Build A Capsule Wardrobe: A Beginners Guide
While the minimalist trend is here to stay, there’s a significant difference between just having fewer clothes and consciously selecting an essential collection of clothing and accessories.
With more and more focus put on living sustainable lifestyles, this closet reduction containing just a few timeless pieces is slowly taking over the fashion world, with designers, influences and enthusiasts alike all looking to take it back to basics.
Amongst all of us, there has surely been a time where we’re faced with the dread of having too many options and nothing to wear. Even when our wardrobe is filled with options, we’re stumped and will often find ourselves rushing out to buy a new outfit before the big event.
Most of the time when we shop, we mindlessly pick up items rather than planning and purchasing outfits, be it a pair of shoes you’re sure will go with something at home, or we shop with short term goals in mind, for instance, a pair of earrings we’ll only wear to the one party.
Next time you find yourself in this dilemma rather than hitting the shopping centre why not set out to declutter your wardrobe and set out to create a wardrobe that will not only help you spend less but become a collection of your essentials.
What exactly is a Capsule Wardrobe?
Even though the term ‘capsule wardrobe’ appears to be a modern-millennial concept, the idea has been rooted in the fashion industry since 1970! The coin itself is coined by a British fashion designer and owner of a London based boutique store named “Wardrobe”.
At its core, a capsule wardrobe is a small range of versatile pieces that rely on longevity instead of impulse purchases and fashion trends. This practice is described as a thoughtful and strategic investment for your wardrobe.
Since it’s conception, the capsule wardrobe has proved especially helpful for working women, creating a versatile yet small collection of outfits to choose.
According to Faux, the year-round core pieces of a capsule wardrobe were a pair of trousers, a shirt, a jacket, a coat, shoes, a bag and a belt. The concept has even been adapted into mainstream fashion lines with American designer, releasing her capsule collection, consisting of only seven clothing items back in 1985.
Creating this wardrobe can be done regardless of style, size and budget as there aren’t any hard and fast rules when it comes to the exact number or types of pieces you should buy. With that said we’ve put together the basic guideline for anyone looking to start a perfect plus size capsule wardrobe of their own.
Declutter your wardrobe
The process of creating own capsule wardrobe begins with the seemingly simple task of getting rid of all the clothes you don’t wear. When it comes to decluttering, we recommend organising your plus size clothes into four clothing piles -
The favourite or “go-to” category: In this pile place the items you reach for without hesitation, these are the items that on wearing make you feel good and are a regular pick over the pieces you may wear one day. You’ll want to bring your absolute must-haves to the centre of your wardrobe.
The “I’m not so sure about this” category: These are likely the items you bought in the heat of the moment or maybe got as a gift. Maybe they’re clothes that you once loved but now find yourself pushing to the back of the closet. If you’re struggling to part with any of these items, we suggest taking the six-month challenge, and if you don’t find yourself wearing any of these items over the next six months than you’ll know for sure, it’s their time to go.
The “seasonal” category: When deciding to declutter we recommend starting here, as it’s sometimes easier to throw away old winter coats with the promise of summer right around the corner and vice versa. From scarfs to bathers depending on the season take these pieces out of your main collect and cycle them back in once the seasons have changed.
The “NO” category: Remove all damaged items, clothes that no longer fit and anything that’s been sitting at the back of your wardrobe for years. Usually, you’ll pick these up and know straight away that they’re not for keeping.
Sort out your staple pieces
With the first step out of the way, you should be left with only the clothes you wear on the regular and feel good in. From here, we can begin to plan our staple pieces and essentials based on our personal styles. For example, having fitted shirts, blazers, tailored pants/well-fitting jeans and a pair of sturdy boots will give you a multitude of options, no matter the occasion.
That’s the magic of reducing your collection to only a small collection of staple pieces. To choose your “absolute” essentials from your newly sorted clothes, see how can be used across work, formal, casual outfits. If you start to notice a combination of clothes that can be mixed and matched to fit into any of the above categories then you know it’s a keeper, just don’t forget to keep your seasonal items on hand too!
Our advice is to consider what you feel most comfortable in and look for items in neutral colours that can easily be worn in combination with other staples. While for your seasonal essentials we’d recommend including a warm jacket, knitwear and camisole tops.
It’s important to note that just because these items are now your staple pieces, you can add on by shopping for the right garments that complement your new wardrobe.
Now that you’ve identified your staples it’s time coordinate. Sticking to a complementary colour scheme, not only makes planning outfits a breeze but allows you to shop with confidence as pieces will fit seamlessly within your new collection.
To coordinate, start by selecting a base colour from your current staples and select clothes based on complementary shades. It’s safest to choose a darker base colour like blacks and navy blues, however, depending on your personal style there’s no reason you can’t mix things up as long as all your chosen pieces fit harmoniously together. An important thing to ensure, however when picking your base is that your capsule wardrobe works with all settings from a casual evening out to a work function.
Complete the look with Shoes and Accessories
Coming to the end of this guide, the last step is to add your shoes, jewellery, bags and other personal accessories. Like your clothes, make sure you pick versatile and long-lasting pieces that complement every outfit.
If you’re building a wardrobe of darker or neutral essentials, use your accessories as a pop of colours, go bold and playful! If you’re styling around a more colourful collection, keep your accessories basic and smart to complete the look.
When shopping for bags, black and brown colours make for a timeless and versatile look. While necklaces and scarves can become statement pieces to add variety and personal style to your essential looks, for the shoes, keep it simple with a good pair of heels, flats, boots and sneakers for any occasion.
Following these tips, you’re on your way to creating a sustainable and simple approach to fashion. Having a thoughtfully assembled wardrobe not only saves on money but the time spent stressing over what to wear, all without sacrificing your personal style and fashion. Even if you don’t enjoy a minimalist style, this simplified way of organising your closet never goes out of style.