Do you struggle every morning with deciding on what to wear? I know I do. And yet, I have a walk-in closet that is full of clothes and shoes (not to mention the 8 drawer dresser and 6 drawer chest I have too).
Every year as one season comes to an end and another begins, I always have to muster up the energy and motivation to switch over my wardrobe. It can be a daunting and tedious task, but once it’s complete I feel invigorated and ‘cleansed’. However, even though I’m alleviating some of the clothes I’m ‘tired’ of, I go out and buy more! Do we see this horrible cycle that I’m in?
A few weeks ago, my sister and I were talking about how winter felt like it was coming sooner and that we needed to switch our closets over. She started to talk to me about what she was going to do with her closet this season. She said she was going to build a capsule wardrobe. I was a little confused at first and asked questions, but started to read up on it and I made the decision that this is what I was going to do.
You’re probably thinking to yourself what is a capsule wardrobe and where do I begin. I’m here to walk you through it and hopefully answer some questions because like you, I had them too.
What is a capsule wardrobe?
Here’s the simple definition. It’s a mini wardrobe for each season made up of essential pieces that you can mix/match together and that you absolutely LOVE to wear.
A capsule wardrobe usually consists of 22-50 items and have a color scheme. Every person is different, has different lifestyles and clothing styles.
Remember it does not include pajamas, layering, underwear/bras, socks, gym/lounge clothes, jackets, formal wear and accessories. These items are considered your base wardrobe.
Where do I even begin?
I suggest putting a great playlist together and have some water on hand. This is going to be one long heck of a workout.
Many articles say to take everything out of your closet and then put them into piles. However, my anxiety kicked in a little bit when I read that, so I decided to modify it.
I stood looking at my closet and just grabbed the first article of clothing that caught my eye. I asked myself, Do I like this shirt? When was the last time I even wore this shirt? If I answered no and couldn’t remember, it went into the pile of DONATE.
Side note: If you haven’t purged your closet in more than a year, I suggest not capsuling yet. Literally just purge. Make three piles- LOVE (meaning you grab this article of clothing a lot), MAYBE (you might feel meh about it), and DONATE (clothes that are out of date, don’t fit, faded and some that just need to go!).
One thing I found helpful as I was putting clothes into piles, I put the hangers in a separate bag. The less hangers I saw, the cleaner and less cluttered my rack seemed to be.
Once you have taken everything out of your closet, immediately put the donate clothes into the garbage bags. Right now you might be thinking, umm you’re crazy. But trust me. Out of sight, out of mind. And get those clothes into your car as soon as possible and drive them to where you can donate them.
As for your maybe pile, you can go through them one more time and you might weed out a few more, or here’s a tip I can give you. Put that pile in a bin. Set it aside for 30 days. If you do not reach for anything in that bin during that month, donate it!
Now for your love pile. This is the pile of clothes you absolutely cannot live without. The pieces you grab for all-the-time.
What do I do now that I have my love pile?
Try to build your capsule wardrobe now. Take a look at what colors you have. This is where you can try to establish your color scheme. When I did this, mine turned out to be black, white and grey. Shocker!
Also, take a look at what your style is. Mine turned out to be a style of Daily (jeans, leggings,etc), Fun (girls night out, dates, etc), and Active (errands, gym, etc). Meaning- all three of these types of styles can be mixed and matched together. Other style types are Dressy (do you wear suits or dresses daily), Lounge (stay at home mom), and Work (meetings, office, etc). Being a teacher and always on the go, I don’t need to have fancy clothes. I need practical.
Should I do this for each season?
Yes. If you live in the northeast, like I do, we have the joy of four seasons (which lately feels like just 3). As each season is approaching, take a look at what you’re going to be switching into. Do the same process. As your wardrobe becomes more manageable, it will be so much easier to do. You can also combine your seasons, Spring-Summer and Fall-Winter.
Do I have to buy all expensive pieces?
When the capsule wardrobe concept began in the 1980s, the idea was to have a minimalist wardrobe with classic, expensive pieces you could wear over and over that wouldn’t wear fast. If you were to buy inexpensive pieces, you’ll just have to replace them more often.
Ok, so now what?
Do not buy any clothes for the first month or two. I know, I know. It’s going to be hard. But work with what you have. Make a list or take photos of your outfits that way you have all of your options.
And lastly…ENJOY your wardrobe and closet.
No more dreading that morning routine of staring at your closet and saying I have nothing to wear. I know I’m not anymore.
In the end you’ll feel so much better. I ended up donating (so far) 2 full bags to Savors and I have 1 bag I’m going to put on my Poshmark closet. Right now I’m at about 25 pieces. As each day goes by, if I don’t love that item or don’t grab for it within a few weeks, guess what? Out it goes.
Good Luck and Happy Building!