Part 1- Creating your Capsule Wardrobe


Part 1- Creating your Capsule

Hi friends,

I wanted to start this capsule wardrobe series with a few tips on how begin, as I truly find that once you’ve got a few key steps in place, its much easier to start and stick with this process.

Having a capsule wardrobe has made things so much easier for me in a variety of ways, especially being a mom. After I had my second baby, I found it was harder to find the time to get dressed in the morning and putting cute outfits together wasn’t exactly something I did very well. I actually didn’t own a sweatshirt before I had my first baby, but that certainly changed after he came along!

Not only has the capsule saved me from the typical, walk into your closet and stare at your wardrobe for 5 minutes thinking “I have nothing to wear” situation, but it has helped me financially and allowed me to work towards a more minimalistic lifestyle.

Here are a few tips to help get you started on creating your capsule wardrobe.

1. Be invested in the process.

I truly feel that in order to develop a capsule wardrobe and to stick with it, you need to be invested in the process, be honest with yourself and stick with it. Its not always easy, sure there are days I would like to go shopping and pick up a bunch of cute pieces, but I know that’s not what I’m working towards. You need to be prepared to drastically reduce what you have, commit to cutting back on shopping and focus on using what you have. (More details on that later).

2. Commit and Evaluate

Once you’ve committed to the process, you need to start by evaluating your wardrobe. Take inventory of what you have, get an idea of your style and the things you wear most. A great tip I was told when I started my capsule, was to look at your Pinterest account (if you have one) and see what kind of outfits/items you pin the most. This will give you an honest idea of your style (if you’re unsure) and can help direct you in outfit planning, once you’ve developed your capsule, using what you currently have.

Start by working with 4 piles: Keep, Unsure, Donate and Toss.

I would suggest taking a general inventory first. Anything that is damaged, stained, doesn’t fit well or you don’t like wearing (itchy, uncomfortable, etc), put into a pile. You’ll evaluate that stuff later.

Now, moving onto your other items. You need to be very honest with yourself and really think about what you want to keep for your capsule. I don’t believe in keeping a certain number of items, because I think that puts too much pressure on the system, but I do think you need to focus on a minimal number of items. So if you have 10 pairs of jeans, really think about which ones are your favorites and that you often wear (likely you’ll have a pair or 2 that you can get rid of).

Anything you love, obviously stays in the keep pile. Anything in this pile should fit you well, make you feel good and feel comfortable to wear. If you’re even the slightest bit unsure of an item, put it in the unsure pile (you’ll come back to that later). Now, here’s where it gets tricky.

The donate pile should truly be things that you have honestly told yourself you don’t wear. I know in the past when I’ve gone through my closet, I’ve kept things that I figured I *might* wear, but with a capsule, you need to be *SURE* you’re going to wear it. If its a ‘maybe’ it goes into the unsure pile. If its truly unlikely you’re going to wear it, donate it.

The toss pile is saved for items that are damaged, stained, etc. There are places that will take these items and recycle them, so refrain from throwing them out and look into some of these options (H&M offers a free service like this!)

3. Start slow

Now that you’ve started creating some piles, let them sit there for at least a week (if you can handle the disorganization!). You need time to review your choices and it helps you from regretting getting rid of something later.

Get rid of the toss pile first and the donate pile next. Now you’re left with the keep and unsure piles. For the items in the unsure pile, you may want to take some of these items and just set them aside in your closet. See if you reach for them. If it is seasonally appropriate and you don’t reach for the item in over 3 weeks, its likely ready to donate. If you’re still unsure I would suggest using the storage box system.

Purchase a few small closet storage boxes and label them with “tops”, “bottoms”, “dresses/skirts”, etc. Put the unsure items into the boxes and store them in your closet. If you should truly be keeping the item, you’ll remember it and look for it. After a full season if you haven’t used the item, its likely ready to donate. I find this “out of sight, out of mind” strategy works well, since with a capsule wardrobe you should be using and remembering what you have. Storing tons of items in boxes for “maybe someday I’ll have a place to wear it” isn’t really part of this process.

Eventually you can re-evaluate your keep pile again, but at this point you’ve hopefully reduced what you have and are on your way to a capsule wardrobe!


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