If you’re looking to streamline your wardrobe and maximize your mornings so getting up and out in the mornings is easier then a capsule wardrobe is the way to go.
The following five steps are geared to helping inspire and motivate you to create a capsule wardrobe collection personalized to you.
Step 1: Assess your clothing
Take everything out of your closet and put it into a huge pile on your bed. (Yes, you can keep your clothing on hangers for now.)
Only put back into your closet the pieces you absolutely love and can’t imagine getting rid of. Keep only the items you love wearing and make you feel good.
Then make a pile of clothes that no longer work for one reason or another. Clothes that are worn out, faded or just no longer fit you, work with your current lifestyle and most importantly, don't make you feel attractive or confident. Put this pile aside.
Sift through the remaining clothing on your bed and be honest about whether each item should be retained or passed on.
Step 2: Analyze the clothing you don’t like
Taking the time to do this step is very educational and helps make you a smarter consumer. It will also help you avoid making the wrong clothing and accessory purchases in the future. You may notice common brands, styles or fabrics in your discard pile. By identifying what these are you're better able to narrow down your focus to only the clothing purchases you’ll be happy with and will wear.
Step 3: Analyze why you love your remaining clothes
After you've taken a serious look at the clothing you don't like, it's time to give some thought to what you love about the clothing you've decided to keep. Making a list of your favourite items and what you love about them helps you define and articulate your personal style. It also makes shopping much easier in the future.
For instance, you may discover you have a favourite colour palette or notice you like a particular style of clothing e.g. I love long shirts and tailored jackets. I particularly like clothing that is classic, has clean lines, is comfortable and takes little maintenance.
My wardrobe is pretty much wash ‘n wear. Limited are the items that require steaming or ironing. You also won’t find any itchy wools or fabrics in my closet that aren’t soft and cozy.
Step 4: Create a wardrobe balance
Next, give some thought to your lifestyle and the type of clothing you wear most frequently. How many hours a week do you work (and the type of clothing required) vs. the time you spend working out or wearing more casual wear. For instance, can you wear the same or similar clothing to work as you can for a night out?
Where possible create a balance of items that can carry you between activities. Classic pieces you can mix and match are a good way to do this. Additionally you may want to dress down your work wear a little and dress up your casual wear a bit so you can wear the same or similar outfits more frequently.
Making a list (or better yet, a pie chart) of the different things you may do in any given week or month can also help you identify the areas of your wardrobe that could be tweaked a bit for optimum functionality and will allow you to get a lot more wear out of your wardrobe.
Step 5: Keep a list of wardrobe staples
By having a list of the staples in your wardrobe and keeping it handy (like on your phone or on a list in your wallet), you’re better able to identify the style you wear most and make it easier to find similar items that will coordinate when you’re shopping.
For me, black and grey casual sports pants that can be converted into capris or shorts are a mainstay in my wardrobe and lend themselves well to my work as a professional organizer. Basic black, white and grey T-shirts complete my typical work uniform, but also layer well with other items in my wardrobe.
So when I’m out shopping, I use my list of wardrobe staples to remind me to buy only items that work with these pieces. I also take select wardrobe staples with me (or an image on my phone, although usually not as colour accurate) as shades often vary and it's often difficult to find the perfect match if you’re relying on memory. Taking clothes with you to match is also helpful because you can try them on together and see if they look good. I can't tell you how many times, I've purchased single clothing items to match something in my closet only to get home and find they don't actually pair well.
Try to focus on multi-functional pieces that will work with more than one or two items in your wardrobe.
If after going through the above steps you’re still unsure of whether your capsule wardrobe truly reflects you and you need some further inspiration, look to celebrities you admire and take note of their style and the subtleties of how they dress. Consider creating a vision board with ideas from Pinterest and Instagram.
Need further guidance on how best to put together a capsule wardrobe together?
Consider hiring a personal stylist to help you create and maintain a capsule wardrobe that works. Like organizing, creating a capsule wardrobe isn’t a one-time thing. In order to make sure it continues to work for you, you have to regularly go through your seasonal items, keep items organized and update them as necessary.
Click here to learn more about my personal stylist services.