As a fashionista, I never thought I’d be one to subscribe to the idea of a “capsule wardrobe.” But, capsule wardrobes are all the rage these days as a way to combine a love of fashion and minimalism, and they can even have several financial benefits too!
What is a Capsule Wardrobe?
If you haven’t heard of a capsule wardrobe, don’t worry. Before just a few months ago I hadn’t ever heard of a capsule wardrobe either!
I don’t think anyone can say it better than Caroline from the fashion blog Unfancy: “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.”
The basic idea is that you select a small number (in the 30’s usually) of items that can be mixed and matched to create enough outfits that you aren’t bored for 3 months. The items also need to encompass all of your possible life activities.
The rest of your clothes will either be gotten rid of or stored (somewhere other than your closet) until the appropriate season.
While that may sound difficult, most people choose not to count some things in their capsule, like undergarments, pajamas, yoga/lounge/workout wear, handbags, jewelry, and other accessories. Not counting these items in your 30-ish items helps infinitely as you can really change the tone of an outfit and make it more dressed up or casual depending on the accessories you put with it.
At the end of the 3 month period, you create a new capsule for the next 3 month season. Most people choose to align their 3 month periods so they have a Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall capsule. The timing of your capsules will depend on the weather in your area.
Financial Benefits of a Capsule Wardrobe
The minimalist benefits of having a capsule wardrobe are obvious, but the financial benefits may not be as obvious.
If you are living with a strict number of items in your wardrobe, you won’t be shopping for new clothes all the time. In fact, many people set a rule that only allows them to shop for new clothes and accessories for the last two weeks of their capsule, while they are planning for their next capsule wardrobe.
Defining your style and building your capsules may actually cost you more money the first year as you work to build a clear sense of your style and to make sure your clothes fit your lifestyle. But after that you should be able to re-use your capsules season after season and year after year while only replacing things as they wear out or as some trends fade. If you build your capsule based mainly on classic pieces, multi-season pieces, or high-quality pieces, you won’t have to replace items as quickly.
Because a capsule wardrobe limits your clothing choices, you have to be sure that you absolutely love the clothing items you do own. This means that when you do get ready to go shopping for new items to replace or add to your capsules you’ll likely be more careful to buy only the best fit and quality you can afford vs the sometimes spur-of-the-moment purchases we’ve all made and then later regretted.
I just started my first capsule wardrobe on May 1 and I’m so excited to see how it turns out and what I learn about myself and my personal style.
Have you ever heard of a capsule wardrobe? Would you be interested in trying a capsule wardrobe?