I recently realised that I hadn’t updated my 4 year old video on how to build a capsule wardrobe, and there is so much I have learned in those 4 years that I wanted to expand on. That video is now private because it’s a bit of an awkward mess (bleach blonde/yellow hair and the WORST extra pale pink lipstick – not good at all for my colouring) but I have included a short clip in my new video, just so we can all have a laugh together 😛
Today is a little updated version. You can check out the video below, and I’ll also chat through the steps below if you’d rather have a read.
I also wrote an eBook on How to Build the Perfect Capsule Wardrobe which you can grab HERE
A Capsule Wardrobe can be described as a select number of items of clothing, usually between 30 – 40 items, that are interchangeable and can be mixed and matched into a number of different outfit combinations. These pieces will tend to follow a particular style and colour scheme, but not always. What your capsule wardrobe looks like will depend on your own personal style and whether you like a colourful palette or a neutral, minimal palette.
It also depends on your lifestyle, from your job, your hobbies and activities, and your social life. I would imagine the wardrobe of a full-time working mum of two who spends her weekends at the playground will greatly differ from a single socialite who spends her evenings and weekends out with friends. If your wardrobe doesn’t work for your lifestyle, then it doesn’t work at all.
eBook | How to Build The Perfect Capsule Wardrobe
This book takes you through the process of de-cluttering your wardrobe so that you can rebuild the perfect wardrobe for you and your lifestyle. Learn how to get the most out of your closet by building a versatile collection of pieces that will leave you with endless outfit options.
Are you overwhelmed with your wardrobe? Do you struggle to get dressed in the mornings?
Do you ‘have nothing to wear’?
Do you want to build a more sustainable wardrobe but just don’t know where to begin?
Are you in need of a little help piecing together the perfect wardrobe WITHOUT having to go shopping and buying even more?
I am a firm believer that most of us have everything we need already in our wardrobes, but having too much can hinder our abilities to see exactly what we have and can really overwhelm us when trying to piece together our everyday outfits.
I will show you that you already have an incredible wardrobe, and with the right knowledge you will be able to put together completely new outfits from what you ALREADY OWN!
Life is busy enough without struggling to get dressed in the morning. Start your day the right way with a wardrobe of items that make you feel amazing and that you are excited to wear.
“When we can tap into the control fashion has over us, then we can truly start to be the decision maker in our own wardrobes. The fashion industry has been built in a way that keeps us wanting more and feeling like we need more, because it’s good for business. As conscious consumers we need to be considerate about what’s good for us.
Studies show that clutter can affect our mental state, and that clutter includes our clothing and our wardrobes. A more simple, curated closet can have a huge impact on our lives. We have to look at our wardrobes every single day. It should be a place of calm and comfort, not stress!” Gemma Mclean, Personal Style and Wardrobe Consultant, Author of How to Build The Perfect Capsule Wardobe
Any why is it beneficial?
The benefit of having less in our lives is so evident when you think how clear your mind feels when you tidy up your space, be it your desk, your kitchen counter, or in this case, your wardrobe. Looking at so much STUFF everyday is draining on our brains which causes unnecessary overwhelm and stress. By having a less busy wardrobe, be that less overall items or a more cohesive colour palette (or both) this will create less busyness and chaos in our minds when we look into our wardrobes. Sounds a bit woo woo, but it works! Having 30-40 items that follow a similar colour scheme and style so that every bottom will match every top and so on, will transform how you get dressed in the mornings (or evenings). If everything matches, you should be able to get dressed with your eyes closed (I’ve tried this at 6 am without turning on my bedroom lights, and my outfit looked just fine!).
So now that we all know what it is and why we want one, let’s get onto the HOW..
1. Get to know your Style & your Key Pieces
Understanding you own style is really key to feeling confident with your wardrobe. It’s about finding those pieces that make you feel like YOU and feel your best. This is the most important aspect of any wardrobe; to feel amazing in it!!
Begin this journey by taking note of which pieces you wear on rotations eg skinny jeans, oversized shirts, midi dresses, dresses with sleeves, printed blouses etc. Whatever this is for you, take note. (P.S I recommend dedicating a notebook to this process because you will be documenting quite a few of these points and gathering as much knowledge of your wardrobe as possible).
Now start to recognise which colours you like to wear, prints you like, and styles you like. See my previous post on Finding Your Personal Style for help figuring out the different styles. Take all of this information, and apply it in point 2.
