Capsule Clothing 101: Cluttered Closet to Stylish Outfits
If you’re like most women you wear 20% of your wardrobe 80% of the time. Crazy, right? You also likely have an overstuffed closet but often complain about “nothing to wear.” My clients too (and sometimes even me too!)
As a Chicago wardrobe stylist that has been outfitting, styling and shopping for over a decade my clients have come to love capsule clothing collections for their ultimate versatility so I wanted to show you too, the start-to-finish of capsule clothing.
Here are 7 steps to go from cluttered closet to stylish outfits.
Please note, this is my signature system when creating a capsule clothing collection with clients, so of course you can skip what you feel doesn’t resonate but I highly recommend walking through each step.
Benefits of a capsule clothing collection:
Save hundreds if not thousands of dollars
Avoid that dreaded grab-and-go shopping
Save 10+ hours monthly NOT thinking about what to wear because everything will mix and match
What is a capsule clothing collection?
According to Wikipedia, Capsule wardrobe is a term coined by Susie Faux, the owner of a Londonboutique called “Wardrobe” in the 1970s. According to Faux, a capsule wardrobe is a collection of a few essential items of clothing that don’t go out of fashion, such as skirts, trousers, and coats, which can then be augmented with seasonal pieces. This idea was popularised by American designer Donna Karan, who, in 1985, released an influential capsule collection of seven interchangeable work-wear pieces.
Here’s a sample of a capsule collection:
1. How do you want to feel in your wardrobe?
Equally important, let’s chat how you want to feel. How you want to feel can and does correlate with how you dress (whether you like this or not).
Choose three words here. Write them down. Post-it note them on your mirror. Make it artwork. Whatever you need to do to refer back to it often when you’re shopping and create the wardrobe of your dreams (effortless easy dressing).
In the same way you set intentions moving forward each new year or resolutions, think of this as a new wardrobe resolution (this doesn’t mean you’re going to buy an entirely new wardrobe. Don’t fret!)
How do you want to show up in the world? What do you want your wardrobe to say if you couldn’t speak, what would your wardrobe communicate?
Afterall, whether we like it or not- our wardrobe speaks volumes.
“Fashion matters. It’s an undeniable fact of our culture. Humans are sensory creatures and the way we suit up and show up speaks volumes.”
Okay, you’ve got a sense of how you want to feel and show up. Now, let’s get a sense of your style.
2. What is your style? How to define it:
In the same way you want to know how you want to feel in your wardrobe, you also want to know your style.
Rocker chic and classic comfortable. For instance, when I said these two styles I assume you had images pop into your head, right? And I imagine they’re quite different, right? That’s the point. Different styles conjure different images and thus, result in different clothing brands.
Furthermore, most clients I work with have a beautiful sense of their style. And, if you don’t, don’t worry.
Check out the following styles and see what images resonate with you. For instance, most people have a dominant style and then two subsets of styles.
In fact, you can refer to these often when you start auditing and shopping.
Click on each icon to discover more styles.
Together with knowing how you want to feel and knowing your style, we can move on to the audit and closet clean out.
3. Closet Audit and closet clean out: 7 questions to ask yourself
Third in our steps to capsule collections and getting rid of closet clutter is the closet clean out (otherwise known as a closet audit).
Consider capsule-ing from what you already own or if you’re starting fresh, I’ve got some tips for you.
Pretend you’re a clothing designer for a day
Pretend you’re a designer for a day and you’ve got a capsule collection walking down the runway. As has been noted, since capsule collections mix and match easily, they should have a similar or theme that can mix and match easily.
Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t share my love of vests with you. They are SUCH a great addition to any capsule clothing collection because they truly add depth and interest to any outfit!
When you have a capsule collection, you’ll become increasingly more creative. This is another benefit of capsule collections. As a result of having a capsule collections, you’ll become creative and wear your pieces differently.
In the same way with the shirt dress, you can layer easily with a little black dress. I do suggest a black dress in your capsule. It’s easy and if you want extra versatility, choose a sleeveless option so you can layer under and over it!