style / mindset / simplicity
style / mindset / simplicity
When most women hear ‘Capsule Wardrobe’ they picture a very limited number of garments resulting in a boring, restrictive wardrobe. They’re quick to list all the reasons why they could NEVER wear a wardrobe like that. Maybe you feel the same way, like you couldn’t possibly get dressed if your clothing options were intentionally limited.
For reference, the origins of the Capsule Wardrobe...
“The term capsule wardrobe was coined by Susie Faux, owner of the West End, London boutique “Wardrobe”, in the 1970s to refer to a collection of essential items of clothing that would not go out of fashion, and therefore could be worn for multiple seasons. The aim was to update this collection with seasonal pieces to provide something to wear for any occasion without buying many new items of clothing”
As we seek to simplify our lives, this type of wardrobe has been gaining popularity. When it comes to Capsule Wardrobes, there are countless websites, books, and blogs offering all the specifics on how, why and how many. The details vary, but most capsules contain between 10-60 garments. Usually, the 'ideal' number hovers around 40.
I think it’s important to remember that it’s not about the numbers. It’s about having enough clothing to feel confident when getting dressed for any situation, but not having radically more than you need or use.
You want to feel supported by your wardrobe, not overwhelmed.
Here's the shocker... you’re likely already wearing a Capsule Wardrobe. For well over a decade, statistics have shown that the average American woman wears 20% of her clothes, 80% of the time. That’s essentially a capsule wardrobe! Think about it, if you have 20 tops but you regularly wear only 4 or 5 of those tops... that's about 20% or a 'capsule' of tops.
The important thing to realize is that the capsule you’re currently wearing has likely been curated by default. It’s probably a capsule made up of clothing that requires the least amount of thought, is the easiest to slip on and/or the most accessible in your over-stuffed closet. Consider what you wear most often... I'm talking about the go-to outfits that you rely on over and over and over because they're easy. That's your capsule wardrobe.
The items in your capsule right now might not be your favorites, but you wear them on repeat because they’re relatively effortless.
But what if,every item in your ‘capsule’ was something you LOVED? The same number of go-to outfits, but you actually felt amazing every time you got dressed. Sounds dreamy, huh?
A capsule wardrobe is a small(ish) collection of really versatile pieces that you truly love to wear.
What matters when creating a capsule wardrobe?
A defined sense of style so that your wardrobe feels authentic.
Good quality pieces.
Coordinating colors and silhouettes.
You love all of the items.
Everything fits and flatters your body, today.
The pieces are all intentionally chosen because they support the life you actually live.
The contents work together and you have all the necessary components to build outfits.
Do you have a closet that’s packed with mediocre clothes that you don’t enjoy wearing?
What if instead, you opted for a sparsely populated closet containing only clothes you love? Wouldn’t that make it so much easier to get dressed and keep the space organized?
Apprehensive? Here’s how to start using the ‘act as if’ method…
Act as if you’re a woman who wears a capsule wardrobe by curating a pretend capsule wardrobe. No permanent commitment, no shopping needed, no drastic measures.
Simply come up with a few rules of your own. How long will you be wearing your capsule? (I'd suggest at least 2-3 weeks to really get the feel for it.) What events and occasions will occur during that time? How many pieces feel like a good number for you?
Next, identify what counts as part of your capsule. Determine what will be included and omitted. For your first capsule experiment, it's easiest to only count actual clothing. This leaves more flexibility with regards to outerwear, accessories and shoes.
Start by picking 3 or 4 favorite pieces in your current wardrobe. Then expand your capsule by adding things that coordinate with those favorites. Ideally, most of the items in a capsule wardrobe will go together.
Once you’ve set aside your little collection, physically remove the rest of your wardrobe from your closet. Don't skip this step or it will be too tempting to wear things that aren't in your capsule. Box up the items that don’t make the cut and move them to another room. Don’t worry, this is only temporary. You’re creating space for the things you actually love wearing. Just try it and see what happens.
If you decide you like wearing a capsule wardrobe, keep in mind that you’ll probably want to create different capsules for different areas of your life. Consider cultivating mini-capsules for date night, sleep capsule, home capsule , fitness, etc.
I find that this topic tends to be a bit controversial with my clients and friends. I would LOVE to know your thoughts about wearing a capsule wardrobe. I can’t wait to hear what you think!
Thanks for reading.
P.S. Tomorrow I'm going to hear Courtney Carver speak about her new book, Project 333: The Minimalist Fashion Challenge That Proves Less Really Is So Much More. I can't wait! (Super bummed. Due to COVID-19, this has been wisely cancelled.)
If you don't already follow me on Instagram. Head on over, I'll be sharing more there all week!