I’ve never been one for trends. If you’ve followed me for any amount of time, you’ve probably noticed I don’t post many articles on the latest trends, colors, or runway fads. If fact, I’m probably the last person to try most trends. I was the last person to download Instagram out of all my friends. The last person to get on board with distressed denim. The last person, it seems, to try most things categorized as latest and greatest.
It’s been no different with the capsule wardrobe and minimalistic movement. In the past, the term “capsule wardrobe” has triggered an inward eye roll, and for several years, I insisted on using the term “wardrobe clustering” as my preferred terminology for mixing and matching items inside a closet.
But in the usual Sandi way, I’ve finally come around to the concept of a capsule wardrobe. I follow a handful of style, fashion, and lifestyle bloggers who use a true capsule wardrobe and started paying attention to whether or not the widely loved “less is more” theory rings true inside a person’s closet.
So wait. What exactly is a capsule wardrobe? According to Wikipedia, a "capsule wardrobe is a term coined by Susie Faux, the owner of a London boutique 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."
In order to understand just how many pieces of clothing count as capsule, I went through my own closet to determine whether or not my personal wardrobe fits inside this category. During my investigation, I cleaned out my closet and got rid of the pieces I either haven’t worn all season (we’re about to transition into spring, so it’s a great time to get rid of things I haven’t worn all winter!) or don’t have a desire to wear anymore. In November, I transitioned to full-time in my business and my closet has been needing a re-vamp to reflect my new lifestyle. I donated 12 pieces of clothing and put another 20 pieces of clothing in a pile for consignment.
I ended up combining my fall/winter and spring/summer wardrobes as I'm currently transitioning my wardrobe into spring, but plan to move my sweaters, leggings, and winter dresses to their own area of the closet once it warms up for good. With both wardrobes hanging up and in full view, the total item count came to 90 pieces. This includes all bottoms (shorts, skirts, leggings, and jeans), all tops (tees, blouses, sweaters), layering items (cardigans, vests, jackets, and coats) and scarves as the only accessory I included (it doesn’t include workout wear or grungy paint clothing, etc). It also includes my casual around-the-house pieces for my work from home lifestyle!
Boy did it feel good to organize everything and assess whether each piece was deserving of a spot inside my closet. I treated each item as though it was on trial, advocating for its own beauty and versatility. It wasn’t easy deciding on a handful of business casual items, and I experienced a good deal of the “what if I need it” tug-of-warring in my mind. I ended up putting the pieces to the side to think on as I continued and eventually decided I wouldn’t miss them. My personal Closet Cleaning turned into a very real reminder of how my clients feel when going through their own closets!
Here’s the breakdown of my entire wardrobe:
I went through the list to determine what pieces are only worn in spring/summer, what pieces are only worn in fall/winter, and what items are transitional year-round pieces. I counted 27 pieces to be just for spring and summer, 25 pieces to be just for fall and winter, and the remaining 38 pieces to be transitional year-round items. The typical capsule wardrobe is anywhere from 30-40 seasonal pieces. Of course, I’ve heard of capsule wardrobes as small as 10-15 items, but the recommend size is 30-40.
I was curious to see what pieces from my transitional wardrobe I was currently wearing, so I counted all the items I’ve worn in the last two months and ended up with 38 pieces. A true capsule wardrobe!
Curious to get my thoughts on whether a capsule wardrobe is right for YOU? Make sure to catch Part 2 of this series coming out later this month!
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(To be continued...!)