What is a capsule wardrobe?
It’s a smaller collection of clothing meant to be worn for 1 or 2 seasons. Perhaps someone living in a place where the weather is more steady all year round can wear his or hers for longer.
The pieces should all go well together and support your lifestyle in a functional way, while making you look great.
This summer is the first season I’ve had a pretty complete capsule wardrobe.
It’s not all awesome, nor my dream summer wardrobe, but I think I did well for my first go.
I am going to discuss what I needed in a capsule, how many pieces I included, and why I chose those pieces below.
Why create a capsule wardrobe?
For me, a capsule wardrobe is streamlined, focused, easy to maintain, easy to store, simpler, more enjoyable, and makes getting dressed quicker and easier.
For the planet, a capsule wardrobe limits the amount of stuff I buy, reducing the demand I put on the fashion industry, reducing the resources needed to create the clothes.
The idea of a capsule wardrobe has also encouraged me to become more aware of how clothes are made.
There’s a very informative documentary about the fast fashion industry called The True Cost. It’s available to stream on Netflix. Highly recommended.
My Wardrobe Breakdown
- 3 bottoms
- 12 tops
- 1 dress
- 4 pairs of shoes
- 2 hats
- 3 bags
I did not include the following in my capsule:
- bathing suits
- exercise clothes
- dressier clothes
- under garments
I also have other clothes, shoes, and hats that are more appropriate for the colder seasons, which were not included in this capsule.
My Wardrobe Considerations
Ethical & Cruelty-Free
As a compassionate person constantly striving to live from that value in all aspects of life, I now aim to purchase clothes from second hand sources or companies that produce their clothes ethically and make their practices transparent (when I need a new piece of clothing).
Something else I look for in an item is whether or not it’s made from animal products. I look for leather alternatives, down alternatives, and avoid suede. Cruelty is not cute and is totally unnecessary, especially when you can have awesome animal-free pieces.
More and more cruelty-free and vegan clothing companies are popping up. A simple Google search will back me up on that.
I do have a pair of supportive chunky sandals that I got from The Walking Company a few years ago, which are genuine leather. I decided to keep them and include them in my capsule because they are comfortable and getting rid of them would mean that I’d want to replace them with another pair, which would be wasteful.
This world is imperfect, as am I. Trying and getting better and learning is what matters. "Don't do nothing because you can't do everything." - Colleen Patrick-Goudreau aka my favorite person.
Fit: Loose-Fitting & Comfortable
As you might know from some of my other blog posts and videos, I am frequently bloated as I am trying to figure out how to heal my gut issues.
Wearing tight fitting clothes make me feel uncomfortable and aren’t very flattering on more bloated days.
I tried to find loose fitting and boxy shirts for this capsule. I do have high-waisted shorts and a high-waisted skirt, which is going against what I just said. However, I really liked these pieces and reserve them for days when my stomach is less bloated. :-/
Work Appropriate & Functional
Again, as you may or may not know, I am a nanny. I work with a four year old and we run, play, crawl around on the floor, and do messy activities.
For work I need clothes that are comfortable to move in, ok to get messy, are conservative, and cool enough for when we’re outside, while keeping me comfortable in the AC indoors.
You can see all of the items in my summer capsule in my video I share in this blog post. There are 7 pieces that I am wearing to work this summer:
- the gray boxy tee
- the black boxy tee
- the blue striped tee
- the gray striped tee
- the J.Crew toothpick jeans (distressed from wear & tear)
- the Vegetarian Shoes heel strap sandals (great for running, which is a must!)
- the black baseball cap
I pretty much have a uniform, which is amazing.
In addition, I am looking for another pair of jeans I can wear to work that look nice yet are ok to get dirty and develop holy knees. I love those J. Crew toothpick jeans but I'm going to either look on Ebay for something second hand and similar or just scour the thrift stores.
I also wear those clothes on my days off, incorporating my other pieces that aren’t so work appropriate.
I know each person has colors that work best for him or her based on skin tone, hair color, and eye color.
I found out that you can either be a summer, autumn, winter, or spring as far as which color palettes work best for you.
I think I’m a summer?
Anyway, while I think I’m a summer, I don’t necessarily love all summer colors. I gravitate more to the blacks, grays, whites, and blues and you see a lot of those in this capsule.
Something I want to work on for my fall capsule wardrobe is incorporating more of the colors that look best on me.
Do you have a capsule wardrobe? If so, what have been your struggles and successes?
If not, are you interested in creating one?