Learn How to Create a Sustainable Capsule Wardrobe
A step by step guide
What is a Capsule Wardrobe?
These are the only pieces you really need in your closet! A minimalistic approach.
A seasonal mini wardrobe of about 30 to 40 multi-purpose favorites made up of tops, bottoms, dresses, jackets, coats, and shoes.
There are some recommendations to own exactly 37 garments per season. However, in my opinion, it is not about an exact number. It is not about following a rule. But rather about the idea of minimalism and sustainability. If you can manage with a few pieces more or less, then it’s perfect that way!
How to create your Capsule Wardrobe
1 — Do your preparations
First, you should empty your closet and assign each item to one of the following categories:
- all clothes that are not liked/worn. These will be donated, given away, thrown away, or sold.
- clothes you are not sure about. E.g. clothes you rarely wear, clothes that don’t fit perfectly, clothes that don’t mix and match well. Also fabrics, patterns, and colors you don’t like so much. Pack them in a box and put it in the basement, in a closet, or somewhere out of sight. If you miss any of the clothes during the season, get them out of the box. Move it into your closet. Anything left in the box at the end of the season now belongs to 1. and can be disposed of.
- garments that do not fall under point 1. and do not belong to the current season. These also go into a box. Exception: garments that wrinkle like dresses or blouses. I hang these on the far right side of the closet under a clothing protector. I don’t want to iron them in the next season 😁
Once that’s done, the current season’s favorite pieces go back into the closet.
This is the basis for your Capsule Wardrobe!
2 — Consider your color concept
Think about what colors suit you, what do you like the most. There should be a maximum of 4 basic colors in your closet so that all pieces can be combined well with each other. If you like to wear patterns: make sure that the patterns match each other.
Example: I like to wear red, navy blue, white, and black. Both in my free time and at work. I rarely to never wear patterns. I can combine most of my clothes with each other.
3- Chose your clothes
The selection begins! Choose the right pieces for the season from your existing garments. The number can of course be customized. For example, I did it like this.
- 7 tops & blouses
- 4 t-shirts
- 7 bottoms: skirts
- 2 bottoms: shorts
- 7 dresses
- 1 thin jacket
- 7 pairs of shoes — 2x sandals, 3x high heel sandals, 2x flats
35 pieces for summer 🌞🔥🌞
With that, I can theoretically get by for 3 weeks without doing laundry. The things mostly mix and match by color and style. I like a mix of business chic and practical. I wear dresses and skirts with pleasure, but e.g. also tops & flat shoes in my free time. Most items I can wear at work and at home or no matter where I go.
To consider: Sleepwear, underwear, socks, belts, watches, or other jewelry do not count. Also, clothing for special occasions, such as a long fancy dress or for men, a tuxedo or bow tie do not count.
I must add that I also wear pumps or blazers for work, which I count as spring season. I also wear pumps in the office sometimes in the fall or winter and my blazers almost all year round. Likewise, I wear t-shirts or tops under my sweaters in the winter. However, I count these as part of the summer season. You see, there is no strict separation. That is also not the sense and purpose. It’s great when the clothes are reused!
If you perhaps have even fewer parts per season or more diverse combination possibilities, that’s great!
4 — Complete your Capsule Wardrobe
This is necessary if:
- you do not have enough clothes for one season
- you do not have enough clothes in the right color or style
Buy only what really fits you, pleases you, and matches the rest. ❤
My tip: wear what fits and pleases you, as long as it’s fine. If you need a new piece, then look for good quality and if possible sustainable brands. Also, look for high-quality fabrics. ✅
Of course, there may always be exceptions. If you have a favorite brightly colored dress that matches almost nothing else, keep it. You have worn it so far often and with pleasure, so why should you give it away. Things that you like to wear should be allowed to stay. I’m not a fan of strict rules, just guidance, and tips.
What are the advantages?
A Capsule Wardrobe saves time every morning when choosing clothes. You can concentrate on more important things. Conscious consumption of clothing leaves more money for hobbies and other things or to save. Fewer pieces in the closet are sustainable because resources are saved. You buy less because you have everything important and can mix and match it. By reducing to favorite pieces, your personal style becomes visible, too. Also, think about your next vacation: if everything fits together and you like to wear everything, you can pack your suitcase quickly. Also, your closet is always organized when you put away clothes from other seasons.
You only have clothes that you love and that fit together, and more space in your closet! ❤