I’m now well over a year into my capsule wardrobe experiment. In that time I’ve made a lot of mistakes just like everyone else does with their capsule wardrobe. These capsule wardrobe mistakes have all been part of the journey with each mistakes being a learning opportunity. They have enabled me to develop my first rule focused capsule to my current flexible minimal wardrobe. However just because I made these mistakes doesn’t mean you have too. I’ve pulled together 10 of the most common capsule wardrobe mistakes to help make your transition a little easier.
You’ve decided to try out a capsule wardrobe, so the first thing you do is google how many items to include. Sound familiar? I think everyone with a capsule wardrobe has done this. However, the thing to remember is a capsule wardrobe isn’t amount having a set number of clothes. It’s more about creating a minimal wardrobe which works for you. Some people have only 33 pieces whereas others have closer to 60 pieces it doesn’t matter. Having a set number it mind helps when creating your capsule wardrobe, but don’t worry if you go over or have less as long as it works for you. My first capsule wardrobe was a strict 37 pieces and was definitely missing a few things. I remember wearing the same jumper over and over in December because I only included one because any more would take me over my set number. Now I have over 50 pieces which help me dress for a range of weather conditions.
As with searching for the perfect number of pieces, we’ve all search for what to include in a capsule wardrobe. This search will bring up lots of helpful lists of what you should have in your capsule wardrobe. You may also spend time looking at pictures of perfectly laid out capsule wardrobes on Pinterest. It can be very tempting to copy these lists for your own capsule wardrobe. But it’s important to remember these wardrobes are what works for someone else. A list may suggest 9 bottoms and 12 tops and 2 dresses, however, if you enjoy wearing dresses most days then your wardrobe should have more dresses. It’s about finding what works for you and not copying those perfect looking wardrobes on Pinterest. Use these what to include lists as a guideline to help you build your capsule wardrobe but don’t copy them exactly.
Similar to mistake 2 so many of us are guilty of creating a wardrobe for a fantasy lifestyle rather than our real lifestyle. It’s easy to convince yourself that you’ll be going to lots of glamorous events and parties when the reality is you spend most evenings at home. If you work from home and only go out to work the day you probably don’t need to include many business suits. The same as if you work in an office 9-5 you will need plenty of business wear and less casual wear. Think about your lifestyle and how you spend your time before planning your capsule wardrobe. This way your wardrobe will work for you.
You’ve read all the rules of capsule wardrobes and are following them all to the letter. Having a few rules is useful as it helps focus the challenge. However if having lots of rules is making it difficult for you then you’re being too rigid. This is your wardrobe at the end of the day and it shouldn’t be surrounded by rules. We all need a little flexibility. If you want to wear that dress you stored away for summer go ahead and wear it. If you have to replace something in your capsule wardrobe then break the no shopping rule. You’re not going to get into trouble if you break the rules.
While a capsule wardrobe can be a useful tool in developing your personal style you do need a little understanding before you start. It’s important to focus on what your personal style is and what you want it to become. Think about what you choose to wear on a daily basis. What is it about these outfits you love? How do these outfits fit into your personal style? Have a look at your favourite bloggers or Pinterest for outfits you like. Spend some time thinking about your personal style before creating a capsule wardrobe. This way you will resist the temptation to copy someone else’s wardrobe and will create a wardrobe which works for you.
You created a wardrobe full of basics in black, white and grey and now you’re bored. Wearing all black can get a little dull after a while. We all need lots of basics in our wardrobes but if you have no standout statement pieces it gets boring fast. Make sure you include a few fun pieces to keep things interesting. Try adding some bright accessories to your wardrobe or incorporating a little colour here and there. Keep things interesting so you don’t get bored with your capsule wardrobe.
You didn’t focus on quality when creating your capsule wardrobe and now everything looks worn or is falling apart. Quality is so important when you have a capsule wardrobe. Because you have less you wear things more often and they need to stand up to that. No one wants to wear clothes which look worn or are falling part. Choose high-quality pieces for your capsule wardrobe which will last throughout the season (and the next). Remember a capsule wardrobe is about quality over quantity.
It doesn’t matter if you have 30 pieces or 200 if your wardrobe is a mess you’ll struggle to pick out an outfit. You could have the best capsule wardrobe but if it’s in a pile on the floor you’ll still think you have nothing to wear. The advantage of having a capsule wardrobe is it’s easier to keep your closet organised. Take the time to organise your closet before you start your capsule wardrobe and make an effort to put things away probably after you use them.
You’ve hit the shops before creating a capsule wardrobe and come back with fringing, embellishment and whatever else is on trend. You’ll soon find yourself staring at a sea of fabulous pieces and no idea how to create a wearable outfit with them. Trends are designed to come and go so you’ll find yourself with pieces which look out of date pretty soon. Instead of trends focus on adding timeless classic pieces to your wardrobe. You can still enjoy trends but only add one or two pieces rather than build a wardrobe around them.
You need to accept that no matter how hard we try none of us will ever have a perfect capsule wardrobe. It just doesn’t exist!