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Building a capsule wardrobe

The solution to having too many clothes but nothing to wear.

Written by: Hadley DeJarnette

Photos by: Hannah Floyd

In the ever changing world of modern fashion, sometimes less can be more. If you have ever felt like you have nothing to wear with a closet full of clothes, you are not alone. Even the most experienced stylists have a hard time nailing down their personal style. Clothing has the power to make you feel confident in yourself and what you do, so it is important that you genuinely enjoy wearing the clothes you own. A capsule wardrobe will help you curate a closet that lets you define and understand your style without the added clutter of pieces you’ll never wear.

So what is a capsule wardrobe? A capsule wardrobe is a collection of interchangeable essential items that never go out of style. You most likely have a capsule wardrobe in your closet right now, you just need to know what to look for! It can be made up of however many clothing items required to fit your lifestyle, usually between 30 to 50 pieces. This minimalistic approach will ensure that every clothing item hanging in your closet is being used and restyled in more ways than you would imagine.

The key to building a capsule wardrobe is intentionality. Buying and selecting clothes with a purpose in mind helps eliminate the issue of unworn and discarded clothing items. It is important to remember that it is not quantity that defines a good wardrobe but rather quality and versatility.

Step 1: Evaluate your lifestyle

Ask yourself what kind of clothing you need based on your daily schedule and needs. If you have an active lifestyle consider investing more in athleisure, whereas if you spend most of your time in a professional setting it may be smart to focus more on business wear.

Step 2: Clean out your closet

Track what you do and don’t wear for a month to get an idea of the capsule wardrobe that already exists in your closet. Donate or sell anything that you don’t enjoy wearing on a daily basis. It’s okay to make an exception for the occasional formal dress or statement piece that you only wear once a season, but keep in mind that it’s necessary to let things go to make room for the pieces that truly make you feel happy and stylish.

Step 3: Start planning

Choosing a color palette to stick to isn’t necessary but helps guide you future shopping habits and creates a cohesive look among your clothes. Consider dividing your clothes up into different categories based on seasons or occasion. Staying organized will help you have a better idea of what you have and what you need. Map out all of the different outfits you can make based on the clothes you already own and determine which items you may need to purchase to complete the look you want.

Step 4: Live and learn

Once you have a wardrobe you’re happy with, try it out and keep track of what you do and don’t like about it. Your style will grow and evolve alongside you, so you may want to switch out some styles or try out new things. You can create new capsule wardrobes for each season or add on to your existing one, just make sure to keep in mind that less is more.


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