capsule wardrobe

I started my first capsule wardrobe as a monthly challenge in April 2019. The concept of having a reduced closet and curated closet was new to me, and I didn’t think I would like it. I thought I’d feel like I had nothing to wear.

But since these challenges were meant to push me out of my comfort zone and try something new, I decided to try it out for a month.

Now, it’s a little over a year later, and I’m still creating and maintaining seasonal capsule wardrobes. They’re still not perfect, but I’ve learned a lot along the way and am here to share my experience and tips with you!

What’s in My Capsule Wardrobes

My capsule wardrobes have been a mixture of store-bought items and things that I’ve sewn myself. Since this was a new adventure for me, I would start each season looking at different fabrics to determine what color palette and prints I wanted to try. From there, I would design and organize my pieces are the fabric swatches and colors that I loved. (Links to my summer, spring and fall capsule wardrobes

Questions You May Ask Before Creating a Capsule Wardrobe

Question 1: Will I Still Feel Like I Have Nothing to Wear?

Have you ever looked into your jam-packed closet and thought – I have nothing to wear? We’ve all been there!

One of my fears when I first started to think about creating a capsule wardrobe is I thought if I focused and narrowed down my closet, I would feel that all the time. I mean, how could I reduce the number of pieces I own/wear and feel like I clothes to wear?

Boy, was I wrong. Once I go past the mindset of more is more, I soon realized how freeing it was to have a curated closet. It wasn’t that I needed more clothes, it was that I needed to be more intentional about the clothes I added to my closet. Now before buying or making, I ask myself, how will this fit into my wardrobe? Will I wear the top or dress enough?

Question 2: Will I Ever Lose the Feeling of Needing to Shop?

The short answer is yes.

You will one day break the habit of walking through clothing departments just because it is what you’ve always done. I know I’ve broken the habit and don’t miss it. Now when I shop, I know what is missing from my wardrobe and can search for the item I need.

Question 3: What if I love Fashion Too Much to Create a Capsule Wardrobe?

Creating a capsule wardrobe doesn’t mean your love for fashion goes away, it means it’s more focused and intentional. Instead of buying a few cheap tops that you will only wear for a little while, you can save that money and buy a well-made item that you’ll wear for years to come.

Question 4: How Do I Find my Style and Color Palette?

In the last year, I’ve learned a lot about my sense of style and what colors I enjoy wearing during each season. I found that I gravitate towards deep, rich colors like navy, wine, and green. And occasionally, I’ll have the desire to add brighter colors like coral into the mix.

I’ve also learned a lot about my closet, my style, and what fits best into my everyday life – which is a mix of basic t-shirts, and skirts/dresses.

Question 5: What Pieces Should I Add to my Capsule?

Narrowing down my wardrobe each season has allowed me to become more in tune with what I gravitate toward wearing daily. For me, I go back and forth between t-shirts/sweaters and jeans and dresses.

For you, the answer might be completely different. The goal of a capsule wardrobe is to put together a wardrobe that works well together and works well for you. Start by creating a list of your favorite outfits. What does that look like? How can you create more?

Question 6: How can I get the most out of my capsule wardrobe pieces?

Find separates that work well together.

If you’re sewing your capsule wardrobe, I recommend separating a dress into two different garments. So instead of only having one dress, you create a skirt and a top that you can mix and match!

Question 7: How Do I Narrow Down My Closet?

Even after a year, I still have too many clothes in my closet and stored away.

Please read that again.

Even after wearing a capsule wardrobe for almost a year, I still have too many clothes.

Narrowing down your wardrobe is a process, and everyone goes about it differently, and that is OK.

What is my process?
Every few months, I take out and go through all my clothes, and make a keep, and donate pile. Eventually, I may get rid of all the items in my closet besides my capsule pieces, but right now, I’m OK with keeping the extra pieces I still love in a section of my closet I don’t use.

Question 8: How Do I Know When to Add Pieces to my Capsule?

A good time to evaluate your capsule wardrobe is before the start of the next season. Ask yourself:

  • Do you have enough weather-appropriate clothing?
  • Do you want to add to your current capsule, or have a different color scheme?
  • What clothes do you already have that you can add?

After a year of making and adding coordinating pieces to my wardrobe, I’m now starting to recycle more pieces for different seasons. For example, for fall, I’m planning on re-using most of my spring capsule wardrobe and only making some minor modifications.

Question 9: Do I have to Follow All of the Capsule Wardrobe Rules?

No, it’s your wardrobe, make it work for you. Don’t be afraid to make your own rules for your capsule wardrobe:

Here are some examples of ways you can “break the capsule wardrobe rules’:

  • Create a capsule wardrobe for the work week to reduce the amount of time getting ready in the morning
  • Wear your capsule wardrobe pieces 6 out of the 7 days of the week, and wear anything in your closet on the 7th!

Question 10: As a Maker, Will I Stop Making Clothes Now that I have a “Complete” wardrobe?

I’ve thought a lot about this and my answer is no.

I still plan on making clothes and have a few projects in the works. The difference now is that my makes and fabric choices are more intentional.

Before building a capsule wardrobe, I didn’t think about how my purchase of make would fit into my closet. This resulted in an overstuffed wardrobe, much of which I didn’t wear or love. That has now changed and am only adding items that I know I’ll wear for the upcoming season + years to come.

Are you going to try out a capsule wardrobe? Let me know in the comments below!

See more of my makes and capsule wardrobe combinations over on Instagram.

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