If you’re always short on time, space in your home and money, then choosing to have a capsule wardrobe could solve all of these things!
Read on for tips on how I manage my capsule wardrobe, as well as how it will help you spend less and become clutter-free in your wardrobe. It's a great way to make fashion more sustainable too.
Being a minimalist
I’ve shared my story a few times on my blog of how I believe I came to be a minimalist and lover of a capsule wardrobe. To cut a long story short, I moved house several times in my late teens and early twenties which included renting rooms in shared houses and bedsits.
Not only did I not want to lug so many belongings with me for each house move, but I also didn’t have much space at each property. I didn’t need to buy a lot of furniture and home décor as I only had a bedroom to furnish.
Once I settled with my husband I then had more space and belongings did at first begin to grow. They also grew with the arrival of our children who need a lot of things and grow out of things far too quickly! But having lots of stuff makes my head fuzzy!
I’m not one for mess or clutter and even just knowing I have things sat unused in cupboards or attics makes my head feel noisy. I’m definitely a minimalist by nature and so I’m always minimalizing our belongings so we don’t have too many items and only exactly what we need and use.
Ben still has a corner in the attic full of mostly junk which drives me quite insane. I’m sure he keeps it there just to irritate me. Every time I go up to the loft I see if I can find a couple of pieces that I can pass on or recycle. Believe me; he even has empty boxes up there from old electronics!
Stay clutter free in your closet with a capsule wardrobe
One thing I have now got Ben on-board with is a capsule wardrobe. I was already doing it for me and the kids and now he’s reduced his clothing collection too.
I’m forever clearing out the kids’ wardrobes as they outgrow their clothes so quickly. I only keep a small amount of clothes for them. Only what they need.
My own wardrobe is now down to around 50 items. That’s in total, for the whole year. I have a few items hanging – mostly tops, cardigans and a few dresses. Then I have a pile of shorts, trousers and leggings. I wear the trousers in the winter with boots and the summer with flip-flops. I also have a box of underwear and a box of gym clothes and pyjamas. I have two coats and a small selection of shoes – wellies, two pairs of winter boots, two pairs of pumps, one pair of flip-flops, smart flats and smart heels. That’s it. To be fair I could even get rid of the heels as I never wear them!
I wear stuff until it needs replacing or totally goes out of shape, not just a few times until I’m bored of it. This makes me much more careful with my clothing choices when shopping. It has to be something I will wear numerous times before I’ll consider buying it.
I’ve still tried to cut my own wardrobe down even more, but I think I’m now at my minimum! Ben’s clothes take up around half our homemade triple size wardrobe and mine take up around a quarter!
Save money, only buy what you really need
My trick is to layer in the winter and reduce layers in the summer. I pretty much wear the same wardrobe all year round. Only in the summer I won’t wear my boots or fluffy cardigan. Otherwise you’ll see me in the same outfits. In the summer I might wear my trousers with a pair of flip-flops and a vest top. But in the winter I’ll wear both the trousers and vest top, but I’ll add a t-shirt, cardigan, socks and boots.
I don’t see the need to buy specific winter and summer clothes when I can make do with what I have. Most clothes are suitable for all seasons, but it’s a case of layering them up when it’s colder. Even some summer dresses can have a pair of woolly tights or leggings added with a chunky cardigan to make them winter-worthy!
Having one set of clothes, instead of several sets of seasonal clothes, is definitely a much cheaper option.
Be intentional when buying clothes
My actual wardrobe (a couple of outfits are in the wash)
This year, 2019, I am doing a zero spend on clothes for the whole year! I am challenging myself to not buy any clothes for the entire year. I took a good look at my wardrobe and though it’s looking pretty scarce, I believe I have enough to get me through an entire year, all the seasons and beyond.
In recent years I’ve not been a big clothes shopper anyway, but I’d still sometimes splurge on something I spotted at the supermarket or that caught my eye passing a store. It’s usually these unintentional clothing purchases that end up sat in my wardrobe not getting worn very much! They are quick impulse buys for a moment of pleasure and I didn’t ever give them much thought. They were excitable purchases!
So even though I didn’t do it very much, I was still a sucker for quick impulse buys that I didn’t really need.
By stopping this altogether I will definitely save money this year.
I’m also making a promise to be intentional in the future when buying clothes, so I only buy what I set out to buy because I really need it.
Less choice, more time
I tend to wear the same clothes most days. I get stuck on a favourite comfy outfit and I’ll wear it several days in a row. Life is so much easier and quicker like this!
In my late teens I had a huge shopping addiction. I was obsessed with shopping for clothes and had around four rails overflowing with clothes and piles of clothes underneath.
I wasn’t always a minimalist!
It was really ridiculous, but also very overwhelming.
Getting ready took forever. There was so much choice every time I needed to get dressed. I had so many options and so many decisions to make.
I must have wasted hours every week just putting outfits on and off whilst I chopped and changed my mind.
What a waste of time!
Reducing that choice means you’ll have far more time to do other things. Sometimes having less options is better!
Smaller wardrobe, more space
You can now even buy some space-saving and beautifully designed single wardrobes which are perfect for keeping your capsule wardrobes on track. I love the MADE white single wardrobes I found here at Lionshome, but there are even cheaper options too. Or like us, you can make your own wardrobe. They are plenty large enough for all the clothes you really need and if you can’t fit your clothes in, then you’ve got too many!
Not only is a smaller wardrobe a cheaper option than a full size version, but think of the bedroom space you will free up! Large bulky wardrobes can impose on so much of the available space in a bedroom, especially if space is at a premium, so a single slim wardrobe is a much neater solution.
We originally had a regular size wardrobe each and I remember having to persuade Ben that we’d be fine with one triple wardrobe between us instead. I wanted to create more space in our bedroom and this reduced our wardrobe space by around 25%.
Ben was convinced and built us a lovely triple sized wardrobe from old pallet wood which he refurbished. Now I think we could have gone even smaller and saved more space in our bedroom!
Not only have we saved space with a smaller wardrobe to what we originally had, but we have also got rid of a couple of chests of drawers which used to house clothes. Now we just have the wardrobe and need nothing else.
How to save time, money and space with a capsule wardrobe
Having a capsule wardrobe really does suit my lifestyle and make clothing a lot more organised and affordable. I’d definitely recommend it if you are overwhelmed with the amount of clothing you own and want a simpler life.
To finish, here’s a quick look at how a capsule wardrobe is beneficial:
- Save time – less time shopping for clothes you don’t need, less time choosing outfits, less time spent laundering, ironing and organising clothes
- Save money – Buying less clothes will save money. Needing less storage for the clothes will save money on furniture.
- Save space – the less clothes you have, the less storage space you need for them. Reclaim space in your bedroom by choosing a single wardrobe.
- Stay organised – clothes washing becomes easier as there is less variety of clothes. Wardrobes stay organised and spacious as there are less clothes in them. Find clothes easier. Less clothes means less clutter and makes it easier to keep wardrobes neat and tidy.