You've probably been hearing about capsule wardrobes for the past few years. When you create a capsule wardrobe you select a set number of items (in my case it was 30, but there is no hard and fast rule here) and create outfits from those items for a season. At the end of the season you can replace what has become worn, add different weather appropriate items or rotate everything out to start fresh. The idea here is a that minimalist approach makes your life easier.
It's honestly the best way to cut clutter, save time and focus on what matters. A capsule wardrobe saved me so. much. time. getting ready in the morning. It helped me nearly end all of my shopaholic tendencies and become grateful for what I already had.
It's a similar concept to my 30 for 30 challenges, except the intention is to be long term. See below for my super simple steps to create a capsule wardrobe!
1.Identify your style needs
Over the years my style has really changed. I walk a lot more at work these days so sky high heels just aren't practical anymore. Have you recently been promoted? Did you have a baby? A lot of folks want to streamline their wardrobe due to a lifestyle change, so really think about your needs. If you're not going out several nights a week, maybe it doesn't make sense to have a bunch of flashy tops in your capsule.
One of the biggest mistakes I made when putting together a capsule wardrobe was not really looking at my lifestyle needs. I rarely wear pants, yet I included several pairs of jeans and trousers. I included too much casual gear when I am in the office 5 days a week. You can always bling up basic pieces with accessories or mix fun prints to keep your look bold, but including a rarely worn sequined dress was a big mistake-o for me!
2. Groom your closet
Okay, I know you know this. But have you DONE it? Go through your closet. Everything you own. EVERYTHING. Even your old tank tops and rolled up socks. Pull it all out of your closet and drawers (trust me on this!) and really evaluate what still fits, is in good condition and brings you joy. Believe me, it's time to part ways with that Forever 21 "party top" you have had since college. When creating a capsule you need to start with clothes that look and feel great. It's much harder to do when you're wading through items you can't even wear. After you have everything out of your closet, only allow these carefully selected items back in. Store everything you want to keep but won't be wearing this capsule.
I am the worst at this, because I never ever want to get rid of my clothes. I have definitely had regret over donating an item that came back into style! So if you don't want to sell or donate your clothing right now I have a tip. Get a few clean plastic totes and store all the clothing there for now. In a year or so you can break it out, and if it still doesn't fit or look right then go ahead and toss. I have done this (much to the irritation of my husband who hates that I take up precious basement storage space with my totes) and it has really helped. It makes more space in my closet, but also gives me the joy of "shopping" my old clothes every now and then which is fun. If I forgot I owned it then I sell or donate it.
3. Select 30 items
Now that you have a smaller pool of items to choose from, the difficult part really begins. Out of all of the tops, bottoms, dresses, shoes, rompers, sweaters, blah blah blah you have in your closet you get to choose your designated number of items. I chose 30 because I felt like I had enough options to keep me interested without defeating the purpose of the capsule in the first place. Keep in mind that each item you chose should align with your identified lifestyle needs from step 1. Undergarments, layering pieces (think camis), accessories and PJs are not included in this total.
It really helped me to chose items that could be styled several ways. Dresses can be worn as both tops and bottoms. One of my favorite tricks was tucking a light dress into my jeans to create what looked like a tucked in shirt. A kimono can be be a dress, a top or function as light outerwear. Cardigans and jackets can be worn open or closed to become a new top.
Something that also helped me was to chose items that have some similarity. For my last capsule I decided to go mostly black and white with navy and red accents. Doing this allowed me to make so many more combinations than previous capsules where I just chose what I liked.
4. Make a plan
This was something I didn't do with my first few capsules. Let me tell you this: you can do it without a plan, but it's much easier if you have one! This helped me continue to choose unique outfits when I was already running late. After you have your items selected then spend some writing out or taking pictures of possible combinations. I am old school and wrote my ideas down in a notebook I kept near my closet, but there are websites that help you generate ideas for those that are a bit more tech savvy!
5. Reevaluate and repeat in 90 days
You'll know pretty quickly how well you did selecting your items. This isn't a "challenge" with strict rules, so if you need to sub another item in or make some changes go ahead. The whole purpose of this is to make your life less stressful, and not having the right choices just makes things harder! If you were overly ambitious with including a few rompers and want to replace them with basic pieces just do it!
After 90 days, you should plan to make changes to accommodate the changing season. You can select all new pieces or just make a few substitutions here and there. Again, no hard and fast rules here people!
And there you have it. Some super simple (not always easy) steps to creating a capsule wardrobe of your own!