There’s a lot of hype around the capsule wardrobe right now. We’re all looking for faster, easier, and even cheaper ways of doing things and starting with our closets seems like an obvious first choice. The capsule wardrobe gets a lot of flack from people who have tried it and had it not live up to their expectations, and others who say that it’s not the solution to our modern-day consumerism, but rather an excuse to continue buying at nearly the same rate but with a clearer conscience. I have found that it has been so helpful in showing me what my style truly is and wearing the pieces that always make me feel amazing. After doing research for this post, I found there are a surprising number of hostile feelings around capsule wardrobes, which I think are unwarranted as the capsule wardrobe is a tool for you to save money, time, and energy. Here are the capsule wardrobe myths and how you can avoid them.
- People will know you’re wearing the same thing. People don’t think about us nearly as much as we think about ourselves. I know this was a worry for me in the past, but most people aren’t that concerned with what we wear and how often we wear it. If you love that outfit or top, wear it twice a week! One woman wore the same outfit to work for a year – a black blazer, white shirt, black pants, and a red belt. The only person to say anything to her that entire year said “It’s amazing how you can get a red belt to go with so many outfits!” Most people are oblivious, so you do you.
- Your capsule wardrobe has to have 20 items or less. Capsule wardrobes have become these things that seem to have all these “rules” or you don’t have a real capsule wardrobe. I used to feel that way, but it’s important to understand that changing your wardrobe is a personal journey filled with a lot of guess and check, mistakes, but hopefully a smaller closet that you’re happier with and takes less time out of your day. Capsule can mean 10 items or 50 items, we all have different needs. If you’re trying to fit exactly into this item limit because you feel like it’s what you “should” do, then it will always be difficult and it may not make you happy.
- It will make your life easier. This point is two-fold. Ultimately, the capsule wardrobe will make your life easier – but it will likely make your life more difficult at first. Getting rid of things, purchasing items that you feel are missing, and the general discomfort that is making a big change. It can be very difficult for some that tend to be very emotionally attached to clothing, but is achievable for anyone who really wants it.
- You have to spend a lot of money on new staple pieces. This is what I thought when I first started creating my capsule wardrobe. But sometimes name brands disappoint, so don’t mistake the price tag of an item for it to mean the item will last you 10 years. When it comes to really expensive things (like a Prada bag) there are plenty of reviews out there for you to ensure you are getting quality for your money. For the other things, see my tips below to ensure you’re purchasing quality pieces!
- These pieces have to last you years. There are some things that we love a lot, so we wear them…a lot. Depending on the item, wash and wear can take a toll on it. You should always inspect the piece to make sure it’s quality, but also make sure the brand has a reputation for good quality. Sometimes even then, the item doesn’t last as long as we hoped.
- It has to be full of neutral colors. Nope! Granted, I love neutral colors because I’m lazy and they make it so easy to get dressed in the mornings, but you can add as much color to your capsule wardrobe as you like! If you want it to be all pink, you go for it! Neutral color pallets are simply one of the easiest ways – but not the only way – to build a capsule wardrobe.
- It doesn’t allow for creativity. Capsule wardrobes can cause you to be creative in ways you would not have considered had you had a brand new outfit to wear that day. They teach you to wear tops over dresses, wear that fancy top with your torn jeans, just the idea of trying new combinations. If you don’t feel creative with your capsule wardrobe, then you may want to add some unique pieces that can be worn different ways.
- You have to buy new capsule pieces at the beginning of each season. This is only a recommendation to help you feel fresh (and even warm) going into the new season. If you’re happy with the items you have transitioning from Fall to Winter – stick to your guns! Just do what feels right to you.
Quick tips on what to look for in capsule wardrobe items:
- Long-lasting, durable fabrics – picking fabrics that are naturally longer-lasting means you can save money because you don’t feel forced to spend a lot. Try to stick with natural fabrics like cotton, denim, cashmere, & wool.
- Touch it – with knit and woven fabrics, the feel of the fabric matters a lot and not only when you think about how often that fabric will be on your body. The feel of the fabric will also determine whether it is quality. I remember walking around Paris feeling 100% cashmere sweaters in high end boutiques, and then walking into h&m type stores and feeling their “cashmere” sweaters. Absolutely no comparison. If the fabric is thin & brittle, it’s not likely it will hold up for many washes and wears. The more thicker the weave, the longer it’s likely to last.
- Inspect the garment – Whether it’s new or thrifted, take a look at it! are there loose seams? Is the stitching of good quality? The stitching should be even, closely spaced, and lying flat on the piece of clothing.
A great app to get you started with a capsule wardrobe is the stylebook app, which allows you to see all your clothes, put together outfits, and take the guesswork out of getting ready in the morning!
Ultimately, the capsule wardrobe is simply a tool for you to live a less cluttered life through your wardrobe. It’s designed to give you time back in your day through washing less clothes, spending less time getting dressed, and spending less time shopping. There are plenty of guides out there to help you get started, but it’s important to understand these are simply guides that should assist you but not determine exactly what is in your capsule wardrobe. Know what pieces make you feel amazing and fill your closet with those!
Have you tried a capsule wardrobe? What are your thoughts?
Thanks for stopping by!