How To Build A Gorgeous Capsule Wardrobe On A Budget
A capsule wardrobe can be a great way to develop your personal style, curate your closet, save time when you are getting ready and most importantly save money.
Learning about and creating my own capsule wardrobe has definitely been a great help in my style department and bank account.
What is a capsule wardrobe?
A capsule wardrobe is a collection of classic and essential items that don't go out of style and can be styled to suit every season of the year. The items in your capsule wardrobe can be complimented with seasonal or trend items but the foundation of your wardrobe is built on classic staples.
Why start a capsule wardrobe?
Ever stood in front of your wardrobe with a ton of clothes looking back at you but you still find yourself saying that you have nothing to wear?
I've been there one too many times - looking at a closet full of things I didn't love, wasn't sure why I bought or had purchased for my unrealistic "dream" life and had never worn. I was tired of it.
I wanted to be able to walk into a closet, that housed only things that I really love and quickly be able find what I wanted to wear for any occasion.
While my closet is still very much a work in progress, the time I've saved getting ready has increased by leaps and bounds. I'm also more particular about the pieces I buy with my hard-earned money.
If you've had the same experience as I have then you might want to seriously consider starting a capsule wardrobe.
How do you start your own capsule wardrobe?
Step 1 - Eliminate - think less, not more
The first step to starting a capsule wardrobe is to take stock of what you already have and then going through a process of elimination. This means taking everything out of your closet (clothes, shoes, jewelry, purses etc) and sorting them into 3 piles (depending on how much you have, you can start with your clothes and then do your shoes and other accessories on a different day).
The LOVE pile - Things you love and will wear without question e.g. Your essential and classic clothing - these things can immediately go back to your closet. If you live in a place that has multi seasons, you can split this pile according to season and then rotate the items through your closet as needed each season.
The MAYBE pile - Things you like but aren't entirely sure about, don't quite fit right etc. Put these items aside for 30 days and then come back to this pile and go over them again. If you still feel unsure about them then it's time to let them go.
The GOTTA GO pile - These are the multiple duplicates, things you regret buying, have never worn or never wear, don't fit into your lifestyle or you simply just don't like. You can sell these things to earn some extra money or donate them for other people to use.
Step 2 - Identify the gaps, make a list
Once you've cleaned out your closet you will have a clear idea of what staples are missing from your closet and you can then make a list of things you need to purchase to fill in the gaps.
After you have spent all that time cleaning out your closet, the last thing you want to do is fill it back up again - so be very strict with your list and stick to only including the things you truly need, will use and love.
Step 3 - Price out your list and create a budget
It can be tempting to go out and buy up your entire list all at once but not at the expense of your financial goals.
Start by pricing out the items you want to buy (with a focus on buying the best quality you can afford) and then create a priority of the items you need to purchase first.
Once that's been done, build shopping for your list into your monthly budget after your bills and savings goals have been met for the month.
Taking this approach will not only make sure you are staying on top of your financial goals, it will also give you time to decide if the item on your list is something you really want to own. You may mind that after a few weeks of having it on your list, you don't really want it.
Step 4 - Master the remix, have fun
The whole point of having a capsule wardrobe is to streamline your closet so you always have something to wear but that doesn't mean it has to be boring.
Remixing your outfits by putting them together in different pairings and with different accessories is where the fun with your wardrobe really begins and how you can start to develop or improve on your own personal style.
Don't be afraid to try out different pairings as you dress up each day - have fun with your wardrobe. You'll find that because your wardrobe is made up of things you truly love, you are less compelled to go out and buy sub par items which in turn, will keep more of your hard earned money in your pocket!
Step 5 - Reassess your closet each season
As you progress with your capsule wardrobe, be sure to reassess your closet each season so you can eliminate the things you fall out of love with, are no longer your style, are too old or have gotten damaged and need repair or need to be discarded etc.
Performing this routine assessment will help you keep your closet space clutter free and allow you to continue maintain your gorgeous capsule wardrobe.
Building a capsule wardrobe can take time as you fine tune your closet and let go of the things that cause the clutter.
You may also make some mistakes as you go along but as your build your closet over time, make it a goal to be very particular about what you buy and try your best to ensure that every single item you put into it is a worthwhile wardrobe investment.
Bola Sokunbi is the founder of Clever Girl Finance and she's passionate about helping women take control of their money so they can live life on their own terms.