Always standing in front of the wardrobe without a plan and having the feeling that we have nothing suitable to wear – does this scenario sound familiar to you? If you also have items of clothing that have been hanging untouched in your closet for a few seasons or are currently very much in trend, but you cannot combine them with anything, then the time has come for a little change! The Konmari method of tidying up according to Marie Kondo is clear proof that minimalism is hip and is also finding its way into our wardrobes. A manageable and simple selection of favorite items that reflect your style and can be perfectly combined with one another – all of this can be easily achieved with a capsule wardrobe. Never heard of it? Then you’ve come to the right place! What exactly that is, how to create your own Capsule Wardrobe, the main principles and much more, we explain to you in our article!
Even if our wardrobes are literally crammed full, 80% of the time we only wear about 20% of our clothes. Because the more options we have, the more complicated and confusing it can sometimes be to put the perfect outfit together. The idea behind the Capsule Wardrobe, or “Kapsel-Garderobe” in English, is that we concentrate on the essentials and reduce our clothes to a certain number for 3-4 months. These should be garments that we like to wear and love and that reflect our taste and character. Although a minimalist wardrobe can save us a lot of time and nerves, making it actually is easier said than done.
Capsule Wardrobe: What exactly is it and where does the trend towards a minimalist wardrobe come from?
If you prefer minimalist and simple styling or if you just don’t feel like spending time in complicated outfits in the morning, then a capsule wardrobe would be just the thing for you! The principle was invented in the 1970s by the British Susie Faux, who owned a fashion store in London. The owner noticed that many people prefer to buy cheap mass-produced goods on the impulse instead of putting more emphasis on quality. To counteract this tendency, she only sold basic classics in her boutique, such as pants, skirts and shirt blouses in basic colors that will never go out of style and can be easily styled with many accessories and seasonal pieces. The capsule wardrobe only became really popular in 2014, when the fashion influencer Caroiline Rector had enough of the chaos in her closet and reduced her wardrobe to just 37 pieces. She even made a documentary about it under the name “Unfancy”. Since then, numerous stars and celebrities swear by the minimalist wardrobe.
So that you have several outfit options to choose from and do not feel as if you are living in a “uniform”, all parts for your Capsule Wardrobe should be very well thought out and easy to combine with one another. Although the number 35 has proven itself in the last number, you can decide for yourself how many items of clothing you actually want to keep. Generally about 20 to 40 parts is okay. 35 sounds a lot, you would say right now. Well, not really, because that number includes everything from earrings and necklaces to shoes and jackets. A capsule wardrobe should teach us to live more sustainably and consciously. It is therefore very important that you do not go shopping during these 3-4 months. Instead, try to get creative by experimenting with your looks and outfits over and over again.
Create your capsule wardrobe for your actual life, not your ideal life
While it may be tempting to fill our closet with gorgeous, glamorous dresses, skirts, and high heels, you need to be realistic and practical in creating your capsule wardrobe. You should be able to pull something out that is perfect for your everyday life at any time and without looking in. It’s that simple. Do you work in a company that has a certain dress code or do you want to demonstrate professionalism and reliability with your business outfit? Then opt for tailor-made blazers, elegant blouses and trousers in classic prints and muted colors. Elegant heels and classic accessories such as a pearl necklace, earrings and high-quality leather bags should not be missing either. Or are you a mother and a housewife by profession? Then you want to incorporate more comfortable items such as jeans, leggings, T-shirts and sneakers into your capsule wardrobe. In the event that an official event or wedding is imminent, be sure to have something more elegant that is suitable for the occasion. Once you’ve created the structure, select the items you want in each category. For example, a list could look like this:
- 2 pairs of jeans, one dark and one lighter
- 2-3 skirts of different lengths
- 3 shirt blouses in different colors and patterns
- 2-3 blazers
- 1 pair of high heels and boots
Be realistic about the weather in the area you live in
Ignoring the weather is one of the worst mistakes you can make when creating a capsule wardrobe. And believe us – making the mistake is a lot easier than you think! When we think of spring, we usually imagine wonderful weather and beautiful, sunny days. But unfortunately the reality is different and the spring season in Germany usually brings with it a lot of rain and thunderstorms. So it wouldn’t be a bad idea to add garments suitable for an outfit in the rain in your capsule wardrobe.
Just pick your favorites for your Capsule Wardrobe
And now it’s time to clear out! To have it all, you don’t have to own it all – that is the idea of a capsule wardrobe. Take everything out of your closet and put it on the bed. Trust us – you will be shocked how many pieces of clothing you actually own! Look at the whole stack now and ask yourself which of them you haven’t worn in a long time or which you wouldn’t wear in the near future? Or maybe you are missing something essential for the perfect minimalist wardrobe? Here’s a little tip from us – hang all the hangers backwards and if after 2 months some of them are still hanging like this, then you don’t need these parts. The jeans that no longer fit, or that official dress that you found beautiful at some point and bought spontaneously but have nowhere to wear, have no place in a capsule wardrobe. But instead of just throwing everything away, do something good and donate the things to a charitable organization or give them away to your friends. Planning and sustainable thinking are the key to a successful capsule wardrobe.
Write a list of the types and numbers of items you really need but don’t own and go shopping. But caution is advised here – the purpose of a capsule wardrobe is not to rush into the next shopping trip, but rather that we go shopping more consciously and less often. Ideally, you already own most of the parts you need and could save a few euros or spend on something else. It is advisable to purchase frequently worn items in several patterns and colors – this way you can provide more variety and keep your looks always interesting. So get creative and try to work with what you already have.
Make sure that all parts can be combined with each other
For a capsule wardrobe to work, it should consist of cleverly selected items of clothing. You should always be able to combine anything with almost anything and have the parts work together. One of the greatest advantages of the capsule wardrobe is that we can put our outfits together with little effort and in a very short time. When you think you’ve successfully implemented the idea, try creating a few looks for the coming days or even weeks. So you will see if and how you actually made it. For example, you don’t know how to style these checked pants to create more interesting outfits? Let yourself be inspired by the many fashion influencers and social media. You will be surprised how creative you can get with a limited number of clothes!
Stay true to your style and taste
While there are a few basic rules for creating a capsule wardrobe, it is important that you stay true to yourself and adapt these to your own needs. It’s your closet, after all! For example, if you love layered looks for fall and winter, you will need more pieces than someone who prefers to keep it simple and simple. Fashion trends are something beautiful – there is nothing wrong with that. The reality, however, is that they are disappearing as quickly as they came. So don’t waste your money on something that is tucked away in the back of the closet after a few months, but invest in high-quality, timeless classics that you can wear for several seasons.
Rely on classic colors for the base parts
Neutral, classic colors such as white, gray, black or dark fashion will never go out of style and are therefore ideally suited for a capsule wardrobe. They match pretty much any other color and always look elegant and classy. Another advantage is that nobody in the office will notice if you have worn the same black shirt blouse twice in a week. To liven up your outfits a bit, you can opt for one or two accent colors. Whether red, gold, yellow, pastel or neon shades – the choice depends on your own taste and preferences.