Who remembers Gok Wan’s Fashion Fix: the TV show encouraging women to embrace a capsule wardrobe? Back then it was a revolution. When thinking of a perfect capsule wardrobe, consider a closet filled with well-worn items that are easy to mix and match for a person’s lifestyle.
How many clothes should be in a capsule wardrobe?
While there’s no magic number, Caroline Rector (a fashion blogger who created her own capsule wardrobe in 2014), suggests aiming ” for 50 or few pieces”.
Keep reading to find out how to build a capsule wardrobe from scratch, how to plan, and how to remain stylish.
So, why a capsule wardrobe?
When influencers began copying celebrities: wearing outfits only once, minimalist closets became outdated. But, thanks to awareness over the fashion industry’s environmental damage, as well as ‘quality over quantity’ being voiced by bloggers, organising a capsule wardrobe is of the best clothing decisions you can make right now.
It’s back in fashion perhaps to spring clean our obsessive need for clothes. Unlike before, when capsule wardrobes first became established, the rules on planning are now more relaxed.
A capsule wardrobe can:
- Help you figure out your look (think Audrey Hepburn and Jennifer Lopez – both with specific style)
- Create more positive outfit days
- Save the environment – fast fashion is highly damaging
- Reduce outfit stress
- Potentially save money
With that being said, here is how to organise one:
Step 1: Mood board
If you’re going to organise your wardrobe, it makes sense to source inspiration beforehand. Often, we look at our messy wardrobes (maybe clothes are mismatched), and reason that we don’t have anything to wear, despite hoards of items. And I’d say this happens because we don’t know what we actually like.
Maybe we pick a dress because it’s in fashion, or a top that replaces a similar worn-out one. Perhaps you’ve bought clothes on a whim, realising certain tops don’t match with your skirts. Rarely do we ask ourselves: Do these clothes represent me? By putting together a mood board (Pinterest is a great option), we can better decide what colours, textures and styles we wish to emulate.
Step 2: Rummage
If you’re like me, you’ve got clothes in your wardrobe that you haven’t yet worn (and probably never will). During my Instagram obsession (when I was posting daily), I refused to get rid of anything I’d not been photographed in. I felt pressure to continually showcase myself adorning new pieces. Soon I realised, nobody pays that much attention to my feed. And if they do, I’d rather people notice my favourite pieces that make me feel good, as oppose to random stuff that’s not as nice but brand new.
To plan a capsule wardrobe, you have to look at your pieces and honestly ask:
- Do I like this enough to wear this month?
- Does it go with the other items in my closet?
Removing clothes from your closet is hard at first but hang in there – the after effects feel super rewarding. Especially if you donate after or sell to someone else.
Step 3 to organising a capsule wardrobe: Mix and Match
There’s no point in having a pair of neon trousers if you don’t have anything for them to go with. A good way of knowing what’s worth keeping and what’s not, is to go through your clothes individually and decide how many looks you can pull together. Perhaps start with t-shirts: list their possible trouser/skirt/short combinations.
A capsule wardrobe won’t work if you have a closet filled with all sorts of items that don’t come together as outfits. Remember: a perfect capsule wardrobe takes the stress out of creating looks.
Step 4: Write down what you need
Think about the clothing items every woman should have: A good jacket, autumn jumper, neutral tops for both work and casual etc.; basics you’ll want to wear numerously.
It’s common for most people to go shopping and think about clothes as individual items. When it’s summer for instance. many will instantly head out for new sandals or a floral maxi dress. While this method seems to make financial sense (who can afford to always buy new outfits head-to-toe), it can also be damaging on income. It can lead to bulk buying without considering the rest of your wardrobe – leaving you in a messy clothes situation. With a capsule wardrobe, you want to ask yourself what’s missing first before heading out to shop. Whether that’s a new coat, hat, pair of sunglasses or new lingerie.
Step 5: Choose your price
Ideally, buying less clothes by creating a capsule wardrobe, means you’re more able to invest in quality. So, decide what’s worth the investment. I would rather spend more on a coat that can last a few winters, for instance, than a summary top that won’t likely last as long.
Step 6 to a capsule wardrobe: Mindfulness
Ultimately, a capsule wardrobe forces you to think. Have you ever wanted to look a certain way or have a certain piece, but you always end up shopping without purchasing it? How many times for example, I’ve told myself I’ll search for a jumper similar to Audrey’s in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I go out and choose the opposite.
When you declutter and consciously consider your spending, you can better evaluate what’s worthwhile. We usually assume that being stylish means owning endless clothes. When in reality, that’s arguably the opposite of style. We forget that popular style icons: Audrey Hepburn, Mary-Kate and Ashley… they hone a specific fashion look. Hepburn is known for her cropped trousers, flat pumps and black dresses. Imagine if they wore an assortment of pieces, from patterns to neon.
For 2020, organising a capsule wardrobe has never been easier. Follow these steps and save money on clothes, and make your life easier.
What are your thoughts on a capsule wardrobe? I would love to know if you have any tips or whether you prefer the idea of fast fashion and a lot of clothing.
If you loved this post, read: Classic Style: Make Your Wardrobe Timeless