5 Things You Learn From Your First Capsule Wardrobe

January 11, 2016

I’m now a few weeks into my second capsule wardrobe and although it does seem strange saying this having a capsule wardrobe has changed my life. I’ve learnt so much about my style and lifestyle over the last few months. It has been a challenge at times, and I can’t say I haven’t missed shopping but I can tell you I haven’t missed having a wardrobe bursting full of clothes. I love looking at my wardrobe now, it’s so easy to keep everything organised and looking good. I know everything I own and can think of outfit combinations without standing staring at the wardrobe, or worse pulling everything out. I no longer have ‘that’ pile of clothes on my bedroom floor and everything is put away after use. I didn’t think reducing my wardrobe would have such an impact on my lifestyle.


1. You Can Do It

I’m not saying living with a capsule wardrobe is the easiest thing to do, but it’s a lot easier than you think it’s going to be. When you first clear out your wardrobe and are left with only 37 pieces it looks like you have hardly anything. I remember just staring at my wardrobe wondering if it was even possible to last a week with that little clothing. However, I soon found that I had enough clothes left to make a couple of months worth of outfits. You do need to be a little more creative with your styling and try putting pieces together in ways you hadn’t thought of. (for example my flannel shirt with my leather skirt) This gives you a few more ways to wear things. As well as the tiny closet, the thought of not shopping for nearly 3 months can be pretty intimidating. Luckily I didn’t find myself wanting to hit the shops until towards the end of the season. I think having the capsule wardrobe challenge to focus on helped with this, your energy is focused on creating your perfect wardrobe rather than gathering thing things. I wrote a post on overcoming the desire to shop if you need any tips.

2. Outfit Repeating is OK

Having limited clothing means you won’t have enough clothes to wear a completely new outfit every day for 3 months (unless you’re very creative), which may bother you if this is something you’ve done in the past. It’s inevitable that you will find yourself repeating outfits if you have a capsule wardrobe. Even before starting my capsule wardrobe I would repeat an outfit if I liked it so this wasn’t too big a change. I did notice I was repeating outfits (or wearing similar combinations) more and more. However, I also realised no one notices if you repeat and outfit, I even wrote a blog post about it (read¬†being an outfit repeater). Well maybe if you wear the same thing 3 days in a row someone might notice, but certainly not if you repeat Monday’s outfit on Friday. The thing is no one really notices what you’re wearing and if they do, they certainly don’t remember. Think about it can you tell me what your colleague was wearing last Monday?

3. Flexibility is Key

During my first capsule wardrobe, I was very strict on myself with making sure I kept to the rules. I had only 37 pieces which had to last the full seasons and they couldn’t be changed. When I created the capsule the weather here in Scotland was still fairly mild, so I didn’t need many cold weather pieces. I only included two warmer jumpers which were fine for October and most of November, however, come December I needed a few more pieces suitable for the colder weather. I forced myself to stick to the rules which meant I was basically wearing the same two jumpers on repeat, which lead to me getting bored with my capsule wardrobe. This time around if the weather changes earlier than expected I will allow myself to switch out a few pieces for more weather appropriate items. As they say, rules are meant to be broken.

4. You Become a Fussy Shopper

As your no longer shopping for the thrill, having a capsule wardrobe turns you into the fussiest shopper ever. Over the last couple of weeks, I have been making a few purchases add to my winter wardrobe. About a third of these purchases have been sent back. One of the main reasons for making returns is quality because I now have fewer clothes and am wearing them more often I want to buy the best quality I can afford. This has meant a few things have been sent back, which I would have kept (and only worn once or twice) before.
I’m also very aware of what I want to purchase to fill in the gap in my capsule wardrobe so I’m far more focused when shopping. I no longer pop into Topshop or Zara for a look around, if I go in it’s because I want something in particular and I go straight to that. I’ve also stopped browsing through the new in sections of my favourite websites which has saved me so much time

5. You’ll Want to Downsize Everything

Living with a reduced wardrobe shows you how easy it is to live with less stuff, and before you know it you’ll be purging every cupboard in your house. If you can get rid of that top you haven’t worn in 9 months then you can probably get rid of that mixing bowl you never use or that ugly lamp your aunt gave you which lives in the downstairs cupboard (just to clarify my aunt has never given me an ugly lamp). Creating a capsule wardrobe is the start of a journey to a more minimalist lifestyle. Although I wouldn’t class myself as a minimalist, I do want to get rid of all those things we never use which clutter up our home. There is something about having a clean minimal wardrobe which is really inspiring, you’ll want every cupboard in your home to look the same.

6 responses to “5 Things You Learn From Your First Capsule Wardrobe”

  1. I would love to have a capsule wardrobe and really need to get rid of so many unworn and ill fitting clothes – thanks for sharing x

    • admin says:

      Getting rid of things is the hard part as everything has a remember attached to it. Once you've done that living with less stuff is really easy and you don't miss it.

  2. I'm afraid my wardrobe collection is far from being capsule too. I have too much stuff. I totally agree with you that quality rather than quantity is the best way to go. Some great tips. Tx

    • admin says:

      I think if you're using everything you it's OK to have lots of stuff, the problem is when you keep stuff you never use. And yes buying one good quality item is so much better than 20 poor quality items

  3. Gillian says:

    I reeeeally need to try doing a capsule wardrobe! For the past year or so I've been sick of trying to battle through my huge mess of a wardrobe and have been slowly downsizing, but I think it's time to take the plunge and do it properly! x

  4. Shannon B. says:

    Hi Jen!

    You really taught me something here! I've always been afraid to get rid of certain clothing, but at the same time I value a minimalist lifestyle xD I think I'm going to take the plunge with these tips. Great post!


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