How to create a Capsule Wardrobe

I remember the first time I heard about a Capsule Wardrobe, I was sifting through my clothing at my parent’s place deciding what to take with me to London and what to leave behind. The task seemed quite monumental, piles and piles of multicoloured, textured, and patterned fabrics splayed out across the bed – all needing a decision and destination to go.

To help me with my clothing conundrum I decided to hit up Dr Google, and that’s where I found it – It came in capsule form (quite fitting!), and once taken all items are then laid out before you into a beautifully curated wardrobe… I was sold.

What is a Capsule Wardrobe?

A capsule wardrobe is quite simply:

  • A wardrobe containing fewer items (commonly 35 or less)
  • A wardrobe filled with items you love and enjoy
  • A wardrobe with items that are versatile and interchangeable

The Rules – 35 items or less including:

  • Pants
  • Skirts
  • Dresses
  • Tops
  • Jumpers
  • Jackets
  • Shoes
  • This does not include underwear, swimsuits, workout gear, or accessories (but that doesn’t mean you should have 35 pairs of swimsuits)
  • You shop for things you need at the beginning of each season 
  • New items you incorporate into your Capsule Wardrobe should be of high quality and be invested in, so they last you from season-to-season and more importantly feel good on you, are made from a fabric you like, and that you’ll love to wear!

Why should you try a Capsule Wardrobe?

A Capsule Wardrobe gives you a wardrobe that is well put together, shows off your own individual style, takes up less room, is more intentional, and provides you with a curated palate of items that all go well together – meaning less hassle and decision making in the morning when deciding what to wear.

How do you create one?

By following this 4-step process:

1. Pull everything out:

  • It’s time to get all Marie Kondo on it!
  • Put everything into one pile in a room
  • As you pull out each individual item determine whether it’s an item you love vs an item you don’t or are unsure about.

2. Write it down:

  • Write down what you love or don’t love about these items
  • Is it the material, the colour, the fit, or the pattern?
  • For items you don’t love or unsure about, write why – Why haven’t you worn it? How does it make you feel when you put it on?
  • Writing it down will give you a picture of your own personal style. For me, I noticed I loved stripes, white and black, and high neck collars. I also realised I didn’t like pastel colours as they made me look pale, so it made step 3 a whole lot easier.

3. Sort your clothing into 3 groups:

Keep: Items you love

Maybe: Items that you’re unsure about. Interrogate this category, truly delve into why you’re unsure about it and be intentional. Do you really need that studded denim jacket? Is it versatile? Will it go with items you love?

Donate or Sell:Items off to a new home for someone else to love. But a reminder at this point, if you do end up with more than 35 items in your wardrobe that’s ok, the number is not the point. The point is learning to be more intentional.

4. Identify what you need:

Before you hit the shops ask yourself these questions to help you identify what you need and to be more intentional with your clothing spending…

  • What do you spend your time doing? i.e. are you outdoors a lot, do you go to a lot of corporate events?  
  • What are some key design elements you love? Look back at your list, do you love cotton fabrics, stripes, or are you a neutrals girl?
  • What brands do you love?
  • Go shopping: remember your why, be thoughtful and invest.

By following these principles you’ll develop skills to become more intentional with your clothing and to build your own unique and beautiful Capsule Wardrobe. That being said a Capsule Wardrobe is not a magic pill, it takes time and commitment – I still make the odd purchase I’m later regretting and posting on eBay, but what I do have now is a more intentional approach to clothing, a wardrobe that I’ve invested in, is minimal, goes well together, and that feels me – and that’s something that’s worth committing to.

THE LADDER GIRL

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