Your day to day wardrobe with a capsule of only 30 garments that you love, you look great, are extra versatile and combine with everything. This mega guide shows you the minimalist wardrobe you want and still don’t know. A mini wardrobe that, apart from simplifying, makes your day to day happier. If you’re ready to say goodbye to “oh dear, and what do I wear today?” be attentive because it has more crumb and practice than it seems.
- 1 What is a capsule wardrobe?
- 2 Why do I follow the capsule wardrobe method?
- 3 Your wardrobe capsule step by step: a happy wardrobe
- 3.1 1- Be aware of everything you have before making your wardrobe capsule
- 3.2 2- Your wardrobe capsule by categories
- 3.3 3- The clothes in your capsule wardrobe look like this
- 3.4 4- Know yourself to make a cupboard capsule 100% yours
- 3.5 5- Organize your wardrobe capsule
- 3.6 6- Shopping for your capsule closet
What is a capsule wardrobe?
This popular method is nothing more and nothing less than living with only a limited number of garments that you select because you love them. On top of that, they are versatile and super easy to combine, just like that.
Where does it come from? Perhaps, when you hear this name, The Seven Easy Pieces concept by designer Dona Karan comes to mind. You’re not off track. It was she who in 1985 created a collection in which, with only seven versatile pieces, any woman would feel comfortable and confident. Although if you want to find out more about this revolutionary method, 1970 in London is the key. It is where Susie Faux, the owner of a boutique called Wardrobe, first wanted to offer a different fashion approach so that no woman would ever feel insecure about how to dress in all sorts of situations.
And what’s in the closet? Tops (t-shirts, blouses, sweaters,…), bottoms (skirts, trousers, shorts), dresses/jumpsuits and coats. It is a wardrobe designed so that, when you get up, you don’t get the typical feeling of not having any idea of what to wear even if you have safe clothes.
But, the capsule closet does not include underwear, sportswear, pyjamas, or clothing for events or parties. It is a wardrobe designed for your daily rhythm of life. No more, no less.
Why do I follow the capsule wardrobe method?
Without even knowing that I had a name, I’ve been a faithful follower of the capsule wardrobe method for many years. Well, if I’m honest with you, do what is said to be done to the letter. Well, not much because I had no idea of its existence. My life went from here to there, and I needed a wardrobe that would adapt to my flexibility. And what I had been doing for years was a lot like this incredible method. I’ll tell you.
Travelling and living abroad is something I have always been passionate about to an unimaginable extent. During the last six years, I have changed almost as much from the house and country as from panties. Well, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit. The fact is that the first moves were so horrible that one day I had enough. I promised myself that I would never take anything more or less than the essentials with me again.
And what was it that made such a suitcase unviable? To take my entire wardrobe with me wherever I went. Just in case one day I wanted to wear something I hadn’t worn for a century. Only in case the flies, you know 😉
A total wardrobe transformation was what I needed — getting rid of absolutely everything that didn’t convince me 100%. Analyze where I spent most of my time to forget about garments that only used a tiny percentage. Mentalize that for every new thing that came into my closet, another old one had to come out.
And that’s how I started to learn that I only needed a few clothes to keep dressing well in all kinds of occasions and without giving up my style. Well, not even to my eternal travels 😉
Your wardrobe capsule step by step: a happy wardrobe
You might think that everything you have in your closet you like and you put it on. Don’t kid yourself; it’s not like that. Step by step, your capsule closet will take shape until you master this method and finally, for a whole season live with your 30-40 clothes without missing anything.
Okay, the first steps I’m leaving you here aren’t the funniest of the capsule closet method. But I assure you that they are the ones that will help you the most to change the chip.
First, to make you aware of the immense amount of things you have been accumulating in that closet. Second, to tell you how little you need in your closet to dress the way you want. And third and perhaps most important, to know your style to be faithful to it and therefore, make your wardrobe only transmit happiness to you as soon as you open it. It is what makes this method infallible. Let’s go!
