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How to Build Your Own Capsule Wardrobe
Do you ever dread getting dressed in the morning because you feel like you don’t have anything to wear? Do you feel frustrated because you have so many clothes, but feel like you don’t like anything in your closet? Yeah, me too Mama.
A few months back I heard about this thing called a capsule wardrobe and immediately it intrigued me. I was interested in learning how to make my closet more functional, spend less time finding clothes I love in my closet and spending less money on clothes in the long run.
Well, I decided to go ahead and give the whole capsule wardrobe a try as I have been on a mission to streamline my life and clear the clutter from our home. My closet has been a bit of a disaster the last year and I honestly couldn’t wait to get rid of tons of my clothes. I felt like now was the perfect time to start creating a capsule wardrobe. If this is something you have ever considered before, this post will explain more about what it is and if it is for you.
In this post you will find:
- The definition of a capsule wardrobe
- Why you should create a capsule wardrobe
- What to focus on when creating your own capsule wardrobe
- Tips on how to create a capsule wardrobe you will love.
- How to avoid buying more because you have the room
What is a Capsule Wardbrobe
A capsule wardrobe is defined as a compact wardrobe usually made up of between to 40-50 pieces of clothing or less (if you can.)
Why You Should Start a Capsule Wardbrobe?
The idea behind a capsule wardrobe is having less overwhelm with clothing and getting optimal wear from the clothes in your closet.
Also, it is also a great way to reduce decision fatigue.
I have been researching capsule wardrobes for a while and the thought of one terrifies me and excites me all at the same time. But, I feel the need to simplify my life as much as possible so I decided to take the leap and create a capsule wardrobe.
I have to be honest this was a little overwhelming and scary. I’ve been a Shopaholic for most of my life. I always loved a good sale and would often buy multiples of shirts or jeans I really liked.
After decluttering my closet, I did feel a sense of relief. My goal for this year is to really get rid of “stuff” in our house and limit what comes back into the house. I wouldn’t say that I am a minimalist (yet), but I would say that I crave more organization and less chaos and I feel that having too much stuff creates chaos!
I have been doing a lot of research and trying to figure out which staple clothing I absolutely need in my closet. In this quest, I enlisted the help of Stitch Fix. Stitch Fix is an online styling company based out of San Diego, California. To be honest I tried the company in the past and ended up sending everything back not because I didn’t like it, but because the clothing was too expensive. Greg and I were on our quest to become debt free (we still are) and I couldn’t justify spending $100 on a pair of jeans.
I decided to give them another try and mentioned in my styling profile that I was building a capsule wardrobe. With Stitch fix, they tend to send high-quality clothing so no matter what you get, it will be higher end clothing.
They charge you a styling fee of $20 that is actually put back into your order if you end up purchasing some of the clothing. You also get a percentage off your order if you purchase the entire “fix.”
The reason I decided to use Stitch fix was because I wanted some ideas on what I want in my capsule wardrobe. Even if I don’t end up purchasing anything from Stitch fix, at least they may have an idea of things I would like to include in my capsule wardrobe. (There will be a separate post and review on Stitch Fix soon I promise:) To be honest, I didn’t end up keeping anything, but I wouldn’t mind trying them again in the future.
The Process to Creating Your Capsule Wardbrobe
Go through your closet and get rid of anything you haven’t worn in a year. Yes, I realize that you will probably be getting rid of a lot, but trust me Momma that is actually a good thing. You will start to feel a sense of relief. Trust me.
If you are considering making new purchases and putting them in your clothing budget, look at what you really want your overall style to be. For example, do you prefer more of a classic look, boho chic, or modern? Let this guide your wardrobe choices. Your style should emulate what you typically enjoy wearing.
If you buy anything new, you need to get rid of clothing to have space for the new items in your closet. If you buy 2 new items, you get rid of 2 old items. Get the idea?
In fact, when you are going through your clothes and getting rid of stuff, toss the extra hangers too. This will prevent you from going out and buying too much new stuff.
If you live in a place with seasons (Hello, Ohio), make sure you account for that in your capsule wardrobe. The weather in Ohio can literally change in minutes so I have to be prepared for that. Include layers in your wardrobe- Cardigans, tanks tops, short sleeve shirts, maybe a hoodie or 2 if that is your style. If you have to dress up for work, you can still use the basics and dress them up with a scarf or jewelry. ( You can also choose not to include tank tops in your actual capsule- more on that in a second)
Here are a few tips if you are considering a capsule wardrobe:
- Look at the clothing in your closet that you have and love. Is it good quality? Could you see yourself wearing it 5 years from now? Only buy clothing that you will absolutely love. Also, if you find yourself drawn to a certain style, stay true to that style.
