One Year of Capsule Wardrobing: Lessons Learned

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I started my very first capsule wardrobe last fall and I’ve truly enjoyed embracing the concept as a viable lifestyle for the long term. I’ve written before about the joy of having a lean mean closet, but I’m no expert yet. I’m continuing to streamline and refine the process of building a wardrobe that simply works.

It’s important to note capsules aren’t so much about shopping as they are about making your closet work for you. However, as older items are worn out and need replacing, it’s been great to keep capsule wardrobe principles in mind. As I begin planning for fall, I thought I’d share a few things I’ve learned about building a better capsule wardrobe.

Prioritize Important Activities

I built most of my spring/summer capsule wardrobe for weekend wear. Unfortunately, as an introvert, I tend not to go out much. Even worse? Although I spend most of my time at the office, many items in my collection were barely work-appropriate. As I’ve begun planning my fall/winter capsule, I’ve made creating work outfits a priority and plan to build the rest of my wardrobe from there.

Get Inspired

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve already begun on my fall capsule, perusing Pinterest boards and allowing my imagination to run wild. During a trip to the mall this past weekend, I stumbled across a pair of the most delicious burgundy booties that promises to be the starting point–and the star–of this year’s fall capsule. You never know where inspiration will strike.

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Start from the Bottom

Because my capsules generally tend to have fewer pants and skirts than tops, it’s important these bottoms work with as many other items in my wardrobe as possible. I think of them as the workhorses of my capsule. Those jeans and leggings? I’ll wear them with everything, so it makes sense to start shopping for these pieces before almost anything else. Once they’ve been acquired, it will be easy to ensure the rest of my pieces work with them, not against them.

Follow with the Feet

One of my biggest capsule fails this year has been not having the right shoes. I’ve worn the same pair of comfortable and versatile navy canvas slip-ons almost every day since I first introduced them to my wardrobe last fall. The four remaining pairs of shoes that were supposed to be in heavy rotation weren’t, simply because they aren’t as easy to wear. So this time around, I’m following my own advice: I’m prioritizing shoes for the workweek, focusing on fit, function, and fashion.

Make Shopping Personal Again

Buying online can be such a crapshoot, particularly if you can’t be bothered to return an item that just feels meh. While I’ve had some successshopping for clothing online, nothing beats going to a store, trying on a garment, checking it out in a mirror from every angle, and feeling confident in your purchase. My capsule should only contain clothes that I absolutely love and the best way to learn if an item fits well and makes me feel amazing when I put it on is to try it on in person.

Are you a connoisseur of capsule wardrobes? What are some of the most important lessons you’ve learned so far?

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2 thoughts on “One Year of Capsule Wardrobing: Lessons Learned

  1. This is really helpful – I’m journeying to a capsule wardrobe and agree with all the points you’ve made. It’s 100% about quality and I’ve found that I’m using pieces so much more (and in a variety of ways) than I ever did with a wider, eclectic wardrobe.

    1. Cate, I couldn’t agree more! It really is about quality over quantity and creating harmony in your closet. It gives me such a jolt of pleasure now to look in my closet and see how everything works together with everything else. Capsule wardrobes for the win!

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