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I have been obsessed with the idea of a minimalist capsule wardrobe.
The simplicity and ease just seems so perfect, I mean who doesn’t want to look put together every morning with no stress.
But I’ve always had a love/ hate relationship with clothes. I struggled with my weight for a long time and always felt like I had to be thin to be worthy enough to look good (spoiler alert I was very wrong, I’m worthy regardless of my weight). I’m also not naturally very stylish, but when there is an opportunity to dress up I’m in anticipation for days.
So while I was desperate for this beautiful, chic capsule wardrobe, it was never something I could figure out for myself. I felt there was no room for me to go crazy once in a while for those special occasions, and wearing something everyday that was ‘nice’ when I’m just working at home always felt counterintuitive.
I’m just not one of those people who wants to put on a full face of makeup even when I’m not leaving the house. Part of the joy of working from home for me is that I no longer needed to do that!
Although let’s be clear, if putting your makeup on and smart gear makes you feel good, then go for it. It just isn’t right for me.
But having recently Mari Kondo’ed my house (decluttering everything including my wardrobe) and now having lived with this for just over a month I’ve realized that I have accidently created my own perfect capsule wardrobe.
So here is a mini tutorial on creating your own realistic capsule wardrobe for people like me who just don’t identify with those chic, Instagram worthy ones you see on other blogs.
Because let’s face it they may be great for inspiration, but my dinner, let alone my wardrobe, is rarely Instagram ready!
What Is A Capsule Wardrobe And Why Would You Want One?
If you’ve read this far without knowing what a capsule wardrobe I’m very impressed!
My definition of a capsule wardrobe is probably not a true definition of the term. I see it as a minimal set of clothes that you always feel good in, that work together effortlessly and that you always have something to wear.
I personally cannot see why anyone wouldn’t want that, although some may have a problem with the minimal aspect of it.
But I don’t want thousands of different items of clothing that I have to wade through every morning, so minimal it is.
This significantly reduces stress, feelings of overwhelm and decision fatigue (you know the reason Mark Zuckerburg wears the same clothes every day…)
How To Creating Your Own Capsule Wardrobe
Step One – Declutter your clothes
This is the most important step, and may even be the only step you need to do.
I like to use a modified version of the KonMari method.
The first thing you need to do is gather every single item of clothing (and accessories) you own, remove them all from your wardrobe, drawers, car, coat stand, garage (I swear things end up in the oddest of places…).
Then choose a section to declutter first. So you might start with jackets or tops.
Gather all of the items from that section together and then individually go through each item asking yourself the following questions:
- Do I love this item and does it make me happy? – Then keep it.
- Is this item practical and useful (like you might have some old clothes you wear every day to walk your dogs, you don’t love those clothes, nor do they really make you happy, but they are necessary to your lifestyle)? – Then keep it.
- Does this item fit? – No, then get rid of it, do not hold onto things that do not fit you.
- Is this item stained, torn or broken in any way? – Yes, then get rid of it.
- Do I feel good in this item? – No, then get rid of it.
You are aiming to remove around three quarters (or more) of what you currently own if this is your first clothing declutter in a few years or if you are a prolific shopper.
Remember we are aiming for minimal. But that said, don’t get rid of things just to hit an arbitrary number or goal, if you truly love something (and be honest with yourself) then keep it.
Once you have decluttered one section of clothing, move onto the next section. Keep going until you have decluttered everything.
One important thing, once you have finished decluttering, get rid of those clothes and accessories as soon as possible (that day ideally) otherwise you will find things seem to sneak back into your wardrobe…
Step Two – Live and wear your newly decluttered wardrobe for a couple of weeks
It’s important for you to wear your newly decluttered wardrobe for a few weeks as you need to determine if there is anything crucial missing that you need for your day to day life.
Step Three – Assess if you need to purchase any key items
Having worn your newly decluttered wardrobe did you discover that you were missing a key item of clothing or even an entire outfit?
I personally found that I already had everything I needed and that by decluttering it allowed me to easily see what I had available and to make outfits quickly.
However you might have had a time when you really had nothing to wear, or you need something to make an outfit. If that’s the case now is the time to go shopping.
Remember you are looking for classic, key pieces that will stay with you for years so ensure you buy good quality items that will last.
It is also useful to have a look at the colour palate of your decluttered wardrobe and ensure any new pieces will happily fit in.
Step Four – Wear your new capsule wardrobe for a few more weeks
Technically you should have everything you need now. All your clothes should make you feel good, fit well, work together and cover your everyday lifestyle easily.
But just to be sure, commit to not buying anything new, or getting rid of anything for a few weeks just to see.
Step Five – Declutter stage two
Don’t worry, I’m not going to make you get all your clothes out again!
This time just have a look at your clothes and identify any that you haven’t worn or just aren’t working with the rest of your wardrobe.
I bet there will be things that you thought you needed or loved that actually now you have a wardrobe that’s working for you, you just don’t need anymore.
Get rid of them and enjoy a truly realistic capsule wardrobe perfect for your lifestye!
Remember “Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
What about special occasions?
In traditional capsule wardrobes you are meant to do something like buy one versatile nice outfit that you can recycle for different special occasions. Now this may work for some people, but when I have a special occasion coming up I’m excited and will normally want to wear something different.
So allow yourself to go shopping for that perfect dress if for you that is part of the experience, or try hiring an outfit, you will probably be able to get something of much better quality and you won’t feel guilty about not wearing it in the future!
It is advisable to have a special occasion outfit available to you just in case you don’t have time to find something new to wear. But please don’t feel like you have to wear that just because you run a capsule wardrobe!
How do I stop my wardrobe from growing too much?
The best way is to introduce a one in, one out rule.
So once your wardrobe is ‘done’ (in that you have a set of clothes you feel good in, work together and suit your lifestyle) any time you buy a new item, something you already own has to go!
If you need some motivation to get started? Then check out the blog Un-Fancy for a glimpse into a stunning capsule wardrobe lifestyle!
As always, if you have any questions please comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, I love hearing from you guys!
And if you found this post helpful, please could you share on Pinterest, it would really help me out 🙂