What Is A Capsule Wardrobe?
The idea of a capsule wardrobe has been around since the 1970s, the term being coined by British boutique owner Susie Faux. Basically, it means only owning year-round wardrobe essentials that don’t go out of style, plus some seasonal pieces. The capsule wardrobe became more popular in 1985 when American designer Donna Karan released a capsule collection consisting of only seven pieces!
There aren’t any hard and fast rules about which pieces should be included in a capsule wardrobe, but with that said, we’ve put together a general guide so you can get started on your very own capsule wardrobe!
How To Build Your Capsule Wardrobe
First things first: start with a blank slate. Think about your lifestyle and general style: what kind of clothes do you usually wear? What kind of clothes do you like to wear? You will be spending a lot of time wearing the clothes you choose, so make sure that you pick ones that you enjoy!
If your closet has reached its bursting point and you don’t know how to start, take your cue from Marie Kondo: Take everything – yes, everything! – out of your closet, and one by one, identify which pieces still bring you joy. This will help you identify your core style and form the base of your capsule wardrobe.
What To Include
When building your capsule wardrobe, only the following items will count: footwear, tops, bottoms, outwear, dresses, and the like. Accessories like jewellery and scarves do not count, nor do socks, underwear, and basic tank tops. Practical clothes such as sportswear and clothes you use for activities like painting or gardening don’t count either!
The size of your capsule wardrobe is entirely up to you. It will likely vary depending on your personal style and preferences; it can be as little as Donna Karan’s seven or as many as 50. Remember, the point is to stick to the essentials, and only you can determine what these are for your unique lifestyle!
Capsule Wardrobe Inspiration
Some people like starting their capsule wardrobe with a checklist. A super basic checklist can read: nine tops, five bottoms, and five pairs of shoes. A more meticulous planner can make a more detailed list that categorises the clothes: work, date night, lounge, errands, and so on. You can look to fashion blog posts and apps for different ways of categorising to try to figure out what works for you.
Here are some things to consider when building your capsule wardrobe:
A lot of our time is spent at work, so this is definitely something you have to consider when it comes to building your capsule wardrobe! Take note of any dress codes that your workplace might have, then put your personal style spin on it!
A smart blouse in a neutral colour is a good choice as it can easily be paired with either a pair of pants or a skirt. You can also go for a small, fun print for a pop of personality too! For bottoms, invest in a pair of pants in a dark neutral that you can throw on with anything. Since you’ll be using these clothes often, make sure that you get top-notch quality. Ideally, you won’t have to replace anything for at least a year!
A relaxed, everyday look is essential! Whether it’s a day to chill at home with the kids or a day of running errands, something comfortable and easy should be part of your capsule wardrobe.
Comfy shirts and leggings are perfect pieces to keep in your rotation. Layer on a jacket or cardigan during cooler days to shake things up or trade your sneakers for sandals on sunny days.
Here, you can let your personality shine through! Choose pieces that can easily be dressed up with accessories for fancier dinner dates.
Choose colours that voice your personality, whether that’s bright and bold or more muted and neutral. And remember to coordinate your wardrobe in such a way that no matter what you wear, the colours won’t clash – you’ll have more outfit options if you don’t have to avoid any combinations.
The little black dress is a classic every girl should have! For special events and parties that call for a little more oomph, buy a dress that you absolutely love and fits you perfectly. If you don’t like black, you can go for other neutrals then make it unique with the right choice of jewellery.
Thankfully, women are no longer expected to wear dresses to semi-formal events. So you have the freedom to play around with other possibilities: a jumpsuit might be the perfect alternative for you if you dislike dresses. A skirt is another versatile option that you can go with.
In countries that experience the whole gamut of seasons like Australia, there are definitely some clothes that you won’t be wearing all year round. These will be your seasonal pieces: basic items that you can only use for particular seasons.
For cold winters, make sure to include a warm winter coat to layer over your wardrobe staples! Include a sturdy but fashionable pair of boots as well to avoid frostbitten toes on your winter travels. Come spring, it’s time to break out the snazzy denim.
Sunny summer days call for lighter fabrics and airy outfits! Pair your maxi dresses with a dainty espadrille as you soak in the sun. As it transitions to autumn, you can cosy up with your sweaters and hats as the weather cools. It’s the perfect excuse to throw on a beret for that chic, French-inspired look!
For Anyone And Everyone
Creating your own minimalist capsule wardrobe is for everyone: for 40-year-old women, for university students, even for kids! A plus-size capsule wardrobe can have the same basic pieces as a regular capsule wardrobe. And expectant mums can create a sub-capsule wardrobe for their maternity wear. It’s really your personal identity and unique lifestyle that will determine your capsule wardrobe, so have fun with it!