Do you often look into your closet stuffed full of clothes and think, “I have nothing to wear!” If so, the problem might not be that you need more clothes, but less! Having more choices can actually make it more difficult to put together just the right look, because you have to sift through all the clothes you don’t wear that may not fit right, or that don’t really match anything else you own, or that you just don’t love, but you bought because you couldn’t pass up that one really great sale.
As parents, our time is valuable. Who has time to waste rummaging through the closet past the same clothes that never get worn, day after day?
So if having more clothes = less time, then what is the solution?
Have you heard of a capsule wardrobe? While there are different recommended numbers of clothing items, and different types of capsule wardrobes, it all boils down to having a “concise, curated selection of timeless clothing”. (Sutton, 2020) Some people may choose to create a capsule wardrobe for just their loungewear, or just their professional clothing, while others take it a step further and encapsulate their entire wardrobe. Capsule wardrobes can be seasonal, or last all year with the exception of a few pieces, such as a coat or swimsuit. There are many different ways to go about it, but the key to simplifying your closet is choosing a capsule wardrobe that works for you!
Let’s discuss three different types of capsule wardrobes. Use these as a starting point for your own closet, but please don’t feel like you must rigidly follow one specific set of rules. What works for one person may not work for everyone. Take what you like from each of these examples, leave the rest, and add in what you need to make it work for your personal routine and lifestyle. Then, have fun getting organized!
METHOD 1: The Easy Eight
- If you work out of the home in a business professional setting, you may be drawn to a capsule wardrobe styled along the lines of The Easy Eight, created by designer Misha Nonoo. This extremely minimalist, professional wardrobe is made up of just 8 basic pieces that can be mixed and matched to create many different looks, and is easily dressed down once you’ve left the office. (Friedlander, 2017) This versatile capsule wardrobe is great for mama’s who are on the go, running between the office, home, play-dates and preschool!
A capsule this small in size is really intended to be used for a single category of clothing, such as professional and weekday clothes, as it does not include any loungewear, pajamas, accessories, etc. Plus, let’s be real… I know I would have a real hard time minimizing my own closet that much! However, I do think this could be super useful for downsizing a specific category of clothing, and this method could definitely be used for non-professional clothing as well!
METHOD 2: The Project 333 Challenge
Project 333 is another method of creating a minimalist capsule wardrobe. Created by Courtney Carver, and featured on The Today Show website, O: The Oprah Magazine, and BBC, this is a whole fashion challenge with the goal of dressing with just 33 items for 3 months (hence the name Project 333). These 33 items include clothing, jewelry and accessories, outerwear, and shoes. Undergarments, pajamas or loungewear, and workout clothing are additional, so don’t include those in your 33 items. Everything else goes into a box and gets taped up, so you’re not tempted to sneak anything out of it before your 3 months is up. (Carver, 2020) This is meant to be a full wardrobe capsule with everything you need to live in for three months. This challenge is designed to be used by anyone, no matter their lifestyle, since it is so individually tailored to you.
For more pro tips and support, check out Project 333’s website.
METHOD 3: The Un-Fancy Capsule
This is the easiest method of the three, because it recommends the largest number of items, and unlike Project 333, jewelry and accessories are not included in that number, which if you’re a big fan of accessories like I am, is a definite plus!
According to Caroline Joy Rector, creator of DFW-based lifestyle blog, Un-Fancy, the first step to starting your own capsule wardrobe is choosing just 37 items from your closet, then wearing just those items for the next three months (or one season). Don’t buy anything else until the last 2 weeks of that season. Then, during those last 2 weeks, make your shopping plan and shop for the next season, remembering less is more. (Rector, 2014) Ideally, you would be able to keep a lot of the items from the previous season in your capsule for the next season as well.
To build your capsule, Rector says to first take everything out of your closet and sort it into 4 categories: Love It, Maybe, Nope, and Seasonal. Start with your “Love It” category, and work from there. She recommends that your 37 items include tops, bottoms, dresses, outerwear, and shoes. Items like workout clothing, pajamas and loungewear, accessories, purses, and underwear are not included in her 37 items. Again as with the other methods, if this specific number doesn’t work for you, then choose a number that does! This is all about creating something that benefits you and works FOR YOU.
Building a capsule wardrobe doesn’t need to be an intimidating thing. Capsule wardrobes can be as individual as you are! Having a simplified closet is meant to let you spend your time and energy focusing less on what you wear, and more on the things that are really important to you. Plus, you’ll feel better knowing that you’re saving money by buying fewer clothes, and going easier on our planet by producing less clothing waste! It’s a win all around!
Ready to get started? We want to see your capsule wardrobe pictures! Share your fabulous photos with us by tagging us on Facebook and Instagram @carrolltonecpta. Let us know which methods you used to create your capsule!
Carver, C. (2020, February 29). Project 333 Challenge. Be More With Less. https://bemorewithless.com/project-333-challenge/.
Friedlander, R. (2017, January 31). You Only Need These 8 Pieces to Make Your Dream Wardrobe. InStyle. https://www.instyle.com/fashion/work-wear/misha-nonoo-easy-eight-wardrobe.
Rector, C. J. (2014, April 1). How to Build A Capsule Wardrobe. Un-Fancy. http://www.un-fancy.com/capsule-wardrobe-101/how-to-build-a-capsule-wardrobe/.
Sutton, S. (2020, August 18). What Is a Capsule Wardrobe? 10 Tips to Help You De-Clutter Your Closet. InStyle. https://www.instyle.com/fashion/clothing/what-is-a-capsule-wardrobe.
About the Author
Amber Gorski has been a member of CECPTA with her daughter since 2018 and is in the purple playgroup. She has served on the CECPTA Board as the Children’s Programming Chair and is currently the Publicity Chair. She is the gal behind the scenes of our social media handles and the hashtag queen. When she is not doing activities with the PTA, she enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter and their three fur-babies. She also enjoys doing embroidery, making jewelry and finding fun crafts to do with her daughter.