Alright, listen. You’re either reading this because you have been wanting to go the capsule wardrobe route, or you are reading it because you are a clothing addict like me and you’re like, “no way.”
Either way, I’m here to help.
Or at least to provoke you to think.
I’ll never forget the first time I heard of the capsule wardrobe. A girl from my college women’s choir wrote a blog post about it, and I was definitely in the “no way” camp. And I honestly had no idea what it really meant to have a capsule wardrobe— she didn’t really write about that part of it. I only knew that she had gone through her closet and purged almost everything she owned. She was then left with what looked like the TINIEST selection of clothes I had ever seen.
There was exactly a o% chance I was doing it.
Fast forward many years and here I am ready to convince you that the capsule wardrobe system is a GREAT idea.
What changed my mind? My friend Alicia (Uh-lee-see-uh… it matters) totally convinced me. Except she didn’t know it. But she posted on her Instastories showing her process and her unique wardrobe, and I was sold. It was so clean and crisp— something I LOVE. She also happens to be one of the cutest humans on the planet and I love her style, so I thought, “if she can do this and rock, then it must be possible.”
But what made me even want to enough that I was both captured by her process and then sold?
My closet was out of control.
I’m seriously a clothing addict. I don’t like to admit it… because I am super frugal in so many ways— even in how I have purchased clothes. I love a good deal and I can navigate the target clearance rack like nobody’s business. But is it really a good deal if you already have something like it, weren’t looking for it in the first place, and all the little just-so-so items add up to be more than the one perfect but high priced item?
But I told myself it was. And my closet was full of so many “good deals” I could clothe a small army.
But there were quite a few problems that came with my collection of good deals.
First of all, I was overwhelmed every time I needed to get dressed in the morning. I could seriously debate for way too much time. What if I needed that shirt later in the week for something else? What if I was cold later? What if I wanted to save that outfit for a special occasion? Or what if I decided halfway through the day that I didn’t like how I looked? Because I was only ever half confident in my just-so-so good deal clothes. It seems contradictory but the more options I had, the more paralyzed I felt in my choices.
I also found that my laundry was out of hand. OUT OF HAND. And let me remind you that I have two kids. So I KNOW what it means to have a lot of laundry. But what was happening was that I would change clothes halfway through the day so many times that I would end up with two weeks worth of laundry to do just halfway through the week.
I had so many clothes, and nothing to wear. So then the next problem I faced was always wanting to spend more money on clothes. But I never wanted to spend money… so I was going through the same vicious cycle of buying clothes that were cheap, not really loving them, and then feeling like I had nothing to wear.
When I saw someone (who always looks cute) rock the capsule wardrobe, I decided it was time for me to get a handle on my own wardrobe.
But then I read about a hundred different blog posts about the perfect formula for a capsule wardrobe. And guess what?
They were ALL different, although they all claimed to be the perfect formula.
And that’s when I realized that there’s no perfect formula, and I decided to create my own. Being told I can only have 33 pieces of clothing (or whatever magic numbers I read about) actually made me really stressed out and made me feel like I would never take the leap and do it. I knew it would only work for me if the “rules” made sense for my own life— and that’s the best piece of advice I can offer you. Your rules have to work for YOU… Someone else’s system (including mine) might now work for your life!
So even though I am sharing mine now, take what works for you and leave the rest.
My Capsule Wardrobe Guide For Clothing Addicts:
- My capsule wardrobe goals are not based on a number. When you feel you have to meet a certain number, you will either include pieces you don’t truly love just to meet a number, or possibly eliminate pieces that you actually do love and need simply because it goes over the set number.
- Everything in my wardrobe must fit well. I didn’t allow myself to keep any “what if it fits perfectly later” pieces. I want clothes in my wardrobe that I can wear today— not in six months. By the time six months rolls around, I’ll be revamping my capsule anyways, so it’s a perfect time to reevaluate size and fit.
- Everything in my wardrobe has to inspire confidence. If I don’t feel like a million bucks in it, then I am not wearing it. I have way too many other stresses in life to let a shirt be one more. Whether I am home with my kids, out for coffee with another mom, or on a date with my husband, I want to love how I look.
- Everything in my wardrobe must be able to be worn multiple ways. I have to be able to dress it up, dress it down, and love it both ways. If a shirt only works for one occasion, it doesn’t belong in my capsule.
- The clothes in my wardrobe have to be able to be mixed and matched with at least 75% of the other clothes. That’s the only way it works in order to get many outfits out of just a few pieces of clothing!
In addition to those five rules, I had some overarching guidelines that were super helpful.
- I chose a color palette that I love and only included clothes that were a part of that palette. For me this was black, white, grey, blush, and a pop of olive.
- My underwear, bras, and swimsuits were not included in the main capsule, and did not have to meet all five rules.
- My workout clothes were also not included. I work out at least 5 days a week, if not more, so I needed the freedom to have an abundance of workout clothes!
- I also put aside all clothes that I knew I would use in my summer capsule, as well as any clothes that I LOVE but don’t fit the color palette I chose. That way I didn’t feel like I was throwing away something valuable, and I could pull out if I decide to change my capsule and go with a different color palette. This also helped me feel more confident playing with a capsule. Feeling like it was an experiment and that I could go back and pull those clothes out of the attic at any point made me feel a lot more comfortable!
And that’s what I did!
I started with well over 150 pieces in my closet (not including undergarments and workout gear), and narrowed it down to around 40.
And since pictures speak so much louder, you can see my process below.
I’ve only been trying this out for a few days, but I can already tell you that I feel so much less stress getting dressed. I also have a greater confidence regarding shopping, because the rules of my capsule define what I can spend money on.
I absolutely LOVE every single piece that I have in my capsule, so I am not wasting space in my closet, and because I have only options I love, I am not wasting time trying to decide if I can pull something off that I only feel half confident in.
Obviously this is not for everyone, but I seriously encourage you to give it a try if you’ve been stressed out by chaos in your closet, overwhelmed getting dressed, or just want to try something new and have the guts to go for it!