A question I get asked frequently on the blog is how to build capsule wardrobes and do I utilize one. I think if you have been around here for a while you know that minimalism is not really my cup of tea.
Although I may not use a capsule in my day to day life I do know the basis of creating a useable wardrobe that will work for your stage of life. Last year I started planning this series for all of you. Capsule Wardrobes are simple but there can be a lot of components to making them work for you. I want to cover all of this over the next year.
Some of the posts I have planned are:
- Developing a color palette for your wardrobe
- Creating a seasonal capsule wardrobe
- How to effectively shop sales while building a capsule wardrobe
- Using your capsule wardrobe when packing
- How to add trends into your capsule
- Clothing care
Today I want to start at the beginning. What is a Capsule? Where you can start in your own closet? How to start planning?
So What is in Capsule Wardrobes…
Essentially a capsule wardrobe consists of outfit pieces that you can wear in multiple outfits. Example; a white shirt that can be worn with jeans will also be worn with a skirt and that skirt can work with a bow top and blazer for work. Each piece is important and needs to be curated to have multiple jobs. Again, this isn’t hard but it does require planning.
You should attempt to be minimal in your selections this way you are getting the most use out of your capsule. Each item should have a minimum of three jobs.
In the end you will have less items but your wardrobe goes much further. You will be able to mix and match your pieces more effectively. This will also allow you to buy higher end items because you will not be purchasing as much.
The Quality over Quantity approach.
Planning is pretty simple. Fill out this capsule profile before you do anything else.
- What are the target amount of outfits you want to be able to create with your capsule?
- What are the target number of items you need to achieve your target outfit amount?
- The color palette for your capsule?
- Is this a seasonal capsule or a full wardrobe?
- What is the weather like where you live?
- What stage of life are you in? Working, staying home, young kids, older kids?
- If you are working what is your job or office environment like?
- Lastly, are you social and going out a lot or attending events or you more of a home body?
Answering all of these questions will help you decide how many of each item you need.
Starting in Your Closet
Now that we have planned how we want to build our capsule wardrobes we need to start in our own closet. I would start purging items using these six categories:
- Basics / Essentials: tops, bottoms, dresses, jumpsuits
- Collaborative Items: Blazers, Cardigans, Belts, Hats
- Occasion: Coats, special occasion items
- Sell: Items that have been purchased in the last 18 months or are classic pieces that will still be in style
- Donate: Items that are out of style
- Throw Out: Anything that is damaged, stained, pilled or is not in good condition.
** I am working on a bigger post that will come out this month about how to purge your closet.**
Once you have done your initial purge I want you to go back to those items and use the KonMari Approach. Does this item bring you joy (or does it make you feel good when you wear it)? If the answer is no add it to the Sell or Donate pile and move on.
Just a note. I used sell or donate because at this point anything that needs to be thrown out should already be gone. Please do not keep items that should be in the thrown out category.
Building your Capsule
Let’s start with the elements of a capsule and define some terms you will hear:
- Tops: Tees, tanks, sweaters, button downs
- Bottoms: Shorts, jeans, pants, leggings, skirts
- One and Done: Dresses and jumpsuits
- Collaborative Items: Cardigans, blazers, jackets
- Accessories: Coats, bags, belts, hats and shoes
Since you know how many outfits you want to make we can break that down into how many items you need in each category.
Putting Things Into Action
Now that we have a plan and we have purged our closet let’s look at what a capsule would look like…
This capsule is based off of me, Tiffany, a 41 year old women with three kids and a husband who works part time from home. You can see how I filled out my capsule profile below…
- What are the target amount of outfits you want to be able to create with your capsule? 100
- What are the target number of items you need to achieve your target outfit amount? 29
- What is your color palette for your capsule? white, black, pink
- Is this a seasonal capsule or a full wardrobe? Seasonal for spring and summer
- What is the weather like where you live? Warm and Rainy
- What stage of life are you in? Working, staying home, young kids, older kids? Working from home, kids but no longer carrying any of them.
- If you are working what is your job or office environment like? My work environment is casual with the occasional need for a nicer dress for a meeting or event.
- Lastly, are you social and going out a lot or attending events or you more of a home body? Social. I spend a good amount of time out on the weekends.
Using these requirements this would be my target wardrobe:
In this wardrobe I did not include any collaborative items because it is spring/summer so no need for coats and blazers but I also am reusing an old post and I didn’t shoot any hats or bags when I did this.
The take away I want you to have from this is how the colors work together. You can easily make outfits work because there is an overall color flow. There are always going to be a few exceptions like dresses that can be a bolder pattern or different color scheme.