- Avoid keeping up with fashion trends. They change so often so just concentrate on what makes you feel good overall and not what other people are wearing, K?
- The capsule wardrobe is generally made up of neutral colored pieces, however, I tend to like corals and deep blue or mint green. I intend to have garments in my closet that have each of these colors because they make me feel perkier. (Yes, I just said perkier:)
- The capsule wardrobe also includes shoes and jewelry. I know, I hate that I have to write that. I love jewelry… and shoes so it kinda hurts my heart that I should limit those, but I do see the point. If I go back over the past year, I notice that I usually wear the same shoes over and over again. I have a certain pair of boots that I love for when it is cold and in the summer I am drawn to 2 pair of sandals. I don’t really need the 50 pairs of shoes I have in my closet.
- Think about things that will be in style 5 years from now. I know I already mentioned this, but the point of having a minimalist wardrobe is having clothing that will last. Make sure you’re including items that are timeless.
- Be careful with patterns. Don’t go nuts with a bunch of different crazy patterns if you are trying to build a capsule wardrobe for the long haul.
I have been looking at a couple of websites for inspiration. A few that I love are:
Style Domination. You can check out her Capsule wardrobe here. I love the pieces that she chose as they are elegant and classy.
A Pinch of Yum. Yes this is a food blog, but she has a very cool post about how she created her capsule wardrobe. It is a really detailed post. Love it and I love her!
J’s Everyday Fashion. I look at her website often for inspiration as I love her style too.
I ended up decluttering my closet a few weeks ago and it already looks so much better! I was really excited about this process because I knew I had tons of stuff I wasn’t wearing and I was willing to get rid of.
I even inspired my husband to get rid of things he has had since college. Wooohoo!
I kept the articles of clothing I love and that are versatile. I kept yoga pants, workout clothes and some basics like tank tops out of the capsule for now. I will be concentrating on items I can really mix and match well and I do consider those items to be more of essential items to go under clothing. You can structure your capsule however you like, but this is what I am going with for now:)
Here is my overall plan for my capsule wardrobe.
- I now have my closet decluttered… for the most part. Over the next month, if I notice there are other items I don’t wear, I am going to get rid of those too.
- I plan on building my capsule wardrobe a little at a time. I bought a few new things from Target recently as I found a few versatile pieces that I love and will still love 5 years from now. I find that Target has clothing that lasts so I shop there. Other stores I frequent are Marshall’s, TJ Maxx and I shop on Amazon believe it or not. A couple of my favorite dresses are from Amazon.
- I got rid of 50% of my shoes. Ouch, I hate that I said that. I got rid of a lot because I wasn’t wearing them. I couldn’t justify having them take up space in my closet. It still hurts me that I have to get rid of shoes. (I kept one of my favorite pairs of heels because I just can’t part with them)
- I plan on going through my jewelry next. I will be using the same rules as before. If I haven’t worn it in a year, it is history.
- I will have a monthly clothing budget to so I don’t go overboard on creating my perfect wardrobe. I already have jeans that I love, a pencil leather skirt, a few dresses that I love and a 2-3 pair of dress pants. I have a few tops I love and others I feel kinda “Meh” about. I plan on weeding those out with better purchases the next few months.
- My goal is to have a wardrobe of 8-10 tops per season that I love, maybe a few less if I can get away with it. I plan to have a total of 10 pants/skirts and 10 dresses that I love that will work for any season. My goal is to have no more than 50 pieces when this is all said and done and I think that is completely reasonable. I am hoping to count jewelry in the mix somewhere, but I will let you know how that goes. (not sure if that will totally happen to be honest)
This whole process has been good so far. I love fashion and I am really stoked to be intentional about what I have in my closet in order to wear only the things I love and create a versatile wardrobe that I love and will love for years to come.
If you are interested in creating a capsule wardrobe, you can download and print out my capsule wardrobe checklist here.
UPDATE: After starting my capsule wardrobe, I have fallen in love. My life is so much easier. To help you get started, I create a post about 8 foundation pieces you will need for your capsule wardrobe.
Have you ever thought about starting a capsule wardrobe?
Get Your Capsule Wardrobe Checklist!
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