The idea of a capsule wardrobe sounds intriguing. Maybe it’s because it brings minimalism into view, the other end of the spectrum to my occasional spendthrift ways.
But what is a capsule wardrobe?
Simply put, it’s a mini wardrobe that consists of around 30 staple items that can be mixed and matched to create quick, put-together looks.
Some may think the idea of having a capsule wardrobe sounds a little boring or unrelatable—maybe even something in which only hipsters partake? But truthfully, I believe that many people do not fully realize the positive reasons for having a capsule wardrobe. Those who have been intentional about creating a capsule wardrobe for themselves would likely say it feels freeing from living in excess and satisfying to re-invent a few key pieces over and over again. My mission is to shed some light on what a capsule wardrobe really is, and, in terms of fashion, why it has become a “thing.”
The term “capsule wardrobe” has actually existed for over 30 years now, having originated in the 1970s from fashion designer, Susie Faux. Susie originally concocted the idea of a capsule wardrobe for busy, on-the-go working women. These women, I imagine, did not (and still do not!) have the time to sort through endless outfit options and instead desired to quickly choose from a few quality staples they could wear and style many times over. However, a capsule wardrobe can work for anyone.
Here are four steps to creating your own capsule wardrobe, no matter the lifestyle:
1. Donate (or get rid of, if necessary) every piece of clothing you no longer wear.
According to Susie herself, a capsule wardrobe is comprised of, at most, 30 versatile pieces. Even with 30 pieces, there is still endless room for creativity—you don’t have to own a full closet of clothes in order to have great style. Here are some suggestions for capsule wardrobe pieces (you can pick and choose your pieces depending on your lifestyle):
- Work wear: chinos or other classic pants, a blouse, a cardigan
- Shoes: a pair of heels/wedges, flats, boots, and sandals (running shoes don’t count)
- Casual wear: a sweater, light wash jeans, dark wash jeans, or one pair of medium wash jeans to dress up or down (I suggest investing in a pair of quality, long-lasting premium denim), a long sleeve top for layering, a plaid button-down
- Evening/dressy wear: a dress, a skirt, a coat, and/or a staple jacket
- Accessories: a scarf, a hat, a necklace, earrings, a belt, a handbag, and/or a headband
2. Keep it neutral!
The pieces listed above are all meant to work together, no matter the combination. Here are some neutral color suggestions for a capsule wardrobe (you don’t have to have each color in your closet, rather, pick and choose according to what you typically already wear and love): Cream, beige, white, navy blue, black, light/dark grey, olive green, brown, and gold and silver accessories.
3. Invest in quality clothes that match your budget.
By doing this, you will save money in the long run! One of the perks of having a capsule wardrobe is that you should feel confident in the wearability and versatility of your wardrobe, thus no longer feeling pressure to buy what’s new and on-trend. Your creative thought process shifts from, “What new styles and colors do I need to buy this season?” to “I wore this cute look last time, how can I re-create it to be stylish and appropriate for this occasion?” And just because your capsule wardrobe consists of more classic pieces doesn’t mean you can no longer buy new trends that you fall in love with. This leads us to number four.
4. Update your capsule wardrobe once in a while.
A capsule wardrobe encourages buying one or two small trendy pieces (such as jewelry and other accessories) every several months or until you start noticing that you are out-wearing some of your current pieces. This is a trial and error process!
If you feel compelled to start your own capsule wardrobe, give yourself time and patience to figure out which staple pieces work for you according to your lifestyle. It can be tough but rewarding to dwindle your closet down to absolute necessities. Yet another perk of having a capsule wardrobe is that you won’t have to spend extra time feeling overwhelmed by so many options, with so little time. You can throw on an outfit and know that you’re always in style and look put together.
You’ll also like Paring Your Wardrobe When You Can’t Commit to a Capsule, 5 Items You Need For Your Work Wardrobe, How to Wear White Jeans All Year-Round, 5 Reasons Why Sorel Boots Are the Perfect Fall Investment, and 5 Steps to Remake Your Wardrobe