7 Steps to Create a Capsule Wardrobe

How often have you stood in front of a closet crammed full of clothes on the verge of a mental overload thinking to yourself, “I have nothing to wear?” Do you follow up that thought with, “there has to be a better way?” Maybe you try to convince yourself another closet will do the trick. More room for more clothes, right? *wink* Like me, you might even start putting things in places they don’t belong, like in the linen closet or your significant other’s closet (because we all know there is no room for their things in the master closet)! The reality of this truly, first world problem is less is more. If you’ve made a habit of accumulating on-trend styles throughout the seasons, in addition to being very loyal and repetitive to the key essentials in your wardrobe – you’ve come to the right place. How many pairs of vintage jeans does one need? Black heels? Nude mules, anyone? Same goes for off-the-shoulder tops. To minimize your frustration I am sharing the 7 steps to create a capsule wardrobe. Do not kid yourself though. This may not be easy or quick to do but it is worth a try. Hear me out…

The term capsule wardrobe was coined in the 70s by Susie Faux, a London boutique owner. Susie defined the capsule wardrobe as a small wardrobe with a few key pieces. The sweet spot was a dozen or fewer pieces in the wardrobe. You read that correctly, 12! Occasionally, the wardrobe could be updated with a few seasonal items to accent the look. Three times a year…maximum. As you add pieces, you need to remove pieces. By the time the capsule wardrobe made its way to the U.S. in the 80s, things changed. A minimal wardrobe consisted of 30 pieces to include accessories and shoes in coordinating colors. As with all good ideas, things evolve and now there seems to be increased flexibility in creating a capsule wardrobe. Keep in mind though, the focus is still on a compact wardrobe with anywhere from 30-40 key pieces.

There are definite pros to creating a capsule wardrobe, besides breaking free from the mental stress of ‘so much to choose from that you can’t come up with anything to wear.’ The creation of a capsule wardrobe will help cut the emotional strings of hoarding clothes, it’s a way to save money for at least the three-month trial while you are cleansing and curating and, this experience will definitely spark your creativity as you work to enhance a pared down wardrobe with the important essentials. Your bank account will thank you since your impulse, wardrobe purchases should drastically reduce.

If you are thinking about giving this a whirl, in order to create a capsule wardrobe the first thing you have to do is set a goal for your wardrobe. Whether the goal is a theme, a certain budget or deciding what you want to eliminate, begin with a goal so you can decide what you want your capsule wardrobe to consist of (keeping in mind what works for your career and your lifestyle).

Your next step is to define or redefine your style and use visual cues, like apps, a vision board or tear sheets from magazines or ads to use as your inspiration. Technology has definitely made things easier for us. There are countless apps, like Pinterest, Stylebook, LiketoKnow.it, Chicismo, etc. to help you track and find style inspiration so you can come up with ideas to repurpose and stretch your wardrobe in multiple ways.

These are just the first couple of steps. I’ve created an easy-to-follow, PDF of the 7 steps to create a capsule wardrobe that you can download and have readily available on your phone.

I’d love to hear from any of you who’ve tried creating a capsule collection – successfully or not.

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