We’ve finally arrived at Week 3 of my “Live More With Less” Series: How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe. For those that don’t know what a capsule wardrobe is it’s a “mini” wardrobe where every thing goes together and you love every piece. Now, there are many variations of the definition – and sizes of capsule wardrobes – but that hits the main points.
Doesn’t a wardrobe where you love every piece sound amazing? And don’t worry about “mini” part. A capsule wardrobe can change every season. Also, a capsule wardrobe is what fits your lifestyle. It can also range from as few as 15 pieces up to 100 pieces. The point is that you don’t have extra unnecessary items in your closet, and that it works for you.
If yes, then you might be ready to try your first capsule wardrobe, too. Since I’m pregnant, I decided to create my first capsule wardrobe from maternity clothes. The last thing I want to be worrying about right now is what to wear.
Also, once I master the capsule wardrobe I will apply these tips to my “non-pregnancy” clothes after the baby comes in April. Don’t worry, all my tips will work for you regardless of if you are pregnant or never planning to be.
First Capsule Wardrobe Background
Unfancy was born in 2014 out of a desire to find my style and curb my shopping habit. Back then, I had a closet full of cheap clothes but “nothing to wear.”
So I decided to try out a capsule wardrobe and live with a small + intentional closet of 37 pieces. Unfancy was my journal, the spot where I shared my outfits and the lessons I learned along the way.
After a year of living with a capsule, I found myself more content, more confident, and more joyful than ever.
While I don’t keep a super structured capsule anymore, I carry the heart of it with me–smaller closet, intentional purchases, less shopping, and more joy.
In one experiment she wears only 37 pieces for three months. While impressive, I’m not suggesting you have to pare down that much. But we’ll get to your “number” a little later.
For now let’s start at the top, or in the case of your closet, the back.
How to Build A Capsule Wardrobe Step-By-Step
1.) De-Clutter Your Closet
After I finished, I wrote about my experience and how in the end, it actually made me a better dresser.
“It’s funny, the more I got rid of the old and ugly brown dresses, the more cute sweaters from JCrew and pretty little skirts from Loft I found hidden behind them. Clothes I bought knowing they were adorable but never felt like I earned the right to wear them. But somehow buying them and letting them sit in my closet – unused – made me feel better. That is until I read the Magic of Tidying Up book and had an epiphany. One day I grabbed a brown dress that I probably wore once a week, but truly hated, and thought, “Why am I keeping this?” I decided I’d rather have fewer items, but love every piece in my closet, then extras I don’t like or even need.”
Make sure to read the post if you’re looking for more inspiration to de-clutter your closet. Don’t skip this step, either. It is critical in creating an effective capsule wardrobe.
2.) Decide on your “style”
The important part is that you have one cohesive style that every piece will fit into. Otherwise, we run the problem of having a cool pair of patterned pants but nothing to wear with them.
Need help finding your favorites? Here are 5 pretty simple steps to find your style.
3.) Make sure you have the basics covered
First off, for the sake of this experiment (and our modesty!) we are excluding all undergarments, jackets, scarves, gloves, PJ’s and workout gear. Please do follow step 1 in de-cluttering these items but know they do not count toward final numbers. While other capsule wardrobes might include them, I haven’t to make the process easier.
As for the basics, these include items like jeans, dress pants, dresses, sweaters, leggings, and tank-tops. These are items that you can wear with anything. I’d recommend spending a little more money on these items since they will see the most use. Invest in items that will last a long time but also through several different seasons.
Use this time to see what holes are in your wardrobe. For instance, after so many months into my pregnancy my work pants no longer fit. I realized I had to invest in a pair of maternity work pants, or I’d have to wear dresses every day. Also, I realized I was lacking a sweatshirt that would fit throughout my pregnancy as well. I then went to Motherhood Maternity and purchased both of these items.
4.) Add in interest pieces
Here’s the fun part. A capsule wardrobe doesn’t mean you will wear all black every day and have no variety. You want to make sure that most of your wardrobe is made up of basics, but you can still have a few “fun” pieces.
This is the time to add in a couple of trendy pieces. Or, mix in patterns. I love florals and stripes. But if you’ve been itching to add in something velvet or lace, now is your chance.
5.) Add footwear
Thankfully, shoes will fit me the same throughout pregnancy, although, I find I am not wearing heels as much. My capsule shoe wear currently consists of: two pairs of dress flats, two booties, sneakers, winter boots, and a pair of heels.
I’ve never been a big accessories girl. My poor husband knows not to buy me jewelry: I rarely get around to wearing it. However, with capsule wardrobes, accessories are necessary.
They are a good way to change up an outfit you might wear frequently and make it feel like new. But make sure to de-clutter your jewelry, too. Don’t bury yourself under a mountain of statement necklaces.
My Pregnancy Capsule Wardrobe
- 2 Dress pants
- 6 dress shirts (for work, church or dinner)
- 4 dressier short-sleeved shirts
- 5 Sleeveless shirts to wear underneath sweaters or long-sleeved shirts
- 6 long-sleeved casual shirts
- 3 Open Sweaters
- 8 Dresses
- 1 Formal Dress
- 3 pairs of jeans
- 2 casual t-shirts
Benefits of First Capsule Wardrobe
- An easier morning routine. Everything should already match, fewer pieces to choose from.
- Allows you to find your own style instead of worrying about the latest trends
- Saves money – if an item doesn’t fit into the wardrobe – I won’t bring it home!