What is a capsule wardrobe? How I use it and how you can create one too

There are many different ways you can dress with less, and usually, that involves owning fewer things which I am all for!

But I love clothes and shoes, and I wanted to find something where I can rotate my items and use everything I own, without feeling the only way I can get there is through decluttering to that specific number.

That doesn’t mean you can keep everything and a capsule wardrobe will be a magic fix, you’ll still need to declutter first.

SO WHAT IS A CAPSULE WARDROBE?

A capsule wardrobe is a combination of clothing pieces that work together perfectly, are easy to mix and match and are season-appropriate (for whichever season you are in).

Depending on your lifestyle you can create one, two or three different capsule wardrobes at a time.

So what does that look like?

If you need a more professional look for your office, that means your casual clothes are probably not going to mix well with your work clothes, so instead of keeping them joined, try building two separate capsules.

That way, creating outfits becomes clearer because you either dress from one capsule or the other, depending on which day it is. But if most of your pieces work for every day, and there are still some exceptions, consider making a mini capsule wardrobe that you can combine with your main one – be it for your profession, special occasions or anything you might think off.

I keep one capsule wardrobe because I can wear most of my casual items to work (and the other way around), but I have an extra few pieces hanging in the closed section of my closet, and this is my mini special occasion capsule wardrobe that I can pair with other items in my wardrobe.

Look at your schedule and clothes, and assess if one capsule wardrobe is enough or would you prefer a work one, as well? Or if you want to have a mini capsule too? Your life – your rules! But my advice is to keep everything as simple as possible – capsule wardrobes are here to improve our lives, not make them difficult.

Now the other decision to make is how many different seasons do you want to have when using a capsule wardrobe? Do you want to change it every three or every six months?

I live in a country with four seasons that range from snowy cold winters to sweltering summers so I divided my year into four capsules – spring, summer, autumn and winter.

A time frame of three months works the best for me, so test and try to see what works best for you.

And even if you live in a country where the weather changes are small, you could still benefit from changing your wardrobe up a little with each coming season, maybe switching out some colours, fabrics or silhouettes.

NOW HOW TO CREATE A CAPSULE WARDROBE?

I simplified the process so it’s fun and anyone can do it. But before you get started, it is vital that you have already decluttered first and that you have only kept the items you love. If not check out the How to declutter blog post first.

Let’s continue.

1. Take everything out – now that you’ve only kept the items that you truly enjoy, take them out of your wardrobe and put them in front of you so you can see them clearly. If you have some things in laundry baskets, include them too.

2. Do a little clean – the drawers and shelves are now empty, so it’s good to take the opportunity to give them a quick clean. After all, it feels great to put clothes back into a freshly cleaned closet 🙂

3. Decide what you want to keep – pick one piece up at a time and decide “Do I want this in my spring/summer/autumn/winter/______ capsule wardrobe?”. With every yes put the item back into your closet, and with every no, set the clothing aside to organise later. Keep sorting through until you have nothing left.

4. Review – now look at your capsule wardrobe. Is it cohesive, season appropriate and you feel like you have enough items to create lovely outfits? If so, that is it, but if not, adjust it until you are happy with it. The goal is to open your closet and feel joy and inspiration.

5. Store other items away – everything that you don’t want to keep in your capsule must be put away. If something needs washing then wash it so when you get it out of your storage it’s fresh and ready to use. Store your things in extra drawers, maybe under a bed or in your closet, or keep them in boxes, just make sure you store them properly to keep them in good condition.

6. Now repeat the steps with outerwear and shoes. Only keep what you love and what works for the season. In the end, you should feel lighter knowing everything that is out will get used and loved.

7. Enjoy your wardrobe 😀 – and if you feel like tweaking it along the way – do it. It usually takes some time to get it right and to know what works for you.

When a new season is approaching, it’s time to create a new capsule.

But before you start, quickly look over your current wardrobe to review what worked for you and what didn’t, so it can help you design the next one.

This is also a great time to let go of anything that wasn’t loved or used, or if you feel there are some gaps in your closet, find out what piece(s) you would like to add. When you finish reviewing, it’s time to repeat the steps above.

The feeling of putting everything out on the bed after three months feels fantastic. There will be items you forgot about, and you’ll be excited to see, so it will feel like you have a new wardrobe every season without ever stepping foot in a store. It feels a bit like shopping, but without spending money or wasting time and energy you otherwise would have done before.

And that is what I love most about it – it creates a unique experience where I don’t have as much need to shop. That doesn’t mean you can’t add anything, but it just means you will not need to (or at least not as many items as you otherwise would).

Hopefully, this will help you create your very first capsule wardrobe, and you’ll experience how great it can be to dress with less and enjoy your clothes more. Let me know if it worked for you or if you have any other tips for dressing more simply 😉

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