Happy Thursday, y’all!
We’re knee deep in spring cleaning, and you might be doing the same. Swapping the winter sweaters for summer dresses and boots for sandals. With the new season in full swing, you might be considering a wardrobe overhaul - what do you keep? What do you get rid of? If you’re feeling bleh about your current closet selections but wanting to keep your current style, consider a capsule wardrobe! This week we’re talking about how to maximize the potential of your closet and keeping outfit choices stress-free with the capsule wardrobe.
01: Ok, But What’s A Capsule Wardrobe?
The concept of a capsule wardrobe has been around since the 1970’s, but here’s a bare-bones definition if you need a refresher: A capsule wardrobe is a thoughtful assortment of garments, curated specifically to be easily interchangeable, timeless, and able to maximize the amount of different outfits to be styled within that wardrobe.
Think of five pieces of clothing in your closet: how many differently-styled outfits can you make from the five that you’re thinking of?
There can be lots of benefits to adhering to the capsule wardrobe concept. If fashion is something that stresses you out more than it brings you joy, a capsule wardrobe could be the way to go - it eliminates the “paralysis of choice” and the amount of second-guessing that you do when getting dressed. If you keep a set amount of garments you love that can be easily interchanged, then you’ll love how you look every day! Not to mention save some time in the morning routine.
One of the most talked about benefits of the capsule wardrobe is limiting the amount of excess in your closet.Today, there is lots of public interest in the inner workings of the fashion industry and its troubled relationship with sustainable practices - Capsule wardrobes limit a reliance on the trend-pushing agenda of fast fashion. In the last few years, we’ve even seen celebrity red carpet looks reworn! The advantage of timelessness allows clothes to retain their trendiness for years rather than seasons. Investing in quality for longevity beats a fast-fashion button down falling apart in the washer every time. In turn, being nicer on your wallet every season means that you can easily afford nicer stuff when you see something in a shop that you actually like.
02: Organize and Prioritize
The first official step of creating a capsule wardrobe means you’re gonna have to get rid of some stuff.
Got a dress that you never wear anymore? Donate.
Maybe a not-so-pretty shirt gifted by a relative at Christmas? Donate.
Damaged clothes? Repair if you can, but maybe get rid of.
Decluttering your closet of items that are taking up unnecessary space will open up your wardrobe to more capsule-friendly garments. This might be an emotional journey, but a mandatory one. Your closet is valuable real estate, and you deserve to use it to your advantage!
03: Taking Stock
Now that you’ve removed any items of clothing that are out of the question, you can do a little inventory on what’s left - count up the amount of shirts, pants, dresses, skirts, jackets, etc. This will allow you to see what you’re missing in your closet, or alternatively, what you might have too many of. If you have an exorbitant amount of one specific type of clothing, revisit the past step and see if there’s anything else you can part with. Once you’ve zeroed in on the stats of your closet, this will make building the capsule wardrobe a breeze! This makes choosing what to include in the capsule wardrobe much easier.
The next step of taking stock is to pick your favorites. What do you absolutely love wearing? What do you wear every day? Every week? These pieces will be your building blocks, your foundation to create the capsule wardrobe based around. Your inspiration, if you will. These items could be basics or statements, either is great! What matters is having a small basis to build upon that shows your personality.
04: Building the Capsule
The building phase is a bit of a choose-your-own adventure. Nobody knows your style and size like yourself, so prioritizing what you feel you need is key in this step. However, we have some tips and recommendations of versatile garments that will make the capsuling easier:
Straight Leg Jeans. The boyfriend cut jeans are incredibly comfortable and easy to style. Mom always said, jeans go with everything. Or if there’s a specific cut of jeans that you know fit you well, get a few pairs in different colors - a light wash, dark wash, black, tan are all good go-to’s.
See: Madewell, Baggy Straight Jeans
White Button-Down Shirt. Say it with me: There will be an event coming up, and I will be prepared for it. Whether it’s a work function or date night or just wanting to look clean and presentable, a white button-down is a must. Don’t worry if you think it’s “boring”, it won’t be boring when you can pair it with every single thing in your closet effortlessly. A white button-down is the blank canvas of any stylish outfit - it’s always there in some form, waiting for the perfect layers, tucks, or accessories.
See: Sunspel, White Pocket Shirt
Little Black Dress. It’s LBD o’clock! We know the classic, we love the classic, the unproblematic fave that is the little black dress. It’s an absolute must-have.
See: Dion Lee, Black Split Strap Mini Dress
Nude Heels or Sneakers. No matter if your style is overtly femme or not, a beige shoe is a staple of the closet. This writer is of the opinion that shoes are a major selling point of style: If you don’t like your shoes, you’re in trouble. Having a base shoe can effectively play off statement bottoms, or keep your feet comfortable when you have long days at work.
See: Common Projects, Beige Achilles low Sneakers
Everyday Cardigan. A bit seasonally inappropriate for May, but you’ll thank us once the leaves start falling. An easy-breezy cardigan is a great transitional piece for the changing seasons, or just some extra coziness on a chilly day. A cardigan in the range of core neutrals (white, beige, tan, black) can quite literally go with anything: a summer dress, slouchy graphic tee and jeans, a comfy outfit for work, you name it! Expert tip: Since most sweaters are a bit out of season currently, you can likely find some slashed prices around, and find your key cardigan for a steal.
See: Everlane, The Organic Cotton Cardigan
White Tee. What more could be said about a plain white tee? It’s there when you need it. For something as simple as a tee, there is great opportunity to find a type of tee you love - maybe it’s cropped, or V-neck. Whatever tee style makes you feel fabulous!
See: Aritzia, Little Ribbed T-shirt https://www.aritzia.com/us/en/product/little-ribbed-t-shirt/68755.html?dwvar_68755_color=1275
This shortlist of tips and basics should help you get started on a capsule wardrobe! Save yourself some time and never second guess your look again.
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