The idea of a “capsule wardrobe” has been all over the internet lately. Photos of closets paired down to a minimum and articles about having a personal uniform are quite popular and you might be wondering-what’s with all of this wardrobe minimalism?
After traveling to Europe and living out of suitcase for two weeks, I was reminded at how few clothes I really need to get by.
While I don’t feel inspired go and throw out all of my clothes, I think there may be something worth looking into.
First off, I should note that there are different ideas of capsule wardrobes out there. Some propose an ideal number of clothing in your wardrobe; others even suggest having a set “uniform” where you wear the same type of outfit every day.
Why all of the interest in paring down? Why do so many Americans feel the need to clean out their closets?
From what I’ve found, many people are tired of owning so many clothes! In our consumer culture it is incredibly easy to amass a large number of clothes, without even spending that much money. There are plenty of great sales to take advantage of, and really, who can resist that cute cardigan (my weakness!)?
And what happens after all of this shopping? Drawers and closets stuffed full of clothes that you only wear once a season or so.
After moving twice in the past year, I decided that I was finished packing so many clothes that I wasn’t wearing. I got tired of looking at shirts hanging up in my closet that I never wore or didn’t even like that much anymore.
I had read a few articles on capsule wardrobes and was intrigued by the idea, so I resolved to take a good hard look at my closet and figure out what really belonged in there.
I’d like to add a disclaimer here: I do not have a “perfect” capsule wardrobe. It is a work in progress, as you will see. I don’t have an ideal number of clothes I’m shooting for, I’m just weeding out what I don’t need and isn’t useful anymore.
After looking through my closet, here are a few tips on how to create a summer capsule wardrobe that I found helpful:
1. When is the last time you wore it?
This is somewhat of an easy rule for me, as I knew there were certain things that I never wore anymore.
That squirrel shirt from high school (gotta love the squirrels!), those flats that are so beat up and scuffed, I really shouldn’t be wearing them anymore, these things were fairly easy to eliminate.
There are plenty of clothes that I like and wear often, and if something couldn’t make the cut for a whole season, it probably won’t next year and doesn’t need to take up space in my closet.
This excludes certain specialty items of course, such as bathing suits or a really nice dress for formal occasions. I made sure to keep these types of clothes that I know I use in certain circumstances, focusing more on going through my everyday things.
2. Do the pieces in your wardrobe mix and match?
Some capsule wardrobes stick with neutral colors and accent them by pops of color in accessories. I like color a bit too much to limit it to accessories, but it does help to figure out what your favorite colors to wear are and try to stick with items that complement them.
This summer some of the colors I wear most are: teal, coral, black, and maroon. Here is a quick example of clothes that I might pack for a week away:
Notice that they are fairly simple and interchangeable, most of the items go with at least two or three others, making it easy to put together new outfits. I have two pairs of shoes that go with all of the outfits I would put together.
Reminder of my disclaimer: I definitely don’t completely follow this rule. There are some shirts that I own that don’t go with much else in my closet, but I still really like them. Which leads to my last tip:
3. Do you enjoy wearing it?
We’ve all got that favorite dress or pair of shoes that just makes you feel all grown up and pretty when you wear it. If you really like a piece of clothing (and it fits) keep it! Clothing is a fun way of expressing yourself, so don’t wear something that makes you feel blah!
After following these tips, my closet definitely has some more room to breathe this summer! I enjoy the extra space, and it is nice to only have clothes hanging up that I like to wear.
Although my capsule wardrobe may not be as extreme as others, it’s one more way to keep my summer simple!
Have you ever considered trying a capsule wardrobe? Here are a few resources if you need some inspiration:
What do you think of the idea of capsule wardrobe? How do you keep your closet simple?