The capsule wardrobe as a concept is having a real moment right now. And that's great, because it means more people are catching onto the idea that you don't need to wear the latest trends or own a jam-packed designer wardrobe to have great style.
I've written plenty of posts about capsule wardrobes in the past, but this one is a little different. I'm not going to talk about how to build a capsule wardrobe, but about whether you should at all.
Right now, the capsule wardrobe is the poster child for a more thoughtful, personalized approach to fashion - everyone has heard about it. The trouble is that all this hype can make it seem like whittling your wardrobe down to 20 to 40 pieces is the only way to do slow fashion.
When really, it's just one alternative.
Now, don't get me wrong, I love capsule wardrobes. But they are not a cure-all, and not everyone is going to benefit from them.
Do you want a wardrobe that’s easy to mix-and-match? Make the most out of the clothes you already have? Improve your shopping habits?
Guess what: You can achieve all these things without consciously limiting yourself to a set number of pieces.
Some people don't do well with a capsule wardrobe for various reasons. Some just prefer more variety, for others it's just not practical to wear less than 40 pieces for three months.
If you're not sure whether you are a good candidate for a capsule wardrobe, you can follow the flow chart in this post to find out.
The real benefits of building a capsule wardobe
So what are the real benefits of building a capsule wardrobe? What are the advantages of reducing your wardrobe to a certain (low) number of pieces, over simply working on your entire closet?
- A capsule wardrobe is much easier to plan because there are fewer moving parts to worry about. That makes it a great first milestone to aim for for anyone who is rebuilding their wardrobe from scratch.
- Wearing a capsule wardrobe for a period of time can be a fun styling challenge to help people discover what their existing closet has to offer.
- Wearing a capsule wardrobe reduces decision fatigue and clutter - both huge benefits in my opinion.
Upgrading your non-capsule wardrobe
So what if you decide against building a capsule wardrobe? How can you improve your closet in that case?
Easy: You can take your pick from the exact same tool box you might use to build a capsule wardrobe, and all the techniques I talk about on this blog. For example, you can tailor your wardrobe around a colour palette. You can use outfit formulas to give your wardrobe more mix-and-match potential. You can detox your closet to get rid of anything that doesn't reflect your personal style. You can follow the 10 Step Wardrobe Revamp.
The only difference: Instead of pre-deciding how many pieces you want to be left with in the end, you take a more flexible approach and simply aim to stock your wardrobe with everything you need for your personal style and lifestyle.