The capsule wardrobe has become somewhat of a trend, but if you try it I think you will agree: it's amazing!!! I really think this is what shopping - and dressing - was meant to be like. When you know you're doing a capsule wardrobe for a season, shopping becomes less about "what's on sale?" or "what catches my eye?" and more about "what key items do I need to fill in the gaps in my wardrobe?" and "what is something that I could wear over and over again, and still love?" You end up asking yourself the questions that lead to a more sustainable, and more wearable, wardrobe.
For this winter capsule, I chose 30 items of clothing to wear for the months of January and February. Each item was either sourced from a socially responsible brand, or was second hand. I didn't include accessories, because I think having different accessories options is what makes the capsule wardrobe come to life. I will share more about that in a later post. Read on for my top five tips for building a winter capsule wardrobe!
Choose colors that can all be mixed and matched. For this winter capsule, I decided to stick with mostly black, grey, white, and denim. Pretty much every piece can be worn with the other pieces in the capsule. You can also add pops of color, like emerald or oxblood, which go with almost any color. Another approach would be to include mostly rust, ivory, brown, etc. All in all, you want to wear the palette that you feel most comfortable in, and that can be interchanged easily.
2. PRINTS vs SOLIDS
Definitely include some prints in the mix, to keep things interesting. I included two stripes, a polka dot, a plaid print. That way I'm not just a sea of solids all winter, which would be sad.
You can also add different textures, like a chunky knit, a marled coat, or cashmere. That way, if your capsule is mostly monotone it still feels interesting.
4. TOPS vs BOTTOMS
The actual ratios of the types of clothing will be different for everyone. I definitely wear skirts and dresses more than the average person, so that will skew a little higher for me. Other people may wear jeans non-stop and need five different types of jeans and no skirts at all! You should think about what you wear most, and build your capsule around your own personal preferences. It's for you after all! For this capsule wardrobe, I included:
4 pairs of pants (dark denim skinny jeans, black skinny jeans, lighter ripped jeans, and sweat pants)
4 skirts (one dressy, two casual short skirts, one casual mid-length skirt)
7 tops (tank, t-shirt, long sleeve t-shirt, turtleneck, feminine blouse, chambray shirt, white shirt)
5 coats (down coat, heavy weight wool coat, medium weight wool coat, light weight cocoon coat, and light weight trench coat)
5. CASUAL VS DRESSY
You want to make sure that you can dress for any occasion, and that the majority of the capsule is made up of clothes you can realistically wear in your day-to-day life. I work from home, so I am probably wearing those sweat pants during the day every day - let's be honest. But some people may need to include more business attire. The rest of the capsule is for when I leave my house to attend business meetings, do errands, hang out with friends, etc. You also should have one or two dressy items that you can wear for special occasions. By keeping this in mind, you can tackle any situation with grace and style!
I hope more people will join me in doing a winter capsule! If nothing else, it's a great way to "detox" from shopping habits, and figure out how to streamline your wardrobe into something you love. I didn't throw out all of my clothes, I just put them aside. Once the capsule is done, I'm going to take a serious look at everything and decide what winter items I need to keep. Let's be honest, I still want to wear that funky 70s blouse that I found at a vintage shop in Brooklyn and that totally not-basic off the shoulder polka dot mini-dress. I think it's okay to have items in your closet that you don't wear all the time, but you cherish. The problem is when 90% of your closet is impractible, out of style, or you just don't want to wear it. That's what I think a capsule wardrobe can help us all get more clarity about.
Stay tuned for more capsule wardrobe updates & ethical style tips! And shop my 30 piece winter capsule wardrobe here!