an introduction to capsule wardrobes


That is the number of clothes that I own, that doesn’t even include workout gear, lounge wear, pajamas, and underwear. (I even counted my 18 pairs of shoes separately from this list). Now I don’t know about you, but that seems like a crazy amount of clothing items, especially since I only have one body and generally only wear one outfit in a day.

This closet is actually a lot smaller than it used to be however, as over the past year I have given away a lot of my clothes to thrift stores as well as at clothing swaps with my friends. While I have brought a few new items of clothing back in, it is with a lot more thought into what I need and the gaps that exist within my wardrobe.

Over the past few months I have been really into researching and learning about capsule wardrobes. Now what is a capsule wardrobe? The term was coined in the 1970’s by Susie Faux and it meant to be a small, curated wardrobe of classic pieces that can be mixed and matched and don’t go out of style quickly. The term has stuck and has evolved since then, but it really has become popular again in the past few years as minimalism and simplicity has begun to be more important than having massive collections of clothes and accessories.

Some videos that I have been enjoying watching that go through different capsule wardrobes are these ones by The Anna Edit:

as well as these blogs by A Small Wardrobe.

There are many benefits to having a smaller or capsule wardrobe including:

  1. Not having items in your closet that you don’t use and aren’t drawn to
  2. Being able to spend more on quality, ethical pieces that fit in your wardrobe instead of cheaper, fast-fashion pieces that with either fall apart or not fit with your style in a few months
  3. Not having duplicate items in your wardrobe that don’t need to be there
  4. Allows you to really go through the items that you have each season and decide if you still want or need those items.
  5. You can see the gaps in your wardrobe and carefully select pieces that fill those gaps.

Now there are many ways to go about having a capsule wardrobe, some much more rigid than others, narrowing down wardrobes to 37 items or even less, something that I am not sure that I can do at the moment (or maybe ever) and that is okay. Every person’s wardrobe is their own and it is up to them to find something that works for their lifestyle.

I am also going to be starting a job soon that requires me to dress business casual most of the time and that isn’t how I dress on the weekend so I need to have items for both casual wear as well as more dressed up options which means my wardrobe can’t be as small and curated as others.

I have already started a few things when moving into my new place that will help me curate my wardrobe even further including:

  1. Storing away all of my winter clothing under the bed in storage bins. This means that in the fall when I take it out I can see if the pieces still fit my style and for now they are out of the way as I won’t be wearing these sweaters and winter dresses.
  2. Turning all my hangers backwards. I addressed this in my 30 days to minimalism blog post back at the beginning of the year, but this is something I have done for years and it helps me very easily see what items I use and what I don’t.
  3. Hanging almost all of my clothes up. I used to hide a lot of my clothes away in drawers, but with my new set up I have almost everything I own in my closet which means nothing is hiding away and I am able to see it each morning.

Now as I said I don’t know if I can fully commit at this moment to a true capsule wardrobe, but I am excited to get closer over the next few months. My first challenge that I am going to set for myself is a 10×10 challenge. This means that I am going to pick 10 items of clothing and I can only use those items mixed and matched for 10 days. I feel like this will be a great way for me to dip my toes into this world so look out for a post about what I choose to wear next month.

What is hiding away in your wardrobe that you need to clear out? What holes do you need to fill with quality pieces? Are you in a place where you can clear out your closet and make it more of a capsule wardrobe? Let me know and tell me your tips for getting closer to a capsule wardrobe in the comments.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Sounds cool and daunting at the same time. Looking forward to you helping me with this concept. When do we start?


    1. Andrea says:

      It is very daunting, but also exciting. I would love to help you out 🙂


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