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Capsule wardrobes have been popular in the fashion world for awhile now. After years of traveling with a capsule wardrobe, I’m finally working on one for everyday life. Find out how to build your capsule wardrobe with my tips so you can easily decide what to wear, every day!
How to Use a Capsule Wardrobe
If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you know how much I embrace and love minimalist traveling. A capsule wardrobe has transformed my travel experience and makes it so much easier to travel carry-on only.
While I still travel all the time, I do have a home base now, and I will spend weeks at a time at home. Because of this shift, I wanted to know how I could embrace capsule wardrobe living in my everyday life when I’m not on the road.
I’ve been wanting to create an everyday life capsule wardrobe for a while. While it’s a work in progress, it has felt so good purging myself of THREE full garbage bags of clothes (all of which will be donated to a women’s shelter). It made me wonder, how did I collect so much in one year of settling down?
Building My Capsule Wardrobe
While I haven’t finalized a capsule wardrobe, I have managed to narrow down my clothing to the pieces I like wearing the most so my closet doesn’t seem cluttered with things I don’t really like wearing. Ideally, my perfect England capsule wardrobe would consist of seven sweaters (one for each day of the week), three jeans, five nice blouses, two skirts, and five dresses.
I honestly don’t think I need anything else. I’m not after a perfect “number” capsule as some like to do. Rather, I want a simplified life consisting of items that make me feel good every single day.
So far, I think the biggest struggle is trying to find the perfect items, not the “good enough” items. It’s still a major work in progress, and I hope to find “the ones” so I can love my outfits every single day without having to think about it.
Look at these sample capsule wardrobes to learn more tips on choosing the best clothing for travel!
My Ideal Fashion Items
In working through my closet makeover, I’ve learned that I love black pieces. Most of the clothing I purged was color I bought to please other people. While I am on the hunt for the right colors, like greens purples, reds, and blues, I won’t settle until I find the perfect shades.
I’ve also found that I’m not a fan of prints, as these have all been tossed into the bag as well. It’s in understanding what I do and don’t like that I’m finally achieving comfort in what I do own, not what I should own.
Read these tips on how to avoid a boring all-black wardrobe when you travel!
Learning Style Principles
Learning styling principles has been a huge part of helping me streamline what I think I like versus what actually looks good and what will make me feel good in the long run. For example, I’m a cool and deep color season versus warm toned gal, so I don’t look at warm colors and I avoid colors that are too light. This has been a big eye opener.
Also, learning the most flattering cuts for my body type has been good. I’ve always purchased crew neck or high neck tops but I’ve discovered that v-necks tees are more flattering for my body type. So despite not originally liking them, I gave them a try and they were much more flattering that now I’m only buying v-necks (or boat necks) and skipping other options.
As I continue to work on my capsule wardrobe for everyday life, I asked readers their tips for creating one. Here are some of the amazing tips they shared.
Choosing Solids versus Prints
I am not a fan of print shirts, and those were most of the items I purged. I prefer solids, and so do many of our readers.
One reader said, “I find print to date a look. Unless it’s simple black and white polka dots or French sailor stripes, I always tend to discard prints.” Another added, “I’m pretty petite with a small frame so prints tend to not be flattering on me.”
However, there were still plenty of readers who love prints in their wardrobe. One says, “I find prints fun and happy,” while another says, “I like bright happy colors and prints.”
Ultimately, the decision between solids and prints comes down to the mood you want to evoke with your wardrobe. Solids are better for a more timeless and classic capsule wardrobe, while prints can add a youthful and playful vibe.
Tired of traveling with basics in solid colors? Here are some tips and ideas on mixing prints!
Finding Your Color Palette
Most people who use a capsule wardrobe recommend sticking to three or four colors. This ensures everything matches and can be paired with each other, resulting in more looks with fewer clothing pieces.
I like more neutral colors. Black is my favorite, and I also add in grey and white. As I mentioned earlier, I’m interested in adding more color, including purples, greens, blues, and reds, but I want to find the perfect hue.
One option is to keep your wardrobe neutral and add colorful accessories. One reader says, “My core wardrobe pieces are solid black, white, gray, or navy but I also mix in colorful scarves, tops, and dresses.” Another adds, “Dresses are when I tend to wear color but I still keep it somewhat muted. I don’t like loud colors. Yellow is my favorite but it has to be the right hue.”
Understanding the color wheel is helpful if you like colorful wardrobes. That way you can mix and match with no neutrals needed.
Even if you do love color, I recommend key wardrobe pieces, like jackets, in black. A black leather jacket works for any occasion!
One reader says, “For what I consider my business casual capsule, I have a pair of black slacks, a pair of navy slacks, a black dress, and a black midi pencil skirt. I have a few neutral cardigans, a few black shell tops, some other colorful tops.”
Find Inspiration Online
Whenever I’m not feeling inspired with my wardrobe, I turn to the Internet for help. There are so many amazing blogs online, so you’re bound to find one that matches your style.
One reader says, “search in Pinterest for ‘capsule wardrobe.’ You’ll get so many ideas! There’s the 10×10 capsule or look up project 333 blogs. The principle being that if you buy basics in the same color palette, then literally everything will go with each other.”
There are even a few helpful books, like The Curated Closet, which outlines a simple system for discovering your personal style and building your dream wardrobe. One reader says of this book, “It is wonderful and very comprehensive. Highly recommend! Gorgeous book.”
Crystal & Suede Statement Necklace
Spice it Up with Accessories
I’ve found that when I feel like I’m wearing the same thing over and over again, I can spice up my outfit with an accessory, whether that’s a scarf or piece of jewelry.
As one reader says, “I find that I reach for the same things in my closet most days, and when I push too far out of my comfort zone, the clothes hang with price tags. If I feel a need for a lift, I buy a scarf or necklace instead of another repetitive outfit. There is comfort in this plan!”
Here are some fashionable summer accessories are the easy way to add style to your vacation wardrobe!
You May Need More than One Capsule Wardrobe
Right now, I’m working on my capsule wardrobe for spring and summer, but I’ll definitely need to add different items in fall and winter when it gets cold. Some readers say they also have a few capsule wardrobes – one for weekends, one for working out, and one for work. This is helpful if you have a job that requires you to dress up.
One reader says, “I have work clothes and play clothes. I work in a professional environment and people look at what I wear. I’m not saying it’s amazing stuff but people notice it so it can’t be the same exact thing all the time. My non-working clothes are different than my work clothes for level of casualness.”
Do you have any tips on how to use a capsule wardrobe? Share your tips in the comments below!
Here are some tips to help you create a travel wardrobe:
- 4 Capsule Wardrobes for Travel
- Travel Wardrobe Essentials
- Learn How to Pack Light Stylishly
- 10-Step Guide to Packing One Suitcase for any Trip
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