Capsule Wardrobes | Getting Started

Casule Wardrobe Getting Started

Capsule Wardrobes Getting Started

When I first learned about capsule wardrobes, I was intrigued by them, but starting one of my own seemed like to overwhelming of a task and I didn’t know where to begin. It’s my hope that these tips help make it seem like a more manageable endeavor if you’re starting one of your own.

Clean out your closet //

This is the hardest part. Start by taking everything out of your closet (and dresser) and pile it all up on the floor. Go through each piece, one-by-one, and really truly evaluate if that item deserves a place in your wardrobe. Have you worn it in the last year? Do you feel amazing when you wear it? Does it bring you joy? Is it one of the pieces that you find yourself reaching for over and over again? Then keep it.

If it is too old, worn out, faded, stained, doesn’t fit, or you just don’t feel great when you wear it, get rid of it. Don’t let yourself feel guilty if you bought something (or someone gave you something) and you only wore it once so you feel obligated to hang onto it. Letting it go is better than feeling guilty every time to see it hanging in your closet.

For me, this step was a process that took several months. I cleaned out multiple times, each time becoming increasingly more ruthless about what I got rid of. You only wear 20% of your wardrobe 80% of the time. Think about how free you would feel without all the extra clothing baggage. You probably need to keep less than you think you do.

For more tips on how to purge your wardrobe, I recommend The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Make a list //

Now that you’ve successfully cleaned out your wardrobe and the only items you have are ones that you love, it’s time to evaluate what you have and what you need. Be careful when adding items to the list of things to purchase, though. Capsule wardrobes are about making use of what you have, so take careful stock and don’t purchase anything impulsively. However, if all of your jeans were too small and you had to donate them, definitely get a new pair of jeans. If you found yourself without a basic you know that you’d get a lot of wear from, put it on this list.

Purchase what is missing //

I recommend shopping secondhand or purchasing from ethical companies. (My ethical shopping guide will be coming soon!) Always purchase quality over quantity. You’ll be wearing that same black tee shirt multiple times a week so you’ll need one amazing one that will hold up, not five flimsy ones that will fall apart and get faded and pilled in the wash. (Speaking of t-shirts, if you’re looking for a remarkable one, the ones from Everlane are beyond compare and the best out there, in my humble opinion.)

Separate seasonal pieces //

Pull out your shorts, sandals, sunhats, and swimsuits and separate your beanies, wool scarves, coats, and snow boots. Some items will work in any capsule (like a simple t-shirt, cardigan, and a pair of jeans) but some items will vary depending on the season you are in. If it’s autumn or winter, go ahead and pack away all of those spring and summer items now and vice versa.

Curate your capsule //

Usually, capsule wardrobes are anywhere from 30-40 items, but feel free to do what works for you. The only rule is not to add anything that you do not totally and completely love. Maybe sure you include clothing that you adore wearing, but also wardrobe staples that you can mix-and-match. For my winter capsule wardrobe I stuck to only 33 items including bags, shoes, scarves, jewelry, and other accessories. Next time, I think I’ll still include bags and shoes in my capsule, but I won’t count scarves, hats, or jewelry since I like to be able to mix and match my accessories a bit more. It’s a learning process and, the longer I do this, the better I will learn what works for me and what will best set me up for success.

After you’ve selected your items, pack away what didn’t make the cut. Those are the items you can reevaluate next season and see if you want to incorporate them into a future capsule or if it’s time to get rid of them.

Relax //

Do you have a piece in your capsule that you thought you would wear a lot and it ended up not going with anything? or being less comfortable than you had anticipated? Feel free to swap it out. This is not supposed to be a miserable experience, but instead, a learning process of what works for you and how you can feel more free while dressing with less. Don’t punish yourself. If the sweater is too itchy or the shoes give you blisters, switch them out.

Read //

Interested in reading what other capsule wardrobers (is wardrobers even a word?) have to say about starting theirs? Check out these links to some of my favorite blog posts and youtube videos:

How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe | Truncation

10 Step Wardrobe Revamp | Into Mind

How to Build the Perfect Wardrobe | Into Mind

Capsule Experiment | Un-Fancy

How I Create My Capsule Wardrobe | Light by Coco

Spring Capsule Wardrobe | Alli Cherry

How I Built My Winter Capsule Wardrobe | My Green Closet

I hope you find these tips helpful as you embark on your capsule wardrobe adventure!
Feel free to share about your experiences in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you.

