If you’re curious about capsule wardrobes but have a few questions, today’s post will help! I’m answering 15 common questions that come up when planning a capsule wardrobe.
I love capsule wardrobes. In fact, simplifying my wardrobe and creating a capsule wardrobe is one of my favourite simplifying projects to date!
Read on to learn more about capsule wardrobes, how they work and what to expect!
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Capsule wardrobe FAQs
I’ve received quite a few questions from readers who are interested in capsule wardrobes but have some questions or concerns.
This post will address all the common capsule wardrobe FAQs I’ve been asked by readers. As well as some of the questions I had when I first created a capsule wardrobe and what I’ve learned in the years since!
If you’re planning a capsule wardrobe, or are just curious about how a capsule wardrobe works, I hope this post will answer your questions.
15 things you need to know about planning a capsule wardrobe
1. What is a capsule wardrobe?
A capsule wardrobe is a small collection of clothes you love that are easy to mix and match to create a variety of different outfit options.
A capsule wardrobe is often around 30 – 40 items of clothing. But sticking to a certain number of items isn’t what’s important. Instead, it’s about creating a simplified, curated selection of clothes you love that gives you everything you need for a complete wardrobe without an excess of clothing.
While there are capsule wardrobe planners and formulas you can follow when planning a capsule wardrobe, the key is making it work for you.
When planning a capsule wardrobe, you don’t need to follow anyone else’s capsule wardrobe rules. Make your wardrobe work for you, your preferences and your lifestyle. All with the goal of simplifying your closet and making getting dressed easier!
Following a capsule wardrobe planner or formula can be a great way to get started with capsule wardrobes. Then, once you figure out what works and what doesn’t work for you, you can adjust your capsules appropriately.
2. Why make a capsule wardrobe?
There are many benefits of a capsule wardrobe. A capsule wardrobe means you only wear your favourite clothes because you get rid of anything you don’t love or feel your best in.
It also makes deciding what to wear quicker and easier, meaning less stress and decision fatigue about your clothes. A capsule wardrobe can save you money by reducing clothing purchases and helping you be more intentional about the items you do buy. It also helps keep your closet organized and clutter-free.
And beyond those practical benefits, it can also increase your self-confidence as you find your personal style and learn what you look and feel your best in.
3. Do you have to limit your capsule wardrobe to a certain number of items?
No, you certainly don’t have to restrict your capsule wardrobe to a certain number of items. Again, it’s completely up to you!
If giving yourself a strict or flexible limit helps you when you’re planning a capsule wardrobe, then go for it. If it feels too restrictive or stressful, let go of the numbers and create a capsule that feels like the right amount for you.
You get to make your own rules when you’re planning a capsule wardrobe, so do whatever works for you. Don’t get hung up on the numbers or anyone else’s rules. A capsule wardrobe is meant to make life easier, but it’s still supposed to be fun! Do whatever works best for you!
4. What’s included in a capsule wardrobe?
Generally, a capsule wardrobe includes tops, bottoms, shoes and outerwear. Basically, whatever makes up your everyday clothes.
Things like accessories, undergarments, pyjamas, work out clothes, formal clothes, etc. don’t have to be included as part of your capsule wardrobe. But put your capsule wardrobe together however works best for you.
Even if you choose not to include things like accessories, work out clothes, formal clothes, etc. in your capsule wardrobe, you can still use the idea of a capsule wardrobe with those kinds of items as well. This helps keep your additional clothing and accessories simplified and curated too.
Again, don’t get hung up on anyone else’s rules when planning a capsule wardrobe. Do what works for you instead!
5. Do you make a new capsule wardrobe each season or use the same capsule wardrobe all year?
This is completely up to you! Neither one is right or wrong.
Creating a new capsule for each season is a great way to get started with capsule wardrobes. Putting together a smaller wardrobe for 3 months can sometimes feel less intimidating than choosing your clothes for a whole year at once.
Once you get more comfortable with capsule wardrobes, you can find the timeline that works best for you.
For example, I started out creating a new capsule for each season, fall, winter, spring and summer. But over time I realized with our short and unpredictable springs and falls, it wasn’t worth the effort to make 4 capsules a year.
Don’t be afraid to experiment and try different things to see what works best for you.
6. Do you buy new clothes each time you make a new capsule?
For me, the answer is definitely no. My goal is to buy fewer clothes overall. Not only to save money but also to keep my wardrobe small and simple. I want fewer clothes because it makes my life easier and keeps my closet clutter-free, so I re-use the majority of my clothes from one capsule to the next.
When planning a capsule wardrobe, start by using the clothes you have. Pick your favourite items and build your wardrobe around those pieces.
Over time, you can slowly add in new pieces to replace things that have worn out or you don’t absolutely love. Or simply to fill in any gaps in your wardrobe.
Just remember to be thoughtful and intentional with your purchases so you add things to your wardrobe that will work well for you and you’ll wear often.
7. What do you do with out of season clothes?
I deal with out of season clothes in two different ways.
The first is rolling over any items that work for more than one season into the next capsule.
For example, a t-shirt can be worn under a cardigan in the winter or on its own in the summer, making it easy to transition from one capsule to the next.
The second option is storing out of season clothes until they are needed again.
I prefer keeping only my current capsule in my closet. It helps reduce visual clutter and makes getting dressed easier when I only see in-season clothing. I store out of season clothes in my dresser drawers and keep a few items in our spare bedroom closet.
Other options are using under the bed storage containers. Storing clothes in totes at the top of your closet or somewhere else in your house. Keeping out of season items in a specific section of your closet. Or anywhere else that works for you!
