In my recent post I defined what a capsule wardrobe
is. Here I will explain a bit more on how to start building your own capsule wardrobe as I go on my own journey to do so.
Essentially, a capsule wardrobe is minimal wardrobe that comprises of basics and key items, that are statement pieces. Personally I like to have a seasonal capsule wardrobe that I change twice a year. I think it’s good for the different seasons. So for example in Australia, have one for Spring/Summer and another for Autumn/Winter, that way you have clothes suited to the appropriate temperatures. This also means you can choose different colour varieties throughout the year in a more organised manner. As long as you have the essentials for the season, a few spontaneous purchases added in later won’t hurt. (Says the shopaholic in me!) Just let me add that I don’t buy a whole new wardrobe every season!
There are many different ways of doing this but to facilitate the process, I use four main points. I start with the first (fun) part of creating a concept where you define the style of your wardrobe specifically for this season. The best way to do this is by compiling inspiration for your concept. I look for inspiration everywhere; on the Internet, magazines, on Pinterest or Tumblr and a common one now is from street style blogs. Also, list down elements you want to have in your wardrobe such as textures, colours, combinations, specific items.
A digital or paper based mood board helps collate all your inspiration in one spot. Pinterest
has become very popular this way because other than creating your own boards you can peruse other people’s boards and get ideas from there.
The second step is to build a basic structure for your wardrobe. After collecting inspiration, the ideas have to be translated for the visual concept to be useful. The easiest way to do this is to look for similarities in proportions or silhouettes and list category items. A proportion is a combination of a item categories. You may find that you like maxi skirts worn with short-sleeve tops or a leather jacket paired with slim fitting jeans as a staple for your winter wardrobe. Pick about 1-4 proportions to work with your style and lifestyle. You may already have a uniform even if you don’t realise it. Then choose a colour palette that you are comfortable with.
Once you have the basic framework for your capsule wardrobe draft, it makes things easier to form outfits like filling in the blanks. Based on all the proportions you have picked out, list items for each category and set quantities for each item you would like to have. Keep in mind your wardrobe will be between 20-30 items (just an estimate). When you have your draft, the organisation process begins.
I would start from my own wardrobe first and go through everything I have to see if it will stay in my capsule wardrobe. If you have a relatively well-defined wardrobe then you may need to get 20% of your draft list. Then from there, I go through the draft list see what else I need. I don’t necessarily buy brand new items. Sometimes I scour through eBay or second-hand shops for a bargain. You’d be surprised what you’d find.
The last and final part is creating a working wardrobe and here is where you implement and test the wardrobe you have built. Once you have the core preparation done, create different looks and learn to maximise the versatility of each item in your wardrobe. To make your wardrobe work for you, it may take a bit of adjusting and time until you find the right combination. Below is an example of a small capsule wardrobe.
I believe that your capsule wardrobe has to be tailored closely to your personal style and suit your lifestyle. I know this may seem like a lot of work however a bit of organisation will definitely help spend less time planning your day-to-day look and probably even some money. There are no set rules so have a little fun with it. For more insight into capsule wardrobes, check out Project 333. It is a great idea if you want to challenge yourself to a more simple life.
Do you have a capsule wardrobe? What pieces would be in your capsule wardrobe if you did?