Tired of laundry and a closet bursting at the seams??
Do you feel like you are in a constant state of doing more and more laundry? Do you find yourself always buying new clothes from the sales racks, and your closet bursting at the seams? You don’t have to live this way. If you put together a capsule wardrobe, life can be easier! Your mornings can be easier! You will finally have a closet that doesn’t look like pure and utter chaos. (Been there, done that.)
Transform your mornings
I used to hate mornings and getting dressed. My morning would involve sorting through clothes crammed tight into my small closet and trying on three different outfits. I would then struggle to find the perfect pair of shoes, before heading out the door late and aggravated. Then, when I started my decluttering challenge, I learned how to create a capsule wardrobe.
After reading about capsule wardrobes, it was a bit terrifying, the idea of taking everything out of my closet and surviving on only so many pieces of clothing. There was no way I could throw out or give away perfectly good clothes. There was also no way I could survive on so little. The concept seemed a bit crazy and extreme.
You can do it! Let me show you how to put together a capsule wardrobe, without any crazy rules!
What is a capsule wardrobe?
If you search for the definition of a capsule wardrobe, you will see many variations. At the core of it all, a capsule wardrobe is usually a collection of timeless pieces that can be used for a particular season, event or trip, or for the entire year. You can create a business casual capsule wardrobe, a casual capsule wardrobe, or an athletic capsule wardrobe.
When you are ready to declutter your closet, the easiest way to start the process is to create a capsule wardrobe. That helps you eliminate the pieces you will never wear and put some sense of order into the chaos.
A capsule wardrobe will also depend on your lifestyle. You may have a business casual capsule wardrobe with a few pieces of casual wear. Or, your capsule wardrobe many be primarily casualwear with a couple pieces of dressier wear. If you are active, I would suggest a separate but smaller athletic wear capsule wardrobe.
The benefits of creating a capsule wardrobe:
1 – You will save money.
If you are not spending money every week or month on new clothes, your bank account will thank you. (Confessions of a reformed shopaholic.) In fact, it will grow. You just need to learn how to stop shopping, both in stores and with any impulse online shopping.
2 – Your closet will have so much space!
When you declutter your closet and learn how to create a capsule wardrobe, your closet will look huge, even if it is small. Clothes will no longer be crammed into tight spaces. You will have empty shelves, and your organization will make sense. You will literally be able to grab your outfit with little thought and effort in the mornings.
3 – Packing for trips will be so easy.
If you create a capsule wardrobe, packing for trips becomes a breeze. You no longer will have to sift through all of your clothes to find the outfit you love, as you will already love everything in your closet. See #4.
4 – You will LOVE everything in your closest
When you force yourself to go through your closet and pick out only a few timeless pieces of clothing, you will have picked out and kept only the items you love. This means getting dressed in the morning is actually fun because you will love anything you choose to wear. No more throwing outfits on the bed because you hate how they make you look.
What’s not included in a capsule wardrobe
There are certain items that you do not have to include in your capsule wardrobe. You do not have to include your underwear, socks, swimsuits, or workout clothes. When I say workout clothes, I’m talking about clothes you actually workout in. If you wear yoga pants or other athletic wear as part of your daily wear, they should become a piece in your capsule wardrobe.
How to put together a capsule wardrobe
There are a lot of folks out there who will tell you a capsule wardrobe should not have more than so many pieces. For me, I like the flexibility to choose the right number of pieces for my current lifestyle. However, if you do better with rules and guidelines, I did give you my suggestions.
Is there a right number of clothes?
When I first cleaned out my closet, I had so many clothes that I wore and loved. So, I broke the rule of 30 pieces other decluttering gurus suggested. I ended up with close to 50 pieces of clothing in my capsule wardrobe, but I was still purposeful with what I selected to keep. For example, one hard and fast rule I had was an item had to have the ability to be worn at least three different ways.
Hard and fast rules for the capsule wardrobe:
The pieces had to be timeless. I didn’t want to buy a new wardrobe every year. The whole point of decluttering my closet was to live a simpler life and to save money on buying new clothes.
Jewelry and shoes are included in your capsule wardrobe. You really don’t need that many pairs of shoes. Gasp, I know. Take it slow. If it pains you to part with your shoes, try hiding them in storage for a month or two. You will learn mornings are so much faster and your feet are so much happier when you have shoes you love and match most of your new capsule wardrobe.
If you have a super small closet (or even no closets), check out this article on how to create a capsule wardrobe with a very small space.
