The Inspired Mundane

reflections on life from a creative being made in the image of a Creator

Category: Wardrobe

Winter 2017 Capsule Wardrobe

I posted recently about how to create a capsule wardrobe; I thought that maybe you’d like to see a concrete example. Presenting: Pauline’s Winter 2017 Capsule Wardrobe Review!

Pin me!

I chose these pieces because I was already wearing them regularly. They’re comfortable and easy to layer if the temperature drops below 20 degrees.

winter 2017 capsule wardrobe

4 dresses, 3 tops, 2 cardigans, 2 jeans, 3 leggings. Not pictured: a cream lightweight sweater I added when I decided it worked well for layering.

Factors I had to consider: weather (about 35-45 F during the day, with frequent rain; sometimes we get snow), versatility (lots of bold colors here – how well do they combine?), and occasion (must be suitable/comfortable for work, school, and home).

What I Thought

This was fun! I haven’t been good about keeping track of what combinations I wear, but it’s much easier to choose an outfit with limited choices. After sketching out on paper some of the outfits I could form with my 15 pieces, I came out somewhere around 40 outfits. I’m sure there’s a mathematical formula I could figure out to calculate the total (that also takes into consideration the fact that I wouldn’t wear my olive green with my navy blue) but I haven’t figured it out yet.

(Click to navigate slideshow, hover for description.)

Verdict: I’m totally doing this for spring!

Have you done a capsule wardrobe before? What did you think? What would you do differently?

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

How to Create a Capsule Wardrobe

If you decided to clean out your wardrobe so you could keep only what you love, and found that you love a lot of your clothes, you may still feel overwhelmed by the variety in your closet when you open it in the morning. I propose a solution: create a capsule wardrobe from the items you already have.

The concept of the capsule wardrobe has been around since at least the 80s, originally meant to help women select a few high-quality pieces they can wear year-round without having to worry too much about what outfit to wear or selecting new clothes to buy. However, it’s come to mean the opposite now: shopping around for a new capsule wardrobe you create seasonally. *sigh* Hurrah for consumerism.

I have no objection to buying new clothes, but the goal of a capsule wardrobe should be to get the most use out of pieces you already have, not buying more and more clothes. In addition to helping you simplify your options of what to wear, other benefits of using the capsule wardrobe system include:

  • reducing your carbon footprint because you’re not buying (as many) new clothes
  • saving you money, or allowing you to allocate your clothing budget to fewer, higher-quality pieces
  • defining your style by giving you a signature look
  • creating less laundry than you would normally have to deal with (which saves energy, water, and labor)
  • boosting your confidence, because you are only wearing pieces you like that you know go well together

Honestly, the only downside I could think of is that you may have difficulty making a capsule wardrobe if you have highly eclectic tastes. Even then, I would encourage you to experiment with mixing up styles. You may be pleasantly surprised!

capsule-wardrobe

How to start building your capsule wardrobe

1. Pick a number

Typically a capsule wardrobe has a limited number of items. Some set the limit as low as ten, while others as high as 37. I didn’t decide on a number until after I pulled out a few items to look at; after looking at what I had, I decided 16 was a good number. Keep in mind that this is just dresses, tops, bottoms, and sweaters; it does not include my winter peacoat, shoes, socks, undergarments, or accessories. You might choose to include such things; I didn’t because I have already limited my selection of outerwear, shoes, and jewelry.

2. Choose your colors

Limiting your color palette tends to help; some people go minimalist and keep their capsules to neutral tones, while others chose one or two main colors and three to four accent colors. I have caramel-toned skin, so my whole wardrobe tends to be warmer colors, with ivory/beige, olive, wine, and navy being the dominant tones. By default, this limited my palette.

3. Consider your environment

What do you normally dress for? You may need two separate capsules for work and casual wear, if your workplace requires business attire. Also, what is typical weather for this time of year? Where I live, winter is rainy and 30-45 F, though sometimes we have cold spells as low as 15 F. I’m going to be including sweaters in my capsule.

4. Start matching pieces

Select items that are versatile and easy to pair with each other. My Winter 2017 Capsule post details some of the possible pairings in my capsule. Generally, start with 4-5 of your most distinct pieces (for me, it was the dresses) and add in items that complement the outfits and are suitable for mixing and matching.

5. Wear your capsule with pride

You’ve narrowed your options and chosen your pieces – congratulations! You’ve completed your first capsule wardrobe. Push aside the rest of the clothes in your closet for now – they will be waiting for their turn next season – this capsule is going to rule the roost. Enjoy the simplicity of selecting from five items instead of 50. You may find that you’re more satisfied with your choice than you were before.

That’s all there is to it! Come check out my Winter 2017 Capsule for a real-life example. Also, follow me on Instagram @inspired_mundane for outfit photos!

Have you ever done a capsule wardrobe before? How do you feel about this concept? What pieces would you want to include?

Create a capsule wardrobe for free!

Save

Save

Save

Save

How to Love Your Wardrobe

love your wardrobe

Perhaps you are familiar with this scenario: you’re standing in front of your stuffed wardrobe, frustrated at not being able to find your favorite top, and you don’t know what else to wear despite literally having a hundred options before you.

It’s such a common scenario, it’s a cliché. But that is how I used to feel every morning. Now I just feel that way the morning of laundry day. My closet has far fewer clothes than ever, but I am much more satisfied with my options, and I can put together an outfit quickly in the mornings. As an additional bonus, I get a lot more compliments on my style.

The secret is to keep only what you love, and ruthlessly eliminate the rest. But to do that, you have to go through everything, a la KonMari tidying.

Seriously, go try it, right now, with your clothes. Pull everything out and pile it on the bed. Loungewear, jackets, work clothes, PJs, yes, even undergarments. A little surprised at how much you have? Do you honestly think you actually want to wear all those things?

Before my closet purge, I had over 70 mismatched hangers in my closet, each one holding a piece of clothing. It was a little crowded in there. I also didn’t wear much of what I had, though ironically I never felt like I had enough variety. I ended up replacing my 70 hangers with a 40-pack of those neat Huggable Hangers. I really wanted matching hangers, and I figured that sticking to the cheap white plastic hangers made it too easy for me to just buy more hangers when they got full.

I’ve pared down my closet, bit by bit, by focusing on eliminating clothes I don’t particularly enjoy. “Does is spark joy?” is a very useful question when choosing what to keep. Of my 40 hangers, about fifteen of them are currently unoccupied (granted, a few items are in the laundry), and I now feel like I have too many clothes! It’s funny how focusing only on what we love reveals what we truly need and what is excess. Go ahead and eliminate those wardrobe pieces that you felt obligated to keep but aren’t otherwise attached to.

Is there room for more elimination after the initial process? Sure! My closet purge happened in two waves; both times produced about a garbage bag full of clothes to either throw away or donate. I was going to do another purge for this post, but after pulling all my clothes out of the closet (and setting aside all the stuff for warmer weather), I found myself stuck on only two items: a grey shift and a slightly large striped ¾-sleeve shirt. I ended up setting those aside for warmer weather as well.

I will admit, I only did my closet. I have a dresser with additional clothes in it, though it mainly consists of a few pairs of jeans, a couple of sweaters, and a lot of t-shirts and pajama bottoms. I skipped all those because most of them get more use during the summer, and I’d rather wait until autumn to evaluate warm-weather wear.

What are your favorite things to wear? Are there any pieces that you don’t wear as often as you like? Now is a great opportunity to piece together outfits with those! Do you have anything that you were relieved to finally let go of?

Save

Save

Save

Save

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén