If you’re interested in starting a capsule wardrobe (easily), you’ve come to the right place!
If you’re expecting an eloquent essay from a seasoned expert, however, you should probably leave. I kid, I kid. But, seriously, when it comes to capsule wardrobes, I’m very much a beginner. Maybe you are, too! Maybe you’re so overwhelmed at the thought of starting a capsule wardrobe that you don’t even know where to start. It’s okay – I’ve been there, too. (Still kinda there if we’re being really honest!) But, I’ve also learned that you’ll never make any progress if you don’t start somewhere. So let me tell you where I started, and how I’ve progressed from there.
I started here. With a mega gigantic closet purge. I really hate going through stuff and cleaning out closets, but you can’t really start a capsule wardrobe with a closet that’s filled to the brim with things you hardly ever wear. Because I have so much hatred for going through stuff, I had to find something super motivating to give me the push to get started. Do you know what I find super motivating? Harry Potter. Reading it, listening to it, watching it, taking every quiz there ever was….you name it, if Harry Potter is involved I’m all about it. I watched Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire AND Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix while I went through all of my clothes, and it was a beautiful thing. Which leads me to my first (and probably easiest) piece of advice to start your capsule wardrobe journey:
Clean out your closet. And find something that will motivate you to do so (unless you just like cleaning out closets, in which case you’re a little bit weird. But also good for you I guess).
Whether that be something you can do/have during the actual cleanout process, or a treat of some sort you’ll give yourself after you’re done. Watching Harry Potter while I went through my clothes made it a million times more bearable. I also probably rewarded myself with a latte when I finally finished because that’s just what I do. Have to do something I don’t particularly enjoy? Get a latte. Finish a really hard task? Get a latte. Go grocery shopping? Get a latte. Clean the bathroom? Get a latte. Walk the dog? Get a latte. Wake up? Get a latte. You get the picture. I love lattes, and they motivate me to do alllllll the things. Find your motivator!!
[PSA: do not, I repeat, do not go so crazy with your closet purge that you get rid of absolutely everything. That is counter productive. Plus you can’t walk around naked. So. Keep some clothes. BUT…if you don’t absolutely love something, get rid of it. But not all of it. Just some. Okay?]
Now, on to tip number two:
Make a list of your ideal capsule wardrobe.
After your closet purge, look at the things you have left and think about what you still need to complete your wardrobe. I made a list of what I wanted the bulk of my capsule to consist of before I went through my closet, but I don’t really recommend that. I found myself trying to keep some things simply because they fit into one of my capsule categories, not because I loved how they fit or felt. No bueno. That made everything take way longer than it needed to (which is basically my life anyway, so I mean what’s new). I recommend making your list after going through your closet so that doesn’t happen to you. You can use your remaining clothes to help guide your list because everything you have left should be things you love! As you make your list, you can cross off the things you already have in your closet.
Your capsule should be a reflection of your style and your day to day life. Do you prefer more neutral colors? Bold colors? Patterns? Solids? Do you have a job that requires business attire? Do you work out? What do you do on weekends? These are all things to take into consideration when building your capsule.
For me, I wanted to focus on things that could be used for both work and leisure time. I also wanted pieces that were comfortable – I have this weird thing where I don’t like clothes touching my body (unless they’re super soft). So basically, my closet consists of really soft shirts and big sweaters! I don’t have to be super fancy at work, but I try (most days) to look a little more professional than I would if I were just hanging out with my husband or friends. It was important to me to have tops that I could easily pair with both work pants/skirts and also jeans/leggings, which is super easy with flowy shirts and sweaters! Yay me! Now, after you make your list (here comes tip three)…
Figure out what pieces you already have and make a(nother) list of what you need to purchase.
If you can’t already tell, I really love lists. I’m not super organized by any means, but I just like to write things down. It helps me process and remember things better. Although, I do often end up with random lists in my purse/car/house/office that leave me bewildered if I happen to stumble upon them on a later date. But in the moment, it really does help me! Once you go through your “ideal capsule” list, it just makes sense to figure out what you need to purchase that isn’t already in your (now hopefully much smaller) wardrobe. You don’t need to have your capsule wardrobe completed by any means! It will adapt and change as you go on with your life and continue to figure out your style and what works for you.
So, to recap, here are three easy (like, probably the easiest ever) steps to start your own capsule wardrobe:
- Clean out your closet.
- Make a list of your “ideal” capsule.
- What goes into your capsule is really up to you. But, realistically, it should include things that are of a similar color palette and can mix and match easily (more on that in a later post).
- If this is your first try at a capsule wardrobe, I would suggest having 5-7 basic tees/tanks, 8-10 blouses/work tops, 3-5 sweaters/cardigans, 7-8 pairs of pants/leggings, 2-3 jackets, 3-5 dresses/skirts, and 7-12 pairs of shoes. You can add more or less as you see fit – just use those numbers as a general guide.
- Figure out what items you still need to purchase from your ideal capsule list (and go shopping!!! Preferably not at fast fashion stores, though, please).
1, 2, 3. Simple as that! If you start here, I promise you’ll be in a really good place to begin your capsule wardrobe 🙂