Let’s paint a picture: Say you have just finished folding your laundry and are ready to put your freshly cleaned clothes away, either in a drawer or on a hanger in your closet. Now imagine you open your drawer, only to discover that it is already filled to the brim with other folded clothes. Then you go to your closet, only to find that nearly all the hangers are already taken by other garments that live in your wardrobe.
You don’t have to imagine it though, do you?
We are all guilty of overconsumption, especially when it comes to clothes. And if you are anything like us, you probably have a hard time parting ways with old clothes (even those jeans that you ordered online and forgot to return).
This is where your minimalist capsule wardrobe comes in. It is time to free up your closet, declutter, and create more space in your closet, and home.
There is no need to have drawers and closets filled with clothes that you do not wear. Besides, sometimes too many options make it even harder to dress ourselves each day.
We know that clearing out your closet and curating your capsule wardrobe can seem overwhelming, which is why we are here to guide you through the process. Keep on reading to catch up on the best tips to create your own capsule wardrobe, and watch yourself transform into a minimalist overnight!
What Is a Capsule Wardrobe?
Before we get to the nitty-gritty, it is important to understand exactly what a capsule wardrobe is, and what minimalism means in terms of sustainability.
A capsule wardrobe is a collection of interchangeable garments that can complement each other regardless of the occasion. This means that ideally, your wardrobe will have clothes that can be suitable for a casual day of running errands, a business meeting, cozy clothing, and anything else in between.
Ideally, capsule wardrobes exist to help us minimize our closets and practice mindful consumption. It is natural for us as consumers to want to constantly update our wardrobes and have a wide variety of looks to choose from, but ultimately we end up having excessive amounts of clothes that can go to waste. Over 11 million tons of textiles end up in landfills each year, but if we all collectively try to minimize our clothing consumption, we can make a big dent in that statistic.
Minimalism is a lifestyle choice and a philosophy to make more intentional, and ultimately eco-friendly choices. It is about surrounding yourself only with things that line up with your values. In regards to your wardrobe, living in a minimalistic way means that you only introduce clothes into your closet that are going to serve a purpose and be worn often and interchangeably.
It will take some work to curate your capsule wardrobe, but we have some tips to help you get started.
1. Choose How Many Pieces You Want
Creating your own minimalist capsule wardrobe might seem intimidating, so a great place to start is by selecting how many items of clothing you want. Choosing a base number will make it much easier for you to narrow down which garments are more important to you and more versatile.
Many people tend to choose somewhere between 20 and 50 pieces to incorporate into their capsule wardrobe. We suggest picking a number that feels doable for you at the moment.
It is important to remember that this number can change at any point in time! You are not going to have your wardrobe all figured out right away, so the most important thing is to find a starting point.
If you decide to start with a larger wardrobe, you can always downsize over time. Vice versa, if you give yourself a smaller number of pieces, but have a hard time choosing, you can increase the number and revise as needed later.
There are no hard rules when it comes to capsule wardrobes. You can adjust and revise as needed. Over time, you will find it easier to part ways with clothes and make the number of pieces you have smaller.
2. Sort Through Your Wardrobe
Once you have decided on how many pieces to include in your capsule wardrobe the next step to take is sorting through your closet. This way, you can see everything that you are working with and have an easier time sorting through your garments.
We recommend that you sort through all of your clothes and lay them out in separate piles. For instance, keep all your jeans in one pile, all of your dresses in a separate pile, and so on. By doing so, you can easily organize the different items of clothing and see how certain pieces can work together.
Having your clothes out in front of you will help you select which pieces are must-haves, and which pieces are unnecessary to your new capsule wardrobe.
This step might be a little time-consuming, but we can guarantee that it will make the process simple and smooth.
3. Choose Essential Pieces
Next, you can narrow down your piles into your favorite pieces. This step does not mean that your wardrobe is complete, but it is a great way to choose between clothes you love and clothes you have not worn in ages.
The two main things you should factor in while selecting your essentials are versatility and its importance to you. The whole purpose of this kind of wardrobe is that you are curating a closet full of clothes that can easily interchange into different, unique outfits.
You will likely need plenty of basics, a reliable pair of jeans, and even some formal wear.
But, you should also account for clothes that bring you joy and a sense of fulfillment. If something has sentimental value to you, that can and should be factored into your choices of essentials.
This process is not black and white; we suggest narrowing down your pieces into things that you know you love and know can be worn interchangeably. Ultimately, this will make the process much easier!
4. Color Coordinate
After you’ve narrowed down your top picks, you can break that selection down even further through some good color coordination!
There is no “correct” color palette to use as your base. No one knows your style better than you, so choose clothes with colors and patterns that reflect your sense of fashion and individualism.
This process can be completed simply by putting all the different colors of your palette into different piles (much like you did during tip number two), and narrowing the selection down from there.
For instance, if you see that you have multiple black button down shirts, you can use this step to narrow that pile down to one or two black button down shirts instead. You can also use this as a means to eliminate more clothing that does not fit your style.
You might notice that your wardrobe has a lot of earth tones and basic shades, but perhaps you find a couple of bright-colored sweaters that seem a bit out of place. If you have a challenging time deciding how to style those outliers with the other items you have selected, you can use that as a metric to get rid of more clothes. While it might seem harsh, it is a great way to curate a very intentional, versatile wardrobe.
It is just another way of laying your clothes out and determining which garments and shades serve your style the most.
5. Donate What You Don’t Need!
Once you are done curating your minimalist capsule wardrobe, you might be wondering what you should do with the extra clothes. The answer is simple: donate!
A huge factor in minimalist fashion is a shift towards eco-friendly practices and mindfulness, and a great way to make sustainable choices with your unwanted garments is to donate them to nonprofit organizations and thrift stores that will accept them.
Many thrift stores will accept donations right at their facility. Most cities have drop boxes throughout where you can leave your clothes behind to be collected and donated. Local shelters are other wonderful resources to give away clothes that are still in great condition, that you have no use for.
Donating keeps your clothes from ending up in landfills and will extend their lifespan. Besides, your clothes are much better being loved by someone else, instead of sitting unused in your closet.
Curate Your Minimalist Capsule Wardrobe Today
We know creating a capsule wardrobe of your own takes a lot of time and discipline, but it is a great practice of mindfulness and sustainability that will benefit you and your sense of style in the long run.
It will take some work, but with these tips, it will be easier than ever to curate your own minimalist capsule wardrobe ASAP!
Textiles: Material-Specific Data | US EPA
What Is Minimalism? Benefits of Living a Minimalist Lifestyle | Oprah Daily
23 Places to Donate Old Clothes Other than Goodwill | Imperfect Idealist