Have you heard of the term “capsule wardrobe?” This fashion trend, which originated on Project 333, is gaining steam, and for good reason. Many people are finding that this approach to style not only saves money, it also saves time and makes fashion feel freeing rather than frustrating.
So what’s the secret? Take a deep breath, because creating a capsule wardrobe will require you to get rid of the majority of the clothes you own right now. That’s right – you’ll practically be starting from scratch, but the good news is that you won’t need to spend much (or anything at all) to get a versatile, multi-purpose wardrobe with what’s left over. Read through this guide to see how it all works – you’ll be shocked at how great this idea sounds once you see it in action.
Step 1: Paring Down Your Wardrobe
The first step in creating a capsule wardrobe is getting rid of clothes. If you’re nervous about saying goodbye to your stuff for good, don’t worry. This step can still be accomplished as long as you box up your extra clothing and promise not to wear it for three months. In fact, if you live somewhere with varying climates, like the Midwest, you don’t want to get rid of the seasonal items you’ll need for only for certain months of the year.
Here’s what you’ll want to be left with: 33 items total, including outerwear, shoes, and accessories. This doesn’t include your workout gear, pajamas or underwear, so keep those on hand as needed. The items you include in your capsule should be tailored to the season you’ll be in for the next three months, so don’t include sweaters or boots if it’s summer. Once they have it mastered, many people like to do two six-month capsules – one for fall/winter and one for spring/summer – but starting with three months is usually easiest for beginners.
Tips for successful clothing selection:
- Include mostly basic items that can pair well together. Several black, white, navy or brown items will provide a great foundation since they can be paired with lots of colors easily.
- Add a few pops of color or a print or two to spice things up.
- You’ll be layering a lot, so include various types of pieces, like tank tops, blouses, dresses, jackets and scarves.
- Choose only pieces that make you feel great. The fit should make you feel flattered, you don’t have to keep adjusting it all day, the color complements your skin tone, etc. You should essentially be picking your favorite pieces from your wardrobe.
Step 2: Create Outfits
Ideally, everything in your capsule should go with any other item you’ve included. A top should go with most of the bottoms you have. A scarf should complement any outfit you create. This part of the capsule is what many people enjoy the most. The idea is that you’ll waste less time worrying what to wear and be able to pick any outfit knowing it will make you feel great.
If you’re stumped by how 33 items could possibly make enough outfits to last, check out some of the bloggers who have tried this experiment for themselves. You’ll be amazed at how many amazing outfits they can create from such a condensed wardrobe. Use their photos and styling suggestions to decide which types of items you should be including in your own wardrobe.
Check out how this blogger from Hark at Home created 27 different outfits with one capsule. That means you could wear a different outfit every day for almost a month! Notice how she used items like leggings, cardigans and belts to vary her outfits. In addition, she uses different styling approaches, like tucking in a shirt or rolling up pant legs, to create new looks.
Step 3: Getting Rid of the Extra
Most people box up most of their unused stuff to start their first capsule. But if you complete this experiment successfully, you’ll probably notice that you don’t miss your old stuff. After wearing only loved items that make you feel great, you won’t want to go back to clothes that make you feel “eh.” Whether it’s stained, no longer fits, worn out or just not in keeping with your style anymore, items that aren’t capsule-worthy can often be sold or given away without a second thought. You’ll keep less junk and focus on wearing only the stuff you truly love. Plus, you’ll save money since you won’t feel like you constantly need to be updating your wardrobe and adding new pieces in order to have enough outfits.
Step 4: Investing for the Future
Even if you keep up with your capsules, you’ll eventually need a new item here and there. Since you’re not buying new stuff as often, make sure you use those funds to invest only in pieces that are truly worthy of including in a capsule. You may even spend a little more than usual to make sure it’s something that not only looks great but will also last. Just make sure to keep your commitment to the capsule and you’ll find you’re spending way less on clothing and accessories overall.