For the past couple of years, capsule wardrobes have been trending on the interwebs. You’ve most likely heard of them, maybe even read about them…and if you’re like me, you’ve tried them out and are SOLD on them! When I first heard of a capsule wardrobe a few years back, I didn’t give it a second thought, mainly because it didn’t appeal to me. I didn’t think I was capable of paring down my wardrobe to only a few essential pieces of clothing and it sounded daunting. Plus, I like clothes and shopping!
But as I kept seeing information pop up about capsule wardrobes, I became more intrigued. What was the appeal? Why were so many people suddenly inclined to own LESS? Maybe there was something to this.
When quarantine hit, I took the opportunity to try out my own capsule wardrobe. And for me personally, it’s been a game-changer.
What Is A Capsule Wardrobe?
A capsule wardrobe is a small collection of clothing that is composed of interchangeable items (usually “staple” items) to maximise the number of outfits that can be created. The point of a capsule wardrobe is to give you a lot of outfit options that will work for multiple occasions because of the intentionality behind creating one. The aim is that you mix and match versatile items together without owning excess. It is helpful (but not necessary) to choose a color scheme to make mixing and matching easier!
What Are The Benefits?
Have you ever heard the phrase “we wear 20 percent of our clothes 80 percent of the time”? When I first heard that, I KNEW how true it was for me and it really hit me hard. I dove into this process with super low expectations, but let me tell you, the benefits have been endless. Let me just list a few:
- I have saved so. much. money and consequently, I’ve been able to use said money on other things that are more meaningful to me, such as home decor and fun experiences
- I’ve also saved a bunch of time…time cleaning out my closet, making trips to goodwill, choosing outfits, shopping for new clothes, etc.
- The hassle and stress (aka decision fatigue) of having too many options has been eliminated. With fewer items hanging in my closet, it is easier to decide what to wear in the morning
- I have lived life with more intention which I believe is so important in helping me feel in control and improving my self esteem
- I know what I own! So this saves me from making impulse purchases which of course saves me loads of money. But also, when you own too many clothes, they end up owning you, right? I like feeling in control
- Ok and I won’t go into detail about fast fashion, the environment, etc. But you can read up on all of those types of benefits, too! Just being mindful is so important
I used to spend hours shopping for clothes, putting outfits together and as a result…purging, cleaning and donating A LOT to Goodwill over the years. And in hindsight, I see that this was a LOT of time and money wasted. That’s a strong word, but truly, I cringe to think of the money I have thrown away on clothes that I would wear a few times and then lose interest in. You know how it goes: the sad, unworn items that hang in your closet that you feel guilty for not wearing but just can’t seem to get rid of.
And as my family has grown, life has gotten busier. This means that I no longer have hours to shop and put together outfits and purge and clean, even if I wanted to! And if I’m being real honest, I had to do some priority shifting once my husband and I decided we were going to buy a brand new home. I still love clothes and looking cute and going on the occasional shopping spree, but what I love MORE is decorating my new home with all the money I’ve saved over the past year from giving up shopping. And the truth is, I’ve lost NOTHING and gained SO MUCH.
Even with a much smaller wardrobe, I still manage to feel put together every day without the annoying “what do I wear?” thoughts that plague us all. This is because a capsule wardrobe is all about paring down your closet to the most essential and versatile items that you LOVE.
I used to buy a lot of trendy items, ESPECIALLY if they were on sale. Unfortunately I just ended up buying a lot of “meh” items that I wore a couple times and got sick of. Sometimes the item didn’t really feel like “me” (read: mom jeans), and sometimes it was cheaply made and just didn’t hold up for long. Over time I have become more inclined to invest in basics (such as an awesome pair of denim or leggings) and just wear the heck out of them! In the long run, I save money and only own items that I truly love.
