Capsule wardrobe- What is it and is it for you?

Capsule wardrobes are “a collection of a few essential items of clothing that do not go out of fashion, such as skirts, trousers, and coats, which can then be augmented with seasonal pieces.[1] according to Wikipedia. In short, it’s having a closet of only a few classic basics that you rotate.

Veronica and I have different relationships with the capsule wardrobe concept. She’s a proponent, as it makes getting ready in the morning much easier. Just grab a couple pieces and you’re good to go! Everything should mix fairly well together, so the chances you’re “getting it wrong” in a rush are low. It’s certainly function over all else and if you’re into that, you’ll likely love having a capsule wardrobe.

For me, I prefer to have quite a few options in my closet waiting for their moment to shine. I know, I’m often asked, “Elle, you’re always in black or neutrals, how could you possibly want to have that many options?” I opt for variations in texture, pattern and add in pops of color to add interest to my typically neutral or monochromatic looks, which pretty quickly takes me out of the capsule wardrobe category.

What picking out an outfit looks like in a capsule wardrobe vs full wardrobe:

Capsule wardrobe: You’ll pick from one or two of each taxon. For example, your one classic pencil skirt and one of your few seasonal blouses. Add your one pair of classic black heels and you’re out the door. Or, You have a LBD (little black dress) that you use for all occasions that require that level of dress. On a casual day, it may be your pair of casual jeans and a classic cut top that you can accessorize a bit to change the vibe from day to day.

Full wardrobe: You’ll have various options in each taxon to pick from. I have several black pencil skirts- one with a sheer stripe overlay, one classic black, one cut from woven material for structure, one in a knit so it hugs a little tighter, one thats a bit shorter, one a bit longer- you get the point. So, I’ll grab which skirt I relate to most for that day’s occasion and my current mode and then pick a top from another vast selection. Do I want more of a statement that day, or less? Am I feeling more like I need something cozy or am I okay with sacrificing comfort for a trend?

Pros & Cons of a Capsule Wardrobe

I touched on it a bit earlier, but if you are into function and ease- the capsule wardrobe is likely a good fit for you. You have the ability to create a standard color palette throughout so you could even pick a great outfit blindfolded. It is going to give you the option to stop thinking about what to wear each day. You don’t have to take it as far as Steve Jobs did with the infamous turtle neck, but who am I to tell you not to create your own signature look?

If you are bored with specific items easily and prefer to go with an outfit that matches your exact mood that day, complete with tiny details that communicate exactly how much masculine or feminine energy you have that day, you’ll likely be left frustrated by how few options you have in a capsule wardrobe. You will definitely need a closet with some space for this, so make sure to get your organizational skills up to par for best results- or try TRUE clean.

There is no right or wrong answer here, just personal preference. So, let us know-which is it for you?

P. S. Keep an eye out for a future post on how to put together a capsule wardrobe!

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