Your Guide to Building a Capsule Wardrobe That’ll Withstand Time

d84fc02d1ddee727025dd1e32f0c100dIt was only a short while ago that we each idolized Carrie Bradshaw and her extensive closet, filled to the brim with shoes and designer garments. However, reality soon struck us when we realized that one, we hadn’t the funds and two, we hadn’t the closet space.

The truth is, the everyday struggle of finding something to wear is sadly, something that we all have to bear and while a large closet might be the dream, the reality of one couldn’t be farther from that. Already we suffer from 20-minute freak-outs before work and are routinely exhausted by our morning breakdowns over what to wear. The truth is, a large majority of us struggle to create simple looks for our outfit of the days, but fear not, for there is a cure.

Though it may feel like you’re alone, your inability to make a decision on an outfit is a form of ‘decision fatigue,’ and a real-life condition to boot. The scientifically proven theory is one of the reasons so many of us struggle to make quick decisions. However, the fatigue has a cure and while many may cling to their clothes while reading the remedy, it’s proven to quill your inability to make a decision altogether. The wardrobe detox, or capsule wardrobe as it’s frequently referred to, is a method of whittling down your clothing collection to the bare minimum. Literally, the bare minimum. Though the idea of wearing the same outfits over and over again may seem like a crime against fashion, and often nature, some good can come from narrowing down to a few key pieces. Trust us on this one…

Caroline Rector of the popular online blog Unfancy gave capsule wardrobes a much-needed resurrection a few years back. Her approach to changing up her wardrobe proved to readers everywhere that even bloggers, with access to big brands and retailers all over the world, could benefit from downsizing their closets. Rector dedicated time to minimalizing her wardrobe to only key items befitting of her style and shape at the time. She was able to truly define her personal style. For Rector, minimizing was not only at the expense of her closet space but over time, she admits to the experience helping to choose what not to purchase in the future.

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When I first heard of a capsule wardrobe, I was immediately transported to the story of a man who had only four of everything, his minimalism was inspiring, yet unrealistic by my standards. How on earth could I stun the world and my pristine Instagram profile, with the same few items of clothing, I thought to myself. It seemed an impossible task. Though he advocated for a better life, free of the shackles that came with tirelessly picking out an outfit on a day to day basis, I sympathized with him and why? Because although admirable, as I daydreamed what that life might be like for someone like myself, I thought of the joy that comes from springing open my closet to a raft of possibilities each and every morning. You see, there comes a joy from filtering through hundreds of clothes in order to find an outfit perfect for the day ahead. A joy I felt I’d be depriving myself of should I give in to a capsule.

But, considering a capsule wardrobe shouldn’t be a life or death decision to make. Even though it may feel as though you’re sending your garments off to war. There are a number of benefits that come with clearing out and starting afresh. If we are to take anything from a blogger’s edition of the clear out, it’s that Caroline’s capsule conundrum made way for the ‘newly styled’ her. After whittling down her closet, she was able to purchase new items of clothing, based on what she knew she could do with, and do without. Now isn’t that admirable?

Before committing to the enormous task of creating a capsule dear to you, however, there are a number of things to consider…



Some would say that downsizing, as the first step, is the hardest of all. Be sure to save as little items for your capsule as possible. While many individuals go as low as 20 items, it’s worth knowing that your capsule can be anything up to 50 pieces and not a single piece more! This includes jewellery and shoes, so choose wisely but there’s no need to take things too seriously as capsule wardrobes will differ depending on each individual. Despite what the internet informs us, there aren’t strict rules when deciding what to put in a capsule unique to you.

Initially, creating a collection of key pieces will help to shape your wardrobe, however, over time it is said to lose its purpose. This is because you become accustomed to your new style and are able to separate the things you really from the things that would hang with the tag still intact at the back of your closet.

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For the next three months following the clear out, you’re going to be stuck with the same few items of clothing, so it pays to be mindful and strategic about what will be selected for your capsule. To do so, you must be objective and take a serious look at your closet. Consider the items you will one hundred percent wear, what might work best with those pieces and work your way down from there. Select simpler pieces that are easy to pair.

A difficult process, to say the least, it does take a little extra time to whittle this down. Take into consideration any events you may have coming up, after all, you might kick yourself should you tuck away the perfect wedding guest dress just before the big event. Be sure to consider that there are a number of objections in creating this new closet. After all, what is one to do when it comes to a wedding, Sunday service at church and any and every holiday?


Curbing your emotional spending habits is a difficult, especially when going quit cold turkey, for one thing, shopping is a form of therapy to many. However, creating a capsule wardrobe doesn’t necessarily mean cutting off your desire to shop entirely. No no, it simply means focusing on seeking out top-quality and long-lasting pieces when browsing high street stores in the future. The mantra goes as follows, ask yourself do you really need said item, where do you feel you could wear said item, will this item last the year and most importantly, do you currently own anything to pair with said item, if the answer to all of these questions is no, it’s time to move on and back away slowly from the clothing rack.



While the transition between seasons might stump even the most well versed in fashion, selecting garments to store in your wardrobe-lite needn’t be a tough task. Okay, so of course it’s going to be soul destroying to finally let go of your current five-star closet, but the process is far easier than you might think. A number of people think you’ll be tripped up by the differing seasons, but it does bear thinking about the four seasons individually. This is because the pieces that you do choose to appear in your capsule wardrobe will likely appear in half if not all of the four seasonal collections. Remember it’s not permanent, so it’s important to stay strong and not go purchasing new clothes just yet. Sure it may be difficult but hold out! It will all be worth it. Sure, the changing seasons may feel like reason enough to abandon ship and plot on a whole new look, but try not to be disheartened, here’s where your love of layering comes into play…

No matter how heart-breaking the process, at the very least, it does mean that your chair-drobe will be a distant memory and all of those neglected clothes you swore blind you’d wear, will be given a better home and someone to wear them. After all, those vintage pants you’ve been meaning to take to the tailor have been sitting there for all of three years, and are fast cruising past their sell-by date… While considering whether a capsule could be for you, don’t let your clothes suffer at the hands of your clothing commitment issue!

However, if like myself the idea of a minimalist wardrobe is far too damning and If it doesn’t work for you, you tried something new. From your attempt at a renewed and refresher course in minimalist fashion, you might have even learned more about your personal style what works best for you.

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