1- Be aware of everything you have before making your wardrobe capsule
Take all your clothes and put them together on the floor, the bed or wherever you can fit that huge pile. As Marie Kondo describes in her book: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying: A simple, effective way to banish clutter forever, this step is essential to realize the number of garments you have been accumulating in your wardrobe.
Surely half of them will only occupy space there now, but okay, we are not going to get as strict as the Kondo. Seeing all that pile of clothes in front of you, you are so overwhelmed that you are willing to get rid of everything as soon as possible.
Are you already at that point of “please get all this out of my closet, out of my house and out of my life NOW”? So here we go.
2- Your wardrobe capsule by categories
Separate garments according to groups: top garments, bottom garments, dresses/mono and overcoats.
Get rid of anything that horrifies you at first glance or makes you feel sorry for wearing it so much. This cleaning is easy, but the following selections may cost you a little more. The trick is to get used to the idea that you’re going to get rid of everything and that you can only save the essential and love it. And how do you get this?
3- The clothes in your capsule wardrobe look like this
The first golden rule is that every one of the garments you have in your wardrobe complies with this:
- Make you feel comfortable
- Let them go with your style
- Look good on you.
- That you like them
Yeah, this all sounds pretty obvious. Well, I’m sure you’ve bought something more than once that went against these points.
Fashions are an easy example. Many times we insist on buying clothes just because they are fashionable and in reality, they look terrible. The oversize trend is the perfect example of the short ones. Why do you have to buy the extra-wide sweater if it seems like Hagrid just lifted in miniature version?
Don’t make the mistake of staying in love from years ago or with garments that fall into the category of “just in case of the flies one day I’m going to need”. All that is not essential, out.
If after undoing all the clothes that don’t go with you, don’t make you feel comfortable, don’t like them and don’t fit you, you still have doubts, here is a list of questions that surely help you get rid of a few clothes that don’t paint anything in your mini wardrobe.
- Would you buy that garment again if you saw it now in a store?
- Which garments do you always take on trips?
- Do you like that garment right now or did you like it at the time?
- How many times do you think you’re going to make the most of that garment?
- Do you think the shape, colours or texture are natural to combine with the rest of the garments?
Remember, your mini wardrobe only needs the essentials to make you happy.
The definitive step
Are you still wearing too many clothes, even with the super list of questions? Don’t worry; you don’t have Diogenes Syndrome or anything like that. You don’t know yet how vital these garments are in your style.
The last resort for a minimalist wardrobe is effortless. Take a box and keep all these garments that you have doubts about in a place that is not very visible. If you miss that box during that season, rescue it and include it in your wardrobe. But if you haven’t missed anything, better than better. Don’t even open it; get rid of it directly.
4- Know yourself to make a cupboard capsule 100% yours
Maybe after all the cleaning you’ve done in your closet, you’ll see more clearly what an essential wardrobe is for you that you like and are going to use. But it’s no use if you haven’t learned anything about yourself during this cleaning.
What do you like about the clothes you keep (the fabric, the colour, the shape)? What is it that you don’t like about the clothes you’ve put aside (too wide, turned neck, the touch)? Write down everything you think about them. This way, you will begin to know your style and taste more deeply, and you will not make the same mistakes every time you buy something.
We all have a style so, if you don’t even have a clue, this step for you is fundamental. Like any creative process, we need to be inspired to create a work of art in conditions; Our capsule wardrobe 😉
There are twenty thousand and more ways to be inspired. Save or write down everything you see that catches your attention and put it in your “mood board”. You can save styles that surprise you from Pinterest or Instagram. Take pictures of a fabric you love or something you see in a magazine. You don’t have to keep everything in styles or clothes. Anything you like is inspirational.
Important: this step is constant; it never ends. Every time you want to renew your wardrobe or create your seasonal styles, do the same process — your taste changes and with it, your closet. Just as you did with cleaning the first steps, don’t ever be left with something just because you loved it one day. And don’t keep anything in case the occasion arises in the future. Maybe that occasion never comes, and if it does, perhaps you don’t like what you bought once.
