If “chaos” is the word that comes to mind when you’re describing your wardrobe, then you must be in dire need of a closet makeover.
It sounds hard but, really, all you need to do is know which pieces stay and which need to go. From this, you can start building a capsule wardrobe.
A capsule wardrobe is a wardrobe that contains only the essential pieces and supplemented by a few seasonal items. Basically, when you’re building a capsule wardrobe, the goal is to create one that contains items that you actually need and wear!
Chaos happens when there’s too much stuff inside — stuff that you should let go.
Oh, and before we move on? Building a capsule wardrobe is also very likely help you save time, money, and effort.
So when you’re overwhelmed by the sheer number of items in your closet, then you need to read this! Here’s what you need to know to build your capsule wardrobe.
1. Know your style.
This has less to do with what is popular now and more to do with your own personal style. What might work for others might not work for you, and because you’re gonna have to deal with a lot less clothing now (hopefully), you need to work with things that you know look good on you. For starters, try to identify the following things:
- The colours that suit you best
- The cuts that flatter your body type
- The dress code that you need to adhere to (if applicable)
- Your overall lifestyle
Some choose to have a homogeneous dress code with pieces that almost look alike in order to reduce the time they spend to make decisions in the morning. Well, that’s all up to you. Personally, I want to wear clothes that look different — with different colours and styles. However, I do have a couple of cuts that I know flatter my body type, so I stick to those.
2. Sort your clothes.
Using the knowledge that you already have (number 1), organise your clothes and group them according to these categories:
- Keep (items that you love and wear every now and then)
- Sell (items that you have never worn, have barely worn, or items that don’t fit you anymore but still look new, etc.)
- Donate (items that look worn and have seen better days)
These categories are arbitrary, but these are the ones that work for me. If you prefer to throw rather than donate or give rather than sell, then by all means, do it.
If there are items that you are not wearing but are hesitant to sell or donate, try to keep them for another 6 months. If 6 months pass and you still haven’t worn them, then it’s time to say good bye!
3. Choose items that go with what you already own.
If you must narrow down your capsule wardrobe further, then choose to retain the items that go with the shoes, bags, and accessories that you already have. It’s no use keeping a piece of clothing that doesn’t go with anything that you own. If your goal is to save money, then there shouldn’t be a need to buy new items once you have built your capsule wardrobe.
4. Make the decision to part with clothes that don’t currently fit you.
I know it’s been said a couple of times already, but I feel like I really need to drive this point home. Too often, we cling to clothes that don’t currently fit us in hopes of them fitting us again…someday. Aside from the fact that doing this does virtually nothing to help us lose weight, looking at ill-fitting clothing taking space in our closet is rather depressing. I don’t know about you, but for me, it makes me feel like I’m not happy where I currently am.
There’s no guarantee that these clothes will ever fit me again, but if I ever lose enough weight, you bet I’m going to update my capsule wardrobe with beautiful clothes that fit my new body — not old clothes that I’ve held on to for no reason!
I want my clothes to give me joy! Again, this is a personal decision, but I really do encourage you to do the same.
5. Consider all the activities that you do: this includes one-time occasions and events.
You would want your wardrobe to be a complete set of essentials, not a sparse selection of items that will have you running and buying new clothing each time the need arises. That defeats the purpose of a capsule wardrobe!
So if you go to the gym, retain your favourite workout outfits, the ones you find yourself always wearing. If you go to the beach every summer, do not skip the beachwear. And formal galas might not occur as often, but it doesn’t mean that you do not have to get dressed for that. Make your capsule wardrobe as reliable as possible.
6. Don’t forget to trim down your shoes and accessories, too.
Remember number 3? During that step, you took out clothes that don’t go with the shoes, bags, and accessories that you already own. Well, it goes both ways. If there are shoes that you don’t need, bags that you rarely use, and accessories that are only good for gathering dust, then it’s time to get rid of them, too.
No matter how cute those shoes are, if they hurt your feet each time you wear them, then you need to say goodbye to them. Those heavy dangly earrings that you keep skipping in favour of a more practical but still pretty pearl earrings might need to go. The bag that you hate using but you feel has sentimental value? You know the drill!
7. Take notes — physical notes!
Because building a capsule wardrobe is a life-changing activity, there must be documentation involved. This includes taking note of every action you do. Make an inventory of everything you own and when you sort your clothing, make a physical list to track the categories. Tack the list to your closet so you will remember the items that you chose to sell and which you chose to donate, etc. This will be especially helpful when all of your clothes are already in bags and you’re trying to recall what you did with them (just in case you’re planning to “switch” categories).
Again, building a capsule wardrobe is a matter of making personal choices.
There’s so much advice to find when you search for it, but in the end, the kind of clothing that you choose to keep and choose to get rid of, as well as what you plan to do with them, depend on your personality, your preferences, and your lifestyle.