Capsule wardrobes are one of those minimalistic trends that always sound like a good plan that’ll make your life easier and your bank balance positive. However, you may find yourself a bit confused about how to start a capsule wardrobe since there are no specific rules to it. The only rule you need to follow is to have between 30 and 50 clothing items at your disposal per season.
Although it may seem a little confusing initially, building a capsule closet will save you a lot of time in the future. You’ll no longer have to spend time stressing about your outfits and whether they match. Furthermore, it’ll save you money since your budget will no longer be affected by unplanned shopping sprees.
How to Start a Capsule Wardrobe — a Beginner’s Guide
If you decided to try this minimalistic method of living and sever your ties with the fashion industry, you might feel overwhelmed. Choosing what to get rid of can make you anxious and irritated — it’s a natural part of the process. Go through this capsule wardrobe guide to find out the first steps you need to take on this journey.
Analyze your current wardrobe.
In your newfound enthusiasm, you may be tempted to start making a capsule wardrobe list right away. However, before you do it, it’s necessary to go through clothing items you own, sort them and decide what to get rid of.
Remember, the only criteria you need to follow here is how often you wear something, not how cute it is. Start by making three groups:
- Group 1 – the clothes you’re keeping. Here you’ll place the items you wear often, as these will most probably become the essential parts of your season capsules.
- Group 2 – the clothes you’ll think about later. This is a pile of clothes you wear once in a while that you will use to, for example, build a more colorful capsule wardrobe. It is a frequent misconception that capsule wardrobe items need to be neutral and rid of colorful/sequined/glam items that may not seem fit for multiple activities.
- Group 3 – the clothes you should throw out. Here you’ll put clothes you haven’t worn in over a year or clothes you were surprised to find in the depths of your closet. If you didn’t know about their existence, you surely won’t need it again.
While there is no magical capsule wardrobe formula, reducing the amount of clothes you need to sort out will give you a head start. If you don’t feel ready for this step, you don’t necessarily have to throw it away — store it somewhere until you feel ready. The point of the process is to increase mindfulness, not to push you entirely out of your comfort zone.
Make a capsule wardrobe checklist.
To make the process easier, you will need a checklist, e. i. checklists for each of the seasons. Based on what you’ve seen during the first step and your personal preferences, try to make lists that’ll help you reduce your clothes further.
It doesn’t matter if it’s women’s or men’s capsule wardrobe. The checklist needs to reflect your personal style. For example, if you love wearing colorful skirts and neutral shirts during summer, don’t put ten shirts and ten skirts on your list. Instead, make it 15 skirts and five shirts.
Building a wardrobe capsule for a particular season is not very easy, especially since the conditions in spring or fall often change drastically in a matter of days. This is why it’s best to take time (half an hour, an hour or two) and make a comprehensive list of what you’ll need, based on your previous experiences.
Identify primary outfit categories.
Your wardrobe capsules should match your lifestyle. These categories are different for everyone, but they generally involve categories such as business/work, day-to-day, going out, etc. Some other categories include activewear, formal clothes, and lounging.
For example, if you work remotely, you’ll need fewer clothes in the business/work category, or you can even merge it with the lounging category; if you’re a yoga teacher, activewear is your business attire. As we’ve already mentioned, the rules on how to build a capsule wardrobe are not very strict, so the possibilities are endless.
Establish the base.
Now that you’ve identified key categories of your style, it is time you start building the base — creating a capsule wardrobe begins with this step. The Base is a separate category that consists of up to 50 pieces that you will use throughout the year: jackets, coats, accessories, swimwear, pajamas, or oversized shirts you like to wear around the house.
Once again, create a checklist to make sure you don’t accidentally forget about something and then add and pile up unnecessary items. The list doesn’t have to be detailed, and it should include these categories:
- Lounging (clothes you like to wear at home and going to sleep),
- Activewear (clothes for working out),
- Outerwear (jackets, coats, scarves, and hats).
Start building your capsule closet.
After completing the previous steps, get back to your checklist and the clothes you categorized during step one of this guide. If you still have too many clothes left and feel stuck in the decision process, you can always Google some clothing capsule ideas to get an idea of what you need to be working towards.
The most important question of this final step is asking yourself:’’Would I wear this right now?’’ If the answer is not positive, or it is, but it doesn’t fit you anymore, that item doesn’t belong in your capsule. If you keep it in the capsule, you won’t wear it because it doesn’t fit, which beats the whole purpose of having reduced capsule wardrobes.
Once you get the hang of it, your effort to create a capsule wardrobe will turn into fun. Don’t just check items on your list. Visualize! Try on different outfits! Imagine the scenarios in which your style will light the room — enjoy the process!
The fast fashion industry became so popular that the estimates show that over ten clothing items a year are produced for every single person in the world — sales, online shopping, subscription boxes that provide you with new clothes every month… The possibilities are endless.
Capsule wardrobes may be the trend that will reduce the consequences mass production has on the environment. We hope this guide answered the questions you had about how to build a capsule wardrobe and free yourself from the everyday struggles of choosing outfits.