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How to Start a Capsule Wardrobe

Updated: Aug 19, 2020

What is a Capsule Wardrobe?


Capsule wardrobe - designates a wardrobe designed as a whole and not piece by piece, coherent and rather minimalist. The idea is to prioritize quality over quantity, clothes that really fit you and that go with each other. Another advantage is being able to limit the number of clothes you own without finding yourself panicking every morning because you never have anything to put on.


A capsule wardrobe is, therefore, a minimalist wardrobe. This last word should not scare you; the term minimalist does not necessarily have the same feeling in everyone. While some women manage to spend a season with thirty or so items of clothing, it is not against the right to take on the challenge with a larger wardrobe. The interest is above all that it be coherent, that your wardrobe is not a sum of mismatched clothes, favourites of a day or always, but a thoughtful set of clothes that fit together.


Before some cry foul, know that a capsule wardrobe does not have to be synonymous with a sad wardrobe.


Know anyway that there are several ways to stay at the forefront of fashion while remaining responsible: buy pieces made in an ethical or ecological way, buy vintage or second-hand clothes, buy quality pieces, whether you will keep and will want to keep, take advantage of the new clothing rental services for items that you only want to wear once ... There are many options available to you, all you have to do is choose the ones you want.


Why a capsule wardrobe?


A capsule wardrobe is not just a fashionable thing among minimalist or green apprentices. It has real advantages in everyday life. Women's lives are becoming more and more full, they have more and more responsibilities and occupations: family, friends, career, hobbies, aspirations ... The capsule wardrobe allows you to focus on all of this, without sacrificing your style.


Avoid unnecessary stress: A simple and clear dressing room is the best way to avoid stressing because you don't know how to dress. By thinking upstream about your outfits and possible combinations, by reducing the possible choices, you also make the famous "I have nothing to wear !!!" You no longer wonder what to wear, you have a few predefined choices and save your energy for other things.


Save time: A well-designed wardrobe allows you to get ready faster, pack more efficiently, do less laundry and stop spending time in stores buying clothes than you do not wear.


Save money: You can find various statistics on the internet, but it is generally accepted that an average woman wears 30% of the clothes in her wardrobe. The capsule wardrobe allows you to stop wasting money on clothes that you never wear (or that you have only worn once) or that do not match the rest of your wardrobe. You can even indulge yourself with nicer pieces without spending more money.

Example of a 20 piece capsule wardrobe

Where to start?


If the adventure of the capsule wardrobe appeals to you, it is quite wise to start with a wardrobe selection. Get all your clothes and accessories out of your wardrobes and take stock. Are there any clothes you no longer wear? If so, why are you keeping them? Now might be the time - with the exception of a few sentimental pieces - to part with them. Sell ​​the finest pieces - you'll collect money to then buy pieces you've identified as must-haves in your new set - and donate or recycle the rest. If you are a little afraid of shedding a large part of your dressing room, put them away - somewhere other than your bedroom or dressing room - and keep them for 6 months. If at the end of these 6 months (or even 12 months, if that reassures you), you haven't missed them, then you can definitely part with them. And above all, do not throw them away, all clothes and accessories are recycled!


Once you've sorted it out, it's time to build your capsule wardrobe. Some basic knowledge, such as which colours suit you or your body type, will allow you to aim more accurately from your first try. There are several options available to you. You can start by making a list of parts that you think will be essential for the next season and go hunting for them, first in the parts you have sorted and then in the store, for the ones you don't have. This option, while enticing, can also be frustrating. If you don’t have a big budget, you may find yourself spending several months without some key pieces in your new wardrobe.


Your best bet is to analyze your current wardrobe first. Identify your favourite pieces and the ones you wear the most. Separate tops, bottoms, dresses, jackets, coats and shoes. Do they go well together? Can each piece easily match with other clothes in 2 or 3 different outfits? To complete your capsule wardrobe, make a list of between 2 and 5 clothes that would allow you to make all of your favourite pieces cohesive. For example, you have a lot of dresses and like to wear them, but you can only do it in the summer because otherwise, you are too cold. Invest in 2 or 3 beautiful sweaters or cardigans that will allow you to wear your dresses in spring and autumn without feeling cold and that you can also wear with your jeans in winter.


Work clothes: if you don't dress the same when you work like the rest of the time, don't hesitate to do this whole process in 2 steps. There may be some pieces that can be used in both situations, but your work wardrobe still needs to be consistent. If like most people, you work 5 consecutive days a week, you should plan for clothes that allow you to do 5 different outfits each week while waiting to be washed.


Your capsule wardrobe is not going to be done in a few hours or a few days, but you can now get inspired and buy some basic quality pieces, which you will wear often and for a long time!


Are you ready to consider creating a capsule wardrobe?


“Simplicity, good taste and grooming are the three fundamentals of good dressing and these do not cost money.” – Christian Dior 


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