Hey, hey! I'm back with another installment of Capsule Wardrobe 101! Today's all about how to make a capsule wardrobe!
Step 1: detox your closet
I'm gonna zoom through this section since there's an in-depth post about my process on the blog already. Basically, take all of your clothes out of your closet, drawers, storage bins, etc. and sort them into the following categories: love, maybe, donate, recycle/toss.
Step 2: fill out a planner
Sooo I made a capsule wardrobe planner! It has all the sections for reflection and planning that I use when I plan my capsules. Give it a download (it's free), fill her out, and get capsuling!
Most capsule wardrobe planners will have you reflect and assess your lifestyle, your personal style, and any goals you have for the season. I find it super helpful to also write out the average weather for my city and how much time I spend inside versus outdoors.
Picking out some ride or die pieces and coming up with specific outfits that feature those pieces also helps me get really clear about how I want to dress for the upcoming season.
Step 3: Pick a color scheme
This technically counts as planning but -- especially in my first couple of capsules -- I spent a lot of time trying to come up with the perfect color scheme.
My best suggestion is to take a look at the clothes that made it through your closet purge. Those pieces are most likely going to be in colors that you really like to wear. But you can also review your Pinterest/mood boards to see what colors you’re drawn to. Believe it or not, your home can tell you what colors you're drawn to. Chances are if you like being around certain colors, you'll probably like wearing them, too.
my color guidelines
Pick 2 or 3 main colors, 2 or 3 neutrals, and up to 3 accent colors.
To be honest, the more I made capsule wardrobes, the less I had to think about color schemes. Nowadays, I mostly think about what accent colors I want to incorporate and everything else stays pretty much the same.
Step 4: group clothes by color & start picking
Now the fun really begins! Pull your clothes out and lay them on your bed again, only this time, group your clothes by color family. Reds with reds, blues with blues, you get the idea. I group by color to make sure my neutrals and main colors are well represented in the items that make it into my capsule.
Once everything's grouped by color, start picking! I like to start with my key pieces and then fill in the gaps based on my lifestyle.
A good guideline is to try to include at least one top, bottom and shoe for each of your neutral colors.It helps keep your pieces interchangeable!
how many items?
My capsule wardrobes always hover around 40 items. Other bloggers have 25, 33, or 37, which just goes to show that there is no magic number to capsule wardrobes! Pick a goal number and see if it works for you and if it doesn't, don't worry about adding more items.
Step 5: Shop & budget
Once you've gone through your clothes and made your working capsule, make a list of the items you don't own and items that are on your capsule wishlist.
What I like to do is spend a few hours over the week window shopping and browsing online for the items I'm looking for. I'm usually searching for super specific things, so I'll bookmark the things that stick out to me.
I'm a victim of expensive taste, so what I do is add up the prices of all my wishlist items, remind myself I can't afford all of them, and start prioritizing. I decide what to save up for, what to buy as cheaply as possible and what to cross off the list.
I got a question about building a capsule on a budget/affordably and my advice is this: shop where you already shop. Nothing about the capsule wardrobe – especially at the beginning – says that you have to shop at expensive stores. I know it's easy to think everyone with capsules shops at higher end, pricier stores, but that doesn't mean you have to.
When I first started my capsule, I bought most of my items from forever 21, H&M, TJ Maxx and Target because that was where I shopped. I still have a bunch of those items and wear them in my capsules.
What we see online is what I see as a natural progression. If you’re being intentional about your clothes and actually wearing all of them, you’ll start to notice that some of the inexpensive pieces just don’t last…because they’re not meant to. And at that point, most people decide they’d rather drop an extra penny for a better quality version of their staple than replace it every year. At least that's how it's been for me.
That said, this whole thing is a process! So don’t rush it. Don’t feel the pressure to go out and buy an $80 chambray shirt just because it’s good quality. Wear what you’ve got, buy what you can afford, and see what lasts and what doesn’t.
Practically speaking, shopping secondhand is an excellent way to shop for less. Sites like Poshmark and ThredUp are great for this if your area doesn't have great thrift/consignment stores.
Aaaand that's it! That's how you make a capsule wardrobe. After shopping and filling in your gaps, all that's left to do is rock your closet for the season!
Leave me a comment if you use the capsule planner! And also leave a comment letting me know how you like this capsule series, I have ideas for more topics but I want to know what you guys think!