How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe (Without Fear of Regret)

I have had a capsule wardrobe going on almost 2 years, and it has made my life so much easier. No more do I wake up and stress about what I am going to wear to work. I know that everything in my wardrobe “goes together.” Also, when I buy something, I never have to worry that it won’t go with what’s already in my closet. Besides not only saving money and making more efficient use of my time, I have built a wardrobe that seriously works for me.

What is a capsule wardrobe?

A capsule wardrobe is essentially a mini-wardrobe of clothing items that are versatile and that you LOVE!

How to begin:

1. Choose the clothing items that you love to wear.

Many people begin by getting rid of what they don’t want. Instead, I suggest that you look at it in reverse—which items do you WANT? What are those items that you just love the color, look, or feel of? You want to start with these items, because these are going to likely be pieces that you build the rest of your wardrobe around.

2. Ask yourself: Why do I love these items?

With each item that you love, you want to inquire as to why your like them. Maybe you like the fabric or the kinds of buttons it has or maybe it’s handmade and you value things that take time to create. By asking yourself this sort of question, you can start to discern the reasons behind why these beloved clothing items elicit certain emotions from you. Part of the message you send to others in your clothes is communicated by how you feel in your clothes. You want to feel good.

3. Begin looking through your clothes for items that can go with the items you love.

It’s no use keeping items that don’t go with anything else. I don’t have a hard and fast rule, but I personally tend to stick to neutrals and a couple accent colors that look good with my skin tone. My closet at this moment is full of neutrals (blue, white, cream, maroon, and black) and a couple accent colors (yellows and purples). However, if you have items that don’t go with your color scheme, don’t get rid of these items yet….

4. Put those items that don’t fit with your wardrobe in a box and put that box to the side.

Now, here’s where you can do a trial run of your new capsule wardrobe. You want to see if you can live with just those items that you selected. If you notice in a few days that, say, you forgot to leave out that white button-down shirt that you like to wear with that nice grey sweater, then by all means, go into the box and get that shirt and add it back in. Continue trying out your capsule wardrobe until you feel comfortable (For some people, that may mean a few weeks, and for others, that may mean a few months).

5. Without opening the box, donate all the items that do not fit in your capsule wardrobe.

It is important to not give yourself any reason to hold onto the items in the box. By not opening the box, you will not be tempted to look back through the box for items you may want to keep (just in case).

Now, we live in a region which has very distinct seasons. So, for those of you in the same boat, you can choose to either make two separate wardrobes for spring/summer and fall/winter, or you can make a core capsule wardrobe with some additional pieces that you rotate out for the cooler or warmer months (This is what we do).

We hope that these steps will help you on your journey to creating your own capsule wardrobes.

Have you made a capsule wardrobe? Was your process similar, or did you take a totally different direction?

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