I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately; about wardrobe minimalism, capsule wardrobes, and what it all means to me. For the uninitiated, capsule wardrobes are a carefully curated sub-section of your wardrobe generally limited to the 30 item mark, designed to cater to a specific season, or in some cases, seasons. As much as I’ve enjoyed having a capsule wardrobe, and overall found the experience to be incredibly rewarding, I’m not quite convinced that it’s a wardrobe approach that’s going to suit everyone.
A lot of the things I hoped to achieve with a capsule wardrobe such as a wardrobe that is entirely complementary and cohesive, wearing the things that I love a-l-l the time, and making more conscious and thoughtful purchases, could all have been achieve without going down the path of building a capsule wardrobe – for two years, no less! – though for me, this approach seemed to be the most practical. For others, limiting your closet to a mere 30 items might be completely impractical for your lifestyle.
While a capsule wardrobe was right for me, I wanted to share four reasons why you should think twice about building a capsule wardrobe, if you’re currently sitting on the fence…
YOUR WARDROBE IS ALREADY TIGHTLY EDITED
If you’re the type of person who is very conscious about what they buy, and as a result has a small selection of clothing to choose from on a daily basis as it is, then there’s no real benefit to try and cut that down further just for the sake of a capsule wardrobe.
As an example, my wardrobe typically sits around the 80-100 mark; I usually operate a loose one in one out policy so I’ve always got a closet filled with pieces that I love. Narrowing it down to 30-40 pieces for a season isn’t an issue, as my wardrobe splits up pretty naturally across seasons. If your wardrobe comprises of only 30-40 pieces as a whole, I would imagine that reducing this further just to have a capsule wardrobe would be extremely limiting.
OPTIONS ARE KING, AND OUTFIT REPEATING ISN’T YOUR JAM
Coming from the girl who used to avoid ever wearing the same outfit twice, a capsule wardrobe can seem limiting at first. Repeating outfits comes with the territory (but it also means you’ll be wearing your favourite things all the time), and if you enjoy having options, it’s going to be a real shock to the system. If this doesn’t sound like something you’d be happy with – hey, it isn’t for everyone! – then it’s probably worth giving capsule wardrobes a miss.
YOUR PERSONAL STYLE IS A MIX OF E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G
Going into my first capsule wardrobe challenge, I had a pretty good sense of what my personal style was, and the experience really only helped to further amplify and reinforce this for me. If you’re the type of person that opts for boho one day, rocker chic another day and preppy the next, you’re going to have a hard time not only selecting the pieces for your capsule, but also expressing yourself through your clothing.
IT’S THE TRENDY THING TO DO
Capsule wardrobes as a concept are hugely popular at the minute; it’s a carriage on the minimalist train that a lot of people are ready to get on board with (which is great!), but I think it’s important to look at what’s driving you to compartmentalize your wardrobe. Are you wanting to simplify your life? Reduce the number of items in your wardrobe? Or is it purely because you’ve been reading so much about the concept, that you figure you might as well give it a go? Pinpointing your intentions can help to really understand if this is something that will be a rewarding experience for you, or whether it is purely for the sake of it.
For many, the idea of limiting yourself to an arbitrary number – be it 15, 30 or 37 – doesn’t seem logical. Why restrict yourself when you don’t need to? Getting to a place of balance; a sort of wardrobe set point which you organically maintain, is possible without a capsule wardrobe, it just involves taking a different path to get there…