It’s capsule wardrobe week here on the blog! Today I’ll explain the concept, and later in the week we’ll dive further into my own capsule wardrobe, and explore the pros and cons of having an open closet—when your clothes aren’t hidden behind closed doors.
There are a few ways to define a capsule wardrobe. Some people interpret the phrase—as perhaps many minimalists would—as a suggestion to limit the number of items in your wardrobe. One way to make this work well is to select a particular color palette and make sure that each item can be worn with every other item, so you get as many outfits as possible from fewer pieces. There is no magic number of items that you “should” own, but one number that pops up from time to time is 33. This number could include literally everything, or, more realistically, would include only items such as tops, bottoms, shoes, and outerwear, and perhaps accessories (meaning you wouldn’t have to count your gym clothes or pajamas).
This is similar to the way that I approach my capsule wardrobe. While I don’t typically count items (especially accessories; a girl’s got to have earring choices!), I do try to limit the number of items I own, using the one in, one out rule. If I find a gap in my wardrobe (say, I don’t have enough sweaters to get through to laundry day, which is currently once a week), I will fill it, but I will do so with intention, by deciding what I want and pursuing it rather than browsing through sales.
Another way that people use capsule wardrobes is as a sort of seasonal module, in which certain core pieces stick around all year while pieces only in season for part of the year (assuming you’ve got a summer and winter where you live) appear only during the proper season and everything else goes into storage. In some closets, there are even separate modules for going out clothes, work clothes, etc. In this sense, it is a way of organizing your clothing so that you have less to choose from at any given time, making outfit choices easier, but still own as many items as you wish and just change them out when you feel like it or when the weather changes.
I hope this helps you understand capsule wardrobes a little bit better! If you are interested in starting your own capsule wardrobe, I recommend checking out The Curated Closet, by Annuschka Rees. I had already delved way into my personal style before starting the capsule wardrobe process, but if you haven’t done that part yet, this is a good place to start. And it has pretty pictures! I have the e-book version.
Do you have a capsule wardrobe, or do you want to start one? What do you like or dislike about the idea?