What is a capsule wardrobe?
It is a collection of clothing that can be worn interchangeably. Capsules range in size greatly depending on what your needs are and how much storage you have. There is a big following for 10 item capsules in crowded places where living space is tight. It doesn’t mean you only have 10 items. It means 10 core, quality, somewhat timeless options. And maybe a couple tees and seasonal pieces switched out as the weather turns. Here’s an example of a small summer capsule wardrobe.
Why do I need a capsule wardrobe?
Well, that’s up to you, really. I like to use capsule wardrobes when I travel. It allows me to minimize my baggage and takes some guesswork out of dressing from a suitcase. Every time I prepare for a trip I do some leg work looking into the weather and seeking out examples for what I may need to get me by. I use them to help me tailor my shopping list, so I don’t go on a spree buying things I don’t need. Recently I’ve been participating in a 30 item/30 day capsule challenge in order to trim the fat in my closet. I want to be getting rid of items I don’t use so I can minimize my sprawling, unsightly wardrobe. When you’re on a budget, a capsule wardrobe works great to get you to “shop from your closet” using existing pieces in new and interesting ways.
Where do I start?
There are two main points to touch on here; inspiration and colour story. I always like to prepare capsules for the upcoming season. Spring is on its way, so I’ll use that as an example here.
The first thing I do is make an inspiration board of sorts. You can do this on Pinterest or Polyvore, but I often just make a new folder on my computer and save pictures there. You can even go WAY retro and use magazine clippings! Use sites such as Chictopia, Pinterest, and Polyvore to find outfits/silhouettes that you like and save away! See what items appear most frequently in the outfits you choose, and you know those are your core pieces.
As for colour story, there are many dissenting opinions out there, but a great start point is 3 neutrals, 2 pop colours and a lighter shade of one of your pops. In the spirng I loooooove me a nautical theme!
This palette that I created on a site called colourlovers would work great with one more neutral added in. A tan/khaki would work perfectly. Here’s a collage I made (using Polyvore) with all these colours included.
Now you’ve got a feel for it, you need to decide what pieces you can’t live without in the spring. I bulk together spring and summer for the core pieces, then add in a few pieces for each season separately. If I were going minimal, mine would look something like this:
- Chiffon blouse (patterned)
- Chambray button-up
- Long sleeve striped tee
- V-neck sweater
- Tank top
- Graphic tee
- Denim jacket
- Basic cardigan
- Long cardigan
- Maxi skirt or dress
- Casual dress
- Dressy dress
- Light wash skinny jean (I like some that look good rolled up so they can be used in warmer weather)
- Dark wash slim/straight jean
- Black pant
That makes 17 core pieces.
Spring additions; solid long and short sleeved tee, basic layering cami, chunky sweater, chunky cardigan (love my layers when I’m not sure what the weather will be like)
Summer additions; sun dresses (x2), basic layering cami, denim short, white crop, khaki roll up, wide leg light wash jean, white or coloured denim jacket
And with those additions, I do not exceed 25 items in either capsule. How do I know it’s doable? Because I’m just about finished my 30for30 challenge, and I know I could have done without a few of the pieces I chose.
Now that you have a better idea what a capsule wardrobe is and what it can do for you, are you ready to take the challenge?
From my closet to yours,