Tired of having an overstuffed closet, wasting hours choosing outfits and spending hundreds of dollars on clothes you never put on? A capsule wardrobe could be the answer.
A capsule wardrobe involves paring your closet down to a small group of coordinating basics, then throwing in a few prints, patterns and accent colors. But that doesn’t mean wearing the same thing every day. In fact, just 35 items can create over 1,000 outfits.
There are many benefits to going the capsule wardrobe route:
- Getting dressed becomes easy because everything you own goes together.
- You save time and prevent being late yet again because you couldn’t decide what to wear.
- You save closet space and stay organized with less effort.
Most people love the freedom that comes from having a capsule wardrobe, said Jamie Novak, professional organizer and author of “Keep This Toss That: Unclutter Your Life to Save Time, Money, Space and Sanity.”
Three years ago, Novak made herself a capsule wardrobe of about 37 items and now she creates minimalist wardrobes for her clients.
Want to do the same? Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating a capsule wardrobe:
1. Determine Your Style.
If you’re not super into clothes but still want to look stylish, you can let someone else do the work for you. For example, Classy Yet Trendy offers capsule wardrobe ebooks each season for different lifestyles (athleisure, stay at home mom, workwear). Otherwise, take a style quiz to determine your style. Then check Pinterest to find examples of outfits that reflect your taste, Novak recommends.
2. Choose Colors That Mesh.
One rule of capsule wardrobes: everything needs to go with everything else. That’s why basing your capsule on a color palette is key. Use the 80/20 rule—about 80 percent of your items should be in neutral colors, said Stephanie Seferian, founder of MamaMinimalist.com.
“The other 20 percent spice up your wardrobe,” she said.
Need inspiration? Look online or at a paint store for a color palette you love. Choose colors “that light you up,” Seferian said.
3. Define Your Capsule.
Think about what you do in your life in a typical week and month, said Joseph Rosenfeld, a personal brand and style expert. Make a list of activities and types of clothes you wear for each. Then list the items you need in your capsule This will be different for everyone, but Seferian offers an example for a woman: one pair of jeans, three good T-shirts, three button-down shirts, two skirts and one timeless dress, like a wrap dress.
4. Purge Your Closet.
Now, take everything out of your closet and drawers. Try on everything, and put back the items you love that flatter and fit within your capsule list. Donate everything that doesn’t fit, isn’t flattering or doesn’t work with your capsule. If there are items you can’t bear to toss, put them away in a “maybe” box, Novak suggests.
5. Shop to Fill in the Gaps.
If your wardrobe is missing some neutral, timeless pieces, like a great pair of jeans or a quality neutral cardigan, you might have to go out and buy them, Seferian said. Stocking your wardrobe with great basics will create endless possibilities. If fashion is important, consider getting one trendy item each season, Novak said.
6. Use a Capsule Wardrobe App.
Using an app can make it even more of a cinch to get dressed. Two popular apps are Cladwell and Stylebook. With an app, you can grab your phone and pick an outfit for the day based on your plans for the day and the weather in your area, before you even get out of bed.
“The beauty of a capsule wardrobe is opening your closet and knowing that whatever you pull out, you’re going to love,” Novak said.