Do you recognize this situation? It’s Tuesday, you wake up feeling rested after a good night’s sleep. You open your wardrobe and start looking for something to wear, you sigh as you force apart your tightly packed hangers and tut as something slips off a hanger and falls to the bottom of the wardrobe (taking a mental note to look for it later). You pull open your drawers which are crammed full and you quickly shut them again as you simply cannot decide what to wear. The rested and relaxed feeling you had a few minutes ago soon becomes forgotten and becomes replaced by the dread and tiredness feeling that, again, you are wearing the same thing.
I know I got tired of opening my wardrobe and sifting through a packed space, tired of making decisions about what to wear, and tired of feeling bad for buying things that I simply did not wear. That’s when I decided to cultivate my capsule wardrobe and it is one of the many smart ways I organize my home.
Below I will give you tips on setting up your capsule wardrobe and the 11 key elements it should have. In my Happy Bedroom Package, I work with clients to declutter their wardrobes and prepare their own capsule wardrobe that reflects not only their style, but their daily routine and wardrobe size.
Benefits of having a capsule wardrobe.
The key to opening your wardrobe and seeing the clothes you actually want to wear is having a capsule wardrobe (or something that is similar because everything can be tweaked!). It is key to saving time in the morning because, lets face it, too much stuff wastes our time. What’s more, what you have in your wardrobe will all go together and no matter what you put on, its something that you really like.
Many of us feel overwhelmed with too much stuff and having a capsule wardrobe right for you can take the guesswork out of getting dressed and you will start the day off on the right foot. Plus once it’s done it makes the rest of your bedroom feel relaxed and organization maintenance is easy peasy!
Are Capsule wardrobes boring?
In today’s consumption driven world, we are led to believe that more is always better and that having lots of things in the wardrobe adds to your personality and allows you to shine out. Simplifying your wardrobe and reducing the pieces that you wear is not as restrictive as you may think. Below I will give you 11 key components of a capsule wardrobe and it’s up to YOU to tweak it suiting your style and personality. You don´t suddenly wear one colour or wear one type of jeans. It’s about having 11 key categories that are composed of different items that you absolutely love. Just follow these simple steps:
Steps to culivate your capsule wardobe:
1. Shop your wardrobe for the basics
Don´t think basics are boring! They are the foundation of every wardrobe. Here are my 11 basic categories.
- Basic tee shirts
- Great Jeans
- Lightweight Sweater
- Long Sleeved Tops
- Tailored Trousers
- A great coat
- Buttoned Shirt
- A Go- To Dress
- Tailored Jacket
- Signature Footwear
- Day-to-day footwear
Take out one by one all the clothes in your wardrobe and start making these 11 categories from all the clothes you have. It may seem a lot, so make space, on the bed, on the floor, chair or even in another room. This is a great exercise as you really get to see how many things you have in each category.
2. Another way to purge your wardrobe.
So you have set all your clothes out in the 11 categories from step 1. Take a look at each category and compare them. Which category has the bigger pile? Start with that and go through each pile and ask yourself questions like:
- Does this make me feel fabulous?
- Am I happy to wear this on a regular basis?
- Have I another garment in this category that is basically the same as this? If so, donate one you least like/least fits
- Do I like this style?
- Do I love this?
- How old is this?
- Does this even fit me?
- When was the last time I wore this- more than a year? Then it gets donated.
Choose to keep pieces that you´d be happy to wear on a regular basis. Keep pieces that you love and feel great in and that fit! Try to be ruthless in this process and donate the things you don´t feel good in, that are too big and are too old.
If you have sentimental items, a coat you bought on a wonderful holiday or a jumper you wore on your first date with your husband. Hold the garment in your hands, how does it make you feel? Close your eyes and smell it. Does it bring back wonderful memories at its touch and feel? I like to be ruthless and I like to tell clients that our memories our not in our things that we own. But, (its a big BUT!) if you have one or two garments that give you an amazing feeling at its touch and feel but you don´t wear them, then take them out of your wardrobe, put them somewhere else and make space for things you do wear.
4. Incoporate Twists
Of course we all have something that we love that goes out of the basics categories. Fabulous shoes that are all the colours of the rainbow! Flares that your mum gave you and you wear. It’s ok!
5. Fill in the rest
Have you something missing from no. 1? Maybe a go-to dress that will suit any occasion and has a fabulous fit? Or a good fitted jacket that you can put on and feel great? This is when you can go shopping! Buy quality when shopping – gone where the days of fast fashion, it’s bad for the environment and stories of human rights problems etc have made me aware of which chain stores I should buy from. Why not try second hand items? You can not only buy good quality and avoid the price tag but it is also good for the environment.
Maintenance of your capsule wardrobe.
Now you have all the basics of a capsule wardrobe, the key to maintaining it is to store your basics together in their categories above. Remember, hanging jumpers and t shirts should be avoided as it forces the shoulders out of shape. If you don´t have them already, buy matching non-slip matching hangers and throw out any wire hangers you have. These will not only avoid garments slipping off and falling into the deep dark corner of your wardrobe, but you will open your wardrobe and everything will feel in its place!
Maintaining the 11 categories above, order your wardrobe by weight: heavy coats, fitted jacket, dresses, long sleeved garments all the way to short sleeves. This will help you get dressed in the morning and help you maintain the order.
Finally, ask yourself when you are shopping “does this fit in my capsule wardrobe?” Remember to be sensible about the space you have. If you are looking at your wardrobe now and it looks quite full with not a lot of room to move hangers, then simply don’t buy and remember you have your basics! Always ask yourself, have you got the space for this garment?
I find when working with many clients on purging and decluttering their wardrobes, that before it happens it brings a certain dread but once its done- its done! Take some time out, work through these steps above and I can promise you, not only will you feel good wearing the clothes but it will save time in the home and it may even be the impulse to organize other parts of your home too!
If you need help with your wardrobe, check out my Happy Bedroom Package– together we can organize, declutter and transform your bedroom into a sanctuary where you open your wardrobe and SEE the clothes you actually want to wear.