Everyone has their version of a Capsule Wardrobe, and their take on what should be included in a Capsule Wardrobe. There is the text book answer to this question, and then there is the practical answer. The practical answer includes whatever pieces fit with your lifestyle and your personal style; these will be the core basic pieces that make up your wardrobe which we will come to later in this post.
So how do you determine what is your personal style? Each of us has a personal style that we lean towards and with which we are comfortable. Have you every tried buying someone a present, where you are so excited with what you have picked out, only to find out later that the receiving person did not share your enthusiasm? That is because we each have different styles, tastes, preferences, etc. So how do you find your personal style? This area can be a struggle for most of us, and that is because there are virtually endless alternatives and possibilities, which more often leave us more confused and frustrated. One simple way to find your personal style is to start a collage of pictures of outfits that you are drawn to and that you admire. Over time, this would reveal a trend in your taste of what you like and what you see yourself wearing. Another way, is to do an inventory of your existing closet and see the pieces that you already own; from these items, determine your favorite pieces, especially those that you frequently wear. In other words, if you are the girl who wears her boyfriend blazer everywhere, then maybe you are more a casual chic girl. Remember, we are not trying to put you in a box of any ONE way of dressing. We are simply trying to find what your capsule wardrobe should include. As an example, if you wear leather pants practically every day, and they go with your style, then your capsule wardrobe must include a good quality pair of leather pants.
Next stop are the lifestyle questions. What is your lifestyle? What clothing does your lifestyle require? As an example for me, my lifestyle includes office work attire, dinners out, coffee dates, weekend casual, etc. Remember the art of getting dressed in five minutes is all about having something to wear for every occasion/event without stress and anxiety. Another factor to consider is the environment in which you live; the climate will be a deciding factor whether or not to layer.
When building your capsule wardrobe, here are a few factors to keep in mind to make this exercise a success:
Comfort – pick pieces for comfort and softness on your body. If there is a piece that scratches or uncomfortable, I can assure you that you will not wear it, regardless of how much you loved the piece when you bought it.
Colour – Pick colours that you will wear. As much as I hate to admit it, I am a black, white, grey, and blue girl. These are the colours that I am comfortable with, and that I reach for all the time. I would love to rock a yellow top, but this desire just never pans out. So if I should add any yellow pieces to my closet, then more often than not, these pieces will be hanging there without any use.
Style – Pick styles that you will wear and that meet your comfort level. As a personal example, I am a jeans and blazer girl, but this would not be to everyone’s taste. Therefore, find the style that works for you and then build your closet around it.
Quality versus Quantity – I am a big advocate on buying quality items that will last a very long time. This usually requires you to spend an insane amount of money upfront, but this tactic has long term benefits, and from my experience, it’s the best way to go. As an example, if you make the investment to buy a great quality and well fitted blazer, it will eliminate the need to buy three or four blazers which cuts down on the amount of money that you will spend over all, and will also cut down on closet clutter.
Avoid Trendy Pieces – Trends come and go, and so would your money if you are a devoted follower of trends. The objective is to invest in high quality pieces that will be around for your enjoyment for a long time to come.
Fit – Ensure that your clothing fits to perfection. Too many times we settle on an alternate size because the item was on sale and our size was not available; so what do we do? Buy it of course, because we are convinced that we can make it work. This results in the piece sitting in your closet and never getting worn.
So here is my take on what to include in a Capsule Wardrobe and some suggestions to get you started:
- A well Fitted pair of black pants – (Some suggestions Alice & Olivia, Theory and Reiss)
- Relax Fit and Casual Black pants (Some suggestions AllSaints, Vince, Alice & Olivia, AG Jeans)
- Jeans (Some Suggestions AG Jeans, AG Jeans and Rag & Bone)
- Leggings (Suggestion BCBG)
- Skirt (Some Suggestions Reiss, Carven and Theory)
- Shorts (Formal or Casual depending on your taste) (Some Suggestions Theory, Sandro and Vince)
- Various Tops & Blouses to match all the Bottoms listed above
- White shirt (Some suggestions Alive & Olivia, Maje and Vince)
- T-Shirt (Some suggestions Rag & Bone, Vince and Vince)
- Sweater if you live in a cool or cold climate (some suggestions Sandro, Vince, Maje, AllSaints and Theory)
- Short Cardigan (Some Suggestions Maje, Theory)
- Long Cardigan (Suggestions: Theory, Vince)
- Blazer (Some Suggestions Theory, Rag & B0ne)
- Jackets (Some Suggestions Vince, Theory)
Many of us can resonate with the anxiety of never having anything to wear, regardless of how much clothing we own, or how often we go shopping. The smart way to combat this issue is to put some thought into what will work for you, what is missing from your wardrobe, what are you doing wrong, and what are some solutions for you.
Your first task will be to take an inventory of your current wardrobe and determine the missing pieces. Then adding these pieces to your closet will simplify getting dressed and reduce your stress and anxiety. You may use the Capsule Wardrobe list above, but tailored to your needs and lifestyle. Use the Capsule list above when going shopping and try to focus and only buy what is required. If you cannot decide at the moment that an item would work perfectly with your closet, take a picture of it, and then do some analysis when you get home. If your wardrobe includes one item from each of the list above, then I can assure you that you will master the art of getting dressed in five minutes or less.