Capsule Wardrobes are big news right now, but I realised a long time ago that the classic, 33-item capsule wardrobe just wasn’t for me.
Instead, for the past few years, my focus has been firmly on building a wardrobe that works with both my personal style AND with my lifestyle. That doesn’t mean I don’t love capsule wardrobes, by the way: far from it – I’m actually kind of fascinated by them, and have even attempted a few of my own. I firmly believe that you can have the best of both worlds, though: by taking the best bits of the capsule wardrobe philosophy, and using them to create a core wardrobe, filled with the kind of closet essentials you’ll want to wear on repeat, you’ll make sure you always have something to wear, no matter what the occasion.
Why stop there, though? Look, capsule wardrobes are awesome, and the ones I’ve created for myself have really helped me define my style and eliminate that “hundreds of clothes, but nothing to wear” problem that so many of us face every morning. Where capsule wardrobes fall down (for me, at least), however, is in failing to realise that some of us genuinely enjoy shopping. We love to collect beautiful items of clothing, and if we find an item we really, REALLY love, well, we’re probably going to buy it, regardless of whether or not it’ll work with the rest of our wardrobe.
For people like that, capsule wardrobes just don’t work, which is why I’ve spent the last couple of years working on building that core wardrobe of basics – but allowing myself to add to it whenever I find something I just HAVE to have.
Here are some posts to help you define your style, and create that core closet – or capsule wardrobe, if you prefer:
Sample Capsule Wardrobes
I might not want to stick to a capsule wardrobe religiously, but, as I said, creating one has really helped me start to create a wardrobe that really works for my lifestyle. Before I got interested in capsule wardrobes, I was something of a compulsive shopper: the problem was, although I had mountains of clothes to show for it, I constantly felt like I had nothing to wear. My main issue here was that I just wasn’t shopping for my lifestyle: buying tons of summer clothes when I live in a country that barely gets any sunshine; snapping up prom dresses and stilettos, even although I work from home, and rarely go anywhere even remotely “dressy” – you get the idea.
My interest in capsule wardrobes, however, prompted me to put together one of my own, which forced me to really think about what I actually NEEDED to buy – as opposed to what I WANTED to buy. After a few months of buying only those items that fell into the former category, I ended up with a closet of basics, all of which work for the life I have, as opposed to the life I just WISH I had. What’s more, now that I have the basics down, I no longer feel guilty about buying something totally impractical from time to time, too: although, it has to be said that focusing on the items I need for my capsule has made me much less likely to spend money on things I know I won’t wear.
Here are some capsule wardrobes I’ve put together over the past few years:
Building a wardrobe
Of course, the process of building a wardrobe is one that never really ends. Every month I’m refining my wardrobe, getting rid of items that no longer work, and, of course, shopping for things to replace them. I document what I actually wear in my regular outfit posts, but here are some more specific posts on the process of building a wardrobe: