Growing up, I was very into dressing myself. There was one dress in particular – a white dress with a unicorn on it – that I often insisted upon wearing every day. I had very particular tastes when it came to socks, and did not believe in jeans until I was about 11, and didn’t believe in fitted jeans until I was about 17.
I learned a lot from being invested in my clothing. For instance, I learned that all of my favorite clothes to wear are kept on the floor below the hanging clothes in the closet. No matter how many times I think I put them away, that is where they end up. (This knowledge can also be applied to clearance racks.) I also learned that I tend to wear the same 15-18 pieces of clothing for several weeks at a time. Washing is optional, but I suggest it. A favorite pair of leggings or favorite graphic t-shirt frequently become part of the rotation… until its demise. (R.I.P., black v-neck.)
Recently, I learned that there is an entire community developed around this idea.
The Capsule Wardrobe
A capsule wardrobe by Breanna Rose.
A capsule wardrobe is a collection of clothes, accessories, and sometimes even cosmetics that you select at the beginning of a “cycle” (a month, a season, a year, etc.) and wear, exclusively, for that period of time. Exclusively.
As far as I can tell, this practice traces back to something called The Project 333. Created by Courtney Carver in 2010, The Project 333 has specific guidelines about your capsule wardrobe: 33 items, 3 months. So you’re picking 33 pieces to wear for an entire season. Wow! It sounded pretty extreme to me when I first read about it, but once I saw how people used their capsule wardrobes, it started to make sense. A lot of sense.
This method of outfit curation is favored largely by “minimalist fashion” followers. I subscribe to this label somewhat – I definitely wear the same things over and over… But what I really like about this challenge is the level of clothing quality required! When you only have a finite number of things to wear, you better make sure each ones passes the test of time.
Courtney Carver offers a $20 “micro-course” on developing a capsule wardrobe, but there are a few bloggers who operate out of capsule wardrobes and document their outfits! You know those “What I Wore For 30 Days” features that many magazines do? It’s like that, but in blog format. Talk about dreamy!
Capsule Wardrobe Resources
Although I’m a blog writer, I started as & will always be a blog reader. Fashion blogs are some of my favorite blogs to read, and nothing is more relatable and satisfying than seeing a blogger whose style I respect reusing the same articles of clothing. So often, especially in larger blogs, you see 3-6 new pieces of clothing in every. single. post. and it started to get kind of… unrealistic!
This is (or was, rather – she hasn’t updated since April 2015) my favorite blog for capsule wardrobes! She posts outfits that directly connect to her capsule wardrobe, and includes keyword code-names so it’s easy to see which pieces are being used together. She’s got great minimalist (but exciting and only mildly trendy) style that I can relate to. An awesome blog!
Capsule Wardrobe Examples
A summer capsule wardrobe by Roots, Wings & Wanderings.
A lot of bloggers have started the capsule wardrobe challenge, but didn’t get as in-depth as the ladies I mentioned above. Though they don’t document each outfit, they do have great examples of capsule wardrobes posted on their blogs! It’s a great way to get a visual blueprint for building one of your own.
- Breanna Rose
- Bridgette Turner
- Thoughts by Natalie: Capsule Wardrobe + Outfit Photos
- The Small Things Blog
- Lady Light Travel (Travel capsule wardrobes!)
- Be Up & Doing
- Vivianna Does Makeup – There’s actually quite a bit of capsule wardrobe content here, but you have to dig!
- Minimalist Beauty – Same story as above, there’s capsule wardrobe features mixed into other (fun) content.
- Light by Coco – Same as above, again!
Could You, Would You… Capsule Wardrobe?
I am very tempted to try out this method of dressing. It makes sense in a budget context, it makes sense in an ethical fashion context, and it makes sense in a space-maximizing context! There isn’t much here that I don’t love – outside of my control freak-ness, which makes me wary of making any of my clothes “off limits” for any given period of time. What if I wake up and REALLY NEED to wear my leather jacket in the middle of summer? Will my day be ruined? (No, but I won’t know until it’s over.)
This may be something I need to do just to get over my wardrobe control issues! Besides, three months isn’t forever… Even though I’d probably start at 2 weeks and work my way up.
Would you consider doing a capsule wardrobe?
This post was originally published on Broke & Beautiful on August 28, 2014.