Why a Capsule Wardrobe?
Spring is emerging slowly but surely in many parts of the world and it’s time to break out a new Capsule Wardrobe. If you’re not familiar, a Capsule Wardrobe is a small curation of items of clothing either newly purchased or pulled from your existing closet and matched together to form cohesive outfits for a specific or indefinite amount of time. This can be done weekly (as I have been doing for the past two months, check out my Instagram Stories for more information) monthly or seasonally. The main benefit of creating a Capsule Wardrobe is the simplicity it offers when choosing what to wear each day which can be increasingly difficult when choosing from a closet packed with clothing.
For some this can seem like a major undertaking and the procrastinator in all of us is saying, “yeah I’ll get right on that.” (somewhat sarcastically) but it is really quite a simple process. The initial creation of a Capsule Wardrobe will take a bit of effort on your part to actually spend some time in your closet going through what you own. You will need to first sift through what you already own and decide which items still speak to you, which ones to put away (such as heavy sweaters once warm weather arrives), and which items no longer hold value in your life (can be recycled, donated, thrown away if no other option exists). Once you have weeded out the duds you will have a better idea of which items will work in you capsule.
Here are some specific tips to get you well on your way to creating your perfect version of a Capsule Wardrobe this spring and summer:
Find the holes:
This may not seem like much fun, especially if you are not the organizing-type, but going through your closet on a regular basis and knowing what you have to work with will help so much when creating a capsule. By going through your closet and identifying the “holes” where your wardrobe is lacking key “style items” you not only save yourself time when shopping (a more targeted “hit list”) but also save yourself money because you are not buying things you already have (how many black cardigans do you really need?). So bite the bullet, go through it, decide and keep what you love, and find a new home for the rest.
Browse the trends:
Before you hit the shops, look through some trend reports for Spring 2018, this will help you to gain some fresh inspiration for what is popular this year and it’s possible you may already have some of these items. Don’t feel the need to try and wear every trend, trends are plentiful and trying to incorporate all of them would be tiring and expensive. By focusing on 4 or 5 trends that fit in with your personal style, you can easily showcase your fashionable side without much effort or investment. Another point to focus on is trends are not necessarily literal. If you see an outfit you like on a blogger for example, don’t feel the need to buy each item they are wearing but instead try to recreate the essence of their look using items you own or purchase similar items within your budget.
Indulge in some retail therapy:
Shopping each season is not necessary but can be difficult to avoid for those of us who love to shop. So if shopping is an inevitable part of welcoming spring, make your list of desired items, grab a coffee or tea and shop your little heart out. Typically speaking, trendier items are best purchased from more affordable retail chains though this is not the best option if you are a strong proponent for slow fashion. I am trying to incorporate more sustainable brands, high quality garments with ethical work environments, buying less often, wearing what I already have in new ways, using clothing recycling programs or donating unwanted clothing.
Try things on:
You’ve cleared your closet of clutter, you’ve decided on you’re trends to covet and you’ve exercised your credit card to exhaustion, now what? Now, you strip down to your skivvies and start trying things on, start outfit planning and begin capsule-building. This may not seem like tons of fun if you aren’t a fan of trying things on, but it will give you an opportunity to see what looks good together and that will help you to choose items for your capsule that you will want to wear again and again. Choosing items that can be worn in a variety of ways is your best bet, versatility is your friend when it comes to condensing your closet for a specific period of time.
Decide on a colour palette:
This is likely the most crucial aspect of creating a Capsule Wardrobe which speaks to your style, gives you endless options for daily looks, and to make your daily routine a breeze. Choosing 3-5 different colours (yes I know there’s a u, I’m Canadian eh?) will create a flow and cohesive balance to your outfits as a whole. By sticking to a colour palette, you will be able to mix and match your outfits with ease, particularly where patterns are concerned. If you are a lover of colour, don’t be afraid to stray from these guidelines, you make the rules after all.
Which items & how long:
So when you come to choosing you items you will need to decide how long you want to use this particular capsule, you could do one month to start or the entire duration of spring! I have been choosing a weekly capsule of 20 items every Sunday evening and creating all my outfits for the week from these items. This has allowed me to wear almost my entire wardrobe week by week and, in an effort to challenge myself to wear what I own, I have discovered which items I love most. Another benefit of creating a different collection of clothing to wear each week has been the decrease in the frequency of my shopping. Once you know which items you love, what colour palette you want and how long you want to go for, you can then start pulling items and see what you come up with!
Consider weight of fabrics:
Spring and summer dressing is all about light layers, mornings and evenings can be cool while afternoons are scorching so having layers to add or remove as needed is key. Include items such as denim jackets, cotton t-shirts, thin knit cardigans, chiffon blouses and linen pants. Thinner fabrics can easily be layered without being too hot or bulky and pack away easily in a tote bag once they are no longer needed. Lighter colours are also often a good choice for the warmer weather as they reflect the suns ray rather than absorb it, leaving you feeling cooler.
Accessories: the icing on the cake:
Lastly, I want to mention that an outfit is never really complete without some fabulous accessories. Jewelry, scarves, belts, hats, shoes, handbags, and sunglasses can all be added as part of the capsule or in addition to it. They help to tie the look together and are an important consideration when compiling your wardrobe items. Try to aim for a variety of different items to give yourself versatility in your looks, for example, try not to choose 5 different pairs of sneakers (unless that is all you ever wear) instead try to choose one or two pairs of runners, a pair of pointy-toed mules, a pair of Birkenstocks and a pair of ballet flats.
Creating capsule wardrobes is a path I have gone down and from which I do not think I could ever return. My hope is that these tips are helpful in spreading capsule vibes to the masses and inspiring others to take a deep dive into your closet, dissect it and really find your personal style. Please don’t hesitate to share you experiences with this process and your results with outfit planning as well as you OOTDs. I am happy to answer any questions you may have as you embark on this amazing clothing journey, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.