A CAPSULE WARDROBE
I have a pretty large closet. I also have a laundry room that I opted out of putting a washer and dryer in because it has a shelf that makes it a perfect second closet. I have a portable clothing rack that became a permanent installation in my room. Not to mention a dresser or two full of things. Yet, somehow, I manage to probably only wear 10% of all these clothes! It’s kind of crazy, and with a move to NY coming next year, it’s time that I start downsizing. It’s time to look into creating a capsule wardrobe.
I’ve recently been reading up on the idea of a “Capsule Wardrobe”. It’s a concept that includes minimizing your wardrobe down to only 33 pieces (clothing, shoes, and accessories) per season. When the next season comes, some items you keep out (that will still count towards your 33) and some you put away in storage or sell or donate. By doing this, you get down to a wardrobe you love and learn to mix and match efficiently. Now, this method is JUST A LITTLE extreme for me, but I’ve seen a lot of people tweak it to their liking, so here’s a little more on what I’ll be doing:
Minimal (Not-Quite-Capsule) 40 Piece Wardrobe per Season
- 5 Pairs Of Shoes
- 10 Pairs of Pants (Trousers + Leggings + Jeans)
- 2 Dresses
- 3 Skirts
- 18 Tops
- 2 Jackets
MY Count Does Not Include:
- Accessories (I’m not a junkie anyway. I barely have any, and although I’m trying to find some key pieces. They’ll be quality pieces and not too many “$1 bargain bin” finds.)
- Special Occasion Pieces (My count is for everyday items that I’ll be wearing to work or out and about. Any special heels or dresses that are for the rare occasion that I’m going somewhere special, won’t be counted).
- Athletic Attire (As much as I wish it was, working out isn’t a part of my daily wardrobe. If it’s a part of yours, consider creating a separate, small capsule wardrobe each season for this separately. )
- Pajamas + Lingerie
STEPS TO MINIMIZING YOUR WARDROBE
1. Define Your Style | Whether it be a list of words or a popular term that sums it all up, browse Lookbook or other fashion outlets to define the style you’re really into. Even if it’s a term that only YOU really understand. For example, mine is “Urrban Cruella x Tokyo Sweet”. It’s really just a term that defines The sleek black and white outfits that I want x The “kawaii” pastel colors that I’ll add as my subtle “pop” sometimes.
2. Color Scheme | This may not be necessary for you, but if you’re going for a certain aesthetic, color can really help! Of course, this can just be a guide and it’s not breaking the rules if you step outside of the box for a few pieces each season! I mentioned my general color scheme above (Black, White, Pastel).
3. Brands + Stores | The great thing about having a defined style, is that there are usually a couple of stores or brands that always seem to have that same style down packed! Or, that always have a good selection of your color scheme. It’s smart to also pair this with your budget. Mine: Topshop, Zara, PixieMarket, and NastyGal.
4. The B Word: Budget | Unfortunately, most of our pockets aren’t limitless. So, for each season, you’ll need to budget out your shopping. Saving a little bit each time you get paid towards next season’s shopping trip is a great idea! That’s what I’ll be doing! This will be a necessity for me, as I plan on building a more high quality wardrobe which means more expensive pieces. Also, for my first season, I’ll be selling a bunch of my current wardrobe on eBay or Threadflip to get some extra funds.
5. Don’t Forget The Thrift | There are a lot of key and staple pieces at thrift stores that can become a part of your capsule wardrobe. Just because they’re $5 now, doesn’t mean that they weren’t originally really pricey. Keep in mind though, that we’re trying the whole minimal thing (this is more of a note to self, because I get really carried away in there).
6. Make A List, Check It Twice | Each season, make a list of your total number of items. Do some online browsing and write out what you think should be key pieces. Make sure that you want this to be your final list, then go for it! When planning comes for the next season (2 weeks before the official 1st day), make your next list, carrying some items over and browsing/shopping for the next necessities.
That’s it! Good luck to all! What’s your style going to be? What are some of your favorite brands and stores that you’ll be shopping at?
SOME FINAL INSPIRATION: