Between Marie Kondo and her Konmari method of organizing your life and a growing trend in minimal living, people are looking for ways to live more efficiently, less wastefully, and more in tune with themselves. Capsule wardrobes are a method of doing just that with your clothing. However, while capsule wardrobes allow you to keep a minimal wardrobe, they don’t require a minimalist style to be efficient. You can create a capsule wardrobe that works with your style and the amount of clothing you feel like you need to make your closet more versatile and organized.
What is it?
A capsule wardrobe is planned to fit a given style, occasion, season, or category by bringing together items of clothing that work well together to create as many outfit combinations as possible. Your wardrobe’s purpose could be broad (for instance, a full-year wardrobe) or very specific (like a wardrobe specifically for your next vacation). The theme, function, and style of the wardrobe are completely up to you. The only rule you have to follow is this: Every item of clothing needs to work in multiple outfits and compliment multiple other items in the wardrobe. This is what makes capsule wardrobes so incredible. Even with a small wardrobe, you can create dozens of unique outfits.
Pick a Number
There are multiple ways to plan a capsule wardrobe, but one of the best places to start for any method is with the number of items you want in your complete wardrobe. Don’t let this number restrict you though. The number you choose should be an approximation of a goal that you can adjust as you put together your wardrobe. To pick a number, you will probably need to know what your planned function is first. If you are planning to do a full-year wardrobe, you might want to start out with approximately 100 items, but if you are planning a wardrobe for a vacation, you might want to shoot for 10-12.
Because you want to control the number of items in your wardrobe and make sure there is balance between the different types of items, you will need to divide your wardrobe into categories so you can better visualize it. Some basic categories that are a must are tops, bottoms, outerwear (jackets, cardigans, etc.), shoes, and accessories. From there you can add additional categories like activewear (dance clothes!), loungewear, and others if you feel like you need them.
Once you have your categories, think about what you need for each and list them. For instance, in your tops category, you might want five t-shirts, 10 dressy shirts, 4 long-sleeved tops, and 2 tank tops or undershirts. You’ll want to do this for every category. (Remember the numbers are approximate and can be adjusted as you go.) Once you are done, you will have created a capsule wardrobe! Now you just have to fill it.
Use What You Have
After you have outlined and categorized and numbered all the things you want in your capsule wardrobe, the fun starts. It’s time to add the actual clothes! Unless you are planning on buying a completely new wardrobe (which you probably don’t need to do), you will want to use some of the things you already have in your wardrobe. The easiest way to do this is to empty out your closet and organize the clothes you have into the categories you have defined in your capsule wardrobe. This is time-consuming, but it makes it easier to see what you have and what you need. Once you have your clothes organized into categories, start pulling out the things you want to use to fill in the spaces in your capsule wardrobe. Remember, every item should complement multiple other items in the wardrobe and work in multiple unique outfits.
When you are done, the clothes that you haven’t added to your capsule are the ones that you want to either store or get rid of (depending on the function of your capsule wardrobe), and any gaps in your capsule wardrobe are things you need to buy.
Creating a capsule wardrobe takes a bit of effort, but once you have created it, planning outfits will take no time at all! People will be mixing you up with a fashion designer in no time.