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What Does Capsule Wardrobe Mean? How to Build Capsule Wardrobe?

Published Mon Dec 17 2018 By Tess
What Does Capsule Wardrobe Mean? How to Build Capsule Wardrobe?

A capsule wardrobe is a limited collection of clothing, shoes, and accessories which you absolutely need, certainly wear on day to day basis, and never goes out of fashion. It is a compact closet with a minimal number of clothing pieces and accessories that compliments everything you wear with great ease. 

Capsule wardrobes basically contain minimal pieces of clothing ranging from 50 pieces to 10 pieces. However, the precise number of clothing depends upon the fulfillment of your basics with well-made pieces that fit you properly.

Not everyone will have the same capsule wardrobe. Everyone's choice of capsule wardrobe varies depending upon their lifestyle. However, basic capsule rules must be considered while creating a capsule wardrobe according to your lifestyle.

Here are some rules to be considered before creating a capsule wardrobe:

  • Initially, your capsule wardrobe should consist of only clothing you like on your body which generally coordinates enough in color and style and can be mixed and matched frequently.
  • Your capsule wardrobe should consist of pieces between 25 to 50 pieces including shoes and accessories. As less is more, the number of clothing you want in your capsule depends upon the size of your current closet and the amount of challenge you are willing to take.
  • Each capsule should last for three months. 
  • Outerwear and swimwear also count as a part of your capsule. But underwear, loungewear and workout wear do not count. 
  • Avoid impulsive shopping and adding pieces of clothing in your closest you think are "missing."

Now that we understand the rules, let's focus on how.

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How to build a capsule wardrobe

Check out the video on how to build a capsule wardrobe:

1. Evaluate

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Before tearing your closet apart you must evaluate your wardrobe in order to asses what you have according to your body type, practical needs, and lifestyle.

2. Sort

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Once you have evaluated your closet divide your clothing including accessories and shoes into four different piles.

  • Love: These can contain items you are absolutely in love with and wear it on daily basis.
  • Like: It can contain pieces you often wear and like on your body. 
  • Maybe: This pile contains the pieces you have second thoughts on keeping like you might adore that particular outfit but have never worn it or know the reason why.
  • No: These can include items in poor condition and items you might never want to see again.

Separate everything into these piles and take time to try things on before you impulsively pile your clothes up. Box or bag your items from maybe and no and store them or throw away the stuff from NO pile. 

3. Choose

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Make a list of your 25 to 50 items by category using your inspiration board or pieces that go along with each other on day to day basis. Start with your regularly used clothing items which suit your lifestyle.

For instance, you can pick your top one or two favorites each from the given categories depending upon your preference.

  • Pants
  • Jeans
  • Skirts
  • Dresses
  • Tees
  • Nice tops
  • Sweaters
  • Blazers
  • Swim/Outerwear (depending on the season)
  • Shoes
  • Jewelry
  • Accessories (sunglasses, bags, etc.

Always opt for pieces that work well with several outfits that fit for different occasions like a like a sweater that works equally well on a slouchy Sunday and in a meeting on Monday, or a pair of flats you can dress up for a night out or down for running errands on a busy afternoon. 

Know that more is less and you'll want to be able to mix and match the categories very often so color co-ordination is also equally important. 

Put the rest of your likes and loves into a box or bins and store them away for next season. The list may change with the change in season and situations in life.

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Will My Capsule Wardrobe Work?

The capsule wardrobe is a learning process. It is a discipline to be practiced and understood in order to save your time, energy, and money. You are not going to make perfect choices at the very beginning and may end up swapping out a piece or two here and there. However, with time it will eventually work after you learn what you like best.

Once you get along with the concept, you can try adjusting rules and live with minimal pieces. Some people live by mixing and matching 10 pieces for 10 days whereas, some people create a capsule wardrobe of 50 or fewer pieces that are meant to last a year. 

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You are solely responsible for the choice of a capsule wardrobe that fits your lifestyle. After few months of living with your capsule, if you realize you need a new pair of jeans or a dress then go for a quality piece that will last as you will be wearing your pieces quite often.

As long as you are eliminating decision fatigue and impulsive spending there's no wrong way to do a capsule wardrobe.