THE CAPSULE WARDROBE//MINIMALIST STYLE

The term capsule wardrobe was coined in the 1970s by Susie Faux, owner of London boutique, "Wardrobe". The idea has been explored in the fashion industry, most notably by Donna Karan. In 1985, Karan released her "7 Easy Pieces" collection of interchangeable styles aimed at working women. But being that the goal is to reduce consumption, you can imagine why most brands would not be enamored with this concept.

Reducing your closet to 37 pieces gives most women the most severe panic attack. Creating capsule wardrobes is one of my best selling projects that I help my clients with ...it's also the most agonizing. There is a lot of hand holding and a lot of tears but in the end there is a lot of hugging and happy smiles. The minimalist lifestyle has been growing in popularity in all areas of life but lately it seems the trend has narrowed in on an area dear to our hearts: the beloved closets. Whether it's Marie Kondo's life-changing magic of tidying up or Matilda Kahl choosing to wear one outfit to work for three years, we are all looking to trim the fat in our wardrobes. 

 

(above 6 images found via pinterest)

I jumped on the clothes purging bandwagon a little over two years ago. (The process even inspired me creating an insta-shop with my personal pieces I was parting with generating quite a bit of revenue in just 2 days...then even adding more inspiration to create my designer and vintage ecommece resale shop.)

I was obsessed with (and still am) everything francais. French women are the most fascinating . The French wardrobe philosophy focuses on the concept of curating the direction of your wardrobe with JUST 5 pieces. It is said that this helps you cultivate a wardrobe that feels true to your aesthetic and stand the test of passing fads and seasons . The result is less money spent on items you really have no need for, less frustration, time spent trying to figure out what to wear, and a newfound feeling of deep satisfaction with your wardrobe. I was intrigued.

It all starts with cleaning out our closets. Usually when it’s time to purge, we rifle through our clothes while they are still in our closet on the hangers. But there’s a much better way—one that will actually help us find our style and give us clarity. 

Step 1: The secret to cleaning out your closet is to completely empty your closet first. I know, it sounds like a ton of work. But it works. Take absolutely everything out of your closet and lay it out on your bed.

Step 2: Sort each item into one of these four piles:

  • LOVE IT AND WOULD WEAR IT RIGHT NOW! It fits. It’s right for your lifestyle. You feel comfortable and confident wearing it. Great, now put it back in your closet.
     
  • MAYBE. This is for items that don’t fit quite right, the color is a little off, have sentimental value, you can’t put your finger on it but you just don’t wear it, or you’re keeping it because you paid a lot for it but you don’t wear it. Put all this stuff in a box and store it in the garage. You can always go get stuff out of it, but you probably won’t. If it’s still in the box at the end of your season, it’s time to say goodbye to it.
     
  • NOPE. Self-explanatory. Donate, swap with a friend, or sell it to fund new purchases.
     
  • SEASONAL. Wool coat in summer? Probably don’t need it handy. But you’d never get rid of a staple like that. If it’s not in season, but you LOVE IT, put it in a nice under-the-bed box and store it. You’ll definitely use it when the appropriate season rolls around.

Step 3: Assess what’s left in your closet: your LOVE IT clothes. Your true style should be practically screaming at you. From here, I suggest going on a shopping hiatus for however long you like—especially if your wardrobe is less than perfect (and trust me, it will be). Living with what you have for a little while will teach you so much about your style and what you really need. Once your finished with your shopping hiatus, make a plan and then shop for the missing pieces.

If you’re nervous about getting rid of the clothes you clean out, simply store them instead (safety net!). It gets the visual clutter out of your closet but takes the pressure off. And later, if you realize you miss something, go grab it!! As you go along, edit the process to fit your own lifestyle. If you need two capsule wardrobes (one for work and one for the weekends), go for it. If you need more clothes than 37, add ‘em in. If you hate numbers and rules, scrap them all together. No matter what, make it yours—and enjoy it darlings.

And remember, it’s not meant to be a miserable experience—it’s meant to be invigorating and fun. The goal here isn’t to bash shopping, clothes, and style. The goal is to try something new if you don’t like your current situation. Remember, trying something new and taking control of your closet can be a powerful reminder that it’s never too late to change your life—either by changing your attitude or by changing your environment. The one thing that I adore most with my capsule wardrobe is that I have so much more time in the mornings to enjoy some reading and espresso...and the morning silence is truly golden.  (and of course I kept my Dalmatian printed blouse ..duh..it matches my furry boys and that is muy importante!)

ON MAKING IT A LIFESTYLE

I’ve lived with my capsule wardrobe for two years now and I’m interested in making this whole experience more of a lifestyle—instead of a rule-based challenge. Life changes and we change with it. I have no doubt that my definition of a capsule wardrobe will change as I evolve, but I think I’ll always live with a version of a capsule wardrobe; I’m excited to see what that looks like down the road.

Shop my Spring essentials below that I think EVERY closet needs this season.  And good luck in starting this process. I promise this will change your entire life in such a great way !!!!! (local loves I am also available for hire to help you with this. Find more info at www.shopsamscloset.com)

YOU CAN DO IT !!!

Xo,

Sam