Do you spend way more time that you want to admit trying to figure out what to wear for the day? If you want to simplify and make it easier to wear what you love, it’s time to consider a capsule wardrobe. Check out this tutorial on how to create a capsule wardrobe for beginners.
Does it seem like your wardrobe is overflowing but you still have nothing to wear? Read on to learn How To Create A Capsule Wardrobe!
Have you ever bought clothes because they were on sale or they looked cute in the moment, but they ended up sitting in your closet for months or even years without being worn very often?
Yep, I’ve been there. I remember shopping at the mall and buying things just because I could. Let’s not even talk about how I found a J. Crew outlet in my freshman year in college and bought things every week because “they were on sale”. By the end of the year, I had a whole closet of clothes that I rarely wore and weren’t much use because I had moved back to Hawaii to finish college.
It took many years, but I finally found a system to wear clothes I love without feeling overwhelmed with too many choices. I didn’t even know there was a name for it but then discovered the capsule wardrobe.
What Is A Capsule Wardrobe?
In essence, a capsule wardrobe is a few key pieces of clothes that are timeless, easy to mix and match, and easy to swap out with seasonal pieces to create a whole new wardrobe.
Think about how much easier and faster life would be if you could go into your closet and find exactly what you need and get started with your day? Rather than feel overwhelmed with your clothes, you’ll feel a sense of calm as you pick out what you need for the day. Sounds amazing, right?
Why a Capsule Wardrobe Saves You Time
A capsule wardrobe can end the hours and hours spent trying to find something to wear. It can also end the problem of the overflowing closet. You don’t need a lot of pieces to have a great wardrobe. All you need are a few great pieces that can be mixed and matched.
How To Create A Capsule Wardrobe: Getting Started
1. Declutter Your Wardrobe
First, go through and declutter your wardrobe. Take everything out of your closet and go through it. Have three boxes: toss, donate, and keep. As you go through your pieces, ask yourself if they can be worn with multiple outfits. If the piece is a one-trick pony, it may be time to let it go. Hold on to your favorite pieces that you wear regularly. Toss anything that’s worn out and donate anything that you no longer wear.
Go back through your keep pile and weed out any seasonal pieces. These pieces will be stored for later. You will then be left with only the pieces you love that are in season.
2. Get Key Pieces for a Capsule Wardrobe
Once you’ve decluttered your closet, consider what you have and what you may need. Be sure you have timeless pieces so you can get the most usage out of them. Examples of timeless pieces include jeans, a single-breast fitted jacket, a black shirt, a LBD (little black dress), leggings, and a simple scarf. The idea is that you’re purchasing pieces that you can still wear a year from now. These are also pieces that you can wear during more than one season.
Aim for about 50 pieces of clothing, including outerwear, shoes and jewelry. You can swap out a few key pieces as the seasons change – for instance, a light jean jacket for a winter coat in the summer. Underwear, bras, PJs and workout wear are separate, but I suggest going minimal with them as well to keep the clutter down.
Pick your top 3-4 favorites from each of these categories (depending on what you prefer to wear):
- Pants or leggings
- Dresses (including a little black dress)
- Tops (including t-shirts and sweaters)
- Outerwear (including a blazer, jacket or coat)
- Accessories (including jewelry, handbags, hats, etc.)
The idea is you want to have pieces that can easily mix and match. For instance, a top that can be worn with leggings, jeans or a skirt. Or a sweater that will go with jeans or nice pants. Neutral colors work really well for a capsule wardrobe – such as tan, beige, black, gray, army green, and white.
Personally, I don’t wear skirts because with my body type A-line dresses work better. So I have more dresses and no skirts in my capsule wardrobe. I also don’t wear pants (I gave them up when I left my corporate job), but I do wear jeans and leggings. My tops mix and match well with my leggings, yoga pants, and jeans. I also have activewear that is easy for me to mix and match – all black yoga pants and a 3-4 different long-sleeve tops that work for winter and summer. Literally, when I wake up in the morning, I grab a pair of yoga pants and and a long-sleeve top to start my day. It’s such a relief to not have to decide each day what to wear.
3. Wear Outfits for a Month or Two
Once you have your capsule wardrobe, try it for a month or two. Mix and match pieces throughout the month to create new looks. When you do it for a month, you’ll create the habit of using what you have and getting creative with your outfits like adding a scarf or trying a top with different skirt or leggings. Challenge yourself to use what you have.
4. Edit Your Capsule Wardrobe Over Time
After a couple of months with your capsule wardrobe, figure out what worked and what didn’t. Donate clothes that aren’t easy to mix and match or haven’t been worn regularly. It’s fine to keep a few special occasion pieces, but really ask yourself if everything in your closet is being used regularly or a piece you really love. Add items you need – like tops, shoes, and accessories but do resist the urge to buy as much as possible.
Creating a Capsule Wardrobe and Keeping Your Style
Just because you’re paring down your choices doesn’t mean the remaining staples need to be boring. Making a statement has never been easier, especially when you factor in a unique color scheme.
More Benefits of a Capsule Wardrobe
Less Decision Fatigue
If your brain is tired by mid-afternoon, you probably suffer from decision fatigue. Streamlining decisions like what to wear gives you more mental room for dealing with more pressing decisions during the day!
Think about how much you spent on clothing or other fashion related items last year? How many of those purchases were items you really needed? How many were driven by emotions, marketing, or boredom? By creating a small capsule collection from the clothes, you can expect to save a good deal of money.
Top Tips for Creating a Capsule Wardrobe
- You don’t need a lot of pieces to have a great wardrobe. All you need are a few great pieces that can be mixed and matched.
- As you go through your pieces, ask yourself if they can be worn with multiple outfits.
- Examples of timeless pieces include jeans, a single-breast fitted jacket, a black shirt, a LBD (little black dress), leggings, and a simple scarf.
- Neutral colors work really well for a capsule wardrobe – such as tan, beige, black, gray, army green, and white.
More Decluttering Tips
- 10 Steps to Declutter Your Home
- 5 Questions to Ask Before You Buy
- 5 Reasons Why You Should Consider Minimalist Living
- Is Minimalism Right for You?
7-Day Decluttering Challenge
Looking for more ways to declutter your home? Join my FREE 7-Day Decluttering Challenge! I’ll go more in-depth on how to declutter your bathrooms and every room in your home. I’ll also show you how to deal with the emotions that often come up when you’re decluttering and simple strategies you can use to overcome them.
Photo credit: Bigstockphoto.com / New Africa