Mini Capsule: Ten Items, Twenty Outfits
Today I’m not going to show you my entire capsule wardrobe for spring because I haven’t actually put it together yet…so hold out for a post on that coming soon! What I do want to share with you is TWENTY outfit ideas using TEN basic staple items that are appropriate for warmer weather! In essence, I am showing you a “mini capsule wardrobe” so that you get the basic idea of how it works. You will see that getting dressed doesn’t have to be boring, and it can be so SIMPLE! Don’t we all want a little more simplicity in our lives?
With LESS items that you LOVE, getting dressed can be so much easier in the morning. Adding in a few accessories such as a fun bag, a hat or some cute jewelry can really take any outfit from basic to interesting and “put together.”
My Mini Spring Capsule Wardrobe
The ten items that I chose to include in my mini capsule wardrobe are the following:
- Striped Tee
- White Tee
- Olive Button Up Shirt
- Cream Cardigan
- Denim Jacket
- Black Leggings
- White Skinny Jeans
- Straight Leg Distressed Denim
- Neutral Booties
- White Sneakers
The accessories I added are the following:
- Baseball Cap (grey and pink)
- Printed and Plain Belt
- Leopard Purse
- Black Purse
- Tote Bag
- Jewelry (a couple different necklaces, bracelets and pairs of earrings)
And here are the outfits!
My Tips For Starting Your Own Capsule (Or Mini Capusle) Wardrobe
- Start with a mini capsule like mine just to experiment. Pick 10-15 basic items from your closet that you know you will wear a lot, and put those items all together in the front of your closet where you will see them every day. Make sure the items are neutral, or pick a color scheme, so that it will be easy to mix and match the items.
- Practice, practice, practice! Spend a week or two just mixing and matching items to see the endless options you can create! To avoid getting bored, throw in fun accessories. Mix things up with a baseball cap, a fun handbag or a sassy pair of shoes. It’s ok to add in other pieces! Just have fun with creating outfits that maybe you wouldn’t have thought of before!
- Make sure the items you are wearing are quality pieces that you actually want to wear. If they are faded, don’t fit right or are old for, example, you won’t be as excited to grab them. So when you do choose the items for your capsule, take time to analyze them. If there’s something “off” about a piece, replace it.
- Don’t be afraid to change your mind, and remember: there really are no rules. Even if it seems like a capsule wardrobe is strict and limiting, the truth is that it’s supposed to free you. As long as you remember that the point of it is to make your life easier, then don’t worry about following hard rules that you read on the internet. You can really make up your own rules, as long as you understand the underlying point: to get dressed with intention and save yourself from stress, hassle, overspending, etc.
Truthfully, I could have created more outfits! But hopefully it is obvious that you can essentially create an exponential amount of outfits with just a few basic pieces. A true capsule wardrobe can include many more options, so don’t worry if you are turned off by this idea because you feel like it’s boring or repetitive. I can’t wait to share with you my entire capsule wardrobe for spring.
Shop The Items:
If you are looking to add some versatile/classic pieces to your wardrobe, I am going to link a few below! Just click on the picture of the item to shop. You may or may not know, but Amazon is my jam, so all the pieces I’m linking are from there. If you’re a Prime member, it’s free two day shipping and free returns. Plus, they have some awesome, quality brands! My favorite is Daily Ritual–they have amazing basics that are super affordable!
OLIVE BUTTON UP
**I didn’t link denim because I personally have never purchased jeans from Amazon. I love Target, American Eagle and Old Navy for affordable denim!
I encourage you to try something like this. Even if you aren’t sold on the idea of a capsule wardrobe, doing something like this is a fun challenge that will push you out of your comfort zone while also providing you a lot of other benefits. If nothing else, it might open your mind to a new idea or just simply reveal to you some of your habits, whether they be overspending, hoarding, or not wearing what’s in your closet! (Or all of the above, ha ha!) This is an excellent way to incorporate more mindfulness into your life that is also accessible (anyone can do it!)
Let me know your thoughts on capsule wardrobes! Are you sold, or at least willing to try one?