If you've been following along on my blog for the last couple weeks, you'll notice that I've been sharing my thoughts about how to begin a capsule wardrobe! Post #1 was about being willing to risk having less, post #2 was about making your own rules, and this 3rd and final post is all about the different tips and tricks I've learned along the way. I hope it's helpful to you!
Let's dive in!
Tip #1. Study your style
If you've followed posts #1 and #2 and have begun to whittle down your closet to pieces that you love, you may notice a common theme among your clothing. Right away when I first started, I noticed that I had a large amount of tops, and they were all bright colors and patterns! But as I studied other capsule wardrobes that I loved on Pinterest and blogs, I noticed myself being drawn toward those outfits that were a mix of just a few simple and neutral pieces (Caroline from Un-Fancy is still my wardrobe hero). It became pretty apparent that I had the habit of purchasing colorful and loud tops because they were easy to quickly pair with jeans without a lot of thought - but it drastically increased the amount of clothing I owned, and made it difficult to mix and match items together!
Over the last year, I began to slowly filter out stand-alone pieces, and only purchase items when they were able to be paired with several other clothes in my closet! Studying others' style and intentionally creating your own style will reveal which items you're drawn towards, and which pieces are missing from your wardrobe. (Plus, it's a fun excuse to surf Pinterest!! As if I needed one...)
Tip #2. Bottoms multiply your options
As I mentioned above, my natural tendency has always been to purchase a variety of tops and wear them only with my favorite pair of jeans - easy, right? But as I studied and experimented more, I found the more bottoms (pants, shorts, skirts, whatever floats your boat!) I had, the more options I had to create different outfits. That made my few (but intentional) tops more versatile and less boring. My dark jeans will always be my favorite and most comfortable go-to bottoms, but finding a good pair of light jeans, black jeans, purple pants, and green pants (I still enjoy the bold colors!) has multiplied the options I have, and diversified my tops.
Tip #3. Completer pieces do their job well
This one is pretty self explanatory, but it's definitely worth mentioning! Finding versatile cardigans, jackets, vests, and blazers will easily and swiftly change the mood of your outfit. You can wear the same top and bottom two days in a row, and if you pair it with a different jacket or blazer, it looks completely different! Yay for less clothing and more options!
Tip #4. Rock your accessories
I'm not a jewelry girl. Somehow necklaces and bracelets always seem to get in my way, and I'm still awkward when styling them! If that's you... welcome to the awkward club!! But, I do have a love for fun scarves and big 'ol earrings - and thanks to my short haircut, you can actually see them when I wear them! Colorful earrings and scarves can spice up a neutral outfit in ten seconds flat, and add color! Yay color!
Tip #5. Invest in your pieces
If you're building a capsule wardrobe that will last for a long time, you'll be wearing a lot of the same clothes over and over. And with time and use and many washes, cheap clothes will eventually wear out! It's better to spend more on one piece that you know will last you a long time, then to buy five pieces that sort of fit within your wardrobe. This comes back to knowing the rules you've set up for yourself, and the budget you have! Maybe you only buy one or two new pieces every few months or even once a year. But as you begin to recognize your style and which pieces you want to purchase, you'll be more willing to spend more on quality materials. (I'm still working on this myself!)
Bonus: Tip #6. Consider ethical fashion
This is something I'm still researching and figuring out for myself, so I definitely don't have all the answers! Bonus tip! Here's my thought: if you're going to be spending more money on quality materials, why not purchase it from companies that provide fair wages, safe work environments, and maybe even help support international artisans through fair trade? It's worth a thought. I'm excited to begin discovering how I can help support companies I believe in (like Noonday), and I invite you to do the same!
I hope this series has been helpful to you as you journey towards being content and resourceful with less. I'd love to hear from you about your own experiences with a capsule wardrobe and what you've learned along the way!