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Article: How to Create a Capsule Wardrobe in 2024

How to Create a Capsule Wardrobe in 2024 - DEVAN GREGORI

How to Create a Capsule Wardrobe in 2024

It may be February, but in my book, it's still the beginning of the year. And although as the new year often inspires change, this month is where everything starts to feel less shiny and new. We may start to lose sight of or reevaluate the lofty goals we had set on December 31st. I choose to look at February differently - as an opportunity to reflect on my goals and recommit to the ones that I think are worth doubling down on and letting go of the ones that just aren't jiving with my lifestyle or current priorities. We may want to reevaluate how we are choosing to spend money, overhaul our closets or finally take some time to find our personal style.

Embracing sustainability, uncovering our unique style identities, and building out our wardrobes with high-quality, long lasting pieces are aspirations many of us share. If creating and maintaining a capsule wardrobe was (or is now) on your list of goals or resolutions for 2024, you're in the perfect place. Read on as we explore what a capsule wardrobe is and provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to create one in 2024.

In our fast-paced, consumer-driven world, curating our closets can feel like an almost impossible task. Enter the concept of a capsule wardrobe – a thoughtfully curated collection of essential, timeless pieces, designed to be versatile and interchangeable. This approach emphasizes quality over quantity, ensuring each piece not only serves a functional role but also resonates with your personal style. Adopting a capsule wardrobe is an effective strategy for simplifying decision-making in daily dressing, while maintaining a sense of style that is unique to you.


What is a Capsule Wardrobe?

A capsule wardrobe is a curated collection of essential pieces that can be mixed and matched to create a variety of outfits. Curating a capsule wardrobe should simplify getting dressed everyday by paring your closet to items that you love and that suit your personal style. The concept was popularized by Susie Faux, a London boutique owner, in the 1970s. The idea behind a capsule wardrobe is to have a small number of high-quality, versatile pieces that can be worn in different combinations to suit various occasions and seasons.

The concept is all about quality over quantity, focusing on timeless, well-fitting pieces that can be mixed and matched to create a wide range of outfits. Capsule wardrobes are often organized by season and can be customized to suit your unique lifestyle needs and preferences.

 

Step 1: Assess Your Current Wardrobe

The first step in creating a capsule wardrobe is to take stock of what you already have. Empty your closet and lay out all your clothes on your bed or a large surface (I know, this part sounds unnecessary, but trust me, it really helps to see everything out all together). Sort your pieces into three piles: keep, donate/sell, and undecided. Be honest with yourself and only keep items that you love, fit well, and make you feel confident.

Tips & things to consider during this step:
  • Don't forget to do this with not just your clothes, but accessories (hats, belts, jewelry, bags), shoes and even your bras/underwear and lingerie!
  • If you haven't worn it in a year, you probably won't miss it.
  • Let go of pieces that don't fit anymore. Focus on celebrating and styling the body that you have now instead of wishfully keeping the "skinny jeans for one day." 
  • Put all the undecided things in a bag and put them out of sight. Set a reminder to go through them in 6 weeks or so. If you forget what's in that bag or haven't missed anything in that bag, then you know it's become a donate/sell bag.

Step 2: Define Your Personal Style

Next, it's time to define your personal style. Consider the colors, textures, patterns, and silhouettes that you are naturally drawn to. Look for inspiration in fashion magazines, Instagram influencers or small brands that you follow, Pinterest boards (check out our Pinterest and Devan's personal Pinterest), or even by window shopping. This will help you create a cohesive and timeless wardrobe that reflects your personality.

Ideally, your style should reflect your lifestyle and be comfortable for your daily activities. Your capsule wardrobe is unique to you and your needs. For example, someone who works from home probably won’t have the same needs as someone who travels a lot or has to be in an office during the week. Be honest with yourself about what your daily needs are to make sure that your capsule wardrobe will work for you.

This is an ever-evolving step in the process. Your personal style may change as you celebrate different milestones in life, as your body changes, as your friend groups evolve or if you move to a new place. My style has changed over the years, from feminine and slightly trendy to more fitness-focused, to monochrome minimalist. Have fun with this step, and don't be afraid to explore!