More than the shapes, the colours are the protagonists in your looks. Combining colours is the fundamental step to know how to combine clothes and be able to bring out thousands of looks.
Three types of colours in your capsule wardrobe
Here you are going to create your colour palette for the season. Watch out! Don’t start building it from scratch. You’re sure to choose colours, and there are lots of them you’d love to try.
If you don’t want to ruin yourself, start with a base. And that’s the one you have in your closet. Open it and look at the clothes you have now that you’ve disposed of half of it. Surely there are already a few colours that predominate, and that will become your main ones. How what main ones? Here you have the three categories in which you have to divide the colours in your palette:
- Basic colours. You know, those that are super easy to combine and that we usually use as wardrobe background. Black, grey, white, raw, beige, brown, dark blue. They are neither annoying nor should we get rid of them to create our artistic palette. These colours give us the base of any look and, therefore, essential in your minimalist wardrobe. I usually use them for the bottom parts and the total look.
- Main or complementary colours. They are the predominant colours of your season. They are without a doubt that you like them more and they fit better. Therefore, the closer to the face, the better. And yes, you can call them with those two names so different depending on the occasion. If you want to steal the primary colours and highlight colours as we do in summer, for example, then these are your primary colours. If what you want is a little more formal and muted looks, then these will be complementary colours because they complement the basic ones.
- Accent colours. They are the discordant note in your looks. They are the colours that make you crazy but that you can’t imagine wearing a whole garment. What you do is combine them with the basic and the main ones, but in small quantities and details. They can’t be missing from your wardrobe because they are the ones that make your look different from the rest and the ones that make your wardrobe 100% yours.
Note: Your colour palette is just a guide. Don’t pretend to go out in the street looking for clothes of the exact colours because you will go crazy looking for them.
A trick: the colours that make you feel great
In a colour palette not only your taste or the weather matters but the colours that suit you best. And how do I know which colours suit me and which don’t touch me with a stick?
Your eyes, your skin colour and the colour of your hair are going to tell you what colours are yours. Look at them, and you will get your temperature, luminosity, chroma and season.
Temperature: warm or cold?
- Warm: golden skin/honey eyes, green or with various colours/ golden blond hair, red hair, light and medium chestnut.
- Cold: pale skin, olive / blue eyes, greys, blacks and dark browns / black hair, dark brown, ash blonde, grey and white.
Luminosity: light or dark?
- Light: light eyes, skin and hair.
- Dark: very dark eyes, skin or hair.
What if I have things with a warm but also cold temperature? For example, I have green eyes in various colours (warm temperature) but light skin and dark brown hair (cold temperature). Here As two of them enter the freezing temperature, I have a cold harmony.
And the luminosity? As much as my eyes and skin are light, having very dark brown hair, I am automatically obscure luminosity. As soon as one of these three things is very dark, your brightness will be dark.
Knowing your temperature and brightness, you can already know both the season you belong to and your chroma (whether you look good in bright/bright colours or softer/off colours). I leave you a table where you can quickly see your season and chroma.
Your day today
To get the 30-40 garments your wardrobe needs right, analyse your time. No matter how much you think your pace of life is very similar to that of other people, it is not. And if you want a minimalist wardrobe, you have to adapt it to what you do with your time.
If you live in the south of England, but every two to three times you have to travel to Scotland for work, then your wardrobe needs plenty of warm clothes no matter how hot it gets in your city. If you spend half your week playing sports or being at home, your wardrobe needs a lot of comfortable clothes, even if you work in a bank.
Make your graph to know how you will spend your time in the coming months and choose the amount for each type of garment according to this division. If you see that you’re cutting clothes for something you do a lot, don’t cut yourself and add clothes. This is where you should invest and not in the fleeting fashions or clothes that we buy for being priced.
Realistically, no matter how much we like something, we have to look good. It’s a pity, but yes, there are things that we love and look awful on us.
That’s why to take your wardrobe and be honest with yourself. Don’t waste too much time looking for clothes that, from experience, you know, don’t suit you. Better spend your time trying out new shapes, textures and combinations, and you might discover something that looks great on you and that you didn’t conceive before in your wardrobe.
