Buy Less, Wear More: Capsule Wardrobes

How to save money, find your style and maximize your outfits this season.



    Author: Aliyah Keshavjee

    Copy Editor: Natalie Sofia

    Graphic Designer: Dani Ruddock

    If you enjoy fashion to any extent, I’m willing to bet your closet overwhelms you. Overconsumption, online shopping, niche Internet micro-trends, new fast fashion collections being released weekly, and thrift hauls—we’re drowning in it all, and so are our wallets. It can be so tempting nowadays to see that sale email or justify just one more purchase, but at some point, we have to stop and think. Where are all these clothes going to go? Where are we going to wear them? Are they true reflections of how we want to dress, or are we just being influenced to buy them? If you have ever looked through your wardrobe and felt overwhelmed by just how many clothes you have, yet still can’t find a single outfit to wear, a capsule wardrobe might be exactly what you need this season.

    A capsule wardrobe is generally defined as a curated and set amount of clothing that is composed of pieces that are timeless, versatile, and complimentary. This rotation of around 20 to 30 items that truly reflect your personal style could be exactly what you need to cure your outfit block. Although there is nothing inherently wrong with “outfit repeating,” having a capsule wardrobe doesn’t mean you have to wear the same things every week. If curated effectively and styled creatively, your capsule wardrobe can give you endless amounts of unique outfits to love.

    It can be hard to know where to start when downsizing your closet. I’ve thought of a few tips and tricks that helped me when I was curating my capsule wardrobe that will make the process of getting yours started much easier!

    1. You’ll want to find some inspiration to base your selections off of. Try creating a moodboard or browse through social media to find styles and pieces that are a reflection of yourself.
    2. When curating your selection, consider things you already own. Ideally, you don’t want to be purchasing too many items for the sole purpose of downsizing your closet. However, if you have a few timeless and classic pieces you think you may need to really take your capsule to the next level, go for it! Aim to buy items like this at thrift stores or vintage shops for more unique and sustainable options.
    3. In order to downsize your wardrobe, you’ll need to get rid of some of your old clothes. Think about what items can be repurposed or upcycled to give them a new life, or simply donate them to your nearest thrift shop. If you have any interesting and valuable pieces you haven’t gotten much wear out of, this is a great opportunity to sell them and make more money to put back into your wardrobe.
    4. The key to building an effective capsule wardrobe is versatility. Think about pieces that you can style in all sorts of ways—backwards, layered, accessorized, etc. Ideally, each piece will be able to go with any other piece in the collection cohesively to maximize the amount of outfits you can create.
    5. Lastly, go crazy with accessories. Accessories are what take outfits to the next level. Put no limits on your selection of shoes, bags, hats, belts, and jewellery. Use accessories as your chance to elevate your outfits.

    The benefits of a capsule wardrobe are limitless. Not only will you be saving time and effort in the mornings deciding what to wear, but you’ll also start being more conscious of your purchases and spending far less money on things you don’t want. It is also a sustainable and environmentally friendly method of shopping that forces you to really think about how you want to dress, allowing you to find and accentuate your personal style while significantly reducing waste. A capsule wardrobe might just be the solution to all of your closet’s problems. Happy styling this season!