5 reasons why you need a capsule wardrobe

Author: Gillian from Uncomplicated Spaces

You may or may not have heard the phrase “capsule wardrobe” thrown around from time to time. In case you’re not aware of what a capsule wardrobe is, it is a small collection of clothing items that can be mixed and matched into a variety of different outfits. A capsule wardrobe is a great way to experiment with having fewer clothes, and if you’re anything like I used to be, that’s a huge bonus!


Capsule Wardrobe Types

There are many varieties of capsule wardrobes that you can experiment with.

Probably the most popular version is the Project 333 capsule wardrobe. The brainchild of Courtney Carver, this wardrobe capsule consists of 33 items which you then wear over 3 months. The capsule typically includes clothing items for outfits, shoes and accessories. It does not include workout wear or lounge clothes/pjs.

Another popular capsule wardrobe is one that equates the number of chosen items to the number of days you plan to wear the capsule. For example, a 10x10 capsule, whose original creator was Lee Vosburgh, consists of 10 items to be combined into 10 outfits over 10 days. Similarly, a 30x30 capsule wardrobe consists of 30 items to be combined into 30 outfits over 30 days. The 30x30 capsule is my personal favorite!

The following image shows a sample 10 day capsule. The wardrobe consists of 2 dresses, 1 skirt, 1 pair of pants, 1 jumpsuit, 1 tunic, 1 sweater, 1 duster, a pair of black boots and a pair of brown shoes. I’ve selected items within the same color palette to make it easier to mix and match but I’ve also thrown in a few fun pieces, such as a leopard print dress and a red duster. I can think of many more outfits than 10 with these items. Can you?

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There’s also a progressive capsule wardrobe that I have heard of in the past, although I am less familiar with this type. The idea is to not pre-emptively choose a number of items, but to wear whatever you want for a month. The main caveat is that you record what items you have been wearing to see what you have/haven’t been choosing for 30 days. This helps you to see the main workhorses in your wardrobe and to evaluate what, if any pieces, need to be removed.


Benefits of a Capsule Wardrobe

 Okay, so now that I’ve told you about a number of different capsule wardrobes, I’d like to list the reasons why you need a capsule wardrobe in your life!


Reason 1: Time.

A capsule wardrobe is a great time-saver. Tell me if this scenario sounds familiar. You open your closet in the morning and stare blankly for a few minutes before finally deciding on a pair of pants and a top. You try it on, but you’re not digging the combo, so you throw it on the bed and start over. Fifteen minutes later, you emerge from the bedroom in an outfit that you finally feel okay in, but you’re going to be late for work!


A capsule wardrobe can totally help you save time getting ready in the mornings. By spending a few minutes up front on a weekend to select a number of items that all go well together, you can save yourself so much time when you get dressed each morning. For example, it took me less than 10 minutes to select the 10 items above!


Reason 2: Money.

Having a capsule wardrobe means that you always have something to wear! Let’s go back to the scenario in the above point. Picture this: you finally get to work, but you remain agitated all morning because of your flustered dressing experience that morning. You hate feeling like you have nothing to wear so you head out at lunchtime to have a quick look in the shops. You end up buying a few things that you “know” you’ll wear all the time.


When you get home, you realize that the items that you bought don’t really go with the majority of your closet. You decide that you’ll return them and you toss the bag on the closet floor. And then you forget all about it. A few months later, you rediscover them but the return window has closed. You beat yourself up a little and decide that you’re going to stop wasting money on clothes.


A capsule wardrobe can totally help you save money in the long run. By having a select number of items to choose from, ones that go together to create outfits that you really like and feel great in, you can stop making those hurried lunchtime trips to the shops. You’ll no longer have unworn items hidden in the bottom of your closet that you forgot to return and maybe, you’ll actually be able to enjoy your lunch. J


Reason 3: Time…again.

I just had to bring the whole saved time element back in again, because it’s an important one! As an extension of the point about money, think of all the time you’ll save not out looking for the “next best thing”. If you don’t have to spend your lunch hour, or evening, or weekend, searching for the next clothing item that is going to magically make you love your wardrobe, you can spend that time doing other things.


Reason 4: Wardrobe familiarity.

Saved time and money is obviously great, but I think one of the best things to come out of a capsule wardrobe is becoming familiar with all of the items in there! To really curate a wardrobe that fits your personality/lifestyle, spend some time clearing out items that no longer serve you. What you’ll be left with is a selection of items that fit and that make you feel great! You will start to know all of the clothing items that you own and be better able to identify any item that would be a great addition to your wardrobe…aka, goes with most of the other things in your wardrobe. This kind of wardrobe would make a great foundation for a progressive wardrobe.


Reason 5: Wardrobe contentment.

 I think the other really great thing that can come out of a capsule wardrobe is contentment. When you have a selection of items that fit you well and go together nicely, you stop feeling like you have nothing to wear and you start enjoying the act of dressing so much more. A capsule wardrobe allows you to experiment with less stuff. You will be surprised by how abundant a small selection of clothing can be. And how content you can feel.


To read about how you can curate a capsule wardrobe, please visit my site and read: “How to Build Your First Capsule Wardrobe”. Now tell me, do any of the above points resonate with you? Have you tried a capsule wardrobe before? If not, would you?

Biography: Gillian is an ethical fashion blogger that shares her journey into slow fashion everyday through her blog www.uncomplicatedspaces.com and on her instagram @uncomplicatedspaces. Go check her out for minimalist fashion inspiration everyday!


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