I always start the new season off with good intentions, planning to reduce my clothing selection to a capsule wardrobe and live a simpler life. But then I go to Primark and my plans fall through. I have a double wardrobe stuffed full of clothes. But my intentions are solid.
I think the key thing to remember here is: do as I say, not as I do.
Firstly, you need to have a clear-out. Get rid (I mean it! Don’t keep it in a bin-bag on top of your wardrobe like I do) of everything you don’t wear, don’t like, only wear once a year. Bin, gift or donate stuff that doesn’t fit, doesn’t suit you or is old and tattered. I like to have a good sort-out once a year and sell as much as possible and donate the rest. With the money I make I usually buy anything that needs replacing in my ‘go-to’ outfit range or key pieces for the season.
Next, you need to put your ‘opposite season’ items in storage. So, for example, if it’s coming into Winter, put all of your sundresses and crop tops in storage. If it’s Spring, store all of your jumpers. Keep a log of everything you’ve tucked away, as this will make it easier when you plan NEXT season’s capsule. I divide my seasons into autumn/winter and spring/summer but, depending on how big the temperature gap is between seasons, you could do a capsule wardrobe for each season.
When you’re left with all of your seasonally-appropriate clothing, you need to decide how many items you want in your capsule wardrobe. I think the ‘normal’ number is 20, but it’s up to you. Of course, it would defeat the object if you chose 50… so you’ll need to get rid of some more (probably). Take out any clothing items that you don’t think you’ll want to wear a lot and anything that isn’t versatile.
Start to visualise or even note down some outfits that you love. Make sure every outfit you think of is loved and you know you’ll wear it. Make the most of layering and using pieces in different ways: for example, a checked shirt could be worn as a jacket, tied around the waist, worn buttoned up on its own or underneath a jumper… the possibilities are endless. Also, think about different temperatures. Some days it’ll be warmer or cooler than others and you might not want a giant jumper every day!
This is an example 20-item Capsule Wardobe for Autumn/Winter in the UK:
- Black jeans
- Blue jeans
- White tee
- Black tee
- Check (Plaid) shirt
- Warm jumper
- Fashionable jumper
- Collared white shirt
- Warm winter coat
- Heeled boots
- Flat boots
- Cozy cardigan
- Thinner cardigan
- Fashionable skirt
- Formal/going out top
- Formal/going out top
- Formal/going out dress or jumpsuit
- Comfy flat shoes
Of course, we all have different tastes and I haven’t included things like scarves, tights, cami tops (for extra warmth) belts, trackies, hoodies, etc as I don’t believe they’re really part of a wardrobe. You might want more jeans and no dresses, or some shorts instead of a skirt. Make sure it works for you!
If you’re satisfied, you’re done! If you’re not, swap things in and out and see what you’re happy with. If you feel like you haven’t got enough outfits, write down all the outfits you can think of and see how many you have. When I did this, I got over 200 outfits which meant I could wear a new outfit each day per season and have leftovers. You could even swap things out each week or month to change your wardrobe up even more.