Listening to: Harry Styles – Girl Crush (cover)
So you’ve spent some time ogling the fashion choices of strangers and have some thoughts about what you want in a wardrobe. Great. Now comes the heavy lifting. I won’t lie. Building out your capsule wardrobe isn’t the easiest thing you’ll do this week, but I think you’ll find it a worthwhile exercise.
I’ve built this handy lil PDF worksheet to make this process a little easier (thanks a ton to my uncle for making the editable PDF wizardry happen). I did my first few capsules in hard copy and ended up with a couple dozen sheets of paper of scratched out and re-written lists, and I’m finding this PDF so much easier. So open the worksheet (best in Adobe Reader) and then come right back to this post to follow along.
This post will cover the first page of the PDF and my next capsule post will cover the second page. We won’t be pulling clothes out of your closet today, trying things on or deciding which items to donate. Today is about defining your personal capsule style and identifying your capsule needs.
Fetch ye a hot tea and let’s get to it.
Some quick reminders to get us started:
- This exercise is about identifying and cultivating a wardrobe around your personal style. Rather than invent a new style, go with what you’re naturally drawn to and what’s already in your closet.
- The objective is to get minimal and be really intentional about the items in your wardrobe. This is not a shopping activity. You may need to buy a few pieces to round out your wardrobe over time but you’ll ultimately have less in your closet at the end, not more.
- You won’t create the perfect capsule on the first go. I’m into my fifth capsule season and I’m constantly making adjustments. Go easy on yourself.
- Remind yourself why you want to do this and what you hope to get out of it. I love the capsule because it helps me look more put-together, and saves me time and money. What do you hope to get out of your capsule?
- Get inspired. Find examples of capsule wardrobes that you like. Check out my board on Pinterest for some inspiration!
Types & Frequency
The first step to planning your capsule wardrobe is deciding what kind of outfits and how many of each you’ll need in a standard month. What activities does your wardrobe need to dress you for? How often do you do each of these activities? Knowing this will help you determine how many distinct outfit combinations of each type you will need. For instance, I prefer not to wear the same thing to work twice in one week, so I need at least 5 distinct work outfits. But I only need one formal outfit every few months. As a result, very little of my wardrobe will be given over to formal clothing. In the boxes below, I would put 5 for Work – Daily, and 1 beside Formal.
Use the OTHER box if you have an additional or different category. My OTHER outfit is “walking around” because between walkies with Riggy and running errands, I do a lot of non-descript walking. Also, a single lady’s gotta look good in case she runs into a hunky #dogdad.
For each category, jot down some notes on the kinds of outfits you currently wear in those scenarios, with clothes you already have in your closet. At the end of this section, you should be able to see which elements/items are common across categories. For example, when I filled out my worksheet I noted that I wear jeans on pretty much all occasions, so I know the majority of my bottoms should be jeans, and I might only need one pair of dress pants in my wardrobe. Similarly, I wear low-heeled booties with most fall/winter outfits, so maybe I only need one pair of flats this season.
Take a look at the clothes you wear most often and look for common threads in your colour and pattern choices (GET IT? COMMON THREADS? Clothes jokes.) Most capsule wardrobes are made up of neutrals with a pop of colour. Which neutrals and pops do you have most in your current wardrobe?
I’m personally all about black, white, grey and denim. This year, I chose a dusty purple as my pop of colour (it’s honestly just another neutral, but I is who I is). Remember to evaluate the clothes you actually wear. Yes, I know that yellow floral top is gorgeous, but you haven’t actually worn it since you bought it and it’s not really appropriate for the season, so maybe that’s not the best indicator of which colours you should have in your capsule. Note your initial thoughts – you can always come back and change these later.
//END PAGE 1//
We’ll leave it there for now. Check out my completed first page to see how I planned out this season’s capsule.
The second page of the PDF will help you figure out exactly which items you need in your capsule by reviewing your existing wardrobe and purging it of faded, ill-fitting, off-style items. It’ll be very therapeutic and also kind of exhausting. I. Can’t. Wait.