throw something away. Take it as a lesson to avoid making the same mistake again and adjust your shopping habits.)
- Reflect. Look at what you’re left with. Do you see any themes? Maybe you love neutral colors. Maybe you’re drawn to delicate materials like lace or silk. What you’re left with can tell an interesting story. If you kept items that spark joy for you, it should shed light on the style you love. It should also reveal any gaps in your wardrobe. Maybe you own a ton of yoga pants, but don’t have any tops to go with them. Or, maybe you have a nice set of blouses for work, but could use a good skirt in your outfit rotation.
- Make a list of missing pieces. Make a list of the basic items your wardrobe could use. Keep it minimal as much as possible, and consider your lifestyle when doing this. For example, do you work in an office or attend a lot of business functions? Or are you corralling little ones all day, and need something practical to wear around the house or while running errands?
- Shop slowly and wisely. When you shop, stick to your wardrobe’s color scheme. I love having a wardrobe of neutrals because it makes this really easy. My basic pieces are usually either black, taupe, white, or camel brown. But when I do venture out into color, I usually go for a deep green, plum, or navy.
- Play around with your accessories. Try to keep your basic pieces neutral and versatile, so you can get the most use out of them. If you’re itching to try a fun pattern or color, do it in your scarves, belts, or hats.
Resources to Help You Put Together a Capsule Wardrobe
I used The Curated Closet: A Simple System for Discovering Your Personal Style and Building Your Dream Wardrobe to help me put together my capsule wardrobe. I also worked on it for over a year because I didn’t want to rush the process or purchase items I didn’t really want or need. I’ll still add items to my wardrobe here and there, but it’s working really well for my (momming) needs.
Do you have a capsule wardrobe? If so, what tips do you have? I’d love to hear them in the comments below!