Thoughts on Capsule Wardrobes

My recent foray into minimalism is not my first taste of simple living. Nearly two years ago I overhauled my wardrobe in favour of the capsule system, inspired by blogs like Un-Fancy, and absolutely loved it. For once I had a rail full of clothes I actually enjoyed wearing. That side of things worked well, but thanks to plenty of hoarding issues, I struggled to get rid of everything else. I moved house with two ikea bags full of random clothes I hadn’t worn in years, in addition to a few boxes that remained stashed in my wardrobe that I daren’t open. I wore mostly the same items, following the capsule format, but only recently did I take the plunge and get rid of everything I didn’t love. I am now down to 38 items of clothing and shoes, 5 all weather essentials, and a further 20 thicker winter items in storage, and that’s it. Everything else has gone.

Although I’ve only recently technically been following the guidance of a ‘capsule’, I’ve been living with the idea of a minimal wardrobe for a while, and wanted to share a few thoughts:

Minimal does not equal boring:

Some people have a very minimal style as well as a collection items, and that works wonderfully for them. This however, is not a requirement. I didn’t set out with a particular colour palette, I knew I liked black and grey, but just put together the clothes I loved and found I’d inadvertently stuck to a very set theme. I was surprised by the amount of blue, green and even orange in my wardrobe, which when mixed and style actually lead to some very colourful outfits. It may be simple, but it definitely isn’t monochrome.

Rules Work…for me

Some people see the ‘rules’ and guidelines in place for capsule wardrobes as a restriction, whereas I see it as a way of preventing overwhelm. I do not feel in the slightest that I am held back by my wardrobe, and if I happened to find something I loved, I would definitely add it in. In having a set amount to choose from, I’m wearing more varied combinations and outfits than I’ve ever worn before. When faced with a crowded, poorly fitting wardrobe, chances are I’d select my favourite jeans and a tshirt, just to be on the safe side. Now that I love wearing every item, it gives me more freedom to find outfits I wouldn’t normally wear, and feel more confident in my decisions.

Simplicity breed creativity

In a similar way to how the ‘restriction’ saves me from overwhelm, the simplicity of the clothes in front of me mean that I often get creative. They are the same items whether I am dressing casually, smartly, or dressing up to go out. When your selection is smaller, you have to think more carefully about what to wear and what those clothes can do for you, which often means I’d get so much more use than they would have done previously. It also makes me appreciate them more, for example, what I thought was a basic top to wear over jeans turns into evening wear when tucked into a high waisted skirt and topped with a pretty necklace and my hair up. It just makes you appreciate them all a little differently!

My success in minimising my wardrobe was really what inspired me to strive for simplicity in other areas. I’ve gained so much enjoyment from my clothes, as well as confidence in wearing them and generally feeling good about myself, I hope to be able to transfer that to the rest of my belongings. Do let me know if you’d like to see more detail about my wardrobe, I’m contemplating sharing the items in mine, I’m just not sure if people would be that interested or not!

Do you follow a minimal or capsule wardrobe? I would love to hear more if you do!

  • I have thought so much about starting a capsule wardrobe, but I’m just not sure I could stick to it! I love fashion and trends so much!

    Lynnsay x

  • I wouldn’t say I have a capsule wardrobe but I think I have a minimal one. But even with a minimal wardrobe I have found I often just grab the same things all the time (especially when i’m in a rush) so I’ve just started planning my outfits for the week on Sundays which helps! I also like to look at Pinterest for inspiration & sometimes I come across ideas for wearing things in ways I’d never thought of before.
    I’d be interested if you decided to share your wardrobe with us 🙂

  • In my teen years I used to buy so many clothes that either just stayed in my wardrobe or they were just worn for one occasion and never worn again. But over the past year or so I have been de-cluttering my wardrobe and trying to keep some sort of a capsule wardrobe with the clothes I know I will always wear and that I am able to mix and match with. It’s definitely so much easier having a capsule wardrobe!

    Kayleigh |

  • I don’t have a capsule wardrobe, but I have been aspiring toward it by trying to minimise my closet (rather unsuccessfully though I might say). I haven’t been adding to it, but I haven’t been successful with weeding out what I already have 😛 -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s