A capsule wardrobe is both a smaller closet, but also your dream closet. As a bonus it helps curb impulsive shopping and reduces engagement in consumerism. Essentially, a capsule wardrobe has clothes that pair well together, has a seamless style, and is also only comprised of what you need.
What is “only what you need?” Let’s start with a statistic I discovered, but long forget the source of. It stated that women only wear around 30-40% of their wardrobe. I believe it to be true, as when I owned an abundance of clothing I only wore a select few. A majority of the items were either duplicates, ill-fitting, had nothing to wear with it, or did not suit my taste. It was pointless for me to own those pieces of clothing when instead I could wear pieces that I love. Out of my entire closet I wore only a fraction of it consistently.
So I decided to make a capsule wardrobe. I started the process by writing a list of exactly what my closet should have, along with a color scheme. For example, I wrote down about how many pairs of jeans I should have. I figured I did not need a lot of ripped pair of jeans, so I narrowed it down to three, while having two pairs of light denim, and so on with the rest of my pants. For shirts and sweaters I chose one of each general style and main color. I chose to have black/white/grey as my neutrals with red,orange, and mint as my other colors. After writing it all out I narrowed my closet down to sixty-six items, not including shoes and accessories. With shoes and accessories, my closet is around ninety-six pieces.
Then the hard part was putting my list into action. What helps is if you take everything in your closet and drawers and just dump it on the floor. I felt a lot of shame doing this because my pile was overly huge. Once I got past the shame, I sorted through every single item. If it was a duplicate I would keep the best version. If it was poor-fitting or didn’t suit me anymore I put it in a donate pile. Clothes that were damaged were thrown away. I sorted through every last thing, which took a couple hours.
It was freeing and actually fun. Now I love my closet. My capsule wardrobe now is a mixture of eclectic and Parisian chic. I love all my clothes and each piece gets worn frequently. Getting dressed in the morning is a breeze too. I already know what I like, plus everything matches, so I can just throw anything on and look OK.
I also have a different sense of values. Outside beauty does not hold as much importance to me as it did before. Breaking away from the consumerism trap improved my self-esteem. Instead I focus on improving my lifestyle and meeting my own personal standards.
My capsule wardrobe is very classic with a dash of eclecticism. My inspiration heavily draws from the simple style of French women. The French are known for their effortless style and beauty, while also being known for their chicness. Their wardrobe is small and made of classics that always looks good, and it doesn’t follow trends for the sake of being a trend. The timeless freshness is what appeals to me.
The basics of my capsule are neutrals and staple pieces that every woman should own. However, my own touch is indie accessories and more ripped jeans. Those pieces are just an add-on from my usual go-to pieces.
Here is my capsule wardrobe:
Year-Round Capsule Wardrobe
- Light Wash (3) – Dark Wash (3) – Acid Wash (2) – Dressy (1)
- Ripped (3) – Black (1) – Boyfriend (1)
- Neutral (3) – Striped (1) – Bright (1)
- Red (1) – Eclectic (2) – Leopard Print (1)
- White Tee (1) – Black Long (1) – Eclectic (3)
- Grey Tee (1) – Grey Long (1)
- Striped Tee (1) – Striped Long (1)
- Bright Tee (1) – Bright Long (1)
- Black (1) – Red (1) – Striped (1)
- Grey (1) – Eclectic (2) – Fluffy (1)
- Cream (1) – Hooded (1) – Bright (1)
- Vest (1) – Flannel (2)
- Grey Cardigan (1) – Button-Up (1)
- Red Cardigan (1) – Silk (1)
- Eclectic Cardigan (2)
- Sweater Cardigan (2)
- Maxi (1) – Maxi (1)
- Sweater (1) – A-line (1)
- Skater (1) – Bodycon (1)
- Sundress (1)
- Bodycon (1)
- Lace-up Boots (1) – Converse (1)
- Ankle Boots (1) – Bright Flats (1)
- Knee High Boots (1) – Sandals (1)
- Flats (1) – Burkenstocks (1)
- Oxfords (1) – Leopard Print(1)
- Evening Bag (1) – Tote (1)
- Cream Bag (1) – Bright (1)
- Black Bags (1) – Mini Backpack (1)
- Brown Bag (1)
My wardrobe may seem rather large, but it is small considering it is for the whole year. The rule of thumb for a capsule wardrobe is to buy two or three key pieces for every season. Sometimes I swap out pieces I already own for the newer items, but it depends. Since I shop for clothes so rarely, I buy high quality items that will last. Some examples of the past season are one pair of designer jeans, an elegant peacoat, and a red cashmere sweater. Those three items are perfect because they can be paired with nearly anything I own. It saves me a lot of money in the long-run too. Instead of buying cheap clothing at the mall every couple weeks, I invest in a couple pieces that should last me for years.
Owning such a small wardrobe has changed me, and also started my pursuit for the minimalist lifestyle. I learned to not hold as much stock into what is popular, what people think, or my appearance. Society thrives on consumerism because it fuels a person’s self-esteem. Consumerism says, “buy this and you will be happier and better.” It causes a warped sense of reality.
Breaking away from the booming fashion industry that runs on impulsively-bought, cheap clothes is freeing. Although it was hard to curb my shopping habit, now I use the time shopping for clothes working on crafts projects or writing. I save a lot of money as well. If you think you will struggle not to buy more, I recommend logging your spending. For each purchase, even if it is gum from the gas station, write what it is and the cost. Not only does it increase awareness of where your money goes, it makes you not want to make unnecessary purchases.
I highly recommend a capsule wardrobe to anyone who wants to tiptoe into the minimalistic lifestyle. Consumerism is what the world thrives on, and owning a smaller wardrobe in one way to break away from it. There is no need for an abundance of clothes when you can make do with what you have. Remember the statistic that women tend to wear only 30-40% of your wardrobe. Just try this, and you may like it.