Today we’re talking all things capsule wardrobing – and how you can use it to save yourself dollarrrrr. I never thought I’d be a capsule kinda gal. No no, not me. I used to be a trend hunter, buying into absolutely everything and anything that hit the pages of Look Magazine. I’m talking peplum everything, galaxy printed leggings and sadly for my thunder thighs, multi coloured jeans.
I never considered what suited me. I just saw what was ‘in’, bought it, and stuffed my then-size 14 body into it – and boy oh boy, someone in Facebook’s ‘memories’ department is sure getting a good old laugh every time they remind me of these sartorial peaks in my life.
Now, I’m working with a capsule wardrobe. It’s been a process I’ve been working through for about a year, and I’m almost there. I’ve still got a few straggler pieces that aren’t in the capsule, and I’ve made a few mistakes along the way, but overall it has massively helped with my shopping addiction.
So, if you too are guilty of going out for petrol and returning with enough accidental purchases to clothe the next series of Next Top Model, keep reading.
Capsule Wardrobe 101
Just type ‘capsule wardrobe’ into Pinterest and you’ll be plagued by sickeningly neat collections and 20-piece wardrobes promising to cover every occasion you’ll ever encounter in your life ever.
Realistically, this is probably a bit more minimal than you actually need to go – to begin with, anyway. Don’t dive head first into minimal living too soon. It’s easy to get caught up in that ‘Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up’ mindset and find yourself throwing out your tampons and planning to relocate to a greenhouse in a field.
Capsuling at its core involves selecting a colour palette and ensuring every piece that’s in your wardrobe has a purpose. By sticking to one colour scheme, your items are more likely to work well together, which means more outfits, less pieces.
How I capsuled my wardrobe
Colours you need to choose:
A hero colour
2 or 3 secondary colours (neutrals)
An accent colour
I chose navy as my hero colour. For many, it might be a secondary neutral, but for me, it’s my number 1. You can choose whatever you want, but make sure it reflects what suits you best, and ensure it’s something that can take you from work to play. It helps if you’ve already got a number of items in this shade, too.
Complementing my hero colour of navy, I have grey, black and white as secondary colours, and orange as my accent colour. Your accent colour is something that adds a pop of brightness, while still working with your hero and secondary colours. You want about 10% of your wardrobe to be in your accent colour. You may also choose an accent print, like polka dots, stripes or leopard print.
How does this save me money?
By sticking to your hero, secondary and accent colours, you eliminate the need for multiples of the same item. I’ve many times found myself in a store squealing at a top I’ve found that fits me like a glove. Before I know it I’m at the till waving my Mastercard in the shop assistant’s face as I scoop it up in 3 colours and 2 prints.
Two words: not necessary.
In a capsule wardrobe, multiples are only needed for basics that you might snap up in your hero colour and your secondary colours. All the other shades are redundant.
When I’m out shopping now, I don’t even look twice at the warm palettes of red, pink, yellow and mustard. I make a beeline for things in my capsule shades, and more often than not, I find I don’t even need anything.
When I do buy something, providing its in my capsule colours or prints, I can be sure it’s going to work with everything I own. Which means more bang-for-buck on every single purchase. I’d also encourage you to spend more on each item, to lengthen the time you spend making a decision on buying it. If you’re buying a $10 t-shirt from Cotton On, you won’t think twice about it. But if you’re buying a quality linen t-shirt from Country Road for $60, you’ll give it some thought – which means a well thought out wardrobe filled with pieces you actually want, that will last more than 5 minutes.