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  • miche

    Woahh, I’ve never even heard of capsule wardrobes!! Definitely gonna be looking into them more..

    Miche from Buttons and Birdcages

  • Hey fellow Influence Netorker! I love capsule wardrobes…I function with a loose one but I don’t do the whole 40 pieces thing…yet.

  • I know how hard it is to organize your clothes. Cleaning my wardrobe is nothing less than a nightmare for me. I am sure your tips are going to help me a lot. Thank you for reminding me to clean my closet up for Spring. Loved reading your post 😀

  • Oh I’m so tempted to really count everything I have and try this out. I already am pretty good at cleaning out my closet each season and throwing things away I don’t wear, so I think this is something totally up my alley. I’m scared to part with those certain items you JUST NEVER KNOW if you’ll need (haha) so I like the idea of putting those away until next season and reevaluating. 🙂 Great post!

  • These are great tips! I’ve never had a capsule wardrobe before, but have always been intrigued by them. It seems pretty simple enough. Thanks so much for sharing! 🙂

  • Yay!! I love this! I just did the Konmari method on my closet and I’m ready to stick to a capsule wardrobe. 🙂

  • I keep seeing posts about capsule wardrobes but wasn’t sure what they are exactly, so thanks for this 🙂 !

  • Great post! I am always tempted to get rid of everything and only keep the basics. I only wear 10% of my closet anyway, I doubt I’d miss anything!

  • You are an inspiration! I’m still stuck in the cleaning out phase but I have goals to narrow down my closet tremendously this spring.

  • This is great! I really need to do some spring cleaning with my closet currently.

    xoxo, Jenny

  • This is a great way to look at your wardrobe. I know if I did this, and I might, I would end up donating most of my clothes and starting from scratch.

  • I did this same thing last spring. I emptied my closet and purchased a capsule wardrobe. I love the idea of everything being interchangeable. Now I still own my sweats and workout clothes and I didn’t count those but all of my going out during the week clothes are all part of my capsule. Glad to see this more and more!

  • Wow so many people are doing this. I may have to get on the bandwagon. Currently I’m in denial!

  • Very informative post! I have debated back and forth on capsule wardrobes. I think it would be a really good way to build a high quality wardrobe.

  • This is the third or fourth time within a week that I’ve seen this idea of a capsule wardrobe shared. Definitely intriguing idea, I may have to give it a try!

  • I’m definitely going to check out all the capsule reads you linked!

  • I’ve been meaning to do this for years! I know I’d end up feeling a lot better, it’s just hard to set aside time to clean out my closet and actually go through everything!

  • I love the idea of capsule wardrobes! I want to do this one day soon!!

  • Making my own capsule wardrobe has been on my TO-DO list for FOREVER! Thanks for this post — it’s such an intimidating project but this makes it feel a lot more achievable!!

    Xoxo,

    Ashley || Sed Bona

  • Love this post so much. I have seen several youtube videos on the capsule wadrobe but they all seem to run through the steps that I am not really sure how to proceed. This is the perfect step by step guide that will help me actually get it done. This is so timely too — I am in the midst of serious closet declutter.

  • I’m so drawn to wardrobe capsules and recently did the konmari cleansing method of my house so I have step 1 finished and need to get to making my list!

  • Ahhhh the capsule wardrobe stresses me out. What I do, though, is put all my hangers on opposite at the beginning of the season and then as I wear them, I flip them back around. I try to get rid of a bag of clothes every couple of months. I love the thought of a capsule wardrobe, but I don’t see myself as that creative to pull pieces together.

  • I kept seeing blog posts on capsule wardrobes and I thought it sounded weird so I never read them. (haha) for some reason I read this one. For some reason I didn’t realize it meant downsizing and having a more minimalist approach to your wardrobe. So glad I finally found out. It definitely inspires me to go through my stuff and get rid of a LOT of stuff!

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