There are a few things we should all be strict with ourselves about: brushing our teeth, paying bills on time, and going to the doctor.
Your capsule wardrobe shouldn’t be one of those things.
When I do my research on capsule wardrobes, I’m invariably met with many posts and videos about why people chose not to continue their capsule wardrobe. It’s disheartening to read some of these posts and watch videos where people are perpetuating the strict rules and standards they have for themselves regarding their capsule. Often, the problem lies more with the standards we force ourselves into rather than the capsule wardrobe itself.
Most people don’t thrive in an environment where strict rules are forced upon them. As a result, they don’t like strict rules dictating their lives and especially their closets.
So why would you create super strict rules for your own closet?
It’s easy to get stuck in capsule wardrobe planning. There’s so much information available, and so many beautiful wardrobes, becoming paralyzed by indecision is a common theme.
As with anything in life, and especially your personal style and wardrobe, it’s essential to lean into what works for you. Many of these capsule wardrobe guides are intended for inspiration.
Creating and maintaining your capsule wardrobe should be a challenging, fun, and rewarding process that adds value to your life, no matter how big, small, or diverse your capsule may be.
Below I’ve outlined six common mistakes for capsule wardrobe planning and how to avoid them.
ONLY WEAR GREY, WHITE, AND BLACK
Who needs color?
There are a lot of beautiful capsule wardrobe layouts out there that are very aesthetically pleasing because they maintain mostly white, black, or grey. A lot of people see this and think “there is no way I can do with that little color.” And you know what? Neither can I! I love black and white, but there are a lot of other colors that still go well in a capsule without being restrictive. Some people prefer the black and white approach, which is great for them. Others like to have fun with color, and they do.
Instead, try choosing accent colors that get you excited. If you don’t know where to start, this color assessment will help you find colors that compliment your undertones. Pantone always has their color forecast of the year which is a great source of inspiration. Additionally, you can search Pinterest for accent colors to get more ideas.
FOLLOW SOMEONE ELSE’S IDEAL CAPSULE WARDROBE
One size fits all, right?
If you’re obsessed with creating this Pinterest perfect capsule wardrobe, your capsule may fall short of your expectations. The truth is, people who create these beautiful images may not even be wearing these clothes and put the image out there as a template. It’s important to try to coordinate your pieces, but if you have a favorite red top and nothing else in your wardrobe is red – just wear the red top! Create your wardrobe based on your lifestyle, activities, preferences, and needs so that it suits you, not Pinterest.
If you feel like you need someone else’s capsule for inspiration, lean on that. Curate your wardrobe as closely as you can to that inspiration, and tweak it from there. Keep your personal preferences and favorite items in mind. It may even be helpful to keep a short outfit journal to document how you feel in each look. With that information, you can further personalize your capsule from there.
MAKE STRICT RULES FOR YOURSELF
No more happiness!
I’ve seen so many videos and blog posts about people quitting their capsule because they felt so restricted and held themselves to an arbitrary standard. A capsule wardrobe should give you more – time, money, happiness – and not feel reductive. If your capsule begins to feel like a chore or stresses you out, think about what kind of rules you are imposing on yourself and consider breaking a few if you need to.
As with most things in life, a capsule wardrobe is a work in progress. For example, if you’re feeling restricted in your dress options then add more. Buying two dresses won’t ruin your capsule, and you may find that you’re more inspired by the new combinations you can make.
GO INTO IT COLD TURKEY
Who needs research when you can do it all right now?
Like with most things, having a capsule wardrobe is a process that takes time, planning, and sometimes saving. If you rush into it fueled by emotions and frustration, it will likely leave you feeling just as stressed. Really take your time to do research, invest, and practice some trial and error until your happy with your wardrobe. The best things take time and patience, and your capsule wardrobe is no different. Take a look at this post to see my favorite capsule wardrobe planners, or if you’re really ready for a change try reading The Curated Closet.
WEAR DAMAGED CLOTHES SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO SHOP
Shopping is a slippery slope!
I saw a Youtube video of a young woman talking about quitting her capsule wardrobe because she couldn’t shop in the three month period between her capsules. She would wear clothes that were damaged, or have to forego an essential piece of her capsule when it was irreparably damaged.
Capsule wardrobes do require discipline in upkeep and making sure you don’t shop, but not at the expense of wearing damaged clothes. If something can’t be repaired, then toss it out and purchase an item that will fill that spot. No one is judging you, and you aren’t a failure if you do have to shop in between seasons.
DON’T THINK ABOUT QUALITY
A t-shirt is a t-shirt, right?
Not only do these brands participate and contribute to fast fashion (you can read more about it here, or watch this documentary) which supports dreadful working conditions, long hours, and little pay, but the quality is often very, very poor.
Instead of buying 5 tops from one of these retailers, save your money and purchase quality pieces that can be washed and worn without falling apart. Try sites like Poshmark, Depop, and ThredUp if you’re looking for quality pieces but don’t want to pay full price.
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What has been your biggest challenge with your capsule wardrobe?
Thanks for stopping by!