My word for 2018 is Intentional. I have been working on applying it to my health, my business, my family life, and now–my wardrobe! As a fashion retailer, it’s so tempting to just keep buying the newest things for myself, but I end up with an overflowing closet and nothing to wear. Sound familiar? You might need a capsule wardrobe! Let’s talk about how to start one.
What the heck is a capsule wardrobe?
A capsule wardrobe is made up of a set number of clothing pieces that can mix and match to create a wide variety of outfits. I know, it’s kinda weird for a fashion retailer to tell you to downsize your wardrobe, right? But part of designing a closet of intention is knowing what you will and won’t wear and not being overwhelmed every time you open your wardrobe.
Clearance shopping. Unless you have had your eye on a piece forever, don’t buy it! There’s this overwhelming need that takes over me when I see a sale price–FOMO. And I end up with a bunch of items I wouldn’t have purchased otherwise and therefore don’t wear. Invest in items that fit into your lifestyle and closet. When you purchase less because you’re buying intentionally, your budget per item should increase. Consider cost-per-wear: yes, my Tieks were expensive but I have worn them so many more times than the $20 shoes from Target. Cost per wear ends up being lower for things I love.
Where to start:
The first step is to clean out your closet! Get rid of clothes you don’t like, don’t fit, or you haven’t worn in over a year. Now you have a somewhat less overwhelming place to start.
Now create your base wardrobe. These are categories that will NOT change with the seasons.
- Workout clothes
Once that’s done, we are ready for the fun part!
Creating your capsule:
I like to start with colors. It’s much easier to create a mix and match capsule when everything goes together! I suggest three neutrals and a pop of 2-3 colors. For me, I like black, grey, and white (you should see the number of shirts in those colors I own!) and I like to throw in pops of pinks, reds, and purples. Other neutral options are brown, tan, cream, navy, grey…you have many options!
Then I make a list. For the purposes of today’s exercise, I am going to base my capsule on:
Five pairs of shoes
I usually make a worksheet for myself to lay out exactly what I am working on. If you are in the Fleur Flock (my outfit of the month club) I have provided this for you! The number of pieces doesn’t matter. You can use 15 tops, 7 bottoms, 9 pairs of shoes…what have you. The point is to create an uncluttered closet you can love.
Next, create categories for your wardrobe needs and identify the top two you need your capsule to serve. For me, Casual is the top–most of my outfits need to fall into this category. Then, I need a small subset that can serve Fun. I have zero need for work wear so although I love my silk blouses and dress pants from my past life, they have no function in my current life.
Casual (daily wear, running errands, weekend clothes, hanging with family, etc)
Work wear (office clothes)
Fun (a step above casual, girls’ nights, date nights, etc)
Then, go through your wardrobe and as you are pulling pieces, as yourself these questions:
Does it fit?
Does it mix into my Wardrobe?
Does it fit my categories?
Example: I have a gorgeous silk blouse in my closet. It’s teal and flowy and oh so pretty. It passes the fit test, but fails on mixing into my wardrobe (I don’t have many colors that match it) and fitting my categories (wearing a silk blouse while being a SAHM to three little boys isn’t going to happen). Out it goes!
Example: I recently added a super soft white Everyday Tee from the Agnes&Dora line to my closet. It fits beautifully, white is one of my colors so it matches everything, and it’s casual and washable. It stays!
Example: I used to have a designer jeans habit when I worked at Anthropologie years ago. I was still hoarding my AG denim until recently. It mixes into my wardrobe and fits my Casual category, but the chances of me ever wearing a size 4 again are slim to none. So long, AG!
Be ruthless. You only get a few pieces! You want all them to be thing you LOVE and would be willing to wear at any time.
Creating a wardrobe of intention:
Let’s do a little example wardrobe based on the Agnes&Dora line of clothing, with a few additions. This is a wardrobe I would love to wear myself! I planned for spring/early summer with light layers, flowy dresses and comfy tees.
How many outfits can you make from these pieces?