Step 3: Choose A Color Palette

Determining a color palette for your capsule wardrobe starts with understanding what shades complement your complexion. There are quite a few resources online to help you identify your color palette.  but knowing your color season will make it easier to choose a color palette while also ensuring that your clothes look amazing on you.

I recommend starting with 2-3 neutral colors to set a versatile base foundation. Neutrals may sound boring or “safe,” but these colors will help you create a base that will make it easier to put outfits together. Consider colors like blacks, whites/creams, camels/browns, light/dark grays (some blues and greens could be considered base colors). These colors are your wardrobe's foundation, upon which you can build upon with bolder, more personal hues.

Let’s talk accent colors. Accent colors introduce personality and vibrancy. Consider choosing 1-2 accent colors from your color season (if you researched it). Ideally keep them within a similar color family, which will maximize their versatility.

Step 4: Identify Your Core Pieces

Choose timeless pieces to form the core of your capsule wardrobe. These pieces usually will include pieces like a classic white shirt, a pair of well-fitted jeans, neutral-colored tops, tees and bottoms, a tailored blazer and a little black dress (or jumpsuit). These core pieces can be mixed and matched effortlessly. They are versatile and season-less.

These core pieces will vary from person to person according to their lifestyle. If you are more fitness or comfort-leaning, then well fitting black leggings might be among your core. If you work in a professional setting most days of the week, then perhaps more tailored suiting will be in your core.

Here are ten pieces that I think constitute a foundational core for most capsule wardrobes. By pairing these essentials with jewelry, accessories and accent pieces, these pieces will take you far in expressing your personal style in a sustainable and effortless way.

  1. Cotton t-shirt
  2. Button-down shirt
  3. V-neck (or crewneck) sweater
  4. Cardigan sweater
  5. Well-fitted medium to dark wash jeans
  6. Tailored pants
  7. Leggings
  8. Neutral blazer
  9. Pencil or A-line skirt*
  10. Little black dress*

(If you’re not a skirt/dress person like me, opt for a culotte and/or a jumpsuit)

Step 4: Add Accent Pieces

We’ve identified the core pieces in our capsule wardrobe. Now it’s time to supplement our core with a few accent pieces that add some flavor and personality. These pieces can range from patterned scarves, a bold sweater, statement jewelry to funky shoes or a fun bag. These pieces can transform an outfit without straying too far from your core aesthetic.

Accent pieces can also be seasonal. They can also be pieces that you want to try and experiment with. Just because you have a capsule wardrobe now doesn’t mean that you can’t experiment with your style! Consider pieces like a wool coat, riding boots, strappy sandals or a straw hat.

These pieces could also include additional neutral basics to expand on your core - a striped t-shirt, a denim jacket, Chelsea boots, or a leather jacket. 

Ultimately, these accent pieces will fill out your capsule wardrobe and introduce more seasonal, fun or tailored pieces. Not sure where to start with accent pieces? Here are some ideas:

  • Denim jacket
  • Leather jacket
  • Wool coat
  • Slip skirt
  • Overalls
  • Ankle boots
  • Loafers
  • Bold colored heels
  • Chunky sweaters
  • Graphic tees
  • Tailored shorts
  • Statement blouse
  • Patterned or embroidered scarf

Tip: Invest in quality pieces that are durable and made from good materials. While they might have a higher price tag initially, they tend to last longer, saving you money in the long run. Quality items also tend to fit better and retain their shape and color over time.

Step 5: Mix and Match

Now that you have your capsule wardrobe essentials, it's time to have fun and experiment with different combinations. Mix and match your core pieces with the additional items you have chosen to create a variety of outfits. Play with different accessories, layering techniques, and color combinations to maximize the versatility of your wardrobe.

Step 6: Maintain and Refresh

Creating a capsule wardrobe is an ongoing process. Regularly assess your wardrobe and remove any items that no longer serve you or align with your personal style. Consider adding a few new pieces each season to keep your wardrobe fresh and up to date. Remember, the goal is to have a small collection of high-quality items that you love and wear regularly.

By following these steps, you can create a capsule wardrobe in 2024 that is not only stylish and versatile but also sustainable and mindful. Say goodbye to decision fatigue and hello to a simplified and effortless approach to dressing!

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