If you didn’t catch my previous post on why I started a capsule wardrobe you can find it here. Now I’m hoping you’re feeling inspired and motivated to create your own wardrobe work of art.
I’ve created a quick how to guide to get you started and I’m hoping you’ll agree its pretty straight forward. The hardest part is getting started. Making the decision to minimise your possessions, reduce your consumption and contribute to positive change sounds like a huge life changing commitment. I guess that’s because it is. But the good news is that it’s 100% worth it.
I will warn you that once you start this capsule wardrobe style mission, you kinda gotta finish so make sure you set aside at least a day to do this. I started mine a couple of months ago and I’m still in the process of selling items on Ebay so it does take time, just remember its all part of the fun!
Ok so loosely speaking, the fluid capsule wardrobe works like this…
The Basic Capsule
“The items in your basic capsule will remain (mostly) static, they should be items that you love to wear, that fit you well and are easy to pair together to create different outfits.”
The whole capsule wardrobe works around a set of basic pieces. This should consist of roughly 25-30 items and should include all tops, bottoms, shoes, coats, and accessories like belts and bags. I’m not a huge fan of putting an exact number on how many items you should have, I don’t think it’s really necessary and it may even lead you to keep items that you don’t really need just because you wanna hit that magic number. Just remember ‘less IS more’ and be brutal.
For me, my basic capsule wardrobe does not include gymwear, DIY/messy clothes, occasion wear, underwear or lounge/nightwear. Now this doesn’t mean you can keep a load of clothes in your gym or loungewear pile and sneak them into your basic capsule whenever you feel like it. That’s defeating the object and its cheating. No one likes a cheater. I highly recommend sorting through your gym wear, loungewear and DIY wear items too. How many of these items do you really need?
The items in your basic capsule will remain (mostly) static, they should be items that you love to wear, that fit you well and are easy to pair together to create different outfits. The idea is that you get to wear your favourite pieces everyday, how great is that?
The Seasonal Capsule
“The seasonal capsule is fun because every 3 months you can rummage through your stored items and pull out “new” pieces.”
At the beginning of each season (every 3 calendar months) you can upgrade and adapt your wardrobe by adding a ‘Seasonal Capsule’. The number of items in this capsule is again up for debate but I reckon about 5-7 items is about right. These items can be anything from tops, dresses, shorts, extra accessories and should reflect the season ahead. For instance, during summer you should (hopefully) need more shorts and skirts and maybe a pair of sandals. Whereas during Winter you’ll mostly definitely need less shorts and more knitwear and boots. Get it? Good.
To begin with, I recommend building your seasonal capsule wardrobe from items you already own. This means storing away items that you love but don’t necessarily need all year round. Adding them to your capsule only when you need them.
Initially, I stored away some items that I just wasn’t quite sure about. As the seasons progress I’ll get a better idea of items I really like and use, and items that need to be sold/donated.
The seasonal capsule is fun because every 3 months you can rummage through your stored items and pull out “new” pieces. It feels like shopping without the horrible guilty feeling and empty bank balance at the end!
The occasion Capsule
Signe from Use less, and a few other Minimalist fashion bloggers recommend keeping an occasion capsule wardrobe. I really like this idea and its great if you have a lifestyle that involves lots of socializing or formal work events etc. This capsule should be much smaller and contain pieces that work alone or that can be used to give your basic capsule items a little bit more edge and glamour.
“Just make sure they are your favourite pieces that you will gravitate to again and again.”
Overall my style is pretty casual. I’m not a much of a ‘big night out’ girl these days so my occasion capsule mostly consists of pieces I can mix with my basic capsule that add a touch of glamour. Plus, simply adding a pair of heels, a bright lip colour or some extra jewelry can really spice up a pair of jeans and a basic tee. This is often all I need for a casual night out with friends.
If you are a bit of a glamour puss with a hectic social schedule that’s ok, you just might need a few extras pieces. Just make sure they are your favourite pieces that you will gravitate to again and again. You could also use your seasonal capsule to add a few extra trend pieces.
The Shopping List
“The list will prevent you from aimlessly wandering around the shops picking up items you just don’t need that will ultimately confuse your style.”
When you have created your basic capsule wardrobe you may feel that its missing a key piece or two. If so, create a shopping list and stick to it. The list will prevent you from aimlessly wandering around the shops picking up items you just don’t need that will ultimately confuse your style.
After completing my basic capsule I felt that it would really benefit from a decent pair of flat black Chelsea boots, so I went out and invested in a pair of Dr Martins. They’re classic and I’m hoping I’ll get a lifetime of use out of them. So far, they’re proving very useful. They also do a vegan version!
If you do decide to shop, think about taking a look at second-hand pieces first. We all know and love eBay, but there’s also loads of other online market places you could try. Recently I’ve discovered Vide Dressing and ASOS Marketplace. Vide is great for more high-end pieces and ASOS market place has loads of great vintage and trend pieces. I’ve found both to be really useful.
In a nutshell, owning a capsule wardrobe creates space (in your home and in your head), reduces decision fatigue, and makes choosing an outfit what it should be. Fun. Now I know EXACTLY what’s in my wardrobe. And, I can spend less time worrying about which top with which shoes and more time doing the shit that matters. Like spending time with my loved ones, sharing experiences oh, and saving the planet.
Are you sold yet? Just remember living with less doesn’t mean that YOU are less. Please share your capsule wardrobe stories with me, let me know if you have any questions or if chose not to work with a capsule wardrobe and why, I love a good debate!