8. Do clothes wear out faster when you have fewer clothes?
I haven’t noticed my clothes wearing out any faster than normal since embracing capsule wardrobes. Most of us wear a small collection of favourite items the majority of the time anyway, even when we have a closet full of clothes. So, I haven’t noticed any of my clothes wearing out faster than normal.
Even when you have fewer clothes in your wardrobe, you still have plenty of options. You will likely have at least 10 to 15 different tops in your capsule wardrobe. Meaning you can wear a different top every day for almost 2 weeks without repeating an item. So, you aren’t excessively washing and wearing the same item over and over again just because you have a capsule wardrobe.
There are also ways to help extend the life of your clothes. For example, you can make an effort to follow the laundry instructions and only wash clothes when they actually need it.
9. Does your capsule wardrobe have to be neutral?
Absolutely not! Your capsule wardrobe should suit your style and preferences. It can be as colorful or as neutral as you like!
I think capsule wardrobes get a reputation for always being all neutral. But your capsule wardrobe can look any way you want it to. When you’re planning a capsule wardrobe, it should be tailored to your personal style, preferences and lifestyle.
10. How do you handle work clothes and casual clothes when planning a capsule wardrobe?
This is another really common question about capsule wardrobes. There are two ways to approach this.
First, you can include your work clothes and your casual clothes together to make up one capsule wardrobe that includes everything you wear on a daily basis.
The other option is to make mini-capsules for each type of clothing you wear. Kind of like several small capsules within your capsule wardrobe.
For example, you could have one small capsule for work clothes. Then you could have another small capsule made up of casual clothes you wear when you’re not at work.
11. What can you do if you’re having a hard time letting go or getting rid of your clothes feels scary?
My favourite way to approach decluttering clothes (or anything!) that I’m having a hard time letting go of is using a “maybe box”.
A maybe box is like a decluttering safety net. It lets you be more ruthless with your decluttering decisions without the fear that you’ll regret getting rid of something.
To use a maybe box, you put any items you’re struggling to let go of in a box and put the box out of sight somewhere. Put a reminder in your phone for some time in the future, maybe 1 or 3 months. If you haven’t needed, wanted or even thought about the items when the reminder goes, you can get rid of them knowing you won’t miss them.
Often some time and space away from our clothes gives us a better perspective about what we really need, love and wear often.
Another great thing to do if the idea of a capsule wardrobe feels scary to you is trying a capsule wardrobe without making a permanent commitment.
Put together a capsule wardrobe and plan to try it for a month or two. Don’t get rid of the rest of your clothes, just put them away somewhere and try only dressing in the clothes in your capsule. See how you like a capsule wardrobe! It lets you experiment with dressing with less, without making a big commitment to it.
12. Do you have to buy higher quality items for your capsule wardrobe?
This is another thing that is totally up to you, your preferences and your budget.
Often, when you have a capsule wardrobe, you buy fewer pieces of clothing, simply because you have a smaller wardrobe. So, this may mean you are able to spend more on each item because you buy fewer items overall.
Also, when you have a capsule wardrobe, the goal is to only buy pieces you really love and will wear frequently. You may feel good about spending more to buy higher quality pieces because you know you’ll love the item and get a lot of wear out of it.
However, spending more or having higher quality items is not necessary for a capsule wardrobe. For example, the majority of my wardrobe is from Old Navy. This works for my style, my budget and my preferences right now.
Do what works for you!
13. Can you ever buy new items for your capsule or add fun, trendy pieces?
Of course! Having a capsule wardrobe doesn’t mean you can never buy new items. The key is to buy and add things your capsule intentionally, so you can keep your wardrobe small and curated.
It’s also important to edit your capsule frequently, especially when you add new items. Try to follow the “one in, one out” rule so your wardrobe stays small and simplified.
Adding fun and trendy pieces to your capsule occasionally is a great way to keep your wardrobe feeling fresh. Start with a good foundation of basics in your capsule wardrobe that are classic and will last for at least a few seasons/years.
Then you can add in a few trendier pieces to keep your wardrobe feeling fresh and up to date. Often adding one or two trendier pieces is enough to keep your wardrobe feeling up to date and fun. Your foundation pieces will last from capsule to capsule, even if your one or two trendier items don’t.
14. How do you handle weight fluctuations and a capsule wardrobe?
If you are in a season of life where your weight is fluctuating, it’s often hard to know what to do with clothes in various sizes. Especially if you’re planning a capsule wardrobe!
What I recommend in terms of clothes that don’t currently fit you is keeping only your absolute favourites in each size. Only the things you’ll be happy and excited to wear again. Think of it like a very small capsule wardrobe for each size with the basics you’d need.
As you change sizes you can add a few more pieces to each mini capsule wardrobe if needed. Or simply make do with a very limited wardrobe until your weight stabilizes.
This helps keep your overall amount of clothing under control and simplified. But still takes into account your need for multiple sizes.
15. Do you ever feel limited or bored with a capsule wardrobe?
No! I’ve found that even with a smaller wardrobe, I still feel like I have plenty of options.
Plus, everything in my wardrobe is something I love wearing. So, choosing what to wear feels fun when everything in your closet is a favourite!
FAQs when planning a capsule wardrobe
I hope this post answers some of your questions about planning a capsule wardrobe. A capsule wardrobe is a great way to simplify getting dressed, simplify your closet and simplify your life!
Even if you’re not ready to commit, give it a try for a month or two and see what you think of dressing with less!
If you have any other questions about planning a capsule wardrobe or using a capsule wardrobe, ask away! Leave your questions in the comments below!