Ever feel overwhelmed by your closet? Can’t decide what to wear on a daily basis? Tired of sifting through winter coats and rain jackets just to find what you need?
Then it might be time to consider a capsule wardrobe.
What is a Capsule Wardrobe?
A capsule wardrobe is, essentially, a carefully chosen collection of clothing items. It’s usually very pared down and minimal, consisting of only what you need during a specific season or time of year.
The goal behind capsule wardrobes is to 1) make dressing simpler and more convenient and 2) keep your closet neater and better organized. They’re also a great option if you’re limited on closet space (or you share a closet with someone else.)
How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe
Step 1: Pare down your existing closet to just the basics.
Your first job is to go through your existing closet and purge anything you don’t actively wear, doesn’t fit, or you just don’t like anymore. Eventually, you want to get down to just basic, foundational pieces of clothing that you can build on, layer, and mix and match with your more seasonal pieces.
Here’s what the experts suggest having in a standard capsule wardrobe:
- 3 basic t-shirts in black, white, and grey
- 3 tank tops in black, white, and grey
- A white button up shirt
- A simple, black dress
- A black or grey blazer
- 2 tailored pair of jeans in blue and black
- A black pencil skirt
- 2 pairs of shorts, one black and one blue
- A gold watch
- A black leather bag
If you don’t already have these items, you may need to do a little shopping. Keep in mind that you’re going for versatility, so steer clear of anything patterned, printed, or super tailored to one specific season or occasion.
Step 2: Gather seasonal items to enhance those basics.
Once you’ve got your foundational pieces all rounded up, it’s time to gather the more seasonal items to build on those.
For the winter, you’ll want:
- A cardigan or sweater to layer over your tees
- 2 pairs of boots, one dressy and one for harsh weather
- A trench coat in black or tan
- 2 scarves
- A pair of rain boots
- A leather jacket
- A cashmere cardigan or wool sweater
- A blue jean jacket
- A bathing suit, along with a sheer cover-up or wrap
- 2 pairs of sandals, one dressy and one casual
- A sundress
- A straw sun hat
- 2 pairs of simple ballet flats
- 1 pair of wedge heels
- A maxi dress or skirt
- A light scarf, kimono or shawl for layering
Be sure to add in an accessory or two for each season, as well. Things like purses, bold necklaces, hair wraps, a great pair of sunglasses and other items can really enhance your foundational pieces and help you make a statement.
Step 3: Organize
Your foundational items should stay in your closet year-round, but your seasonal items? Those should get put away until it’s time to use them.
If you have space under your bed, invest in four under-the-bed storage containers, and use one for each season. Just be sure to label each one so things don’t get mixed up along the way.
If you’re limited in under-the-bed space, you may want to look into vacuum storage. You just put your items in a bag and the vacuum sucks all the air out, giving you a small, flattened bag that can easily go on a shelf or in a cabinet somewhere.
Step 4: Rotate and update.
You should update your seasonal capsule wardrobes at least once a year to make sure they all contain items that still 1) fit your body comfortably and 2) match your personal style and preferences.
If you add any items to one of your wardrobes, make sure you remove something else to make up for it. This will keep your closet from brimming with clothes you don’t wear again.
You should also check regularly to make sure your foundational pieces are in good condition. The entire capsule model relies on those basic items, so if something looks worn or shabby, be proactive and replace it before it’s too late.
One More Tip
A good closet organizer can be a game-changer when it comes to a capsule wardrobe. You’ll need hooks to hang jewelry and purses, shelves for shoes, and baskets for smaller items and accessories. Most home improvement stores have organizers you can piece together, depending on the size of your closet. You can also bring in a pro to install a more comprehensive organization system, if you prefer.
We Can Help
Need cash to expand that closet, add in an organizer, or make some other upgrade around the house? Contact an Embrace loan officer to learn how we can help.