We've all had those mornings. We wake up on time, make our coffee, and browse through our closets for the day's wears, and ask ourselves "what am I going to wear today?" Fast forward twenty minutes and what started out as a normal morning has now turned into a frantic race against the clock where your bed (that was just made) has disappeared under a growing pile of strewn-about clothes. You arrive late for work and you don't even like the outfit you so haphazardly put together. Enter the capsule wardrobe: a back-to-the-basics approach to slimming down your closet to the absolute necessities. Toss out the once-worns and the why-did-i-ever-buy these, and replace with classic and timeless staples that mix and match interchangeably with each other.
Let's face it, our closets are full of pieces that we haven’t worn in forever, aren’t sure how to style, or don’t feel 100% confident wearing. Having an over-stuffed closet can cause anxiety and confusion, and they have the ability to turn normal mornings into stressful ones.
Tossing out and scaling back might seem scary–we all like having options. But the reality is that a well-edited wardrobe is so freeing. It allows us to save time and money, create more space, prevent stress, and take a step towards building an ethical wardrobe.
What is a capsule wardrobe?
Narrowing down your wardrobe into a well-edited collection that is interchangeable, flowing seamlessly from work to weekend, composed of your favorite pieces.
Why should I create one?
Because you’ve narrowed down your closet to items you know you can depend on, having a capsule wardrobe eliminates the time wasted each day on decision-making over an outfit. It eliminates anxiety over having “nothing to wear”, empowering you to select your outfits with confidence, simplifying your morning routine.
Having a curated, well-edited closet shifts your mindset from over-buying and over-spending to having a beautiful collection of essentials and investment pieces that you feel confident wearing with anything, for any occasion.
Step towards building your ideal wardrobe
The goal is to have “one closet” of pieces that can seemlessly transition from day to night, work, weekend or play. This can be tricky depending on your lifestyle. Not everyone will be able to pull this off, but the goal is to get as close as possible in order to create your own custom ultimate capsule wardrobe.
There’s no formula for the ideal capsule wardrobe, everyone has different go-to pieces that make their style unique. My staples on a gloomy February morning is my black turtle neck paired with my vintage flared wranglers (I found at a thrift store for $10!) and my doc Martin Chelsea boots I’ve had for years.
Not only is simplifying convenient, but it's taking a huge step towards streamlining your wardrobe. Creating a capsule wardrobe will allow you to clearly distinguish between staples you have and love, and what key pieces you need, selecting carefully and mindfully of course.
How does it work?
Sort your clothes into Love, Maybe, or Donate piles by asking yourself the questions below:
Have I worn this in the last 6 months?
Does it fit me? Do I feel confident wearing it?
Does it go with other items in my closet? What can I wear it with?
Is it layer-able?
Is it trans-seasonal? Could I get away with wearing it for multiple seasons? (Like a cashmere cardigan you could pair with a turtleneck for Winter, or wear over a tee in the Spring).
Utilitarianism: can I wear this to work or on a weekend?
Sort your clothing into one of the 3 piles and stick to them! Take a break, and come back to your Maybe pile. Ask yourself the questions again, and see what you can live without, placing it into the Donate pile.
Congrats! You've done the hard part! For my donate pile, I like to take it to Beacons Closet or Buffalo Exchange just incase I can get a few dollars for it. Both retailers will donate items that they don't buy- which saves you a trip to Salvation Army or Goodwill ;)