Now that we’ve discussed your lifestyle and defining your style, let’s go through the building stage for your capsule wardrobe!
This part will take a little bit of time as the capsule wardrobe is still a relatively new concept for a lot of people, and it’s often hard to wrap your head around the idea of having only a few items to wear over a period of time. So take a couple of weeks to do this step, and please don’t hesitate to ask us any questions you may have while you’re building your wardrobe!
Decide which capsule approach you’ll take. There’s Susan Faux, who defined a capsule wardrobe as “a collection of a few essential items of clothing that doesn’t go out of fashion, such as skirts, pants, and coats that can then be augmented with seasonal pieces”. There’s Caroline from Unfancy who has a capsule wardrobe that has a limited number of pieces that you’ll wear over the course of 3 months. Or there’s the year round capsule wardrobe by The Lovely Laura Life. Or you could do a mix – the point is to reduce the amount of clothing you have and keep only those items you love.
Choose how many pieces you want in your capsule wardrobe. This is the step that will probably take the most time, as each person will have a different number that works for them. Caroline has 37 items, including shoes; Project 333 has 33 items; I have also seen capsule wardrobes with only 24 items! Go with a number between 30 and 40 to start out with.
But how many pieces of each type of clothing should I choose? Again, that really is up to you. As a guide, Caroline from Unfancy has a base of 9 bottoms, 9 shoes and 15 tops, which then gives her some room to choose a couple of dresses and outerwear items each.
As a guide, you could try:
1 bottom for each day of the week (ie 7 bottoms)
2 pairs of each type of shoe, eg. 2 pairs of heels, 2 pairs of flat shoes, 2 pairs of sandals, 2 pairs of sneakers (so 8 shoes in total)
1 top for each day in a fortnight (ie 14 tops)
2-3 outerwear items
TOTAL ITEMS = 35
Tweak this depending on your preferred type of clothing – if you’re more of a dress person, then just sub out some of the tops for dresses. Or you could have 3 pairs of heels and 1 pair of sneakers. It all depends on the lifestyle activities you laid out in the planning stages.
Choose items that are suit your lifestyle. If you’re a stay at home mum, then a blazer probably won’t be appropriate for your capsule wardrobe. If you like to go out dancing on the weekend, then a couple of killer pairs of heels would be perfect for you. Think about that table you drew up outlining your lifestyle activities and the ideal outfits for these, and choose items accordingly.
Choose items that go well together. Tops and bottoms that mix and match easily will ensure you have a greater number of outfits to create, and make it a lot easier in the morning to get ready. Definitely include neutrals in your colour palette so that you can easily pair these with other items in your wardrobe, but include colours that suit you and make you feel good so that they inject some of your personality in your outfit! Think about print as well as colour – a pink leopard print top may be fun, but it may prove difficult to wear with other items in your capsule wardrobe. Don’t exclude print altogether though – a good stripe, a bright floral print, even that leopard print can be mixed and matched with your neutrals!
Choose items that you love. This is the main principle of the capsule wardrobe – only have the items that you really love, make you feel happy, make you feel good about yourself. So if a pink leopard print top makes you happy and you can mix and match it with other pieces in your capsule wardrobe, then go for it!
Click through to my blog to read about how I’m building my capsule wardrobe!
I hope you’ve enjoyed the capsule wardrobe series and hopefully these have given you some inspiration on how you can start your own capsule wardrobe – you can indeed be stylish with less clothes than you think you need! If you have any questions or comments please leave a comment below. I’m continuing to write about my own capsule wardrobe over on my blog so be sure to check in there to see the outfits I’m creating.
Eileen is a blogger at 5feetofstyle.com, where she writes about style inspiration, how-to-wear ideas, and capsule wardrobes. She is also a busy mother of two little ones. Visit her blog or follow her daily style posts on Instagram.