As a work-a-homer, fashion sense is often one of the first things. Our clothing budget is focused on comfortable as opposed to stylish. When it comes time to attend a night on the town or a conference, you can find yourself in dire straits. And when I’m nervous and excited about an upcoming event the last thing I want to do is go shopping and get all frustrated that I can’t find something I like or fit. Forget it!
Creating a capsule wardrobe is a new trend that many women are trying and loving. The idea behind a capsule wardrobe is that you limit your closet to a certain number of items and you save or donate (or in our case sell) the rest of your clothes. The benefits of this simple outfit are that you shop less (and therefore save money), keep your closet clutter-free, love the way you look, and simplify your routine by removing excess choices. While this trend may sound great, putting the concept into practice can be challenging. Here are a few tips to help you get started
I won’t tell you to get rid of your favorite “work clothes” aka yoga pants, t-shirts, and hoodies. But I would ask you to be open to the possibility that you will start dressing for success as you move forward each day. We’re creating an outfit you can feel confident wearing to Periscope, church, a night out with friends, or your favorite business or blogging conference.
Step 1: Your wardrobe should consist of only suitable clothes right now.
No cluttering your closet with jeans you hope you’ll fit into again someday, and no holding onto things that fit awkwardly or need alterations. Anything that doesn’t fit should be put in storage, donated or taken to a tailor. Better yet, if it’s in good condition, send it to thredUP or Tradesy where you can buy what you need using credit or cash.
Step 2: Your closet should contain only seasonally appropriate items.
While the odd chilly summer evening may require a sweater, you don’t need all your winter clothes to take up space in your summer capsule wardrobe. And you definitely don’t need to be sifting through tank tops and pairs of shorts in the winter. Items that are not seasonally appropriate should be put into storage.
Step 3: Your clothes should suit your lifestyle and personal style.
When planning your outfit, think about the different activities you participate in and then make sure you have appropriate and comfortable clothing for each activity. Choose basic and timeless colors like black, navy, gray or khaki and then buy some great accessories for a burst of color. And, you should absolutely love every item in your closet. If you don’t, get rid of it. Personally, I don’t wear dresses or blazers. I’m not wasting my items on that. Instead, I might opt for an extra pair of dressy jeans and a cute sweater in their place.
Step 4: Choose a number. Any (rational) number.
You should have 24 to 40 items that can be mixed and matched to create different outfits. That’s why we chose a base color. Your 24, 33, 37, or 40 items include shoes, tops, outerwear, pants, at least one pair of jeans, skirts, and a few rockin’ accessories (you don’t need to include accessories in your number). It doesn’t need to include pajamas, workout clothes, underwear, special occasion wear, your Sunday grub or bathing suit.
You should decide based on the number of parts that work best for you. Many people “power of two or three” work wonders. For example; Two or three pairs of jeans, two or three pairs of dress pants and two or three skirts. Then two-three pairs of dress shoes, two-three casual flats and two-three boots. Three sweaters, three t-shirts, three blouses and more – one casual, one statement piece and one in between.
From Caroline abnormality His perfect number was 37, “9 pairs of shoes, 9 bottoms and 15 tops. Then the remaining 4 are only enough for 2 dresses and 2 jackets/coats.”
Once you decide on a number, stick with it; This capsule wardrobe exercise is all about reducing unnecessary purchases and clutter, so it’s important to prevent adding to your item count.
Step 5: Choose your current preferences.
Once you’ve decided how many clothing items you want to include in your wardrobe, it’s time to go through your existing wardrobe. Based on fit, season and lifestyle, go through your wardrobe and get rid of what doesn’t work. Items that don’t fit in your capsule wardrobe at the moment, but you want to wear again, can be put into storage. Should you donate or sell unwanted items; Don’t be afraid to part with pieces that just don’t fit or work for your lifestyle. You will feel better without them. Trust me!
Step 6: Create your shopping list.
After you’ve cut out your existing wardrobe, decide what you need to buy to complete your capsule wardrobe. Make a list of what you need before you go shopping. This will help you stay focused and buy items that fall within your clothing guidelines. Buy pieces that are versatile and can be mixed with other items in your closet.
Step 7: Get some professional help.
Sign up for Stitch Fix. This styling service has done so much for my closet. I have a really hard time defining my style and finding items that I feel comfortable in When filling out your profile you’ll tell your stylist what types of items you’re shopping for, the fits and styles you like (and hate), your sizes, height and weight, and budget.
You are then assigned a personal stylist who will take all of these things into consideration and send you five items to try on. Then you can take three days to try everything on and see what you want to keep and send the rest back. You only pay for what you keep.
You can either let Stitch Fix send you items regularly or do what I do and pick up a fix periodically. You can always write notes when placing your order, which is a great time to tell your stylist about a specific piece you need or an event you’ll be attending.
The styling fee is $20 and applies to the cost of any items you choose to keep. I’ve been using this service for about a year now and they’ve introduced me to some great brands and styles that I wouldn’t have tried otherwise. And, I don’t have to worry about whether my best sweatshirt is clean if someone rings for a dinner date at the last minute. (Wonderful side note: I’m a pear shaper and it’s been an ongoing struggle to find the perfect pair of jeans. I’m happy to report that Stitch Fix has found them!)
Step 8: Stop Now!
Once your capsule is complete, resist the urge to shop. This is easy to do when you use a styling service like Stitch Fix. Now is the time to get creative and mix up your wardrobe items. Continue using what’s in your closet until the weather changes. As the season changes, pull out a few new items and repeat the capsule process accordingly.
Simplifying your wardrobe has many great benefits, not the least of which is saving money and eliminating clutter. Having less in your wardrobe allows you to truly define your personal style. This allows you to spend less time shopping and more time with your loved ones. This helps you make less regretful, impulsive purchases instead of spending your clothing budget only on purposeful, creative and planned purchases. Spending less on unnecessary items allows you to spend more on just a few quality items that fit well and can stay in your wardrobe for a long time. Simplify your closet and start planning your own capsule wardrobe. And don’t forget to order your first Stitch Fix here.