How to build a capsule wardrobe without compromising your personal style
For those of you who’ve ever fallen down the Pinterest/ Instagram rabbit hole, you may have come across the “capsule wardrobe”. What once was a very niche minimalist fashion practice has over the years gained traction in the mainstream. So, what is a capsule wardrobe and what's its deal?
A Capsule wardrobe is a condensed selection (40/60 ish pieces) of your favourite, go-to garments that is edited and remixed regularly as well as seasonally. The key to creating a capsule wardrobe is intention- it requires you to take note of what you actually wear, what you don’t wear and what you need. Knowing this means you become more intentional with purchasing, which is better for your bank and promotes a sustainable means of consumption.
Here’s the thing. When it comes to capsule wardrobes, most people opt for the minimalist aesthetic. I’m talking beiges, whites and taupes; which, all in all, is not bad...but for most, like us at CDZ, it can come off as bland, uninspiring and derivative.
So, instead of telling you to throw out everything you own for shirts and pants of varying shades of grey, we are going to take you through a few steps to help you create a capsule wardrobe that doesn’t compromise your personal style.
1. The big clean
Pull out everything you own. Get into the nooks and crannies of your closet, the places where the sun don’t shine and take out all your clothes. Now that you’ve got everything out, its time to purge. Sort your clothes into categories like keep, donate, sell (cause we might as well be making some money while we do this).
Now I say purge for a reason- this process requires you to be ruthless. If you are umming and ahhing about a garment, use the Marie Kondo method of “sparking joy” to assess whether or not the item is a keeper.
Side note: please do not throw out anything sentimental; wedding dresses, that vintage grubby band tee you sleep in, your fancy formal outfit, anything you deem worthy and important. We may be hustling, but we do make acceptations.
2. Group and assess
Now you have the items you want to keep, it's time to curate your capsule wardrobes.
To create your collection, think about what you do during the week and what you tend to wear during that time. For instance, if you work full time, do you have a lot of business formal outfits? Or are your fits more casual? If you do not work, what does your schedule look like? Do you hang out with friends? Exercise? Maybe you’re a stay at home Mum?
Like myself, you might find that your time is evenly split doing different things that require different tones of outfits. That’s totally fine! The good thing about capsule wardrobes is that you can have more than one of them. For instance, you can have a capsule for work, which can be your main wardrobe, while also having a side wardrobe for your weekend clothes. You can also have capsules for seasons, such as thick coats and knits for winter and swimwear and linens for summer. However you arrange your closets, make sure that these pieces work for you, they are worn frequently and you can easily mix and match them when needed. Versatility is key here, Darling.
3. Notice the trends
Take note of your inventory and identify any trends that appear.
Can you see any key patterns or colour emerging from your collection?
These are the colours to take note of:
- Main colours (colours you wear a lot, but aren’t the bulk of your clothing stash)
- Basics (this is your base colours, which are normally neutrals)
- Feature colours (trendy colours you might have in a couple of garments)
- Patterns and Textures (gingham, florals, lace, sequins or paisleys- these patterns may incorporate colours that are also in your main, feature or basic colour categories).
Also keep an eye out for garment shapes.
- Do you prefer looser fits, or more structured silhouettes?
- Do you go for sleeved pieces?
- Longer or shorter lengths?
Feel free to write down all the commonalities you can see. This will help you carry out step 4.
4. Identify any gaps
Now that you have meticulously sorted your clothes into groups and identified trends in your closet, most likely you’ve noticed gaps within your mix. Maybe you’ve realised you have a lot of light blue denim pants, but no black jeans. Perhaps you don’t have a particular-coloured garment, or you’ve realised there’s no nice dinner outfit in your collection. Most of these realisations happens when you have a thought similar to this; “Oh dear, if only I had _______ because then I would have so much more outfits to choose from.” Which leads me onto the final step.
5. Fill in the gaps
This is a little obvious. Purchase clothing pieces that you need to fill in the gaps in your wardrobe. The shopping journey’s going to be super quick now that you know what you’re looking for. Moreover, now you've identified what you commonly gravitate towards shape and colour wise, the decision making process will be extra easy!
So there you have it! A beginners guide to creating a capsule wardrobe that doesn’t compromise your personal style. For more information, we suggest you check out Laura Loo's or Stunning Style's respective blogs. Before we sign off, here are a few more tips for you.
- Invest in good quality garments. We love that all our suppliers use awesome quality natural fibres to make their garments!
- Properly take care of your garments so they last for longer (check out our blog about garment care here)
- If you don’t like something in your capsule wardrobe you can take it out and replace it- you don't have to be stuck with the same capsule wardrobe for life! If it doesn’t work for you anymore, donate it and purchase something that does.
With Love, the Cotton Dayz Team x