What is a capsule wardrobe and how to build one
How many times have you found yourself looking at your wardrobe, completely full, and mourning: “I have nothing to wear!”? This happens because, often, we look at all the garments we have in our closet and think that nothing goes with anything. Because we know that choosing an outfit can be challenging, we present you the perfect solution to put an end to these dilemmas: the capsule wardrobe!
As retrained as we may be, we always end up making some impulsive purchases, and when it comes to clothes, we have the habit of shopping every new season, even when we don’t need to. On the other hand, we have some trouble getting rid of things, even when we don’t like them or don’t use them that much. Result? Crowded wardrobe, with little use!
But the truth is that the key to a flexible wardrobe is not quantity, but quality and versatility! And this is where the capsule wardrobe comes in: by choosing this solution, you’ll have fewer clothes than before, but you’ll feel like you have a lot more!
But what is a capsule wardrobe anyway?
It can’t get any simpler than this: a capsule wardrobe is made up of a limited selection of essential, timeless, interchangeable clothing pieces that complement each other. Can you imagine going to your wardrobe and always finding what you’re looking for without having more than you need? That’s exactly what a capsule wardrobe provides because it’s minimalist, organised, and efficient!
By creating a capsule wardrobe, you’ll avoid sections of clothing that you don’t even want to look at, either because they no longer match your tastes or because they are old-fashioned. To this end, it’s essential to acquire garments that stand the test of time, i.e., quality garments, with a timeless design and, essentially, with neutral colours.
So, with a limited selection of garments, you’ll be able to create tonnes of looks and make your life easier! Finding the key clothes for your daily life that match perfectly with each other will be much simpler.
The capsule wardrobe’s history
The capsule wardrobe’s concept isn’t new, but it has become a trend again because, in addition to making our lives easier and better, there has been an increased interest in reducing the fashion industry's environmental impact.
The term dates to 1970 and started with Susie Faux, who owned a store in London called “Wardrobe”, where she sold minimalist, versatile, high-quality clothing that was easily mixed and matched.
After that, the concept became popular in the US in 1985, when designer Donna Karan launched her first capsule collection, called “Seven Easy Pieces”. In the presentation parade, the models were all dressed in bodysuits and showcased seven clothing pieces by creating various outfits with them. The fashion show was a success, and the idea of having an interchangeable, minimalist wardrobe became trendy.
Benefits of a capsule wardrobe
Save time: Having an organised and efficient wardrobe will save you a lot of time! By only buying exactly what you need, you’ll spend less time in stores and deciding what to wear on a daily basis.
Save money: By having a capsule wardrobe, you won’t have to shop often because the clothes are interchangeable and versatile.
Chance to buy better things: When you stop buying clothes you don’t need, you’ll have more money to invest in high-quality, timeless garments that will last beyond the seasons.
Be more sustainable: Obviously, buying fewer clothes has a less significant impact on the environment. On the other hand, those who choose to have a capsule wardrobe usually invest in higher-quality garments that last longer, avoiding fast fashion.
Have less decision fatigue: Our brain is programmed to make a certain number of decisions per day, after that, it gets tired and strained when it needs to make more choices. Having a capsule wardrobe makes deciding what to wear easier, so it doesn’t contribute to decision fatigue.
- Have less stress: Overall, a capsule wardrobe makes life less stressful. Disorganisation increases cortisol, the stress hormone, so when you reduce the size of your wardrobe, you reduce disorganisation and, therefore, stress.
How to build a capsule wardrobe
Now that you’ve surrendered to the capsule wardrobe’s concept, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and build one! Don’t worry about placing a limit on your capsule… the goal isn’t to have a certain number of garments, but to simplify your wardrobe.
Now, let’s go step by step…
Check your current wardrobe: The first thing you should do is think about your daily life. Identify which type of clothing you use the most and, thus, you’ll know what your basics are.
Afterwards, split your clothes into three piles – “yes”, “no” and “maybe” – and get rid of those you put in the “no” as soon as possible! Organise all the garments that you don’t like, that don’t fit you, that are too similar to others, that don’t match your skin tone or body type, or that are damaged beyond repair and donate, sell, or recycle them so they don’t end up in a landfill.
Put the “maybe” garments in a place out of your sight to prevent you from retrieving any on impulse, and if you don’t remember them during the next month, it’s time to move them to the “no” pile.
Plan your capsule wardrobe: Once you’ve decided what you want to keep, you can start planning your capsule wardrobe. Keep in mind that you don’t have to follow any specific rules, choose what works best for you.
Think of a colour palette that you would like to mix, although betting on neutral colours is safer, such as beige, white, grey, navy, or black. These colours work well together and with any other colour, so they are easy to mix and match. If this is the first time you’re thinking about a colour palette, you can resort to some palette creators available on the internet, such as https://mycolor.space/.
Now think about the clothing style you want to include in your closet. Choose the garments that best suit you and your daily life.
Finally, don’t forget about the fibres, which are just as important! Give preference to those with which you feel more comfortable and, if possible, choose natural fibres, as they are more breathable and sustainable.
Get your hands dirty: Now that you have everything planned, you just must start organising your capsule wardrobe! Start by putting basic garments in your wardrobe that are both functional and versatile and can be used in different situations. Some basic garments you might consider: neutral-coloured t-shirts, a pair of black trousers, and a couple of jeans. You can also add a couple of patterned garments if you like, but make sure the patterns are timeless, like stripes. Once you have all the garments you need, don’t forget about coats, shoes, and accessories.
If necessary, buy garments to complement your capsule wardrobe, but focus on what you already have… it’s cheaper and more sustainable. And in your next purchases, give preference to sustainable brands and choose high-quality garments because, as you will start to use your clothes more often, you’ll need them to last longer.
If you live in an area with four seasons, we recommend that you keep only seasonal garments in your wardrobe and keep the rest in a box out of sight. And voilà, by now, you should have your capsule wardrobe done!
The capsule wardrobe is there to make your life easier
The perfect capsule wardrobe doesn’t have a magic formula, the important thing is to find the necessary balance for your reality.
If you feel lost in the process of building a capsule wardrobe, you can find help in apps like Smart Closet or Stylebook.
On the other hand, to make things even easier, you can count on brands like LAGOFRA. We built capsules with versatile and timeless garments that combine with each other. The selection of perfect pairings is already made, and you can check it out here!