How do you fancy saving yourself time and money? Doing less laundry? Reclaiming lost space in your over-stuffed closets, all while making an important contribution to the environment? It may sound too good to be true but it’s possible and the key is in these two little words: capsule wardrobe.
Like me, you can truly benefit from owning and purchasing less clothes.
Those who adopt minimalist principles in their wardrobe choices are discovering more productivity, less stress, less distraction, less expense and more peace.
- Becoming Minimalist Blog
Have you any idea how many items of clothing you own? 50? 100? (No judgements here, I’m just curious.) How about sale items, purchased impulsively – the ones that’ve never seen the light of day, and maybe even still have the tags on them? In the store window, wow, they looked irresistible yet in reality it’s your comfortable old faithfuls you always turn to. Your closet is full yet you still everyday stare into it feeling uninspired…
That was me 6 months ago!
What is a capsule wardrobe?
It’s a mini wardrobe made up of the versatile pieces you LOVE to wear. Say 30 to 40 items - you get to determine. Occupation, lifestyle and to some degree season will influence, but capsule size shouldn’t be based on the square footage of your walk-in! And all clothes, shoes and outerwear count. Pajamas, accessories, fitness apparel and special-occasion outfits don’t. Those are the basics.
Personally, as a busy stay-at-home-mum-of-three, I need my wardrobe to contain comfortable, breastfeeding-and-playing-on-the-floor-friendly clothes. But still stylish. I currently own 30 items of clothes and shoes. Most of it can be worn year around.
Why choose a capsule wardrobe
I’m always on the hunt for affordable ideas which will simplify and declutter my life whilst fostering a more sustainable existence. In an effort to embrace minimalism, a natural starting point was my wardrobe. Then I learned about the impact clothes have on the environment. In adopting a capsule wardrobe, I realised I could marry minimalism to style and environmental sustainability.
Owning a capsule wardrobe contributes to a lifestyle of increased consciousness, choosing to buy and own less. A focus on what you need, rather than what you want. Less shopping, less consumption, less waste. Less background noise and more of what matters. That’s why I do it.
And like me, maybe you have a tight budget, your closet space is limited and you find yourself overwhelmed by the endless laundry and your concern about the environmental impact of our appetite for fast fashion? These, too, are all reasons I went for it.
Why is buying hard on the planet?
Statistics show consumers send 30 kg of clothes and textiles to the landfill each year. This presents a problem. Synthetic fibres don’t decompose for decades, while woollen garments do decompose, but in doing so produce methane, a greenhouse gas which contributes to global warming. And still today, the pay and conditions of those manufacturing the clothes we wear requires careful consideration.
As Kate Fletcher puts it, “Fast isn’t free, someone somewhere is paying.”
The people responsible for producing textiles as well as the environment pay the ultimate price for the fast, disposable fashion trend.
Adopting a capsule wardrobe – laborious or liberating experience?
Maybe your morning routine is similar to ours. 6 am to 8.15 am is total chaos. No matter what time we wake up, or how organised we are, or how we distribute tasks, the precious minute’s tick away in a blur of spilled porridge oats, endless delay tactics, raiding the clean laundry from the dryer and lost shoes. I’ve just minutes to shower, choose my clothes and get dressed. Owning a capsule wardrobe has saved me so much time and stress. Knowing that all my clothes work together and that everything fits well allows me to grab and go.
Critics claim it leads to boring monochromic colours. I use mainly neutral tones including lots of denim, but believe me the key is adding pops of colour with accessories. My fav pieces are my scarfs, and leg warmers and bum warmer from Honeybea Designhive and my now-4-year old mittens from SLO , both from local Toronto makers made from up-cycled sweaters.
Personally, as a woman who previously did love to shop and keep up with the latest trends, I’ve found implementing a capsule wardrobe to be totally liberating. When you have less of something you come to value, enjoy and respect what you do have. Keep only the clothes you love, those that fit and make you feel good. Get creative with different combinations. Become a regular at local thrift stores. Discover new looks. Trade items with friends or upcycle. Not only is it a great move for the environment but you WILL feel the change in your daily life.
5 benefits of a capsule wardrobe
1. Getting dressed is super easy. Let’s wear what makes us feel good. Choose clothes which can be layered (worn throughout the entire year).
2. Less consumption. Let’s simplify and consume less for social and environmental reasons. ‘Conscious consumption’ is the best option.
3. Gain a better sense of your style, what looks and feels good on you.
4. You can identify what your wardrobe truly needs. Think about your clothes more intentionally and more specifically. Less cost - buy what you actually need.
5. Less storage space required. Less clutter. More of what matters.
Feeling inspired? Ready for the capsule wardrobe challenge?
Could you cull to 30 pieces of clothing?
Love to hear what you think.
Thanks for popping in
Next up is a capsule wardrobe for these little monkeys