A Capsule Wardrobe, in the YYC

You have to leave the house for work in 15 minutes, you scan your closet, start pulling pieces off of their hangers putting together an outfit then take a look in the mirror. You strike a couple poses and… nah. Not feeling it. Repeat this process once more with a different outfit. Still not feeling it. Back to the closet and with 5 minutes left on the clock, you reach for your favourite go-to’s, the feel good pieces you have guaranteed success with. Now what if I told you, we could skip straight to outfit three… every damn time.

I give you, a capsule wardrobe.

Before we discuss what this is let’s talk about why you don’t wear half the clothes in your closet. Well, for many reasons – it may not fit quite right, it could be too unique, out of style, uncomfortable fabric. But why are these items in your closet in the first place? Fast fashion is a big culprit,  clothes that are designed to be disposed of in a short matter of time, they’re typically cheap and based on trends. They may make you feel good after the purchase but this is short lived and often many of these clothes end up in our landfills to be replaced by more fast fashion.

Point is, there is lots in your closet that you put on and it doesn’t make you feel like the superstar you are. A capsule wardrobe is a curated selection of clothing built for each season. It is clothes you love to wear, that make you feel good and are easy to match together all the time. It makes dressing easier, with less decisions. Not to mention it saves you valuable time in getting ready and can make a big difference in getting your day off on the right foot!

Mmkay this sounds nice right? So where do I begin?

Step 1: A closet cleanse, go into your closet and separate out anything you would wear for this current season. Everything thing else – put it out of sight, in a box, under your bed etc. Now take what is left and start going through it, I put mine into 3 piles:

  1. Love it/keeping it: hold onto these
  2. I’m not sure but I don’t want to give it up yet: put these to the side and if you pull them out to wear over the next 30 days then keep them.
  3. I can do without: clothing swap, donate, consignment store, but these do not return to your closet.

Step 2: Look over what you have left and consider what might be missing. A capsule wardrobe revolves around staple pieces – think white t-shirt, denim jeans, fitted blazer, pencil skirt, chunky sweater etc. It will also include patterns and colors that blend with your staples, check out Vetta Capsule if you’re looking for some inspiration.

Step 3: If you are missing some of these items, consider how you may add them. But do this mindfully and as investments. Be sure to purchase with intent, looking for quality, and considering your other current closet items. Once you have your staples (which many will carry over the seasons) you may only need to make one or two purchases per season to maintain your wardrobe.

There is an unwritten rule of 333 –  33 items for every 3 months (not including things like underwear, socks, workout, outdoor wear etc.). This is a challenge, for even the greatest minimalist, so I say if you’re a big purse or shoe person maybe don’t include this in your total (yet!) but be conscious of how this collection grows and set a limit for yourself. Your closet is unique to you so use these numbers as a guideline keeping the overall principle in mind.

It takes a multitude of resources from crop to transport to sales floor to create clothing and it’s not so easy to dispose of, to learn more on fast fashion here’s an article reviewing the industry. I don’t think I need to show you stats, simply count the items you currently have in your closet. I had 54 items (after cleansing!) of just my fall capsule – eeek that’s a lot.

Buying fewer, well-made, and ethically/sustainably produced (if this important to you) pieces of clothing that will last years instead of months is not only better for the environment, but better for your budget. It ensures you only have closet items that you love, like putting on that favourite, guaranteed success outfit every time. It simplifies getting dressed allowing you to spend less time figuring out what to wear, and more time enjoying life and feeling good in what you have on.

[Four clothing items, styled 3 different ways]


~By April Pyne

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I'm a passionate environmentalist at heart. Striving to create a difference in my community and in my home to make the world just a little bit better.