Let’s play a game—
When I say “capsule”, you think ________?
A medicinal tablet or pill?
Astronauts in space?
A number of pieces that make up several outfits?
Yes, yes and yes. All three are correct.
A capsule, according to Merriam-Webster, is a small or very compact object which means when a capsule wardrobe is essentially a small and compact wardrobe.
Think when you pack your suitcase for a month away. As much as you may want to pack your entire wardrobe, you have limited space and therefore choose a few tops, bottoms and in-betweens to make up 4 weeks worth of outfit options. Et voila! You have a capsule wardrobe.
We are exploring the what, why and how of the capsule wardrobe. The trick is to create one that is truly versatile and we are going to tell you how to do just that. Interested? Keep reading!
Also, if you haven’t already, check out our article on what your wardrobe says about you » What Message are your Clothes Sending?
What is a Capsule Wardrobe | Why Make One
Now you know what a capsule wardrobe is, the next logical question is—why? Why limit yourself to a suitcase full of clothes when you don’t need to? We have a few reasons.
With only a handful of pieces, you can mix, match and discover combinations that you hadn’t known before. It drives you to be more creative with your clothes and outfits. Layers and accessories go a long way in changing the feel of an outfit!
Change in Perspective
It gives yourself a different perspective of your wardrobe. Forcing yourself to dress from a limited wardrobe forces you to appreciate those pieces more and perhaps makes you realize what you actually need when it comes to a wardrobe, bringing us to the next reason why you should create a capsule wardrobe.
Identifies Wardrobe Strengths
A capsule wardrobe identifies what you need more of and what you can donate. Have you ever bought something that hangs in the closet with the tags still on? Too many times, are we right?
Challenging yourself to create a capsule wardrobe will allow you to see how versatile your clothes are and what specifically you need, rather than shopping, guessing and regretting.
We love a good closet cleaning! You may find that you need more essentials in basic colors or on the contrary, more interesting prints and colors.
If cleaning out your closet intrigues you, you must read this article » The Magic of Tidying Up: Spring Cleaning for the Mind, Closet, and Workspace.
What is a Capsule Wardrobe | How to Make One
The length of time you commit to a capsule wardrobe is up to you as is the number of pieces. Choose to do four per year, for each season, or two per year (Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter). The following are guidelines on how to create one, for any season.
Fit Your Lifestyle
Your capsule wardrobe needs to fit your lifestyle. If you are a lawyer, your wardrobe will look a lot different than a school teacher’s. The majority of pieces should be appropriate for your job and a few pieces will be for the days you don’t work or a night out.
Time of Year
Naturally, the time of year and season you are dressing for is important to keep in mind. You will need to leave a few extra pieces allotted for outerwear like winter coats or rain jackets, depending on the season.
Your essentials include basic pieces in both style and color. T-shirts, tanks, jeans, etc will be the core of your wardrobe—your workhorses. Pieces that you can wear day in and day out, adding additional layers and elements to change the feel and look.
Choose a select number of colors to stick to and do not deviate. In order for everything to mix and match nicely, you will need to choose colors that, you guessed it, coordinate nicely with each other. Find a color wheel online and study the color relationships! We suggest sticking to colors that are analogous, or are next to each other.
Once you choose a handful that you are happy with, you will then choose 1 or 2 accent colors. Accent colors will enhance the rest of the colors you have chosen, giving your outfits a little pizazz. When looking at the color wheel, this would be one across from the chosen set (a complimentary color).
Shoes & Accessories
Just as you did for your clothing, you will need to choose a few pairs of shoes and selective jewelry. Do not underestimate the power of accessories! Also, if you are creating a winter capsule wardrobe, you will need a scarf or two, a hat, and a pair of gloves.
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