Fashion is one of the most powerful tools we have for self-expression. Whether we like to admit it or not, it holds a significant influence over our daily lives. The clothes that we wear paint a picture of us: our personality, our creativity, and our self-awareness. And with so many great options and offers on the market, it’s easier than ever to give into the temptation of a constantly updated wardrobe.
“You don’t have to keep buying clothes to evolve your style; sometimes it’s just looking at what you already have a little differently,”– Allison Karaba
But once the initial allure of new clothes wears off, we’re left with closets filled with imbalance. There’s the ‘uniform’ garments that you turn to again and again, and hidden behind them are the clothes we rarely wear. Maybe we’re saving them for a special occasion, they don’t feel 100% us, they don’t fit, or we’ve completely forgotten about them.
Still, we decide to keep the clothes that rarely see the light of day. They take up space in our closets, limiting our views of what we have. You might be wondering why that is.
Fashion experts have explained that although fashion is fun, interesting, and diverse, there are only so many things that a single person can wear. So instead of filling up our closets with too many options, it’s better to focus on key pieces and work our outfits around them. These are the prized pieces that are worth investing in, meaning you should be seeking out high quality styles that will stand the test of time. All of that combined together will build a capsule wardrobe: a well-curated fashion selection that defines your personal style.
A capsule wardrobe not only provides better closet management, it also plays another significant role in today’s ever environmentally-conscious world: preventing waste. As one of the biggest global polluters, the fashion industry is shifting towards a more eco-friendly and sustainable approach to production, manufacturing, and selling. Forgoing fleeting trends and building a lasting capsule wardrobe is an excellent way to contribute to a greener, more sustainable industry.
So, how can you build your dream capsule wardrobe?
Having only functional pieces I love to wear makes getting ready a pleasure instead of a dilemma!”Lee Vosburgh
Curating a capsule wardrobe is the best way to get the most bang for your buck while letting your closet breathe. We’ve all been there – frantically scavenging through an overfilled wardrobe and still feeling like we have nothing to wear. In contrast, the simplicity of a capsule wardrobe lets you work more efficiently and sustainably with what you already have. Styling yourself and organizing your closet will become much easier and less stressful.
So, how big (or small) should your capsule wardrobe be?
When it comes to the actual amount of pieces, there’s no strict number as to how many items your capsule wardrobe should consist of. The number will vary from woman to woman depending on her lifestyle. However, research has shown that most women need approximately 28 to 37 pieces of clothes in their closet. This is the range that many find ideal for their capsule wardrobes.
Ready to streamline your wardrobe?
Here is a quick step-by-step guide on how to build your perfect capsule wardrobe and enjoy it.
Step 1 – Sort
Start building your capsule wardrobe with a good sort out. The goal is to keep things as simple as possible, so you’ll need to make space for the things that you actually wear by getting rid of those that only take up space.
If you’re struggling to let go of things, keep the six month rule* in mind: if you haven’t worn it in the past year, it should go.
As with any item purge, you can follow the yes/no/maybe pile system:
- Yes pile: If you love a piece, put it in the yes pile.
- No pile: If you’ve never worn it, you don’t like it anymore, or it doesn’t fit anymore, to the no pile it goes.
- Maybe pile: If you’re not sure, take some time to think about it in the maybe pile. Maybe you haven’t worn it in a while but it has sentimental value, or it was a gift.
*Bear in mind that context does matter. If you haven’t worn an item for several months because of the weather/season, or because it was for a special occasion, you can hold onto it if you know that you will wear it again once the time is right.
Step 2 – Clean
Once all your sorting is done, it’s time to take action!
The clothes from your yes pile can go back into the closet; the clothes from the no pile can be gifted, donated, sold, or somehow repurposed; and the clothes from the maybe pile can be stowed away until you’ve decided on their fate.
Step 3 – Build
Now that you have a clean slate, you can really build your capsule wardrobe. You should be left with a foundation from your ‘yes’ pile, but you may find yourself needing to fill in the gaps if you end up getting rid of a lot of things.
There’s a lot of debate about what a capsule wardrobe should entail. Some of them you might agree with, some of them you might not. Remember that you should always keep your lifestyle and personal style in mind; fashion is highly individual, and your wardrobe should reflect that!
With that said, here’s a tried-and-true list of recommendations for a timelessly elegant capsule wardrobe:
- Basic tank tops & t-shirts
- White button-down shirt
- Black leather jacket
- Black blazer
- Trench coat
- Comfortable flats/walking shoes
- Neutral colored pumps
- Striped sweater or sweatshirt
- Silk blouse or shirt
- Little black dress
By building a capsule wardrobe, your closet will get a new look, and you’ll know its contents like the back of your hand. Remember to focus on your own style, versatility, and timelessness above all. Stick to pieces that are the most flattering to you, that you feel comfortable in, and that will work with many different outfits.