If you’ve stood in front of your own closet, morning after morning, and found yourself overwhelmed by choice, you should probably consider starting your own capsule wardrobe. You’ve probably had a friend or two who has tried it and raves about how much easier her life is now, but you’re not quite sure where to start. If you can get the hang of how it works, a capsule wardrobe can save you time and money and help you feel amazing in your outfits each and every day.
But what is a capsule wardrobe and how do you start one? We’ll outline all you need to know to get started with simple and helpful tips. If you determine that a capsule wardrobe is right for you, you’ll be getting dressed in no time.
Building a capsule wardrobe is easier than you think, and it’s fun to shop for, too! A capsule wardrobe is simply paring down your closet to include only the essentials you’ll need for everyday wear with an eye toward mixing and matching. Once you build your wardrobe, you should be able to visit your closet every day and pull out any combination of clothing to put together an outfit that looks stunning. For example, if you have five shirts, two pairs of pants, and a skirt, you should be able to create several outfits from creative layering and pairing. The key to a successful wardrobe is choosing those mix-and-match pieces and making sure they are clothes you are actually excited to wear. With a pared-down wardrobe, every piece of clothing should be well thought out and purposeful.
Once you get the basics down for building a capsule wardrobe, you’ll wonder why you haven’t always had one!
There are so many reasons why building a capsule wardrobe is a great idea. The first reason is the most enticing: It really will save you so much time in the morning. You’ll also save money from purchasing fewer clothes, worry less about keeping up with trends, and feel good about choosing an environmentally-friendly approach.
1. Capsule Wardrobes Save Time
We’ve all felt that anxiety that creeps up as the minutes tick by and you’re still in your underwear comparing shirt after shirt that just doesn’t quite work. By the time you put together an outfit, it feels underwhelming, and on top of that, you’re running late! With a capsule collection, getting dressed is a breeze because you’ve narrowed your choices to only include pieces that bring you joy and, most importantly, go with anything. With fewer choices, getting dressed in the morning is more fun, more like a small puzzle of piecing together the outfit that’s just right for today. If you like to be really organized, you can even keep a spreadsheet or lookbook of all the pairings of your clothes, quickly flip through it, and choose your outfit before you even step inside your closet. Now that’s some great project management!
2. Capsule Wardrobes Protect the Environment While Saving You Money
Another reason to take the plunge is that you’ll save money and protect the environment by investing in quality basics you’ll always have a reason to wear rather than going straight for the trends each season. Dressing and shopping trendy usually just stuffs your closet full without actually helping you get dressed each day. In a few months, the trendy pieces will migrate to the back of your closet, or worse, the landfill. Capsule dressing is all about purchasing higher-quality staples that will live in your closet over a longer period of time. It’s true that you may have to shell out a bit more money at first to get yourself set up with your collection, but you’ll save money in the long run when you don’t have to replace “fast fashion” pieces year over year.
3. Capsule Wardrobes Prevent Fashion Stress
When you commit to a capsule wardrobe, you can also say goodbye to the headache of keeping up with the trends. You’ll focus more on stylish looks that make dressing a breeze. When you purchase lasting clothing that never goes out of style, you never run the risk of looking outdated. And, aren’t you tired of chasing all those trends anyway? Sit back, relax, and let your wardrobe reflect who you are, not who the fashion industry wants you to be this season.
Capsule wardrobes are all about limiting your options down to the bare essentials and purchasing quality clothing. When you aren’t out there buying fast fashion left and right, you’ll find a lot more room in your closet and your budget for great pieces.
Before you begin the process, you’ll want to take a look at what’s in your closet already and really consider whether each piece is serving a purpose in your life. If you haven’t worn something for over a year and you can’t think of an exact reason to keep it, like a fancy gown for a black-tie wedding or a pantsuit for interviews, it’s time to say goodbye and put it in the donate pile.
Next, you can start to put together the puzzle of which pieces you should purchase to augment your budding capsule wardrobe. In the next section, we’ll go over some of the essentials every woman should have in her closet.
What Tops to Have in a Capsule Wardrobe
Great tops are key to a successful capsule wardrobe. You’ll need more of them than the other items in your closet because you’ll go through them more frequently. It’s best to build in a variety of essential tops to round out any look you may need while keeping your closet minimal.
Start with the basics, like tee shirts, camisoles, and tunics in your favorite colors. Focus on the silhouettes that make you feel confident, comfortable, and put together. Keep in mind that you don’t need each shirt in every color. You need just enough to get you through your normal laundry cycle.
Every closet needs a good women’s cotton sweatshirt to layer when the breeze starts to feel nippy, and every closet deserves a women’s cashmere sweater to wear when you need that buttery-soft feeling against your skin.
What Bottoms to Have for Your Capsule Wardrobe
The beauty of a capsule wardrobe is that you really don’t need a whole slew of bottoms to complete your daily looks. The variety will come from your tops, so finding the right pairs of pants is essential. All you have to do is find one or two pairs of pants that fit you really well and purchase that style in colors that go with anything, like navy or black. If you’re overwhelmed by choice, remember that you can’t go wrong with high-waisted pants that look great on everyone.
The other type of pants you can’t live without is a good pair of women's joggers. The right pair of joggers can work for anything from walking the dog to a casual work meeting to, yes, jogging! If denim is more your style, grab at least a black pair and an indigo pair. If your style leans more preppy, swap the black jeans out for white.
If you have to dress up for work, adding figure-flattering skirts like pencil or a-line will be key to the mix-and-match foundation of your capsule collection. Keep it stylish with something pleated or patterned.
Now it’s time to round out your capsule wardrobe with a few other essentials. It’s important to stock well-made outerwear that will last you several seasons, like a women’s wool coat and a denim jacket. Outerwear is where you can play with color because it doesn’t have to mix and match as much as your daily wardrobe. Try a bold coat in plaid or bright red.
When the temperatures rise, nothing’s easier than throwing on a comfy summer dress. Build a few of those into your capsule wardrobe — you’ll thank us later. If you have to dress up for work, a blazer or denim jacket does wonders. You’ll look casual and put together while staying cool and comfy during your commute and while you’re at the office.
As you’re building your dream closet, treat yourself with super comfy pajamas. Once you get a pair you really love, you’ll never steal your partner’s old band tee again. And last but not least, consider the accessories you’ll need to round out your collection like a couple of fashion scarves.
Now that you have all the tools you need to start your capsule wardrobe, it’s time to brave your closet cleanout. Start building the wardrobe of your dreams by browsing Lands' End today.