Did you know the average person wears only about 10-15% of the clothing (shoes and accessories included) they own? Yet, we continue to consume, consume, consume when it comes to fashion. While many reasons lead us to impulse purchasing clothes and accessories, practicing restraint and living with a capsule wardrobe has many benefits. Even if you’re an accessories junkie who can’t stop in that arena, limiting the number of actual garment pieces you buy pays off in significant ways. Let’s take a look at how to curate a capsule wardrobe and why it benefits you.
Let’s start with the why’s to get you motivated. Buying less means several things for the person who’s going the route of capsule wardrobing. First of all, you’re going to save money – and lots of it. If you think about each $15-$30 piece of clothing you bought on impulse over the last year, you’re probably looking at around a thousand dollars. If you’re a parent running household clothing for several people, you can double or triple that number. That’s literally thousands of dollars a year you could save just by limiting impulse purchases and only wearing the items you truly love.
Another reason why capsule wardrobes are great is they benefit the environment. The cost is grave to our climate and environment regarding the manufacturing and transportation of fast fashion items. Now, just because it’s a capsule doesn’t mean it can’t be fast fashion, but you’re limiting how much you buy, so you’re helping the environment in that way.
Time is another huge reason. Think of the decision fatigue and time wasted every day trying to decide what to wear. Trying things on, deciding they don’t fit quite right, putting them away, only to wind right back with your “old faithful” pieces that you know flatter you and feel good on. So, save yourself some time that could be better spent with friends, family, on hobbies, or helping others.
What Should Be Included In A Capsule Wardrobe?
A capsule wardrobe should include a variety of different clothing items. You’ll want to have clothes for all occasions, so make sure to include both formal and informal pieces. Additionally, you’ll need basics like t-shirts, sweaters, womens knickers and jeans. It’s also important to have seasonal pieces in your capsule wardrobe. For example, you’ll want to include a coat and boots for the winter and shorts and tank tops for the summer.
When choosing pieces for your capsule wardrobe, it’s important to think about what you wear most often. If you never wear skirts, then there’s no point in including them in your wardrobe.
How To Curate Your Wardrobe
When you look inside your closet or drawers, what do you see? If it’s a sea of clothing you could care less about, pull it out and place it neatly on your bed. Now go through each piece individually. This is important to spend time with each item. If it’s something you haven’t worn in the last six months, you can probably donate it. If it was an expensive piece or you think you could get some money for it, try selling it online or at a local consignment shop – you’d be surprised how much money you can make from things you don’t even use anymore.
After you’ve gone through all the items in your dresser and your closet, you should ideally have several piles. Keep, Donate, Sell and Recycle. That’s right, recycle. Some items are too stained or tattered even to donate. Look around online for textile recycling centers in your area and take them there instead of tossing them in a landfill. Places like H&M offer free textile recycling drop-offs and give you a discount voucher for future purchases. Madewell gives you a discount voucher for bringing in old jeans to recycle.
Now the last part is the trickiest when it comes to what’s left. Figuring out a way to make it all work together. While it may be challenging, it’s also a fun project to get creative with the leftover pieces and come up with multiple outfits and ways to wear them. Or, if you’re like many people, your capsule is casual, so t-shirt and jeans every day it is! There is nothing wrong with uniform dressing (that’s what this is referred to). Many famous fashion designers dress this way, as well as Apple founder Steve Jobs.
Tackling The Rest
You may still have many things left over when everything is said and done, like shoes, handbags, and other accessories. You can pare these down and do the same thing – keep, sell, donate, recycle – or keep them if that adds value to your capsule wardrobe. Hairpins, for example, never go out of style, and if you’ve got a lot of hair, you can never have too many. Whatever your wardrobe ends up looking like, you are guaranteed to have an easier time getting ready every day, more money in the bank, and more free time in your day. Here’s to pairing down and breathing a sigh of relief. Happy sorting!