Basics of a Basic Wardrobe: Capsule Wardrobe 101

If you are not a morning person, you likely wake up (late), rush to get ready for work, open your closet, wear the first thing you see and leave. 

If you are an organised person, you likely have all your clothes folded nicely and well sectioned (hi, monica?), and among which have a bundle called faves, from which you repeat pieces and outfits every other day.

If you are not a party person, you likely excuse yourself out of gatherings to have a good time at home in your everyday cosy pyjamas.

If you are a lazy workaholic, too busy to care about what you wear, you likely wear THAT one pair of jeans all day, every day.  

My point? No matter what category of people you fall into, you and I, all have a bunch of clothes we love to wear and likely only ever wear. 

We have our closets over stuffed, greeting us by showering some of them on us upon being opened. (exposing myself here). These tons of clothes are often bought impulsively in a sale or as post breakup retail therapy, or because of that referral code your friend sent you, or because you saw it trending on reels or due to many more big, small, silly reasons In fact, many a times without even any reason! No, it’s not just you, (very) probably all of us.

But things have changed, or are on the way. These recent times have us rethinking our entire being. With the ever so growing awareness and emphasis on themes such as minimalism, they got us (re)digging our spaces, habits and preferences. And when alluding fashion, comes forth the idea of Capsule Wardrobe. 

Concept of Capsule Wardrobe

 

Remember how I said we all have those bunch of clothes we love and only wear. That’s literally what a capsule wardrobe is. Basically only owning pieces that are essential, are functional, can be worn in multiple ways, outstrip seasons, stand aloof and above trends, are ones you truly love to wear. Capsule wardrobe is more of a practice of being mindful in what we fill our closets with, and conscious in how we wear/use them. It invites us to be intentional with our picks and have a hold on our wearable consumption. Advocating the axiom of ‘less is more’, it emboldens us to wave (not waste) off the access via donations or giving away to anyone who could make better use of them and from here on be watchful of what we add to our charts and closets!       

Although mistaken to be one of the many ‘millennial’s things’, Capsule Wardrobe dates back to the late 20th century. The locution was first introduced by a London-sited boutique owner, Susie Faux in the 1970s. Granted such early birth of the concept, it is nearly a need today.

 

 

Why?

 

Capsule wardrobes are called so for they treat the planet and make it all well and healthy. Now this may not be a fact and only a simple pj but it is no lie, here’s why (poetic much?). 

  • Being mindful of what and how we buy is a great step to build a sustainable space. It reduces one’s carbon footprint and leads to better utilisation of resources.
  • Alongside, it condemns the trend of ‘trends’. It helps gainsay fast fashion, focuses quality over quantity and consequently cuts out on the waste generated, preventing landfill overflow.

Apart from being an absolute present for the planet, building a capsule wardrobe has a LOT to offer you too.

  • The biggest benefit of a capsule wardrobe is that it is the perfect solution to what each one of us goes through at least once each day: that hour spent standing in front of the open doors of the closet, in a towel (calling myself out yet again), trying to figure out ‘what to wear’. Having only limited and fav pieces equals less time deciding on the OOTD and more time really enjoying wearing it. With decision dilemma, both time and physical and mental exhaustion saved too. (Good Lord!)  
  • Secondly, more importantly it helps save money. Buying less means saving more! It’s that simple. Above that, it focuses on investing more on pieces that are high quality, timely and yield good returns. 
  • It makes room (quite literally too) for getting creative and more playing around with clothes and accessories, experimenting new styles and ways to wear and combine those very pieces in newer and fun ways. More and more experimenting further brings in more clarity in knowing what works or doesn’t works for you and helps you discover yourself and your style more!
 

How to get started?

 

Getting started with building a capsule wardrobe is easier than it sounds, trust me. It doesn’t happen overnight, and neither does it have to. You can take your time and figure your way around it.

Creating a capsule wardrobe often starts with first looking into the closet and getting answers or for starters, even a slight idea about

    • What do you already have?: You’ll be surprised by some many things you didn’t know you had!
    • Out of all that you have, what do you like to wear?: Try identifying the type of piece(s) instead of a individual fav item(s). Make sure they’re the ones you would wear more than once. (even better, if at least thrice)
  • What thing or type of pieces do you no longer wish to wear?: Identity the type(s) of pieces you’ve outgrown. And very honestly decide what you won’t any longer wear. 
  • What are some pieces you need on an everday or regular basis?: List down your basics.
  • What is it that you need more of or something you need and don’t already have?: Take not of what is it that is actually needed. 

Upon gaining clarity on these, try reducing what you have accordingly. Take out all that you don’t need and make better use of it: donate or sell or give away to friends/cousins/anyone who may enjoy it more than you. 

Commonly, a capsule wardrobe entertains about 34-37 pieces, but there is no hard and fast rule. Any reduction is a good start. Reduce the number of pieces as much as you can.

Try examining and experimenting with the what you have for a while. Watch how you’re doing tat season and if you’re having fun (very important). Think and enjoy it as any creative pursuit. Going minimalistic with your wardrobe, doesn’t mean not buying stuff, instead prioritising what you need over what you want. 

Observe yourself and steps throughout the season, take notes, and then shop the next season accordingly and/or when needed. Try for reducing the pieces as you move on to your next capsule wardrobe.

You can learn more about the art of building a minimalist wardrobe or even get one-on-one help and advice from some of the gurus of the field: 

The whole point of capsule wardrobe is to being mindful in shopping adventures, letting needs instead of impulses guide you through the racks and having fun while doing that. It is more of a lifestyle, embracing and being content in less. So even if you’ve been a shopaholic all this while, try giving this capsule a shot (getting too medical?) and it might not be that bad after all!

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