HOW TO BUILD A WINTER CAPSULE WARDROBE IN 2020
As a stylist and home organiser, I’m a big believer in less is more. The minimal lifestyle has been gaining traction for some time now but much to my delight, the trend has narrowed in on my favourite space - closets.
After weeks of living in mostly sweats and PJ’s, there is no better time to rethink your wardrobe than with a brand new season. For some people, getting dressed can be a tiresome, disheartening routine that we all go through, almost every single day, so gaining control over your wardrobe and your style can have a massively beneficial impact on your daily life. How you look and how you feel in what you are wearing, can really affect your confidence, your attitude and your overall disposition. Having a simplified wardrobe will also allow you to spend more time, money and energy on the things that really matter in life (i.e. not your clothes). HOWEVER... ...in a world of fleeting trends, how do we decipher what makes us each authentically unique and brings us a more fulfilling purpose to our personal style in an uncomplicated, effective, and achievable way? EASY!
With The Capsule Wardrobe!
I’m sure you’ve heard of it and perhaps you’ve even attempted to create one yourself? A capsule wardrobe is a classic collection of essential and versatile items of clothing, shoes and accessories that do not necessarily 'go out of fashion'. Although there are heaps of resources available online that indicate how many items you should have, how you need to minimise or clear out your closet, or even how to spend and what to spend your money on, I’m going to give you a concise and simple How-to guide to get you started!
Detox & Reduce
If you haven’t cleaned out your closet in over six months, make sure this is your first priority. Set aside a day or at least a few hours to go through your closet and remove items that you no longer wear (and will never wear), that don’t suit you or your lifestyle; that don’t fit you or are worn out or damaged and cannot be repaired.
Establish key categories
Because everyone’s personality, body and lifestyle is not the same, different categories of clothing and accessories may be either more important, or less important to you. For instance, if you have a corporate office job during the week and on weekends you enjoy being active and outdoorsy, then you may find you wear more smart clothing like suits and formal dresses at work whereas you'll opt for more activewear such as leggings, sweatshirts and sneakers at home. Having a variation of casual jackets and jeans, for example, would not suit your fashion style.
It's important establish categories of fashion items would make more sense to YOU and your personal fashion style for your capsule wardrobe. Include all of the clothes, shoes and accessories that you wear outside of your house, but don’t include items like underwear, pyjamas, special occasion outfits or eveningwear, as well as sentimental items or specific training clothes.
Plan your capsule wardrobe
Once you’ve established which categories are most important to you, you can start to think of a colour scheme to base your capsule around. While vibrant colours and prints are great additions to a wardrobe, it is also essential to note that it is much more beneficial to build the foundation of any capsule using a handful of colours that work well together.
The foundational pieces are the key pieces that will help you to mix and match your wardrobe so you definitely don’t want to end up with a bunch of pieces that you may love individually, but are not very versatile when creating outfits. Think of which base colours will work well for you – perhaps more neutral, earthy colours like tan, beige, stone, white and black, or cooler colours such as navy, dusty pink, milk and grey
Decide how many items you need
In this step, estimate how many pieces you think you will need. A general guide to how many items you should aim to have in your capsule wardrobe are as follows:
16 Tops (anything you’d wear on your upper torso including knitwear, sweatshirts, t-shirts, blouses, shirts etc.)
6 Bottoms (pants, jeans, skirts)
5 Outerwear items (coats and jackets)
8 Shoes (including boots, flats, sneakers, high-heels etc.)
10 Accessories (including scarves, handbags, belts, hats etc.)
This totals 50 items (I have left out jewellery as this can be decided individually)
This is a general guideline and definitely not the limit. Try and make sure you have variation in these areas. For example, with pants, you certainly don’t need 6 pairs of black pants but you might have 3 pairs of great fitting black pants that are all different styles (e.g. paperbag pants, jeans and chinos), 2 pairs of jeans and 1 pair of printed pants.
Shop your own closet first
It has been said that women wear approximately 20% of their closet 80% of the time. We tend to gravitate towards the same pieces because we find comfort in the fact that we know they work and not much more thought needs to go into it.
This is a perfect time to look in your own closet for pieces you might feel you’re missing. Maybe you already have an amazing classic blazer but you have hardly worn it because you weren’t sure how to style it. Now is the time to start playing around and seeing what works with what you already have and what can easily transition from the office to the weekend. Find outfit inspiration that you love and aspire to on Pinterest, Instagram or contact @thecuratedfox for more help!
Make a list of key items you need
Once you’ve gone through what you already own, take note of wardrobe ‘holes’ that need filling and make a list of pieces to start your wardrobe capsule journey. This will also give you more direction when shopping as you’ll be looking for specific items rather than having to hunt for hours until you’ve found something you like.
Take your budget into account and look at alternative options such as second-hand shopping. A wardrobe capsule doesn’t need to be completed immediately. It can be an ongoing, work-in-progress that you slowly integrate new key pieces as you come across them. But you also do not want to fall back into having a closet full of clothing you don’t wear so keep checking in with yourself - “Do I really need this?”
I’ve created a basic checklist for you to use below. You can use this as a guideline and create your own or use this one as a reference to make sure you have your capsule essentials.
Roxanne Erdis is the founder and owner of The Curated Fox specialising in Styling, Personal Shopping and Home Organisation, Roxanne also sells pre-loved and vintage items from her clients’ wardrobes.