I created my first capsule wardrobe nearly three years ago and it’s made a massive difference in my life. Before that, I had a closet overflowing with mismatched pieces that I had mindlessly accumulated for all the wrong reasons : cheap, ‘trendy’ color or fit, looked good on the hanger. As a result, I had what I like to call the “never-know-what-to-wear” syndrome.
It wasn’t until I came across the concept of a capsule wardrobe that I started thinking about my style and what it actually meant.
Style is expressing yourself through what you wear. unknown source
Forget about trend, forget about being ‘fashionable’, whatever that means..
Creating your style is all about being YOU. It’s about feeling good in your clothes which will help you feel more comfortable in your own skin and help you show up as the best version of yourself. So, if like me, you thought that style had to do with fashion and / or trend (and felt kind of intimidated) now you know it doesn’t have to.
Ready to figure out your style essentials? You’ll find a few simple tips to help you choose essentials that fit your style below.
Before we go into more details, I wanted to let you now that I have created a capsule wardrobe planner that I used to simplify my life and become more mindful of my shopping habits. It’s in my free resource library with other minimalism printables. Feel free to download it at the bottom of this post.
What are capsule wardrobe essentials?
Your capsule wardrobe essentials are pieces of clothes that are timeless (never go out of fashion) and can be augmented by seasonal pieces. In short, they are the items of clothing that you will wear all year round and that can be combined with most of your clothes. They are your go-to clothes.
Here are a few examples of capsule wardrobe essentials:
- a basic tee
- a comfy pair of jeans
- a leather jacket
- a blouse
- a striped top
- a little black dress
- a cotton sweater
You get the picture.
Now how do you make YOUR own version and find out what your essentials should be?
Well, I have developed this little illustration for the visual ones out there:
As you can see, your ideal wardrobe is a cross between clothes that best fit your body shape, clothes you love wearing, clothes that make you feel like you and that fit your lifestyle. The magic comes alive when you apply all of the above to a limited number of timeless, interchangeable items of clothing.
And at the very core of your ideal capsule wardrobe are your essentials: those 10-15 pieces that tie all your pieces together. This is the recipe for a simple yet beautiful wardrobe you will never get tired to wear.
Figure out your style
So what is your style? What pieces do you feel drawn to? What items do you feel reflect most your personality? Here are a few simple steps to help you with that:
1.Create a mood board on Pinterest or Canva and pin all the looks that catch your eye and that appeal to you.
2. Look for patterns:
You’ll want to take a step back and look at your collection so that you can start to identify patterns. Do you see a definitive style emerge, such as sophisticated, eclectic or feminine? What colors are prominent in your image choices? Perhaps black seems to be your base, with pops of bright accent hues. Or maybe you lean toward khaki with more subdued tones.
What about fit or cut? Take note to see if you’ve chosen a particular neckline or waist. Are your trousers tapered or boot cut? Is there a combination you choose often like pants with a jacket or a fitted top with flowy skirt?
3. Write down in a few words what describes best your style.
Write down the answers to these questions, as they will provide you with a guideline for the types of essentials you’ll want to add to your capsule wardrobe collection.
Figure out your personal taste
Now, personal taste is not about style but about the type of clothes you enjoy wearing.
Here is what I mean:
Style: casual, feminine, classic, colourful, etc. VS Personal taste: pants, skirts, jumpsuits, dresses, suits, etc.
Examine Your Lifestyle
Finally, it’s important that you take your lifestyle into consideration when determining the types of items to include in your capsule wardrobe. You may have added a lot of jeans to your image board. Is it practical to have a closet full of jeans or do you need to dress more professionally for work? Will you feel comfortable in the skirts you used to gravitate toward now that you’re a stay-at-home mom or do you want more practical items?
Quality and your go-to brands
Focus on quality not quantity. Your essentials will be composed of 10 to 20 items you should love and wear year-round. This means you should pick brands, fabrics and fits that you absolutely love and that are of high quality so that they can last. There are more and more high quality, sustainable brands out there. Find the ones that fit your style, your personal taste, lifestyle and make them your go-to brands whenever you need to replace a piece.
Narrowing down your preferences in style, fit, color and matching them to your lifestyle are the steps involved in creating your own signature look and figuring out your wardrobe essentials. It’s a process that may take some time, dedication and fine tuning but the results will be well worth the investment when you realize how easy it is to get dressed each morning, how much money you save and how comfortable and happy you feel in your skin!