2. Gather Style & Outfit Inspiration
Now that you have an idea of what you actually have in your wardrobe and like to wear, start searching for more outfit inspiration for these pieces. You can go on Pinterest and type “pink blazer outfits” into the search bar and find how others have been styling a pink blazer. Use this for all of your favourite items, and pay special attention to outfits you find that include multiple pieces you already own.
You can also search this way on Instagram by searching #pinkblazer and saving any images you like to a ‘collection’.
You can check out my Capsule inspiration board HERE
3. Empty your Wardrobe
Pull everything out of your wardrobe to ensure you’re doing a thorough cleanse. Give your wardrobe a clean inside too, and get rid of dust. Make it smell fresshhhh and your clothes will also smell much better.
Then pile all of your clothing, shoes, accessories on your bed or on the floor while you sort through them.
4. Put back in what you LOVE & WEAR
The best place to begin is grabbing the pieces that you truly love and can’t live without, and the pieces that you wear a lot (but make sure you enjoy wearing them). These are obviously your staple items, or the could be your stand-out pieces, that you can pair with the more basic essentials in your closet. Everyone’s ‘can’t live without’ pieces will be different, so choose what feels right to you.
Put these pieces back in your wardrobe and assess the situation. If you don’t have very many pieces in your wardrobe you may need to go back to the pile of clothesand pull out some basics so you will have complete outfits. If you are in the situation, you may have a lot more gaps in your wardrobe. See point 7.
If you ‘love’ everything you own, try to whittle down the amount that goes back into your wardrobe by dividing things into seasonal (store away out of season pieces) and make sure they are items you actually wear in your everyday life.
- For dressy / occasional pieces, put these somewhere else, out of your everyday closet if possible. These won’t be worn as often so don’t follow the same rules, but you will need them again in the future for parties and occasions. Think of this as a mini occasion-wear capsule.
5. Store away the rest
Store away out of season items for the time being, to be pulled back out next time they’re needed. I keep mine in a suitcase in my wardrobe. This allows your in season items to have more room to ‘breathe’ and you will know what options you have for your current season and weather. You will also be more excited to pull out your winter pieces if you haven’t been staring at them all summer.
If there are pieces you might want to get rid of, store these away for a short while to while you make sure you’re ready to part with them. If you don’t miss them, and they are current season pieces, then say goodbye and bring them to a charity shop or sell on Depop/Ebay for extra cash to invest into your future wardrobe (See point 8).
6. Notice any Patterns
Take note of any recurring items or style sin your wardrobe, eg striped tops, cashmere sweaters, jogger bottoms, skinny jeans, red dresses.. whatever it is, take note because there’s a strong chance that this is a core element of your style (IF you actually wear them and not just collect them) and you can work around these pieces. You may also notice you love striped tops but have about 20, so you might want to note that you don’t need to nuy any more of them!
7. Identify Gaps (if any) & Make a Wishlist
Identify any gaps in your wardrobe. This usually takes the form of ”…if only I had _________ I could wear ______ more often’. Eg. “If only I had a cosy cardigan, I could wear my summer dresses more during autumn“. Make a wishlist and use this when you have an urge to shop or add new pieces to your wardrobe at the end of each season, or whenever you choose to shop.
You can check out my Pinterest Wishlist HERE
8. Be willing in Invest in any new items (time and/or money)
You don’t always have to invest a lot of money into your new purchases to get something quality. Sometimes if we invest enough time and effort into looking for the perfect piece, it can make a huge difference to our wardrobes. Once you know exactly what you’re looking for (eg. crew neck, sage green, 100% cotton, short sleeve, boxy fit t-shirt – Yes, I want you to be THAT specific!), take the time to find the perfect pieces and not something that ‘will do’. Paying attention to the little details adds a whole other level to your wardrobe, and ensures it will be something you’ll reach for more often.
Sometimes you will need to invest a little bit extra money to find the perfect piece in great quality. Consider buying second hand, which will save you tonnes when you source your wishlist pieces from sites like Depop, Vestiare Collective, Refashion.co.uk, eBloggers, Ebay or your local charity / vintage shop.
Building a Capsule Wardrobe, or just your perfect wardrobe, doesn’t have to be a daunting task, but I do understand that it can be. Try and have some fun during this process. Although your wardrobe can have a huge impact on your life and your mood, the process doesn’t have to be taken too seriously. Put on some banging tunes and have some fun 🙂