What is a Capsule Wardrobe?

WHen you hear capsule wardrobe, what comes to mind?

 Lately, it seems like everyone’s talking about capsule wardrobes. Fashion gurus, Youtubers, influencers, friends — so many people are embracing a more minimalist lifestyle and purging their closets. It’s part of an overall trend to simplify in our overly busy lives. But what exactly is a capsule wardrobe? What comes to mind when you hear that term? To answer that question, let’s talk about what a capsule wardrobe is, and what it is not.
 

What a capsule wardrobe is not

  • It’s NOT a blah, boring, one-note collection.
  • It’s NOT a movement that advocates everyone wear the same exact basic pieces.
  • It’s NOT choosing one plain outfit and wearing it every single day.
  • It’s NOT crazy expensive, or at least it doesn’t need to be.
  • It’s NOT a trend. It’s the way everyone dressed until a few decades ago when mass produced clothing became so inexpensive and we jumped on the “more is more” bandwagon. Much of the world still lives with curated, cohesive wardrobes, especially the French. It’s not a trend to them, it just IS.
  • It’s NOT meant to stifle your creativity and take the fun out of getting dressed.
 

what a capsule wardrobe IS

A capsule wardrobe is a selective, curated, seasonal collection of pieces you love that go together, with a cohesive style and color palette. They’ve become more and more popular, or rather, come back around, among so many people. It was a little difficult for me to see why — until I tried it myself four years ago. Then, I fell in love. It was a breath of relief. It was like losing 1000 pounds. It destressed my days in all the ways, from reducing the choices I have to make to reducing my laundry. Here’s what makes up a capsule wardrobe and why you just might want to try putting one together for yourself!

It’s everything you love, nothing you don’t

Curating a capsule wardrobe is all about filling your closet with things that make you feel like your best self. It’s a closet full of your favorites. It’s getting rid of the noise and clutter of other clothes that either don’t fit quite right or don’t accurately express your personal style. It’s finally saying “sayonara” to those pieces that never should have made it into your closet in the first place, or really should have been thrown out by now. It’s narrowing your closet down to a collection of clothes you’re actually excited to put on in the morning — because honestly, why would you wear anything else?!

It’s everything you need for the season, nothing you don’t

Tank-tops don’t really belong in your closet during the winter. Capsule wardrobes help you make sure your look is always on point for the season you’re in so you aren’t sifting through short sleeve tees when what you really want is that sweater. There are no sandals getting in the way of your boots. It helps you dress for the season you’re in, not the season you left. Your looks will always stay cohesive and season-appropriate, and everything you need is right in front of you.

It’s limited, but not limiting

Whenever I put together my capsule wardrobe, I aim to choose 30-50 pieces I truly love and fit into a cohesive color palette and style. I don’t strictly limit the number (your perfectly-sized capsule wardrobe might be a little bigger or smaller than mine — I’ll be sharing how to figure out how many pieces you need for your capsule wardrobe soon!) When you’re first putting together your capsule wardrobe, that can sound a little limiting! But trust me. It’s not. When you eliminate clothes that don’t truly bring you joy and express the real you, it’s freeing. You’ll no longer feel obligated to wear clothes that don’t make you feel great. You’ll simplify your closet and your life.

It’s totally cohesive

When my closet was overflowing with pretty much everything I’d ever bought over the past 10 years, I’d sometimes end up trying to talk myself into things: “Sure, it’s cold outside, but these sandals are at the top of the pile.” “Orange goes fine with green, right?” “As long as I don’t step into direct sunlight, no one will be able to tell that my shirt is navy and my shoes are black.” When you spend the time up front putting together a cohesive capsule wardrobe, you’ll never mismatch again. Everything goes with everything! You can just take things off the hanger and trust they’ll work together.

It’s a way of fine-tuning your own unique style

So, let’s say you’re a Cute Classic. You’re wearing an adorable black-and-white peplum top that looks fabulous on you, paired with dark denim jeans that are so flattering. You add a pair of statement earrings to dress your look up and pair it with your favorite pair of red patent flats with a small bow on them for a girly touch. Then, right before heading out the door, you throw on… an oversized army green zip-up sweatshirt. With just one off-key piece, your entire outfit is undermined! Every piece counts when it comes to communicating your own unique style. Limiting your wardrobe to only pieces that communicate your style helps you always look your best. Wouldn’t you love to dress in your signature look everyday? Click on the quiz below to find your personal Classic Style Twist!

IT SAVES TIME AND MONEY

When you have more options hanging in your closet, it can take forever to put an outfit together. You might end up trying on a bunch of things to see if they work together, or looking everywhere for your favorite sweater you were hoping to wear that day. Having a curated capsule wardrobe can save you loads of time in the morning because everything works with everything and everything is something you like. A capsule wardrobe can also save you money in the long run. When you don’t make a point to shop intentionally, you often end up buying a lot of pieces you don’t really need and don’t really love. All of those “bargain” purchases can really add up.

And am I the only one who comes home with some fabulous finds to realize I have at least 2 of the exact same item in my closet already (I’m looking at you, black tops!)? I had forgotten about them because they were hidden in the dense jungle of my clothing racks.

IT’S SOMETHING ANYONE CAN CREATE

It’s not hard to create a capsule wardrobe you love. It’s really just a matter of identifying your own personal style, choosing a color palette that works for you, and finding pieces you love. But still, like anything worth doing, getting started is the hardest part, and new ideas can be overwhelming. So I’ve done most of the work for you! My detailed Wardrobe Guides feature a curated capsule collection of over 30 pieces (with shopping links!) and 100 outfit combinations catered to your unique Style Twist. It even comes with an outfit calendar so you know what to wear every single day of the week. Starting a capsule wardrobe has never been so easy!

Do you currently have a capsule wardrobe? Are you thinking of starting one? What is your favorite thing about it? Let me know in the comments!

ARE YOU READY FOR SOME CAPSULE WARDROBE INSPIRATION?

If you’ve been nodding along with this article, you may be ready to try a capsule wardrobe. Check out these posts to find more capsule wardrobe inspiration.

Looking for even more inspiration? Discuss capsule wardrobes and classic style with a fun community of like-minded women in the Classic Capsule Conversations Facebook groupYou can also follow me on Instagram to see how I wear my capsule wardrobe!

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