IS A CAPSULE WARDROBE RIGHT FOR YOU?
How many items of clothing are in your closet?
I’m serious — take a minute and think about it. No judgment, no guilt, just a little reflection. Is your closet bursting at the seams? Are there pieces in your closet that have been hanging there for years…with the tags still on them? Do you have anything in your closet that you’ve literally NEVER worn? What percentage of your clothes do you ACTUALLY wear? According to the chief design officer for California Closets, interviewed in The Wall Street Journal, most people only wear 20 percent of the clothes in their closet on a regular basis.
Yeah, I’ve been there. And even with that colossal collection of clothes crowding my closet — I’d still find myself sleepily staring at it every morning, feeling like I had nothing at all to wear. Overwhelmed by the options. Shamed by the excess.
So naturally, when I first heard of capsule wardrobes, I was drawn in, but also apprehensive. I liked the idea of compiling a small collection of *perfect* items to wear seasonally. It sounded so chic, so French!
And every time I looked in my closet I felt overwhelmed by the sheer volume of items in there. Most of them didn’t suit me at all. The racks were so stuffed that it was a wrestling match to hang things up. Struggling to get things in and out of the racks or to even see what was there sent my anxiety through the roof!
But I also felt pretty attached to everything in my closet. Actually, I felt pretty attached to what I had spent on the things in my closet. Even though they were all clearance rack conquests, it was a monument of guilt. I never wore most of it, but getting rid of them felt wasteful.
Then there is my love of variety, or the idea of variety. If finding something to wear was difficult with hundreds of options, it’d be downright impossible if I cut that number down — especially if I took the advice of everything I read and limited myself to 10, 33, or whatever random “magic” number of pieces. Capsule wardrobes sounded restrictive and, frankly, a little boring. Or are they?
The truth is that I usually wore the same things over and over. They were the items I really liked and could access easily. The other items were things I wanted to like, or that I liked on other people, or were too good a deal to pass up, or were buried so deep in the tightly packed racks that I forgot they were there! (P.S. it’s not a good deal if I never wear it)
Once I decided to take the plunge and create a capsule wardrobe my way, everything changed for me. It was so FREEING. I finally felt like every piece in my closet helped me express who I am. I felt happy and well-dressed no matter what I put on in the morning. It was easy to see what I had, and it was so easy to get dressed.
My capsule wardrobe isn’t limited to an arbitrary number someone else made up. It’s limited by what I love and wear, and what makes my wardrobe feel complete. Whether that is 30, 50, or 100 items, I get to decide what feels right. It’s made my life and wardrobe so much more manageable, and today I want to share 10 things you’ll LOVE about having a capsule wardrobe.
10 THINGS YOU’LL LOVE ABOUT HAVING A CAPSULE WARDROBE
- More time, less stress
It may seem like narrowing down the pieces in your closet would make it harder to find something to wear — but actually, a capsule wardrobe has the opposite effect! When you fill your closet with only pieces that make you happy, fit you well, and go with everything else, getting dressed in the morning is a breeze. Reducing the volume of items allows you to see exactly what you have so you can decide quickly. You spend less time agonizing over what to wear, and you start the day off right.
- A decluttered closet
Getting rid of all the unnecessary noise, because that’s what it is to me — noise, in your closet will leave you with more mental and physical space for the important things. No matter how small your closet feels right now, you’ll be surprised how roomy and organized it feels with only the essentials hanging up! Decluttering your space works wonders for your mental and emotional wellbeing, too.
- No more mismatching — EVER!
Do you ever look in the mirror and see that something isn’t quite right? Do you ever have to talk yourself out of wearing shoes that are cute because they really clash with your outfit? It’s tempting sometimes! Thoughtfully putting together a capsule wardrobe will make it easier for you to create cohesive outfits on the fly. And as daunting as putting one together sounds, my Stunning Style Wardrobe Guides make it a breeze because I’ve done the work for you!
