Create a Capsule Wardrobe and You’ll Never Look Back (No, but Seriously!)
Inspired by the world’s explosive interest in minimalism, today we’re talking about the magical concept of a capsule wardrobe -- and why it might literally change your life forever.
Listen, I’ve been there. Torn between Morrissey-esque “I haven’t got a stitch to wear!” and “where the eff if my effing skirt -- I can’t find it under this ENORMOUS PILE OF CLOTHES”.
For me, the worst has always been when I’m in the process of moving house. That’s when I start to accept exactly just how much clothing I’ve accumulated since the time before. And ermm, spoiler alert, it’s always ridiculous amounts.
And I KNOW I’m not the only one!
So what’s the deal? Why the constant consumption of clothing that just gets lost in the void at the back of the wardrobe?
Probably because shopping trips used to always go a little something like this:
“I know I don’t really need this, but but but… but I need SOMETHING to match that top I have at home, because it’s sooo nice but I never wear it because I don’t have anything it goes with! Yet. Okay fine I’m buying it.”
That is, until I discovered the joys of owning a capsule wardrobe -- and nothing else.
Guys, I’m gonna go ahead and lay down some truths:
Downsizing my wardrobe and streamlining my clothing choices was one of themost impactful thing that I never even knew I needed to do -- and I’m confident that creating a capsule wardrobe would benefit you too.
What even is a capsule wardrobe?!
Essentially, a capsule wardrobe means you only own a limited amount of items of clothing, shoes, and accessories that cover you for every season, weather, occasion, and need. The key is to ensure that most (if not all) of the items are super high quality, fit you amazingly, work well together, and can easily be worn in different combinations to create multiple outfits and looks.
Benefits of creating a capsule wardrobe
First and foremost:
Headspace. If you’re like me, owning a huge amount of clothing doesn’t actually give the desired effect of having oodles of choice about what to wear on any given day -- it actually just acts as a stress-builder.
Too much choice and you end up dilly-dallying about what to wear every single time you’ve got to go out. Trying stuff on and ripping it off, dissatisfied, and casting it to the back of the wardrobe once again. Y’know, most people only regularly wear a fraction of the clothes that they own.
Sound familiar? There’s even more good news coming:
Creating a capsule wardrobe also helps you save money long term. You’ll have exactly what you need -- and you’ll love every single item you own. That in itself was enough to curb my own excessive shopping habits (that’s not to say I never buy new things now, but when I do I’m super conscious about what it is, how much I love it, how much use I’ll get out of it, and if it’s worthy of a place in my very limited collection).
You’ll also find that the process of creating a capsule wardrobe will allow you to let go of all the clothing you’ve been hanging on to but not using, meaning a whole load of extra closet space freeing up! Decluttering your wardrobe feels just as awesome as it looks, too.
Most importantly, though, creating a capsule wardrobe is a fantastic way of taking steps towards protecting the environment as a conscious consumer. You’ll inevitably be purchasing far fewer items than you otherwise would throughout your life, which helps to curb the excessive waste and squandering of resources that’s often caused by the fast fashion industry.
Creating a capsule wardrobe: how do you decide what goes in?So if by now you’re digging the idea of a capsule wardrobe, the next question is ‘how the heck do you decide what to put in it?’.
Well, you can approach creating a capsule wardrobe in different ways. The most sustainable way to do it is to identify key items that you already own -- these would be your favourite clothes that you wear often because they fit amazingly, are comfortable, versatile, etc)-- and use these as the basis for your new capsule wardrobe. Anything that doesn’t qualify for the capsule can be donated to charity, sold, or given to friends.
From there, work out approximately how many different categories of clothing you’ll need to include in your new capsule (t-shirts, dresses, jeans, skirts, leggings, etc) -- writing a list helps massively with this part. Be ruthless! If you don’t wear dresses often, you don’t need more than one or two in your capsule.
From there, you should be able to see any holes that are missing in your current wardrobe. Then it’s about slowly finding the perfect items to fill in the gaps. Remember: the key is versatility! Complementary colours, neutrals, and items that can be dressed up/down according to the occasion are ideal.
How many items should you limit it at?
There’s no strict answer here, and the right number of items will differ from person to person.
If you’re a newbie to the world of capsule wardrobes, check out the phenomenal Project 333 for inspiration; the challenge is to wear only 33 items (including clothing, shoes, and accessories) for 3 months. Why not try it out?? Let us know how you do!
Anyway, the bottom line:
Creating a capsule wardrobe is not about restricting yourself to exact numbers. You can still allow yourself flexibility (AND fashionability!) with a capsule wardrobe -- the most important point is to cultivate a conscious attitude to your clothing and to reap the benefits of the old adage ‘less is more’.
Check out Maria Malo’s capsule friendly collection and start filling out your new micro-wardrobe now!