A capsule wardrobe represents more time and more money and more energy for the things in life that really matter” -Caroline Joy, Un-Fancy
Even though it’s only early February, it’s already time for store windows to fill up with spring fashion. This means new trends, styles, and major damage to your credit card. It can be an expensive endeavor to stay fashion-forward (if that’s something that is important to you), but here is one of the best wardrobe hacks out there: Cue, capsule wardrobe!
A capsule wardrobe is a true exercise in planning and requires some overhaul in your closet, but there are enormous gains in taking the time to map out a season and plan strategically for new clothing. Here’s what I learned from planning my first capsule wardrobe and a few tips and tricks I picked up along the way.
First things first, know your gurus. There are a few fashion and style blogs out there that have explored the minimalist fashion world, but my go-to girls are Un-Fancy and Project 333. These two blogs have inspirational content and different ideas for creating a capsule that best suits your needs.
Un-Fancy has created an amazing set of rules to planning your capsule wardrobe and it is broken down into 5 easy steps:
- Get down to 37 articles of clothing (9 pairs of shoes, 9 bottoms, and 15 tops, 4 extras)
- Wear only these 37 articles for three months (aka one season)
- Don’t go shopping during the season.
- Plan and shop for your next season during the last two weeks of the season
- The amount you buy for your next capsule is up to you, but less is more
I highly recommend using the Un-Fancy wardrobe planner (free), especially if it is your first time. It is very helpful for reflection on your current style and what changes you might make to best fit this upcoming season. Another perk of Un-Fancy is that Caroline updates the site everyday to include her #OOTD from her capsule – and features guest bloggers who are giving capsules a try as well. This was extremely inspirational to me as I was selecting my basics and coordinating different pieces together – she’s also on Instagram.
Project 333 takes the capsule wardrobe as more of a way to purge and start fresh. This guide suggests only 33 pieces per season and focuses on how living with less leads to a more fulfilling life. If you are looking to define your look, manage your budget, and toss a bunch of your clothes out, this may be right up your alley. They also provide a guide for planning your capsule (not free). The site takes time to explain the pleasures of having more space in your life once your wardrobe is squared away.
Back to lessons learned – one thing that I did after deciding that I was planning a capsule wardrobe was to get into my closet and evaluate. It took longer than anticipated, but once I was in the groove, I found that tossing things into the Goodwill pile felt good, and my favorite pieces were easy to identify. I also discovered things that were buried so deep in my closet they felt brand new again, and I was excited for them to get a new life in my upcoming season.
After I got organized, I started to do some internet exploring, as one does. I spent time on Pinterest looking at trends and guides for versatile pieces (maxi skirts, infinity scarves, denim jackets) and visiting my favorite shops at the mall – not buying anything, just browsing. I also found asking my friends and family what they thought about my current style to be extremely helpful in deciding on what words I would use in my planner to define my look. Taking a minute to see how the way I dressed was being perceived gave me some insight on how I could modify or enhance the way I presented myself to the world.
Challenging myself to find a new outfit within the parameters of my wardrobe was usually fun, but sometimes in a rush on a busy morning I was happy to know that my favorite chambray shirt and leggings were right there to toss on. I also found myself not worrying as much about what to wear when I was going out on the weekends. There were things in my closet that looked good and even if I was repeating an outfit, I knew I had money in the bank because I wasn’t going out to buy a top that I might only wear once.
Giving a capsule wardrobe a try is worthwhile not only because it provide financial benefits, but it also challenges you to make choices and to stick to them. Once you have it figured out, there is so much more time to spend doing other things! When you’re not waking up early to plan your outfits everyday, you might find time to make yourself some a nutritious breakfast or catching some extra zzz’s.
They say that spring is a time for new beginnings, so why not spruce up your look and go a little minimalist?
Cover image courtesy of Shutterstock.