Less is more: this is what the capsule wardrobe says. To be more precise: you don’t need more than 37 items of clothing in your wardrobe. But is it really suitable for everyday use?
Fewer clothes mean less stress when getting dressed: At least that is what the principle of the capsule wardrobe says. But is this minimalist fashion trend really easy to implement in everyday life? What is the best way to go about trying it out? And what are the advantages and disadvantages? We have all the info.
Capsule Wardrobe: What is it?
The idea of the capsule wardrobe came about in the 1970s: Susie Faux, owner of a London fashion store called “Wardrobe”, developed the idea of a wardrobe full of timeless basics that never go out of style. American designer Donna Karan took the basic idea further when she developed a collection of seven pieces of clothing that could be combined with one another in 1985. And these two ideas, that you can get by with little clothing that works in any combination, describe the principle of the capsule wardrobe.
According to this principle, a maximum of 37 items (including shoes and bags) per season should be enough. You should only keep parts that can be combined in many ways, that you really like and that convey a personal sense of well-being. If you can get by with less than 37, that’s all the better. There is also no strict list of essential parts. The capsule wardrobe should be designed according to personal taste. It is best if the pieces are timeless, of high quality so that you can wear them for a long time – and ideally also produced sustainably.
These pieces belong in the capsule wardrobe
Of course, the contents of the capsule wardrobe should match your own style. But it can help to own or keep the following items of clothing in order to have scope for combinations. It should definitely be light and dark jeans. Because they can be styled both casually and chic.
Cloth pants and skirts that can be styled in a variety of ways are also recommended. A simple dress as well as tops and shirts in different designs can always be restyled – and with a pullover and tights, a dress can also be worn in cold seasons. Blouses, sweaters, cardigans or blousons in simple colors complete the capsule wardrobe in terms of clothing.
When it comes to shoes, five pairs are enough for all seasons in a minimalist wardrobe. We recommend sneakers, boots, warm winter shoes, sandals and chic shoes such as pumps. You don’t need more to combine.
Tip: If you don’t get along with the items of clothing all year round, you can adjust the Capsule Wardrobe every three months and, if necessary, add missing items and stow away or sell superfluous ones.
For men, too, it definitely makes sense to have at least two styles of jeans: light and dark. You can combine them in many ways, whether with a shirt, sweater or jacket.
You should also have fancier models such as suit pants in the capsule wardrobe. The number and models must of course match the wearer and his life situation. Other pieces for the minimalist and easy-to-combine wardrobe: shirts, shirts, tops, sweaters, cardigans. They should match each other in terms of color and also understand each other stylistically. And men don’t need more than four or five pairs of shoes either: sneakers, boots, sturdy winter shoes, sandals or other summer shoes and dress shoes are basically enough.
In a few steps to the capsule wardrobe
If you now want to try out for yourself whether the reduced but thoroughly practical wardrobe suits you, you should follow these five steps.
First you should get an overview of what is actually in the closet. Then you should consider which wardrobe you need when: what do I wear to work? What to meet up with friends? And what about a fancier dinner or another special occasion? In the beginning it can make sense to exclude socks and sportswear. In the end you make the rules yourself, the first step is to reduce the contents of the wardrobe to the bare minimum.
Then it’s time to clean up. The best thing to do is get rid of everything you own. And then you have to sort. You should only keep what you really like, fits and wears often. Everything else can safely be sold, donated or given away. Parts that you are unsure about can first disappear in a box. If you miss them you can get them back, if not they can be sold or donated. Also a good tip: Instead of a wardrobe, in which you quickly lose track of things, it is worth having an open telescopic system, with which you can always see at a glance what you have and how you can combine it.
Now it’s time to see what makes up your own wardrobe: what colors and cuts do you like? What style am I actually wearing? And what do I like about it?
Now you already have significantly fewer clothes in your closet and you know what you like to wear and what you wear a lot. But that’s not all. Now you have to organize your clothes in such a way that you can easily combine them with each other – without having to think too much. It is practical, for example, to develop a color concept. To do this, first choose a base color. It could be dark blue. This color goes well if you like to wear jeans and denim. After that, you need two neutral colors that go well with the base color. This can be beige, white, gray or cream, for example.
You can choose an accent color so that you don’t end up with a run-of-the-mill wardrobe. For example a bag in red or with a wild print. Or a jacket with a statement print. Or chunky sneakers. However, these tips only serve as a rough guide. If you are quite confident in combining, you can of course design it as you like. The only important thing is that many items of clothing can be easily combined with each other. This is the only way to keep the number of parts limited.
Once you have created an individual, well-arranged Casüle wardrobe that suits you, you should of course not fall back into old patterns and gradually make them overflow again. In other words, you should never base your wardrobe on short-lived trends. The wardrobe is also becoming all the more sustainable. It’s better to borrow parts when you do need something, fix broken ones, and just buy something new and timeless when you need to replace a part. So the best thing is really high-quality parts so that you can wear them for as long as possible. And if you absolutely want to wear a trend, the best thing to do is to buy a used item and sell it again in order to think really sustainably.
The benefits of the capsule wardrobe
If you only have a few items in your closet and you know that almost all of them can be combined with one another, you naturally save time and energy getting dressed in the morning. In addition, there is more money for other things if you don’t follow every trend. The bedroom stays neat and tidy when there are fewer clothes floating around. And: Through conscious consumption, you conserve resources and do something good for the environment. A minimalist clothing style is sustainable – and therefore minimalism definitely makes sense in other areas of life too. With less clothing, cosmetics and possessions, life is actually usually easier in the end.
Disadvantages of the capsule wardrobe
The capsule wardrobe does not have any real disadvantages, as it saves time and money and conserves resources. However, if you express yourself strongly through fashion, like to try out a lot on yourself and attach great importance to an outfit that is always trendy, the capsule wardrobe is a real challenge for you. But: These people can also use it as a guide and reduce the closet to the basics, which they spice up with trendy pieces. The main thing is that you shop more consciously and more sustainably, so a lot of good has already been done.
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