When I first considered creating a capsule wardrobe, I was concerned about how I could possibly make the same pieces work for both my personal and professional styles (I dress up for church and dates with my husband). But I’ve found that having a capsule wardrobe full of versatile pieces helps me preserve my individual style. No matter where I am, I’m never trying to dress like someone I’m not. Simply swapping a pair of jeans for a skirt can take a look from casual to professional.
- It’s more sustainable
Fast fashion inevitably results in a lot of waste. Leaving those clothes in my closet, never to be worn, was just as wasteful as throwing them away because they weren’t being used. Donating or selling them gave them new life and a chance to be worn and loved by someone they did suit. Embracing a more minimalist lifestyle by sticking only to clothing you really love and take care of is good for the planet and for YOU! When you’re intentional about the clothing you purchase, you tend to consume (and spend!) less.
- Fewer clothes = less laundry
Enough said. But seriously. LESS LAUNDRY. Did your heart just leap for joy? Nobody likes doing laundry. Having a capsule wardrobe especially cuts down on the number of loads and the time it takes to fold clothes and hang them back up.
It’s surprisingly affordable
To me, putting together a capsule wardrobe always sounded like just going out and buying a whole new wardrobe. While that sounds super fun, it’s also overwhelming, totally impractical, and not necessary!
I always encourage members of The Society to shop their closets before they do any other shopping. There are likely a lot of pieces you really love that are already hanging up in your closet — they’re just overshadowed by a bunch of items that are taking up space. And even after you’ve gone through your closet and figure out if there are things you need to purchase to fill in the blanks, buying quality clothes you’ll really love and wear for seasons to come can be much more cost-effective in the long run than buying cheaper and more often.
Once you’ve got your foundational pieces, then each season you can splurge on a few pieces to update your wardrobe and make it feel fresh again.
- It inspires you to get creative
Sticking to a capsule wardrobe will help get your creative juices flowing. You’ll be surprised at how many different stylish looks you can put together with just a few pieces. My capsule wardrobe guides include 30+ pieces, and I use those to create over 100 outfit combination ideas you may never have thought of otherwise! That is a different outfit every day of the season. How is that for variety?
- It lets your individual style come through
I’ve never seen your closet before, but I’m willing to bet that not every single piece that’s in it right now reflects your personal style. Narrowing your wardrobe down makes it possible to really define your unique taste and express it every day. With fewer pieces it’s easier to curate the ones that are so you and every outfit will reflect that.(Not quite sure what your signature style is? TAKE THE STYLE TWIST QUIZ to find out!)
- It allows you to look and feel your best — every. single. day
Do you know how that feels? It feels ah-mazing. When I’m wearing an outfit that makes me look and feel fabulous, I feel like I can do anything. And I have that experience just about every day. Creating a capsule wardrobe full of pieces and outfits that speak to you helps you express the truth of who you really are — not just on special occasions, but every single day. Because don’t you always deserve to feel great?
Ever since I first created a capsule wardrobe for myself, I’ve never looked back. I love the freedom, versatility, and creativity that I’ve experienced ever since I simplified my life and embraced a capsule wardrobe. I love that I have more money to splurge on those amazing pieces that I wear and wear and wear again. I don’t see it as eliminating things; I think of it as keeping what I love.
In fact, I love it so much, I’ve started to share my experience and expertise with like-minded, classically stylish women everywhere. If you feel overwhelmed by creating your own capsule wardrobe, my detailed Wardrobe Guides feature a curated capsule collection of 30+ pieces (with shopping links!) catered to your Style Twist and preferred color palette, along with outfit ideas for every single day of the week, every day of the season. Starting a capsule wardrobe has never been so easy
This article is part of a series about capsule wardrobes. You can read more here. More of the series is coming next week, so don’t miss what’s coming next!
ARE YOU READY FOR SOME CLASSIC STYLE INSPIRATION?
If you’ve been nodding along with this article, you may be a woman with classic style. Check out these posts to find more style inspiration. Or take our Classic Style Twist quiz here, and then read about the different Twists here to learn how to bring your own personality type through while still embracing classic style.
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