On my journey to living simple, the largest hurdle by far has been my closet. Before I discovered the little secret that I will share with you today, I had a closet overflowing with clothes and yet, not a single complete outfit that I can pull out.
The smart way to dress
(the capsule wardrobe)
Sounds familiar? Well, I bet you also have those moments where you spend hours staring at your wardrobe and hopelessly thinking “I have NOTHING to wear.” Yep, that was me. But not anymore. Now, almost a year after changing my total concept about what a closet should look like, I haven’t thought that even once. In fact, now with a single look, I can easily reach in and pull out an entire outfit of pieces that work together, fit me and make me feel amazing.
And here the guys may say, “ohh no, not another girly post about fashion, clothes and “I have nothing to wear” problems”. But wait, this is not a fashion post and I would like to focus on a concept, which I believe can be beneficial to everyone.
What is a capsule wardrobe and how can you benefit from one?
One of the hottest trends, related to simple living, is currently the idea of sustainable fashion and smart shopping. Even the brands of the so-called “fast-fashion” sector call for recycling of fabrics, proper selection of wardrobe clothes and clever integration of trendy pieces into the catalog with the never-changing base models.
Of course, the concept of basic, or the so-called, capsule wardrobe is far from new. The term was first used by the owner of a London boutique Susan Faux in the ’70’s and later was popularized by the American designer Donna Karan. It describes a collection of classic clothing that never goes out of fashion. The clothes in that collection can be mixed with several seasonal pieces and accessories, which can create a wardrobe that is timeless and always up to date. Some of you may say that this seems pretty boring but wait for it.
Capsule wardrobes are preferred by people who want to indulge in a more sustainable and minimalist lifestyle. Their owners are supporters of the “slow fashion” and the simplicity concept. Although you will most likely spend more money on a sustainable item, it will most probably serve you longer than a fast-fashion piece.
The Curated Closet: A Simple System for Discovering Your Personal Style and Building Your Dream Wardrobe – this book will teach you how to:
- Shop smarter and more selectively
- Make the most of your budget
- Master outfit formulas and color palettes
- Tweak your wardrobe for work
- Curate a closet of fewer, better pieces
The content of this type of wardrobe is largely individual, but in general, the idea is to be as simple as possible, with a selection of versatile clothes that can easily mix and match with the others. Everything in the capsule can be used in almost all seasons, and the easiest thing is that just adding some color and something more trendy will keep it up-to-date and fresh. Combining those clothes is like a child’s play and you will never be standing in front of the mirror for hours wondering if your shirt matches your pant or not. Genius, huh? Honestly, the first time I came across this concept of capsule closet, I couldn’t stop myself from giving it a try.
But how do you achieve that?
Fashion consultants advice that the first thing you have to do is think about the style that is closest to your lifestyle. Select all the clothes you love to wear and the ones you feel most comfortable with. Then pay attention to the colors.
In the capsule wardrobe, try to stick to the neutral range, so you can easily combine the pieces in complete outfits that match and are stylish. Some strategies include limiting the number of selected clothes to 30, 10 or even less. However, I believe that it is more important to adapt everything to your own perceptions, rather than follow blind guides and think about how to stick to a certain number.
You can start by dividing your wardrobe into several main groups: top (tops and blouses), bottom (pants, skirts, etc.), outerwear (jackets, trench, coats), shoes, bags, and accessories. Make sure that you select pieces that are classical and of a high quality, which you know that will “serve” you faithfully in the years to come. And if you want to be trendy, at each season, you can buy something colorful, fashionable and playful that will diversify your style.
There is no universal wardrobe, as the capsule concept includes clothes of your personal choice. And here is the best part, which I love the most. The idea of the basic clothes is to eliminate the stress of wondering what to wear and whether the outfit is looking good or not.
Of course, as every good thing, this also takes some time and efforts. You need to go through everything you have available. It may take you several months to decide what you want to remove or add, depending on the season and your needs. A good tip is to invest in some really noticeable details to make you stand out without much effort.
For me, the fun part is that you don’t have to limit yourself and you can experiment gradually. And the result will certainly make your daily life easier. To be frank, I have never really thought about how a capsule wardrobe could help me save so much time but now, since I’ve started it, the feeling of simplicity is so exciting! It just makes life so easy!
