It’s not just another fashion craze. The capsule wardrobe is a huge part of the minimalist lifestyle that’s caught on for its versatility. The idea of the capsule wardrobe has been linked back to the likes of Donna Karan in the 70s, but its recent revival is thanks to blogger Caroline Rector of Unfancy who reduced her wardrobe to 37 distinct pieces of clothing. Whether your goal is to streamline your wardrobe to high quality pieces, to save time preparing in the morning, or to just make life a little simpler, we bring you a quick guide to the capsule wardrobe.
What is a capsule wardrobe?
It is a practice of cutting down your wardrobe to only your favourite pieces that can be reworn and remixed as you like. The main idea is to choose clothes that are suitable for your current lifestyle and body type, not an idealized version or one that you wish to have. Eventually you will be shopping less often and choosing new clothes more intentionally.
It is common to stick to a capsule wardrobe for a whole season, but personal preference and lifestyles can differ. Most guides recommend updating the capsule wardrobe every three months, but some advanced followers of the method keep it for an entire year. There is no such thing as a perfect capsule wardrobe—you can always experiment on what works for you.
Photo credit - Instagram @minimalistbible
Why should I create one?
There are many benefits to keeping your wardrobe to only the essentials.
Firstly, say goodbye to rushed mornings sieving through the clutter in your wardrobe. We’ve all been there, looking in cupboards full of clothes but not having anything to wear. With a capsule wardrobe, you’ll know that every single piece is curated for you, and none of them makes you think twice about leaving the house in.
In modern-day environments, decision fatigue is a real thing. A capsule wardrobe minimizes the stress of just picking something to wear, akin to the uniform method adopted by Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs. The difference is that the capsule wardrobe keeps you creative. It is made for mixing and matching—a process that happens to be even more enjoyable if each item is of great quality and fits you perfectly.
Photo credit - Instagram @simplylivandco
How do I create one?
Start with decluttering. Clothes that are outdated, no longer fit, or are merely seasonal should be donated or put away in storage.
Then, choose your pieces carefully. We recommend starting with 30 pieces of clothing, including shoes and accessories. Be mindful of picking at least one item in each core category, such as jeans, dress, skirt, blazer, sneakers, heels, and so on. The more you love the core pieces of clothing, the better.
Once that is done, feel free to try it out for a few months. You can always revisit the clothes you’ve put in storage if you’re looking to switch up your items. A capsule wardrobe does not have to be an immediate commitment, but rather a gradual process of making mistakes and finding your personal style in the process.
Tips & tricks
Choose to let go of items that are no longer serving your body, your lifestyle, or your fashion style. This makes it easier for you to only stick with pieces that you’d be happy to wear throughout the season.
Reserve your closet space for only the essentials. Your wardrobe should consist of only items in your capsule wardrobe to effectively minimize the time and stress of choosing an outfit. Other types of clothes should be kept in storage.
- Shop less but more intentionally. Eventually you will learn to be more selective with new additions to your wardrobe, seeing as how you took the effort and time to create something just for you. You can also be more discernible in the quality of fabrics, choosing instead for pieces that can last more than a few washes.
Have fun with it! A capsule wardrobe is about structure, but don’t feel stifled by the limited options. Instead, treat it like an exploration of your personal style and to learning more about yourself.