How often do you find yourself running late because you’ve spent so long deciding what to wear… and you’re still not that happy with your look? It’s probably not a lack of clothes that’s the problem. If anything, you have too many and you just can’t find a way to pull them together into a great outfit. Simplifying to a capsule wardrobe could be the answer to your clothing woes.
Not only will a capsule wardrobe make it easier to pick your outfit each day; you’ll also find you don’t spend as much on clothing in the long run. Impulse buys won’t seem as tempting and you can take the time to look for high-quality second-hand pieces that will truly complement your look.
In case you have no idea what a capsule wardrobe is or how to compile one, we’re going to talk you through the basics here.
Before you begin a capsule wardrobe: edit your current one
Your first step is to go through all the clothes you currently own, leaving no drawer unopened. You’ll need to be ruthless to get the most out of this process. Set aside anything that:
- Doesn’t fit you
- You don’t really like
- Still has the tags on from a year ago (but it was such a bargain, right?)
You can donate these items or send them for textile recycling – don’t just throw them out! You could even sell them online to make a bit of extra cash (which will come in handy later).
What’s left should be just the clothes that you like and wear regularly.
Work on the basics
Now it’s time to identify the gaps in your wardrobe. There is no fixed formula for this but the idea is to have several versatile pieces that you can wear over and over again, rather than your closet being such a jumble you don’t know what to do with it.
With the suggestions below, choose clothing that suits your body type and makes you feel comfortable – so if you’re not into dresses, pants, or whatever you can leave them out. Try to stick to a certain colour scheme so it’s easy to mix and match these pieces into different outfits.
Some ideas to get you started:
- A white button-down shirt:A white shirt makes a great staple because it can be used in so many looks. Dress it up with a statement necklace for business meetings and evenings out or layer it with a tank top and jeans for a more casual style. Finding a button-down that fits just right can be tricky, but once you find the perfect one, feel free to add another in a colour or print that will complement the rest of your capsule wardrobe.
- Dresses you love:Aim for a combination of slip dresses, simple tunics and maxi dresses or other styles that you enjoy wearing. Again, these should be versatile pieces that you can easily pair with heels or layer with a blouse depending on the occasion.
- Pants that fit:Don’t sell yourself short with poorly-fitting pants. Narrow down your wardrobe to simple slacks and denims that feel great and match with all your tops. Let go of those coloured jeans you’ve been hanging onto for years just in case they come back into fashion.
- Comfortable tees:Whether you prefer crew necks or v-necks, tight-fitting or loose, stock up on a few t-shirts to complete your basic wardrobe. They can be different colours and prints, so long as they can be paired with enough of your jeans, pants and skirts. Just make sure you feel comfortable in them and they can be adapted to different styles of outfit.
Add some statement pieces to your capsule wardrobe
If you’re worried you’re going to look boring wearing the same few clothes all the time, think again. The things we have listed are just the basics to get you started – now you can add some personality with jewellery, bags, scarves and shoes to create a different outfit each time. You’ll find it much easier to pick out a few well-matched accessories to complement your capsule wardrobe than to work out what to wear with the weird abstract print top you bought on impulse.
Of course you can add other pieces such as skirts, shorts, jackets and tops to your collection. Try to aim for between 24 and 30 pieces in your capsule wardrobe to keep it simple yet adaptable to different looks. As you enjoy slowly adding in carefully chosen new pieces, be sure to clear out the ones that don’t work any more. This more deliberate approach will help you stick to your clothing budget and make it easier to look good!