The Essential Guide to Creating a Capsule Wardrobe

It seems simple, creating a capsule wardrobe; however, I found that it was more work than what I used to consider “wardrobe building”. Before, I’d purchase what I liked and hope for the best. The result was a closet that didn’t work well together. So, when Adam and I started cleaning out some things (because our small closet was a disaster), I decided to commit to a capsule wardrobe. After doing tons of research, I’ve come up with the essential guide to creating a capsule wardrobe.

Now that it’s all in one place, let’s start at the beginning. You’re standing in a mess of a closet, wondering what to do. The feeling of being overwhelmed or frustrated is starting to creep up your spine.

CLEAN OUT YOUR CLOSET.

Literally. Take all of the things out and set them on the bed. While you do this, take note of the colors you wear most often. You’ll need that information in a little bit.

The way this worked for me? I used my simple yes/no method, which is basically what it sounds like. Yes, you love the piece, can’t live without it and will wear it. Or no, you don’t love it or haven’t worn it in a while.

I tried on each piece, ensuring that it fit me the way that I wanted it to, and created three piles. One: keep. Two: donate. Three: put in storage for the next season.

This process took me two days. It’s ok if it takes a while. Our clothes are the outward expression of who we are. They’re important. Choose wisely.

DETERMINE A COLOR SCHEME.

Remember when I said to take note of the colors? Yeah, that’s because this is super important. Why? Not all colors go well together. What you need to do is build a wardrobe that will allow you to use each piece with the others (ok, the minimum is at least three others). This way, when you’re staring at that shirt you’ve over-worn (because you’re obsessed with it!), you can pick it up and pair it with something new.

Doing this helps each item feel fresh. I mean, how many of you out there have a shirt that only goes with one pair of pants. You love it but have nothing else to wear it with; so, after pairing that amazing shirt with that one pair of pants five times, you shove it in the back of the closet, frustrated.

When it comes time to determine a color scheme, look at what you already have. Seem to wear a lot of red? Think of colors that go well with it. Obsessed with millennial pink? Brainstorm colors that with with it.

If you’re stuck, head to Pinterest for inspiration. I searched for capsule wardrobe color palettes. As long as the colors complement each other, there’s nothing to worry about.

When it come to my colors, I ended up choosing: black, grey, white, red, blush, light blue, and navy. Oh and denim/chambray too.

AS DIFFICULT AS IT IS, GET RID OF THE CLOTHES THAT AREN’T IN YOUR CHOSEN COLOR SCHEME.

After all that work of searching through the piles of clothes and finding the ones I couldn’t bear to donate/toss out, I had to force myself to give up the green body suit and cozy tee I had – and you’ll have a similar experience too.

The thing that made it easier for me? I gave them to my little sister. It made me happier, knowing that a few of the pieces I loved would be worn by someone that I love.

PUT IT ALL BACK AND TAKE INVENTORY OF WHAT YOU NEED.

After you’re finished separating the clothes that don’t match your color palette, put the clothes back in your closet or in their drawers. Pack up the clothes for next season and put them under the bed or on top of your closet, put the donate-able clothes into bags, and toss out the trash.

Organize your closet; then, take note of what you’re missing. You’ll need to set your own budget for what you’re willing to spend (to fill in the blanks) but this is it; this is the beginning of your capsule wardrobe.

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