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I imagine you’re here because you’re SO OVER your current wardrobe. You might even have been looking specifically for a capsule wardrobe formula (in which case, you’re in the right place!).
You have a heap of stuff that you haven’t touched since you bought it, and trying to find an outfit to wear every day is overwhelming. Nothing looks good and you’re always buying new clothes with the hope that you’ll finally have something you’re happy in.
You may have heard of capsule wardrobes, maybe you haven’t.
In essence, a capsule wardrobe is one that is small but versatile. With only a few pieces, you can create numerous outfits and always look stylish. Creating one will allow you to develop and flaunt your signature style, and there are many benefits to having one (mentioned below).
Creating a capsule wardrobe isn’t actually all that hard. I’m going to break it down for you into small, actionable steps. Work through the steps, and by the time you’re done, you’ll have more:
– free storage space
– time in the morning
– clarity on what lives in your wardrobe
– style and put-togetherness, and
– money in your pocket in the future.
1. Create your wardrobe rules
The first thing you must do is create some rules for your wardrobe. Rules provide structure and remove the need for decision making, making the whole process easier. If an item isn’t the right colour and style, and can’t be altered to make it right, then it goes. Simple as that.
If you’re not confident creating your own rules, head over to my post A wardrobe style guide in 5 easy steps to find out how, then come back here for the next step!
2. Get rid of the obvious
Immediately chuck everything that you hate and everything that is ruined beyond repair. Also let go of clothes that don’t fit. Too big or too small, they’re sitting there doing nothing when they could be benefiting someone who needs them.
If you’ve been saying you’re going to lose weight or tone up to fit into those super awesome expensive jeans, then just do it already. If you’re not willing to start towards fitting into the jeans TODAY, get rid of them now.
Starting by getting rid of the easy stuff gives you some confidence and momentum to get through the next steps.
3. Apply your rules
Now you can start to apply your rules. Go through each item and if it doesn’t meet every single one of the applicable criteria, set it aside. If it ticks every box, celebrate and add it to your new capsule wardrobe.
Everything in my wardrobe now matches my colour palette, and is high-waisted and skinny, or v-neck and semi-fitted. It all matches and I don’t have to stress about what to wear.
If you have stuff that fits most of the criteria but, say, is the wrong colour, keep it for now but put it in a different pile. We’ll deal with that in a minute. Also remove any unnecessary duplicates.
4. Provide some TLC
For the items that meet all of your criteria but you haven’t worn because they need TLC, gather them all and assess them.
If you have a heap of clothes that merely need a button re-attached, JUST DO IT ALREADY. Make time for it, sit down, and do it all as a batch. Reclaim those lost clothes and feel better now that they’re not sitting around being neglected.
If you don’t know how to sew on a button, sign up for my newsletter to be notified when my mini courses on life skills are released! They’re something that I’ve been working on for quite some time now and they cover an array of topics to help you with tasks that you’re just expected to know how to do. In the meantime, send me an email and I’ll guide you through the process 🙂
If something is in need of more time-consuming repairs, consider whether you are likely to do it, whether it is worth your money to take it to someone who will repair it, or whether it is beyond repair and should be discarded. Always dispose of things responsibly – I mention some ways to use old clothes further down this post.
5. Change what you can
Remember those items you put in a pile up in step 3? The ones that met most, but not all, of your criteria?
Say, for example, that you have a nice long sleeved top that is the perfect cut and size for you, beautiful fabric, but you hate that it’s khaki. It doesn’t match anything else in your closet so you never wear it. If only you’d bought it in a different colour.
This is an easy fix – if the colour isn’t right, it’s a simple matter of buying some dye and changing the colour. Just make sure you buy the right dye – there are different types depending on what sort of fabric you’re dying. If you’ll be dying a mix of natural and synthetic fibres, you’ll need a batch of both types to do the job properly.
If sewing needs to happen, for example to do hems or take seams in, you can either DIY, learn to DIY, phone a friend, or pay someone else to do it.
Depending on the changes to be made, it might cost a lot less than you think to have something that you love fit you perfectly. Consider listing your job on one of the many outsourcing websites out there and get it done!
6. Fill the gaps
Now, finally, you can add in pieces that you really, actually need.
BUT don’t go out and buy them all at once, in case you get a bit too excited about all that extra storage space you just created.
Just go with what you already have until you come across a dire need for something, then let your subconscious mull over the potential purchase for a week. You might find that by the end of your week, you’ve decided against it, but if not, go and buy it guilt free!
If you’re going to buy, do your research and purchase something high quality. There’s no point buying something that will come apart or stretch or fade in a few months – you’ll end up spending more money buying low quality items every few months than buying one high quality piece that lasts years.
Also make an effort to buy ethically made clothing. It comes at a higher cost to you, but that cost goes towards paying someone an adequate amount for their work.
How would you feel if you worked long hours six or seven days a week, pumping out cheap t-shirts in a cramped work environment with no breaks, all for an amount of pay that doesn’t even support you, let alone the rest of the family?
Need some help?
If you need help figuring out which companies you can buy from, check out the app Good On You.
They have an ever-growing list of retailers and their respective ethical and environmental scores. They also have a search function to look for products that you need to buy. It’s definitely worth checking out.
Also, a great website for finding clothes (and plenty of other stuff, too) that lasts is buymeonce.com. They only list things with really long to lifetime guarantees! You’ll find most of the things listed to be a bit pricey, but when you consider that they’re made to last and that you’ll never have to buy one again, it’s more than worth it.
Trust me, I hate to spend money, but when I buy something I buy well so that I don’t need to fork out for the same thing again for a very long time. I always check here first when I need to buy anything new.
Other sites I like are:
7. Finishing up your capsule wardrobe
Now, if you’re anything like me, you’ll have come across a few (or a million) t-shirts and things that have high sentimental value that your rules suggest you discard.
If you still wear them and love them, then that’s fine. If you don’t and they’re just sitting around in your wardrobe or in storage, consider making them useful again.
An idea that I absolutely love is upcycling them into a quilt. Instructions can be found on Pinterest and everywhere else on the web.
Another one is turning them into unique reusable shopping bags! Again, you can find instructions on Pinterest.
To dispose of clothes no longer fit for wearing, there are a number of upcycling projects you can do with these as well. My favourites include rag rugs and rag baskets, as well as a not so common one – rag dog toys!
If you’re not into crafting, there is still the option of textile recycling, which doesn’t involve much effort and still saves the clothes from going to landfill. If you’re in Australia, the site Recycling Near You can help to find places that do this.
I hope you got some value out of this capsule wardrobe formula. Please let me know which points you found most helpful and how much you managed to get rid of in the comments below!
Image credit: Shanna Camilleri on Unsplash