There are women in my closet hanging on hangers, a different woman for each suit, each dress, each pair of shoes. I hoard clothes. –Marya Hornbacher
Does this quote sound like a familiar refrain in your life? Is your closet crammed so full of clothes that it’s taken on a life of its own? It’s OK if it does. Let me introduce you to the capsule wardrobe, and why taming your closet is one of the biggest favors you will ever do for yourself.
A capsule wardrobe can be defined as only having a few set items in your closet—between 10 and 20, depending on what works best for you. It usually means dresses, shirts, pants, and skirts. It does not include shoes, accessories, outerwear, t-shirts, camis, jammies, or workout clothes
Here are the greatest advantages of the capsule wardrobe
- Getting dressed in the morning is a snap. How much time do you spend fussing over what to wear in the morning? Because I only have 15 items to choose from, it makes my morning routine a breeze.
- You become much more intentional in your clothing purchases. I have a very specific list of items I need and I don’t deviate from it. If you hate shopping, you will really find this liberating.
- You have the opportunity to invest in quality pieces. Yes, my jeans cost almost $100 at a department store. But because they are my only pair of jeans, I have worn them so much more and they have held up so much better than jeans of a lesser quality.
- It saves you money in the long run. Have you ever done the math on the cost per wear for your clothes? I have worn my $100 jeans well over 100 times, which is well less than $1 per wear. If I bought I $40 pair of jeans and wore them 20 times…$2 means I haven’t gotten my money’s worth out of it.
- Accessories steal the show. Because my clothes tend to be solids, I have lots of fun with accessories. Scarves, jewelry, and shoes provide that pop of color or element of surprise to ensure no two outfits are exactly the same.
- Shopping with a purpose is oh-so-easy. I don’t buy something “just because” it’s on sale or get something at Target that I kinda-sorta-not-really like. Because I have a very specific list, I don’t settle for “like.” I only buy what I LOVE.
- There is a freedom in owning less. I can’t even begin to describe the joy I derive from owning less. My life is defined by the experiences I have in these clothes; I am not a slave to worrying about my out-of-control closet. Retail therapy doesn’t hold as much power over me. (Don’t get me wrong—I still love to shop!)
- Editing your wardrobe allows you to express your true (fashion) self. I was all over the map before I switched to a capsule wardrobe…a little bohemian, a little trendy, a little classic. But after I found my fashion voice, I realized I prefer classic pieces more than anything else, and this helps me even more when I go shopping.
- You will love each and every thing in your closet. I can honestly say there is nothing in my closet I am “meh” about. Each and every thing fits beautifully and I love it. If I haven’t worn in a year—out it goes.
I had first heard of capsule wardrobes when I was a little squirt in the 1980s, working on my Fashion badge as a little Girl Scout. It was always in the back of my mind, but I didn’t actually drink the Kool-Aid until I read Jennifer L. Scott’s Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned Living in Paris. I cannot recommend that book highly enough to teach you how and why of editing your wardrobe.
How full is your closet? Is a capsule wardrobe something you are willing to try? Comment below and stop by next week for a pee