For example, I love sunglasses, but after a lot of trying, I’ve accepted that they look awful. Now I only paid attention if it’s a small model that doesn’t cover my face too much. The other models, no matter how much I still like them, I don’t even bother. I prefer to explore other options such as hats, which tend to suit me, and I’ve never taken advantage of them.
If you’re here because you’re short like me, here I’ve prepared a complete section on what you might and might not consider in your closet.
Tips on what looks good and bad on the short ones
This page is short, so here are some tips and tricks that can quickly help you discard garments just by looking at them. This is a simple summary of what usually suits us very well to the little ones and clothes that fit us as a Christ three guns.
I recommend you to go through the section on how to dress well if you are petite where apart from advice, I publish looks for short every week.
If you’re petite, you’re interested in:
- Monochrome garments
- Total looks
- Discreet prints
- Vertical stripes
- Mini skirts/shorts
- A-shaped skirts
- Open and asymmetrical long dresses/skirts
- High Draft Pants
- Cigarette trousers
- Prints and V-necklines
- Halter necklines
- Uncovered shoulders
- Sleeves 3/4
- Garments that mark the waist
- Heels in nude/bright colour
- Accessories/bags mini
If you’re petite, you need to avoid:
- Oversize garments
- Large prints
- Horizontal stripes
- Extra-large flywheel
- Many contrasts
- Skirts that are halfway down your calf
- Long dresses that cover your whole (up and down)
- Low Draft Pants
- Very wide trousers
- Pants with the bass outwards
- Super high heels
- Accessories/large bags
5- Organize your wardrobe capsule
It’s okay if the first time you do this capsule method, you don’t get to keep those 30-40 garments. Season after season you will feel more comfortable, you will know yourself better, and you will have more confidence in your style. Until in the end, you get your limited selection with which you will compose thousands of looks, and you will feel great.
Knowing this, put back in your mini wardrobe the clothes you’ve kept. But in a way that you see everything you have. And how? Well, there are plenty of ways to tidy up your wardrobe. I recommend that you fold your clothes according to Konmari’s method by Marie Kondo. It is the only one that has worked for me to see and choose what I wear every day quickly.
Whatever your method of organizing, the goal is that just by opening your closet, you are aware at all times of what you have and what you lack to have the mini wardrobe 100% for you.
6- Shopping for your capsule closet
Simply because you desire a minimalist wardrobe doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to shopping. In our capsule method incorporating new garments is not forbidden at all. But I can see you coming! Now that we have a clean and defined wardrobe, we can’t go crazy and wipe out everything we see.
Be a smart shopper. Apply everything you’ve learned in this process and follow these last tips to get the previous clothes you need and get a minimalist wardrobe 100% yours.
Change your way of thinking when you go shopping
When we go shopping many of us go with the mentality of: “I go shopping to see if I can find something I like. For me, this is without a doubt, the biggest mistake that has made us accumulate things that we don’t need and that maybe we don’t like.
Why instead of going to see what we like, don’t we already have an idea of what our versatile mini wardrobe lacks? Don’t let yourself be carried away by the sales, the bargains or the fashions that don’t come or go. Think of the new colour you want to incorporate in your wardrobe or the latest trend you think you can sit dead and come out for it.
That you end up with a lot of clothes? Follow this philosophy, and you won’t ruin your minimalist wardrobe: if something new comes in, something old goes out.
While you were making your inspiration board, you possibly included some of the trends that get the most out of it. This is inevitable, and it’s great because it’s precisely these trends that encourage us to try new things and spark our purchases.
The only thing you have to be careful with here is that your wardrobe doesn’t get invaded by these fashions. Above all, because many of them are fleeting fashions that you might not even consider the following year. How many times have you seen a photo from a few years ago in which you thought you were so cute and thought “little mother, what do you paint”?
If you fill your wardrobe with trendy garments, you will probably end up spending a pastry renewing it season after season. Don’t trend your style; use them to build your style.