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Q&A: How To Create A Capsule Wardrobe

February 5, 2020 No Comments

Hi, friends. I’m sharing another Q&A this week dedicated to creating a capsule wardrobe. If you missed last week’s Q&A where I talked about why I’m creating monthly capsule wardrobes, you can check that out here!

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?” Matthew 6:25

1. Can you explain a step-by-step how-to?

Preface: I want to clearly state that I am a beginner to capsule wardrobes. I’m sharing what I’ve learned from my experience! Also, please remember that there are several ways to create a capsule wardrobe.

Step 1: Determine The TYPE Of Capsule You Want To Create

– Occasion (i.e., work-wear, outfits for attending class, loungewear)
– Monthly (best for beginners)
– Seasonal
– Yearly

Step 2: Sort Through Your Closet

Just like creating the capsule wardrobe, there are multiple ways to sort through your closet. You can:
– Take everything out of your closet and sort your clothing into piles of “Keep,” “Store,” “Maybe,” and “Donate.” The “Keep” clothes will be options to choose from for your capsule, the “Store” clothes will be stored away, the “Maybe” clothes can be options for your capsule that you need more time to try on and consider before making a final decision, and the “Donate” clothes can be donated.
– Choose pieces from your closet that you feel best represent your style, make you feel the most comfortable, and that you want to learn how to style better.

Once you have determined your “Keep” pile from Option 1, or the pieces from Option 2, you can narrow down the clothes you’ll want to include in the capsule wardrobe (Step 3).

Step 3: Choose The Pieces For Your Capsule

It’s up to you to determine how many pieces you want to incorporate into your capsule. I recently admitted I wish I had included more shoes into my current capsule (Jan/Feb ‘20). When creating your capsule wardrobe, think about the season you’re planning for, your lifestyle & activities, and your style. Curating a capsule wardrobe is about wearing the outfits you will actually want to wear; not a time to try a brand new style. I like to include one clothing piece that I haven’t figured out how to style, but that’s it. The rest of the pieces represent my current style.

Here is a rough guideline to help you (the “XX” represents the number of items you choose):
– XX Tees
– XX Blouses
– XX Sweaters/Cardigans
– XX Jeans
– XX Pants
– XX Shorts
– XX Booties
– XX Flats
– XX Sandals
– XX Scarves
– XX Hat/Beanie
– XX Gloves
– XX Purse

A few questions to ask yourself when choosing each item:
– Do I feel good (confident, myself) in this item?
– Can I pair this with the other pieces in my capsule? (I.e., can this top go with the bottoms I’ve chosen?)
– If you’re sticking to a color palette (not required), does this item fit with the color scheme?

Step 4: Plan Your Wardrobe (Optional)

This is optional, but I highly recommend it. You can definitely make this step fun & do it in whatever way works best for you. You can use a planner, a notepad, a graph, etc. to write out each day’s outfit. This ensures you’ll mix and match your pieces and will also allow you to refer back to outfits you’ve already worn as time goes on.

Step 5: Be Realistic & Keep Notes

Capsule wardrobes are fun in the beginning. But, after about two weeks, the newness wears off and you might find yourself less excited than you were in the beginning. That’s okay. It’s normal. The key is to keep going. Complete your trial period and then reevaluate if this is something you want to continue doing or not. I also suggest keeping a note of items you feel are missing from your wardrobe. If you find yourself constantly wishing you had a black blazer or a striped shirt, make note of that for future purchases to budget for.

Step 6: Evaluate/Assess

Once you’ve completed your capsule wardrobe timeframe, take some time to evaluate the entire process: What did you like about it? What didn’t you like? What would you change if you were to do it again? Are there any pieces missing in your wardrobe?

2. What do you do with the clothes that you don’t choose for your capsule wardrobe? Is this a sign to donate them?

Not necessarily. For example, I’ve packed away several winter items that I know I will want to wear next winter (November/December), but I’m not going to wear for the remainder of the current winter season (January/February).

The general rule of thumb to donating an item is:
– if it hasn’t been worn in 6 months,
– you don’t like the way it fits on you, and/or
– you can’t picture yourself wearing it with the rest of the pieces in your wardrobe.

3. What do you do if you have a nice event to attend, but the clothes in your capsule don’t include any pieces for that event?

First, determine if you have any clothing items stored away that would work for the event. Second, you can rent clothes (I’ve heard amazing things about Rent The Runway). Third, you can shop secondhand. Fourth, you can buy an outfit for that event. Having a capsule wardrobe is not about restricting; it’s about not having excess, having fun styling the pieces in your wardrobe in various ways, and shopping smarter.

4. Should you put items that you haven’t worn in a long time into a monthly capsule wardrobe to see if you want to keep them or not?

This is a great idea! Before including the piece in your capsule wardrobe, I recommend trying the item on. Sometimes just putting the clothes on can help you determine how you feel immediately. If you’re still unsure, especially on how to style the piece, including it in your monthly capsule wardrobe is a great idea!

5. Do capsule wardrobes require a color palette?

The simple answer is: It’s up to you. I’ve seen some people say it’s an absolute must because it ensures your capsule will be cohesive, but I have also seen other people say it isn’t necessary. In my little experience, I have found it to be unnecessary. I also think sticking to a color palette can feel very limiting and not be as fun if you’re choosing the pieces you have to have because of a certain color vs choosing pieces you love. Creating a capsule wardrobe can help you determine if you’re already using a color palette and didn’t realize it, or, if you really enjoy a lot of various colors in your wardrobe. There is no wrong or right answer, only personal preference.

Have any more questions I didn’t answer? Please feel free to leave them in the comments below!

-Anna A.

Petite Wander Style

Petite Wander Style was founded in March 2018. All comments and opinions are her own.

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Welcome to Petite Wander Style! I'm so happy you stopped by! My goal is to keep fashion & styling fun while curating monthly capsule wardrobes!