I am very excited to share how I did a capsule wardrobe for summer and how you can do it too. First, I’m going to answer the question I had when I first saw this floating around instagram… “What is a capsule wardrobe?”
A capsule wardrobe is a way to minimalize and streamline your closet. The goal is to limit your daily clothing options to 35-40 pieces. This includes tops, bottoms and shoes. It makes it easier to get dressed when you only have your absolute favorites in front of you (don’t you just wear the same favorite things most of the time anyway?).
Why it’s awesome:
1. A capsule wardrobe makes it faster to get dressed and ready for the day. You know that you LOVE the way everything in your closet looks AND it all fits well. (I tend to keep things around because they cost a lot or I like them, but they don’t fit me or are unflattering so I never wear them. This just adds clutter to my closet and doesn’t help me get dressed at all.)
2. It saves money! You are not supposed to shop for clothes for about 3 months (or until you are changing seasons/capsules). As you start to plan for your next season/capsule plan ahead the things you want/need. Incorporate them into your next capsule and just shop a few times to get ready for that.
I am really bad about mindlessly shopping – so this will help me avoid spending money for things I don’t need. You don’t have to stick with this rule. I’m not your mother (if you think I am, I demand a DNA test!). If you want to shop, do your thang. But you should take one item out for every one item in.
3. The clothes that are out of season or you want to pack away may seem new when you pull them out of storage for your next capsule. Score! It’s like finding money in your pocket, but it’s money in your closet in the form of other clothes you forgot you had.
4. I feel like minimalizing ‘things’ takes some stress out of the day to day. When you’re not focused on what to wear/shopping you can spend that extra time doing something else you love or with people you love.
I have come to realize I go shopping (online and in stores) when I’m sad or lonely sometimes. It gives me something to do and some stimulation. This is important because I work from home and do seek that out. But, I can find other ways to get fulfillment that don’t hurt my bank account. And this whole thing made me realize I shop as ‘something to do’, which is not a good habit.
There are a lot of fashion blogs and minimalist blogs online that talk about how to do a capsule wardrobe. I think the original idea was from Unfancy, but there are a lot of fashion blogs that are highlighting this and tons of resources on Pinterest.
But here is how I did it…
How to do a Capsule Wardrobe
Step one: Take everything out of your closet. Throw it on the floor and yell at the cat for getting fur on it.
Step 2: Separate clothes into piles =
A.) Fits and you love it (Keep)
B.) Fits and you like it (Maybe)
C.) Doesn’t fit or You don’t like it (Toss out)
Go through your ‘like it’ pile and determine if each item can be worn right now or should be stored for another season. Do the same with your love pile.
Your KEEP pile should end up with only clothes that you LOVE and would wear right now this week (are appropriate for your current life and this season).
Bonus: The items left in your LOVE pile tell you your style (if you don’t know it or don’t know how to describe it right now). I am pretty preppy and a little romantic/girly. I could live in maxi dresses so those made up the bulk of my capsule.
Your STORE pile should be clothes you LOVE but are not appropriate for your life or the season right now.
I used a big tupperware and plastic storage bags to pack my winter clothes away for a while.
Step 3: Par down your KEEP pile to 30-40 items. This does NOT include workout clothes, workout shoes, pajamas or bathing suits.
Depending on the season it can break down to something like 5-9 bottoms / 9-15 tops / 2-3 top layers / a few dresses / 4 pairs of shoes.
The examples I saw of capsule wardrobes were somewhat muted to me. They had a lot of neutral colors, but that is not really my style. I feel like I look best in greens and blues, but I love pink, stripes and polka dots so I have that too. That doesn’t help a ton with being versatile, but a capsule wardrobe has to work with your style or you won’t stick with it so I kept those pieces.
Step 4: Store the items that are out of season. Give away or sell the items that are not working for you anymore.
In my closet: 5 bottoms (shorts, pants and 1 black skirt), 17 tops, 15 dresses, 2 rompers.
I did not count my shoes or jackets (or running clothes). I have a couple of sweaters and everyday shoes in a closet in the living room. I also kept 2 ‘little black dresses’ handy for random events that may arise.
I realize I may have done this ‘wrong’ in that a lot of my clothes are not versatile for several different outfits (because I chose so many dresses). But I’m okay with wearing (and eating and doing) the same thing over and over. And this will be a learning experience so I’ll do better next time!
Also note: I am a full time blogger. Yes, that’s actually my job that pays my bills (thank you for reading!). So I work from home with my cat (he thanks your for reading too). And I live in California. Hence, my fashion choices are very casual.
Capsule Wardrobe day 1:
1. I think the biggest challenge is to come = not shopping until Sept 1st. Whhhhat?! I shop A LOT. I shop online and in person. I really enjoy it and will have to find something else to do with my time.
Most looking forward to:
1. Actually wearing certain clothes that I always ‘save’ for a special occasion. That’s dumb. Life is short, and I should just wear what I love. I’m hoping all my clothes are nice and worn out at the end of the 3 months.
Question: Have you done a capsule wardrobe? Heard about it? Want to try it?
Let me know!