Here are suggestions on how to create a capsule wardrobe for different lifestyles:
How to create a business casual capsule wardrobe
Business casual bottoms
For a business casual capsule wardrobe, consider five to six base pieces. This can be dress pants, skirts, and maybe one pair of jeans. I suggest no more than one unique pair of pants or a skirt. Even then, it should match at least three tops.
For example, I kept a pair of fire engine red dress pants. They matched a black shell top, white sweater combo, and a print black-and-white blouse. These were my favorite dress pants and although less versatile than black, were still used on a regular basis. If you have six bottoms in your capsule wardrobe, you can wear five timeless and easily matched pieces most weeks and throw in your unique bottoms twice a month.
Business casual tops
When creating your business casual capsule wardrobe, decide how many tops you want. Actually, come up with a number. When I first decluttered my closet, I had 38 blouses for work. No one needs a new shirt every day for almost 2 months of work, in one season. I actually started to forget which blouses I owned because I wore them so little.
Ten blouses should be more than sufficient. That means you will not repeat a shirt for two weeks while at work. If possible, I recommend having only shirts you can wash at home. This will save you a ton of money on dry cleaning costs. You can buy really nice dress shirts and blouses that can be washed and hung to dry or dried on low.
If you buy yourself cardigans and sweaters, you can extend your summer wardrobe into the fall and winter. Three or four cardigans in classic colors like white, gray, black, brown, or beige work really well.
More formal wear and dresses for your business casual capsule wardrobe
You should have one formal interview suit in your closet that is classic and can be worn for many occasions. Then, have no more than two blazers that can be worn casually or dressed up.
For those who like to wear dresses, three business casual dresses should be sufficient. You can pair them with cardigans or wear them alone.
Business casual capsule wardrobe shoes
Talking about pairing down a woman’s shoe collection is often a touchy subject for many women. However, if you have some classic pairs of shoes in basic colors, you can have a minimalist wardrobe that is much easier to maintain. Reducing your number of shoes does not mean you have to reduce the quality of your shoes. If you’re buying shoes less often, you can often spend more money on the shoes that you own. Buy shoes that you love and wear them frequently. Like a good cardigan, classic dress shoes in the colors of black, gray, and beige work really well. I liked having two pairs of heels and two pairs of flats for work.
How to create a casual capsule wardrobe
The size and style of your casual capsule wardrobe may depend on your everyday style choices and lifestyle. When I was working full time outside of the home, my casual capsule wardrobe was quite small. However, when I started my career inside the home and while staying home with my children, my casual capsule wardrobe changed dramatically.
The best solution for creating a casual capsule wardrobe is to determine the total number of pieces you want. If you are also maintaining a business casual capsule wardrobe, I recommend no more than 11 pieces. This would include five bottoms, one dress, and five casual shirts. All of these pieces should be interchangeable for the most part.
If your primary wardrobe is casual wear, I recommend a capsule wardrobe of no more than 30-40 pieces of clothing, to include shirts, bottoms, dresses, shoes, and outerwear.
A full-time casual capsule wardrobe, for me, would include six bottoms. In the summer-time, I will have four pairs of shorts or cropped pants and two pairs of pants. In the winter time, six pairs of pants. I will typically have 14 casual shirts, 2 cardigans, 2 sweatshirts and then my shoes. If you prefer dresses, then just tweak the numbers to include them.
For shoes, I have a pair of tennis shoes, hiking boots, riding boots, flats in two basic colors, two pairs of dressy sandals, a pair of black heels, my Teva sandals and a pair of flip-flops. That’s 10 pairs of shoes.
Costume jewelry can be an addiction for many women. I learned from my jewelry obsession that I was wearing 20% of my jewelry 80% of the time. When creating a capsule wardrobe, paring down your jewelry into a few classic and timeless pieces will make getting dressed so much easier in the morning. It will also save you money when you stop buying more pieces.
One of the ways I stopped myself from buying more jewelry (and other non-essential items) was to stop going to the shopping parties my friends were hosting, like Origami Owl. Just so you know, you can still be a good friend and not buy their stuff.
A capsule wardrobe makes getting dressed easier and saves you money
Mornings are so much easier when you have a capsule wardrobe full of timeless, classic pieces. It eliminates sorting through your clothes to find what matches and what you like to wear. You already love everything there, and everything already matches several ways! A capsule wardrobe also saves you money because you can take a break from constantly buying new clothes. Finally, a capsule wardrobe makes packing for a trip so much easier when you have fewer pieces to sift through and you love them all.