The concept of the capsule wardrobe was first talked about in the 1940s. However, it’s only in recent years that the idea has seen a huge surge in popularity.
So what is a capsule wardrobe? Well, it’s basically a small selection of clothes that can be used to create an array of outfits without the need to constantly buy new items all the time. It prioritizes creativity over quantity. In other words, you don’t need to have a lot of clothes to put together different and stylish outfits. The secret is knowing how to make different combinations.
This guide will tell you all you need to know about making your own. Keep reading!
Why Start a Capsule Wardrobe?
There are lots of different reasons why you might want to start your own capsule wardrobe. Here are just a few examples:
- To Save Money – One of the main reasons why people like the idea of capsule wardrobes is that they can help them save a lot of cash on clothing. If you have a set of interchangeable, timeless clothing items you can use throughout the year, you won’t feel as much of a need to shop for clothes on a regular basis, helping you save hundreds or even thousands per year.
- To Be Less Wasteful – Another benefit of capsule wardrobes is that they can help become less wasteful. If you’ve ever bought clothing and only worn a couple of times, that means you should rethink your actions. A capsule wardrobe can help you generate less waste with your clothing. After all, you’ll only buy what you need – or not at all.
- To Be More Eco-friendly – Capsule wardrobes are also considered to be highly eco-friendly too. The clothing industry generates a lot of pollution and toxic waste materials that harm environments around the world. It’s very harmful to the environment to simply buy and throw away lots of clothing. By limiting yourself to a few pieces, you can minimize your impact.
- To Save Space – There’s also a space-saving advantage to consider with a capsule wardrobe. Many people’s clothing collections take up huge amounts of room, filling drawers, wardrobes, attics, and closets. If you switch to a capsule wardrobe, you can save lots of space that can be put to better use. This is great for people who live in little homes or mobile homes too.
- And More – There are many other reasons why you might like to give a capsule wardrobe a try. It can help you change your spending habits, enjoy other things in life, reduce the amount of time you spend picking outfits and stressing about what to wear, and much more.
How To Start a Capsule Wardrobe
So how do you actually start your own capsule wardrobe? In this section, we’ll break the process down into a few simple steps:
Step 1. Pulling Everything Out of Your Closet
The first step to making your own capsule closet is to take stock of your existing clothing collection and see what you’ve got to work with. So, one simple way to start is to pull everything out of your existing wardrobes, closets, drawers, and anywhere else you happen to store your clothes.
Get everything out so you can see just how much clothing you actually have and maybe start to identify some of the more timeless, neutral, versatile pieces that may be able to go into your capsule wardrobe later on.
You should also take this time to go through your attire, item by item, and get rid of the clothes that you no longer need or want. You can do this in an eco-friendly way by donating the clothes, sharing them around with family and friends, thinking about ways to upcycle the fabric, and so on.
Step 2. Picking Your Color Palette
The next step is where you can start putting the fundamentals of your capsule wardrobe together. One of the keys to a capsule wardrobe is that it contains timeless, relatively neutral pieces that can be easily combined to make an array of different outfits you can wear all year long.
So a good way to start is to pick out a base color. Usually, people choose either navy or black as their base color. Black is ideal as it goes with so many colors, and navy is also very versatile, so there’s no wrong choice here.
After that, you can start considering some neutral-color essentials in colors like white, gray, beige, and black. Look for items that have solid colors, rather than prints or patterns, to guarantee that timeless style. Examples include white shirts, gray blouses, beige sweaters, and so on.
After that, if you want to get a little more creative, you can also pick an accent color. This isn’t a necessary step, but it can be a good one if you want your outfits to have a little more vibrancy to them, or if you really love the way you look in a certain color like pink, red, or purple.
Step 3. Establishing Your Base Wardrobe
Once you’ve picked the colors you want to work within your capsule wardrobe, you can start putting the wardrobe together. This is where the fun starts and where you can really start to narrow down your existing clothing collection into something sleeker and much more manageable.
Start off with the base color items, choosing some black or navy items that you like the most. Then add on some neutral color items too, before selecting some extra items of your accent color(s) and two or three patterned items too like a striped T-shirt or floral dress to add a bit of extra variety.
Tips for Choosing
While choosing your items, you should try to make sure that you make a balanced selection. For example, instead of picking three pairs of navy pants, try to pick one navy pair, one white pair, and one gray pair, giving you more options to play around with.
You should also be very selective, really taking your time to consider each time and asking yourself questions like “Does this fit with the other items in the wardrobe?” “How many outfits can I make with this item?” and so on.
Also, try to limit yourself to set amounts of each item, such as 10 tops, 10 bottoms, for example, or set yourself limits in other categories like five “workout items”, 10 “formal items”, 15 “casual items”, and so on. Or simply give yourself a maximum limit of 30-50 pieces of clothing.
Step 4. Extras and Accessories to Finish
The final step is to think about the extras and accessories you’ll need to complete your outfits. They’ll give your looks a little more variety throughout the changing seasons, and this should include things like hats, gloves, shoes, and jewelry.
Again, you need to limit yourself here to set amounts to avoid going overboard, as well as considering each item carefully and thinking about the best options. If you’re putting together a male capsule wardrobe, for example, and working on the footwear section, you need to think carefully about picking the best men’s shoes with shorts, pants, and different clothes so you always have options.
If you follow these steps, you too can complete your own capsule wardrobe, cut down on your clothing collection, and start enjoying all the benefits. You’ll be able to get dressed faster, have a neater and tidier closet, and enjoy a great range of timeless, stylish outfits every day. Give it a try and see what a capsule closet can do for you.
* By Mariam Simons, from AlpineSwiss