If you’re not sure what a capsule wardrobe is, then let us gladly cue you in. Essentially, a capsule wardrobe is when you commit to 37 items of clothing for 3 months. Sounds pretty challenging, right? Especially if you consider yourself a pretty avid shopper. But if getting dressed each morning feels too time-consuming (we feel you), then a capsule wardrobe may be just for you. It can free up not just time but brain space, making early mornings feel much more manageable. We also love that capsule wardrobes allow you to focus on quality—not quantity—pieces you’ll wear for years.
In order to properly assemble your capsule wardrobe, you first need to decide what you want your wardrobe to do for you. Do you spend a lot of time at work and need a professional wardrobe? Are you a mom who needs to be ready and comfy at the crack of dawn? A student? Since you want to create a capsule wardrobe that will help streamline your life, you should figure out how you want your clothes to complement your lifestyle.
Have you ever heard the tip, “If you wouldn’t buy it in a store today, then you should get rid of it’? Now’s a good time to apply that to your wardrobe. Go through your closet, and if you wouldn’t buy that sequins tunic from Forever 21 again, you should probably donate it. (If you’re in New York, here’s a list of places you can drop off your gently used clothing at.) Also, look through to see if there are any items you haven’t worn in over a year. Chances are, you’re not going to wear it ever again. Another tip—if you’re having trouble getting motivated (no judgment!) try dumping your clothes on your bed during the sorting process. That way, you’ll have to finish before going to bed.
Now that you’ve cleaned everything out of your closet, look through and see what you already have and what’s missing. Do you need a few more sweaters, or maybe a new jacket? To make it a little easier, make a list of all the things you already have and a list of what will make your wardrobe feel complete. Try to gear this more towards what you tend to wear, instead of following the capsule wardrobe rules completely. Do you tend to wear more sweaters than blouses? Then maybe stock up on cute turtlenecks instead of more shirts. Do whatever feels right for your closet and your lifestyle.
The main idea of a capsule wardrobe is to be able to mix and match your 37 items of clothing with ease. So in order to do that, you should have a closet full of basics that go together easily. For starters, try picking a color palette for your closet that’s geared more towards the neutral spectrum since those are easier to pair with one another. But again, do whatever feels right for your lifestyle!
Now that you’re closet is prepped and primed, and you’re fully ready to embrace your capsule wardrobe—it’s time for the fun part: shopping. Because your wardrobe is smaller, you will be able to focus more on quality over quantity, especially since you’ll be wearing these pieces much more often. So concentrate on investment pieces that you know you’ll get a lot of wear out of.
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