How to create a capsule wardrobe & why it will change your life

Do you have a wardrobe full of clothes yet spend every morning deliberating over what to wear – only to conclude you have NOTHING to wear? You’ve come to the right place. If you’re also spending too much time doing laundry every week, you most definitely need a ‘capsule wardrobe’.

The idea of a capsule wardrobe isn’t a new concept, there are fashion bloggers and magazine editors who have been touting it around for years, but it’s become hugely popular recently as more people aspire to a minimalistic and less stressful way of life.

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What is a capsule wardrobe?

It’s a streamlined collection of clothes, versatile pieces that can be styled in different mix and match combinations so you can create a number of outfits for different occasions. Inside a capsule wardrobe you’ll find lots of classic, essential items – which won’t go out of fashion – mixed with seasonal pieces to keep it fresh.

Pic from The Blissful Mind - check out their Capsule Wardrobe Basics.
Pic from The Blissful Mind.

What are the benefits of a capsule wardrobe?

  • Fewer decisions every day
  • Increased confidence – every outfit will be as stylish as the next!
  • Less time wasted deciding on what to wear
  • Reduce stress and anxiety over your outfit choice
  • Less wasted energy spent on fretting over outfits
  • Reduce your wardrobe maintenance – sorting, laundry, tidying
  • The feeling of being effortlessly stylish & put together
  • Freedom to spend time on other aspects of your life
  • Save money by reducing your clothes spending

How to create a capsule wardrobe

  1. Do you research & look for style inspiration
Start with Google...
Start with Google…

Before you start chucking out everything you own and buying new clothes, type ‘Capsule Wardrobe’ into a Google image search and tailor the wording to what you’re looking for. E.g:

  • Women’s Summer casual capsule wardrobe
  • Men’s smart casual capsule wardrobe
  • Women’s Winter capsule wardrobe
  • Women’s bright spring capsule wardrobe

Take a look at the ‘mood boards’ that come up and go from there. Whether you love prints, neutrals colours or anything nautical, you’ll find inspiration from Google images’, related articles and Pinterest. Start bookmarking pages and saving images of outfits and capsule wardrobes you love.

Remember: blogs can be inspiring but also incredibly overwhelming. Don’t feel the need to copy anyone’s look entirely, simply work with your own style and take notes on what type of items you need or already have.

2. Create a wishlist

Once you’ve done some research and you’ve got an idea of what you would like in your capsule wardrobe, make a list of items. A general rule is to whittle it down to 35-40 item, including shoes and outerwear, which should last you around 3 months. It might look something like this:

Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 09.10.15

Remember to include items that can be layered, basic pieces that can be dressed up and accessorised or played down. Think about all the possible outfit combinations and make a list of all the outfits E.g. Day time: White shirt, grey jeans, blue cardigan, tan boots. Make sure you have plenty of different options for all ocassions.

3. Look for items already & organise your wardrobe

Spring-Capsule-Wardrobe-2016-3

Once you’ve got your shortlisted items, it’s time to raid your existing wardrobe. Look for similar items to what you’ve found, hopefully you’ll already have most items such as a classic LBD, smart blazer or jacket and pairs of well-fitted jeans.

Gather your key items and hang them on hangers. Start to clear out the rest of your wardrobe and get rid of the usual suspects – old, never worn, doesn’t fit etc – and make some space. Now I’m not saying to get rid of everything you own, you could put your clothes into storage boxes or just position them to one side of your wardrobe so you have a clear a section for your capsule wardrobe. There may be some temptation to go into the other side if your non-capsule clothes are on show – be warned!

4. Make a list of what you have & what you need

Capsule Wardrobe Checklist

Chances are you already have everything you need, but if not make a list of anything you need or think will tie your wardrobe altogether. Maybe you’re missing a Spring jacket or a tailored white shirt? Scan online shops for ideas but don’t be in a rush to buy anything. Remember the golden rule – everything you buy should be super versatile and work with your existing wardrobe.

5. Re-asses your wardrobe after 2 weeks

Start wearing your capsule wardrobe as soon as you can, and after 4 weeks have an edit. Take out items you haven’t worn, add some more exciting bits to your collection if you’ve found yourself bored and tempted to stray. Don’t be afraid to shop either, just make sure any purchases can be worn with multiple outfits.

Top tips on how to make your capsule wardrobe a success!

  • Aim to wear your capsule wardrobe for 3 months then reassess and remove or add pieces based on the season or your own shift in style.
  • Include some statement pieces so you don’t get bored after a few weeks! Include a fabulous dress or jumpsuit to your capsule wardrobe.
  • Take photos of any really successful outfit combinations so you can refer back

Editor

A keen money-saver and fan of all things natural, Anushka enjoys making her own beauty products and is partial to a bit of crafting. Never short of a clever tip or two, she's always looking for new ways to make her money go even further.

  1. 1 Lucy Reply

    In the summer, I phase in my summer clothes and put the winter/autumn clothes in another cupboard and vice versa for winter. I fold up clothes I’m putting away then roll them so they take up less storage space.

  2. 3 Baytrees Reply

    My wardrobe consists of
    Week, 5 cotton trousers
    5 cotton t-shirts
    5 thin sweat tops
    2 Coniston jackets
    2 jumpers
    1 cardigan
    1 fleece All this in same colour
    Then my weekend wear is
    2 trousers
    2 t-shirts
    2 fleece
    1 jumper All in weekend colour
    Above outfits with 7 trainers. A pair for each day avoids smelly shoes.
    One outfit for funerals and meetings which includes smart shoes.
    One big long navy waterproof breathable coat
    One short breathable short jacket.
    One black handbag for smart
    One rucksack for usual wear.
    Of course my undies and socks also match the outfits too.
    This has reduce the time such a lot. I no longer have the need to buy something extra or in fashion etc. So much more organised. I have so much more room in my wardrobe which means there is space around each set of clothes. 10 coat hangers which everything fits on apart from my fleeces, jumper, Cardigan which fits onto the top shelf in the wardrobe.
    Imagine 10 coat hangers is all you need. Usually one is an empty coat hanger because I am wearing one outfit and another empty coat hanger because a set is being washed, dried and ironed. So all you would see is 8 sets in the wardrobe. Week wear hangs on the left side of wardrobe. The weekend, funeral outfit with the coats hang on the right side of the wardrobe.
    My shoes and two bags at the Base.
    Keeping the wardrobe organised also helps save on time, keep up with laundry helps to.
    Before my wardrobe was squashed packed full with loads of coat hangers, stuff in laundry and ironing pile, clothes around the bedroom on chairs etc it was a mountain all the time but now nothing hangs around the house anymore even in the bedroom. So much more tidier and very simple to organise, less clutter. Now I will always stick to the new organised sleek wardrobe. Oh I forgot the swim wear, which sits next to my jumpers. Hope this helps others to rid of the time wasting cluttered disorganised life. If you still want to keep up to date with fashion try my rule, if buying new outfit you must forfit an outfit from the wardrobe to avoid build up. Good luck.

    1. 4 Anushka F Reply

      That sounds like a fantastic and very practical capsule wardrobe – I am very impressed! Capsule wardrobes are definitely the way forwards, less laundry, less organisation, less stress – it’s win, win. I like the feeling of people ‘put together’ even without thinking about it. I like the idea about forfeiting an outfit when you add another in, I had not thought of that!

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