Just think: mornings with no anxiety about what to wear, with the confidence that you have every piece you need in your closet.
A capsule wardrobe is a minimalist approach to creating a wardrobe with a small number of timeless pieces that transcend trends, are high quality, and create effortless style. In other words, it’s the antithesis of “fast fashion.” Caroline Rector, who may have invented the term on her blog, Un-fancy, put it this way: “Simple definition? It’s a mini wardrobe made up of really versatile pieces that you totally LOVE to wear. For Unfancy purposes, it’s a 37 piece wardrobe that includes tops, bottoms, dresses, outerwear, and shoes.”
Katherine Martinko describes a capsule wardrobe as a “small collection of basic, essential clothing items that don’t go out of fashion. They can be paired together and augmented easily with seasonal items.” The bloggers at Day22 Boutique describe it as “A wardrobe that will simplify your life.”
It’s interesting to see actual capsule wardrobes. For instance, Christine Escobar describes her own capsule wardrobe this way: “The majority of pieces that anchor the capsule wardrobe include loose tops and tanks in neutral colors, comfortable and stylish jeans and twill pants, soft sweater coats and vests, and classic footwear such as oxford shoes, riding boots, and pumps.” Of course, your style may differ. The idea is find a combination of pieces that both makes you happy and simplifies your life.
Accessories such as scarves and jewelry provide a layer of dimension and seasonality to basic capsule items. And when you plan for a season, it reduces the temptation to fill in with impulse purchases.
Where to begin? Martinko outlines the steps to building out your capsule wardrobe.
- Know your look
- Choose a base color
- Consider your body shape
- Dress in layers
- Choose classic styles
- Choose high-quality items
- Seek inspiration
The Day22 Boutique bloggers also suggest: “Empty out your entire closet onto your bed and ONLY put back the clothes that you absolutely love. If you do not love it, swap, donate, or sell it. Remember, someone else may love or need it.”
When you consider buying new items, remember the advice of the makers of the movie, “The True Cost”: If you won’t wear it at least 30 times, skip it.
How many pieces to include? Erin Verena shows a series of capsule wardrobes she has created over the past two years on the Youtube channel, My Green Closet. Erin works within the limits of Project 333, which “invites you to dress with 33 items or less for 3 months.”
Let’s wrap up with encouragement from the Day22 bloggers: “Go on, create a magical + stress free wardrobe.” If you’d like to read more:
– Colleen Ward
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