Is it us, or does it suddenly seem like less is so much more? While the minimalist lifestyle has been gaining traction for a while now, lately it seems the trend has narrowed in on an area dear to our hearts: the closet. Whether it’s Marie Kondo’s often wardrobe-focused tidying technique or Matilda Kahl’s choice to wear one outfit to work for three years, many are looking to trim the fat in their closets. After all, who doesn’t have and resent a large selection of unworn, often low-quality items? We know we’re guilty, but we'd like to change that.
One closet-reducing program that’s especially buzzy as of late is the capsule wardrobe. While many have jumped on the clothes-purging bandwagon, the authority on the capsule wardrobe movement is Caroline Rector of Unfancy. Below, we explore what a real capsule wardrobe looks like, Rector’s methodology, what it’s done to change her life, and how to start your own capsule collection.
Scroll down to see our how-to and what the capsule wardrobe looks like IRL so you can start simplifying your closet and your life.
How it works:
In the words of Rector, a capsule wardrobe is “a mini wardrobe made up of really versatile pieces that you totally love to wear.” Each season (spring, summer, fall, and winter), you clear your closet except for a set number of pieces to be in your capsule wardrobe. Rector’s golden number is 37 items, but it varies by season. Your capsule collection is made up of a combination of items you already own and love to wear, as well as new, quality items that you can shop for once a season. Learn more details about how it works on Unfancy.
According to Unfancy, a capsule wardrobe represents more time, more money, and more energy for the things in life that really matter (i.e., not your clothes). By shopping only once a season, you save money on frivolous items that add up. Rector also says that by narrowing her wardrobe, she was actually able to define and understand her style more. Plus, she always feels like she has something great to put on, as every single item hanging in her closet is something she would love to wear right at that moment.
How to start your own:
Rector has a five-step approach to building your own capsule wardrobe.
1. Pare down your closet to 37 items.
2. Wear only those 37 items for three months.
3. Don’t go shopping during the season until…
4. During the last two weeks of the season, plan and shop for your next capsule.
5. The amount you buy for the next capsule is up to you, but less is more.
Check out Rector’s additional tips and rules for paring down your closet.
What a capsule collection looks like in action:
This easy pairing will be your weekend go-to.
Vince Split Panel Cardigan ($395)
The perfect concert outfit, if you ask us.
The Line by K Sophie Cotton-Jersey Tank ($45)
Athleisure at it's finest.
Adidas by Stella McCartney Run M20 Mesh-Trimmed Printed Climastorm Shorts ($70)
And a scarf for good measure.
Amanda Uprichard Dixon Blazer Vest ($242)
Denim on denim will never get old.
Agolde Charli Oversized Denim Jacket ($198)
Get more use out of your blazer by styling it with casual pieces, too.
Madewell Sidewalk Low-Top Sneakers in Canvas ($68)
Spring is an especially good time to get use out of your favorite jean jacket.
Liana Clothing Striped Margo Tee ($62)
Chic comfort at it's finest.
Free People Movement Sunny Skinny Sweatpants ($48)
Violeta Highwaist Tiana Jeggings ($50)
This is making us realize how many uses for a button-down shirt we've been overlooking.
Equipment Aceline Pinstriped Linen Shirt ($280)
Emme Parsons Susan Suede and Leather Sandals ($395)
Tonal dressing is having a major moment right now.
Anine Bing Vintage Bing Tee ($99)
You could style this with any pair of shoes in your closet and it would still look good.
Good American Good Legs Crop ($99)
Sneaker days are the best days.
Who What Wear Elbow Sleeve Crewneck Pullover Sweater ($32)
Also available in more sizes.
The perfect casual Friday outfit.
Schutz Izolita Western Booties ($215)
Layering made simple.
GRLFRND Helena Distressed Denim Shorts ($158)
Give your jeans a break every once in a while and opt for a classic skirt.
Splendid Alto Skirt ($68)
The uniform of so many stylish women.
Ksubi Slim Pin Distressed High-Rise Skinny Jeans ($215)
Pointed flats elongate your legs for an always-flattering look.
Aeydē Moa Suede Point-Toe Flats ($230)
If you have more questions—what about a professional work wardrobe? What about workout or formal clothes?—head over to Unfancy's very helpful FAQ section.
This story was published at an earlier date and has been recently updated.
This article originally appeared on Who What Wear
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