Capsule Wardrobe // The Beginning

Wondering about how to start a capsule wardrobe? Here are the answers to your questions and a look into how I'm starting my capsule wardrobe.

Many bloggers have shared their journey with a capsule wardrobe, each with their own story and style. The capsule wardrobe lifestyle is one that speaks to my heart, as I've been attempting to minimize and cut down my closet ever since I was 16. The many failed attempts and slight spending problems during my high school years has left me with a big closet of unnecessary and only once worn items. Over the past few weeks, after reading a lot about the benefits of a capsule wardrobe, I've decided to start one of my own and share the beginning process with you today.

First, I'll answer a few common questions. Then I'll share how I'm planning on implementing my capsule wardrobe. Third, I'll share my breakdown of how many pieces of each clothing item I plan to have for each season. Lastly, I'll leave you with a few tips to get you started on your very own capsule wardrobe.

Questions, Answered

What exactly is a capsule wardrobe?

A capsule wardrobe is a minimalist approach to your closet that takes the stress out of picking outfits and lets you feel 100% confident about yourself. It's more than just getting rid of things you don’t need; it’s about crafting a wardrobe that will fit your lifestyle. Typically, it consists of only wearing 30-40 clothing items per season/3 months. There are different types of capsule wardrobes, but the one I'm doing is 40 items per 3 months. You can read more about it below.

Who is it for?

Anyone who seeks to have a simplified wardrobe that perfectly fits their body and lifestyle, anyone who wishes to cut down on their clothing spending, and anyone who desires to love each and every piece of clothing that they own. That being said, it's important to know that this type of wardrobe may not be right for everyone. Do some research and really understand what it entails before stepping into the whole journey.

How can I benefit from it?

There are a lot of benefits, and many are unique to each individual. A capsule wardrobe can help take the stress out of getting dressed, help you declutter your closet, and help you feel more confident about yourself because you'll be wearing pieces that you absolutely love.

Where do I shop for these clothes so I don't fall into the same wardrobe trap as before?

The best practice for a capsule wardrobe is to purchase high quality clothing items that will last longer than their price. When purchasing a more costly item, divide the price by how many months or years you expect it to last. The lower the result, the better the investment (as long as it holds up to that standard!). Budgeting is also a great habit to start. Every season, set a budget for items you'd like to replace and stick to it.

What is the best way to start?

Do your research. Figure out the best way to make a capsule wardrobe work for your lifestyle. Start gradually. There's no need to throw away all your clothes and buy new ones all at one time. Enjoy it! The best way to start is by being excited to start the journey to a simplified wardrobe!

How I'm starting my capsule wardrobe

Because I'm staying here in Lincoln for three weeks of summer school, I'll be going home on May 31 and returning mid-August. So essentially, I'll only be packing clothes that fit into my summer capsule wardrobe. Perfect right?! :) I'll store the rest of my clothes in storage for the summer.

Since I'm just beginning my capsule wardrobe, I have a lot of clothes that I like, but don't love. Being on a college budget, I can't afford to get rid of a bunch of items and buy new ones. So here's my plan:

1. Work through Caroline's Capsule Wardrobe Planner

Throughout this next month, I'll be filling this planner out to figure out what my true style really is and what clothing items make me feel 100% confident in my own body.

2. Adopt the in-one/out-one rule

I'll be beginning the summer capsule with clothing items I already have. As the summer progresses, I'll research and purchase items that really fit my style and body. Once I purchase that item, I'll get rid of another item that doesn't fit my new capsule style in order to create the perfect summer wardrobe!

3. Shop for my Fall Capsule Wardrobe during Labor Day Sales

I love shopping sales! Since my fall capsule wardrobe begins right around Labor Day Weekend, I'll use the opportunity to get my fall wardrobe for 50-70% off!

Capsule Wardrobe Breakdown

Below you'll find a list of how many of each clothing item I'm planning on including in my seasonal capsules based on my lifestyle. By no means is this list going to fit everyone's lifestyle, but feel free to use it as a starting point for your own capsule wardrobe.

Not Included:

  • Church clothes
  • Business clothes
  • Undergarments
  • Athletic clothes
  • Accessories such as scarves, hats, bags, glasses, etc.
  • Vacation clothing for climates different from where you live
  • Anything that can’t be worn on its own (such as a slip worn underneath a sheer piece)

Summer (June, July, August) - 40 Pieces Total

  • Sandals (3)
  • Flats (2)
  • Sneakers (2)
  • Leggings (2)
  • Jeans (2)
  • Shorts (5)
  • Pants (2)
  • Blouses (5)
  • Button ups (1)
  • T-shirts (5)
  • Tank tops (5)
  • Dresses (3)
  • Skirts (3)

Fall (September, October, November) - 40 Pieces Total

  • Sandals (1)
  • Flats (2)
  • Boots (4)
  • Sneakers (2)
  • Jackets (3)
  • Vest (1)
  • Leggings (3)
  • Jeans (3)
  • Sweaters (3)
  • Cardigans (2)
  • Blouses (4)
  • Button ups (3)
  • T-shirts (3)
  • Long sleeved (2)
  • Dresses (2)
  • Skirts (2)

Winter (December, January, February) - 40 Pieces Total

  • Boots (5)
  • Sneakers (2)
  • Jackets/Coats (5)
  • Vest (1)
  • Leggings (4)
  • Jeans (4)
  • Sweaters (5)
  • Cardigans (2)
  • Blouses (3)
  • Button ups (3)
  • T-shirts (3)
  • Long sleeved (3)

Spring (March, April, May) - 40 Pieces Total

  • Sandals (2)
  • Flats (1)
  • Sneakers (2)
  • Jackets (2)
  • Vest (1)
  • Boots (1)
  • Leggings (3)
  • Jeans (3)
  • Shorts (3)
  • Pants (1)
  • Blouses (4)
  • Button ups (3)
  • T-shirts (4)
  • Tank tops (2)
  • Long sleeved (2)
  • Dresses (3)
  • Skirts (2)

 My Three Tips for You

As you begin on your own capsule wardrobe and journey towards simplicity, you'll likely find challenges and have a lot of questions. Take it slow and move at your own pace. Here are three tips that I've found useful as I've begun my journey:

  1. Read about other people's capsule wardrobes to get ideas.
  2. When you're ready, do a deep clean of your closet (and donate as much of it as you can instead of throwing it away!)
  3. Keep a positive spirit. You'll feel better about yourself and enjoy the process a whole lot more!

What about you? Have you considered starting a capsule wardrobe?