Have you ever been late because of a last minute outfit change?
Do you often find yourself thinking “I don’t have anything to wear!” while looking aimlessly at your (very full) closet?
Are you wanting to shave off some time to get ready in the mornings?
Are you looking for ways to save some cash or stay on budget?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then read on friends, because a capsule wardrobe just might be your new bestie.
The idea of a capsule wardrobe is no new thing, the term was first used in the 70’s by a London shop owner who recommended a versatile 12 piece wardrobe. Twelve pieces. In today’s world of fast fashion it’s easy to find yourself in a confusing haze of whether your flowy boho top or the cold shoulder top is having its moment this week. The idea of a capsule wardrobe is simple: you select a small number of timeless basics to be worn (ideally) year-round that can also be worn in multiple combinations, then seasonally rotate in a few complimentary pieces. Most capsule wardrobe gurus recommend pairing down to 35 pieces or less (not counting undergarments & pajamas). I’ll wait while you regain consciousness….
Sounds impossible, right?!? What if I told you it’s easier than you think! The truth is most of us are halfway to a capsule wardrobe- we just don’t want to admit (or change) our hoarder ways. A 2013 Wall Street Journal article reported the average American only wears 20% of the clothes in their closet and a 2016 survey conducted by ClosetMaid found that the average American woman has 103 items in her closet! I don’t know about you ladies but 103 even seems low after a looky-loo in my own closet (it’s bad, y’all).
We are stifled by clutter. Every single morning I sift through the 25% of my wardrobe that is too big (hello, maternity clothes), the 25% that’s too small (pre-baby clothes taunting me) , the 10% that I bought because I thought I could pull of that fit/trend/color, and the 20% that’s not in season just to find to the 20% that I actually wear. Now I’m exhausted, frustrated and wondering if I were to skip lunch and do some planks if I could ever get that pricey Anthro dress I’ve been hanging onto for years zipped.
Less stress. The premise is simple. If you only have 35 pieces in your closet to select from and most (if not all) of them work cohesively, then it’s easier to just grab and go saving time and reducing stress. What mom doesn’t need a few extra minutes and lower stress to start out their day?!?
Budget Friendly. There are financial benefits to the capsule wardrobe as well. Having this set 35 items you know you’ll be wearing for an entire season it theoretically should eliminate impulse buys. Instead you can set a small yearly clothing budget and really consider how any new pieces you do purchase during the year will fit in to the wardrobe. There’s a built in litmus test. Can it be worn with multiple items already in your closet? Can it be worn for multiple seasons? Can it be dressed up or down for different occasions? Does it fit well enough for me to want to wear it weekly?
Environmentally conscious. Capsule wardrobes can also be great for the environment! Buying less means there are fewer discarded clothes ending up in landfills. Fewer clothes means you’ll be taking better care of them to ensure they last longer. You can wear items a few times before washing them (assuming there are no stains and it’s not a 103 degree Texas day!) and hang items to dry saving on your electric and water bills!
Kid- friendly. Capsule wardrobes are awesome for kids too! Having items that all work together gives your kids more freedom and confidence to dress themselves (and for moms reduces the fear of what your kindergartener may waltz out of their room “ready” for school in on Monday morning). If your kids are like mine they have 40 shirts but seem to want to wear the same Shopkins shirt every. single. day. Fewer battles to fight in the mornings are a welcome change for this mama.
I’ve done the capsule wardrobe before and I’m doing it again this spring so stay tuned for the how to so you can take the plunge with me!