I started early in 2018 and, so far, I had reduced my closet down to a, let’s say, a reasonable number. 😀 I could hang or shelve all my clothing in my closet at once. Everything could be seen and easily accessed. And, trust me, this makes a HUGE difference!
The feeling of having ready outfits and the simplicity of picking what to wear is thrilling. I don’t waste time anymore searching for a piece of clothing. What is more, now I wear more of my clothing because I could easily mix and match them and know everything fits together. I don’t resort to wearing the same clothes over and over again because now I can easily have access to all my options and don’t have to dig to find something to wear.
Did I sell you the idea? But wait, there is more.
Another great thing about giving a try to the capsule wardrobe is the benefit of having a collection of clothing that match easily to make many outfits and work for any occasion. No more need to keep that special occasion item that you wear once in the year and only take space.
I simply can’t express how easy getting dressed has become for me now. This is one of the things that I wish I knew so much earlier. In fact, this capsule concept has become popular with the minimalists as it simplifies their lives and leaves more time and money to focus on what matters most to them.
The turning point for me was when I had to live abroad for half a year with just one suitcase. You know, as much as you want to, you can’t really pack everything that you think you may need for a couple of months ahead. But after living with the clothes that I managed to stuff in a standard airplane bag for six months, I came to the realization that I don’t need so much. I was able to happily live half a year with what I have and never felt the need for more than I actually took with me. And this experience totally changed my perception.
In fact, I think staying away from home for some time is the best way to realize what you actually need and what really matters to you. So, if you need a change or want to challenge yourself to live with less, grab the backpack and dive into the adventure.
However, even if you aren’t that type of a person, you can still give a try to the concept of the capsule wardrobe and see if you can benefit from it. The idea is to have a set number of neutral staple pieces, which you love, fit well, are of high quality and match your style.
And the best is that all items combine effortlessly, thus creating multiple outfits with the same limited number of pieces takes just a second. What else can anyone want from a closet? Besides, this is a great way to save not only time but also money, which you might, otherwise, spend on impulsive purchases.
Are you excited about giving it a try?
Then, here are some tips to help you downsize your closet and get your capsule wardrobe started:
- Clean up – The hardest and most essential part of starting a capsule is the simplifying process. You’ll have to clean up your entire current wardrobe – get rid of the things that don’t fit anymore and those that are worn off and pick the ones that you love.
- Get inspiration – Pinterest is a great source for capsule ideas. It has tons of sets to get you going, as well as many suggestions on style, color palette, and ready outfits.
- Break clothes down into seasons – If you live in a place where seasons change, you definitely need to break your wardrobe into seasonal capsules such as spring/summer/winter/fall. The good thing is, once you create them you can rotate them without much of hustle.
- Look for versatile pieces – For example, one smart thing that I do while shopping is I look for items that can be worn in the spring and then can be paired with layers for the fall or the winter because this helps me save space and keep things simple. Some summer dresses can be paired with a cardigan for the spring and fall, and at the same time can be worn with leggings, boots, and jacket in the colder months.
- Select quality over quantity – Allowing impulse purchases on sale can oftentimes result in owning clothes you don’t actually wear, don’t fit well, don’t match rest of your items, or are of low quality and wear off fast. That’s why try to think about cost per wear and opt for quality pieces that will be durable and stylish, so you can work your capsule around them.
Here is some visual inspiration for versatile pieces that can make a real life example of a capsule wardrobe both for men and women
Example Capsule Wardrobe For Men
Example Capsule Wardrobe For Women
It can be because clothes usually have an emotional effect – we link them to memories, our self-confidence, body image, etc. But part of my passion is helping you sort out that clutter-filled closet, save time, keep things easily organized and have the confidence that you are always looking your best. And I think it can work for anyone!
I am a fan of the concept and some of you already know the struggles of my first steps with organizing my existing closet to a capsule. It’s a long process for me, I won’t lie, but I can say I love the simplicity and the benefits of it. No matter the clothing you choose, however, the main goal is to live well and uncomplicated with what you have.
If I’ve inspired you, it would mean so much to share this information with others. Here, at LiSt Contents community, we always promote sharing, as this is one of the best ways to help other people learn, get inspired and find their own way towards a better living!
A Little Note And Thanks
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