All About the Capsule Wardrobe–and How to Build One You’ll Love

Do you often find it difficult to get dressed in the morning? Even with a full wardrobe, do you often find yourself thinking that you have nothing to wear? Does your closet feel overcrowded, are you in the mood for a complete style overhaul? A capsule wardrobe can be the solution to all of these woes!

Contrary to popular belief, a capsule wardrobe does not at all require investing money into a whole new wardrobe–unless you want to. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Putting together a capsule wardrobe means paring the items in your closet down to the bare essentials. Here’s everything you need to know:

What is a capsule wardrobe?

The term “capsule wardrobe” was said to have been coined in the ‘70s by Susie Faux, owner of a London fashion boutique called Wardrobe. There, she popularized a minimalist philosophy with regards to clothing, featuring high-quality pieces in timeless styles and focusing on function, fit, and comfort.

This philosophy was then emulated by designer Donna Karan in her 7-piece capsule collection dubbed The 7 Easy Pieces, which was unveiled in 1985. These 7 pieces included a bodysuit, a dress, a tailored jacket, a skirt, a cashmere sweater, a white shirt, and a leather item. It was intended to have all the pieces a woman needed for any daytime or nighttime occasions.

Modern interpretations of the capsule wardrobe no longer limit someone to only seven articles of clothing, but the intent is the same: a minimalist wardrobe containing pieces that are infinitely interchangeable.

What are the benefits of a capsule wardrobe?

It’s better for the environment

The fashion industry–fast fashion, in particular–produces about 92 million tons of textile waste each year, according to Earth.org. In that same report, it is estimated that the average American consumer throws away 81.5 pounds of clothes annually, which translates to about 11 million tons of textile waste ending up in landfills. Furthermore, people nowadays also have a careless attitude towards clothing, usually only wearing an item of clothing around 7 to 10 times before tossing it.

This obviously is a huge problem–one that may be solved by sticking to a capsule wardrobe. It makes you consume less, which lessens your impact on the environment. With a capsule wardrobe, you’ll also avoid spending your money in the wasteful industry of fast fashion. Instead, you’ll wear and hold on to quality clothes and accessories that are timelessly stylish, which will last for years to come if you care for them well.

It eliminates decision fatigue

Decision fatigue refers to that sense of mental exhaustion that you feel after making a lot of decisions in succession. You may recognize it as that foreboding feeling you experience when you open your overstuffed closet in the morning–it’s the voice in your head that goes, here we go again.

With a capsule wardrobe, you won’t have to make as many choices in the morning as you used to. Everything pairs well together, from the top you decide on to the accessories you choose for that day, no matter how you combine them. You’ll be able to put together a uniform of sorts for every single day, and getting dressed will become a veritable breeze.

It saves time and money

Making less decisions about how to dress for the day means minutes shaved off of that particular aspect of your morning routine, which do add up. With a capsule wardrobe, you’ll also spend less time agonizing in the store while shopping for clothes, as you’ll already know what you need to get.

In that same vein, you’ll also spend less money. Buying high-quality clothing can seem expensive at first, but it’s an investment that virtually pays for itself as you’ll keep these pieces longer and wear them more. It’s certainly a lot better than buying fast fashion, which tends to fall apart after a few wears.

How do I build a capsule wardrobe?

Building a capsule wardrobe is easy:

  • Consider your lifestyle.

The clothes you include in your capsule wardrobe should always reflect your lifestyle. You’ll want to think about what your primary activities are, which include what you do for work, as well as what you like to do in your spare time. You’ll also want to think about what items of clothing you consider staples. Do they include women’s cotton hoodie sweatshirts and yoga pants? Are you more of a jeans and white tee kind of girl? The answers to these questions will help you form a baseline for which pieces you’ll need in your capsule wardrobe.

  • Kondo your closet.

Some guides may advise you to pare your closet down to 37 items, but there’s no need to limit yourself so exactly. Instead, employ KonMari, a tidying method popularized by Japanese organizing consultant Marie Kondo. Simple yet effective, KonMari encourages letting go of items you no longer “feel joy” from. It’s also a good idea to dispose of clothes that no longer fit, duplicate or similar pieces, and clothes that are damaged beyond repair.

  • Create the core of your capsule wardrobe.

After auditing your closet, you’ll want to further pare down what’s left. Choose basics that are both versatile, functional, and suitable for the life you lead. Starting with the essentials is a good idea: a women’s cotton hoodie sweatshirt, such as the ones we offer here on Just Sweatshirts, is a timeless staple, as are t-shirts in solid, basic colors. You’ll also want bottoms that fit well, accessories you love, and shoes that you think you’ll wear a lot.

In this step of the process, it’s also a good idea to choose clothes in a neutral color palette. Why? Neutrals go well together no matter how you combine them. This versatile black women’s cotton hoodie sweatshirt, for example, will go well with a pair of jeans, white shorts, or even a denim skirt.

And that’s it! You’ll end up with a smaller selection of clothes to work with on the daily, and a much less stressful life because of it.