Jumping on the 'Capsule Wardrobe' Bandwagon, well kinda
Latest trend: Capsule Wardrobes. In a season where 'less is more' I have many clients asking to pair down their wardrobes to just the basics, transitional staples and a few quintessential statement pieces; it seems the capsule wardrobe has now become a way of life for many. As a stylist I can appreciate the premise behind a capsule wardrobe and most of the principles I actually already apply to my own personal wardrobe. So what is a capsule wardrobe? What are the basic principles behind a capsule wardrobe? How do I build a capsule wardrobe with my own wardrobe?
A capsule wardrobe is a collection of a few essential items of clothing that don't go out of fashion, such as skirts, trousers, and coats, which can then be augmented with seasonal pieces. The term has come to refer to a collection of clothing that uses only interchangeable items to maximise the number of outfits that can be created. The aim is to have an outfit suitable for any occasion without owning excessive items of clothing. This is usually achieved by buying what are considered to be "key" or "staple" items in coordinating colors. A capsule wardrobe typically consists of anywhere between 30-40 articles of clothing.
To create a capsule wardrobe of your own, here are a few of the key principles to follow and a step-by-step guide to implement. I used these principles to create a mini capsule wardrobe for you all to see.
Step 1: PAIR IT DOWN - Review each piece one-by-one and separate them into 3 piles. You can sort these into keep, donate, and sell piles. Once you have gone threw everything put all the 'keep' items back into your closet. When pairing down your closet keep items that you wear all time, this will help you when you are trying to define your style (excluding accessories, activewear, undergarments, pajamas, and cocktail attire/formal wear). There are also plenty of lists online that can give you a guide to what staples you may need.
Step 2: WHAT'S MY STYLE - Once you have put all of the 'keep' items back into your closet you may find that you have a mishmash of items, thats normal. Here's a few tips to help define your style.
- Choose a color palette of 3-4 colors that work well for you (I chose grey, white, black and blue). The colors you choose should already be represented in your current wardrobe.
- Choose a few patterns to mix in a don't be afraid to mix it up. This actually adds versatility and can act as statement pieces in your wardrobe. (For my mini wardrobe I picked one pattern as my statement and then paired it with staples and basics).
- Review what you've kept, what you wear all the time is a good indicator of what you really like so take inspiration from style blogs, Pinterest to give you additional help in mixing things up.
Step 3: WHAT'S YOUR NUMBER - Choose a number for your wardrobe (most choose 30-40), I chose 5 items for this mini wardrobe. Don't go over this number when pairing down your closet. Or instead of focusing on a number you can focus on filling the holes in your wardrobe. It can be helpful to take some tips from a stylist to help make sure you have all the key pieces that will help you achieve the versatility you need have a functional capsule wardrobe. Based on your style they can come up with a list of must-haves based on your lifestyle which is important when shopping.
Step 4: MAINTENANCE - Some update/rotate their capsule wardrobes seasonally and others use the one-in-one-out rule. The key to maintaining the capsule is just to have a guide and stick to it. If you plan to switch out pieces each season then just keep your number and box up what you are going to rotate out for the season. Otherwise every time you add an item get rid of an old one.
So, what do I take away from the premise behind the capsule wardrobe? I really think its a great concept and it can be super functional for a lot of people. So, whether you are trying to overhaul your closet or wanting to create more versatility in your wardrobe the key principles below will get you on your way.
- Choose well when making a purchase.
- Invest in staples such as accessories, coats, bags, sweaters
- Spend less on basics (because you should be switching them out)
- Integrate 2-3 trends per season and build them into your wardrobe, don't build your wardrobe around trends.
- Set a budget for your wardrobe (whether its a number of items or a dollar amount)
- Get help (hire a stylist, read style blogs, use your resources)
I hope you enjoyed the post, found it helpful, or maybe it will inspire you to start your own capsule wardrobe.