If you often find yourself feeling like you have nothing to wear yet have a wardrobe full of clothes, the capsule wardrobe is for you.
It’s a simple idea – keep a small, well curated selection of your best clothing – roughly 37 pieces, not including underwear or outerwear – and mix and match these items to create your outfits for an entire season.
Want to give it a try? Here’s how, in 5 easy steps…
Step 1: Think about your style
Planning a capsule wardrobe requires a little bit of forward thinking. What is your style like? What are your lifestyle activities? For example, do you dress smartly for work or need functional athletic wear because you spend much of your time on the move? Thinking about how you like to dress and what you need your wardrobe to do for you is a good place to begin.
Step 2: Take everything out
The next step to your capsule wardrobe is to begin narrowing down your wardrobe to only those key pieces you’ll wear and love. A visual approach will help make everything clear, so begin by pulling out everything – yes, everything! – from your wardrobe and laying it out on the bed.
Step 3: Sort it
Sort all the items into one of four piles: YES, NO, MAYBE and SEASONAL. This is the time to be ruthless – there is no place in your capsule wardrobe for items that don’t fit, don’t look good or even worse, make you feel guilty.
- The YES pile is for the items you love, that fit you well and you already reach for over and over.
- The NO pile is for all those items gathering dust that you don’t like, don’t fit, or you no longer find stylish. Put these items into a bag and donate to charity, give them away or host a clothing swap with friends. If you don’t love it and don’t wear it, why is it there?
- The MAYBE pile is for the clothing you’re unsure about for whatever reason. These are the garments you rarely wear but are hanging onto anyway – it could be they don’t fit properly, have sentimental value, or are just not quite to your taste but were expensive to purchase. If you never wear it but aren’t sure you’re ready to part with it yet, put it in the maybe pile.
- The SEASONAL pile is for those items you still love but won’t wear again until the seasons change – for example your summer shorts or winter jumpers. Put these items into an under-the-bed storage box or another wardrobe for safe keeping until you need them again.
Step 4: Assess
Once you’ve divided all your clothing, it’s time to put everything away. Seasonal items should be stored safely under the bed and the no pile packed away to give to charity.
Then, take your maybe pile and pack it into a box or bag to be stored in the attic or somewhere safely out of sight and out of mind. If you need something from this pile you can go and get it at any time – but if you forget about it for an entire season, then you know it’s time to find the clothing you weren’t quite ready to get rid of a better home and donate it to charity.
Finally, put your yes pile back into the wardrobe and step back. In front of you you’ll have a selection of clothing you can reach for every day to get dressed and look your best.
Step 5: Plan and Shop
Once you’ve organised your clothing comes the exciting bit – shopping for new items. As you put everything back into your wardrobe it will be easy to tell if you have enough clothing or you’re missing one or two key pieces, like a pair of smart trousers or a casual jumper to wear out and about on the weekend.
Take note of what’s missing and spend some time thinking about the items you need most. That way when you visit the shops you’ll have a clear idea of what you need and won’t waste time endlessly browsing the isles.
So tell us: will you try a capsule wardrobe?