Minimalist Wardrobe for Women – How to Start a Capsule Wardrobe in 6 Easy Steps.
Do you remember when you were a teen or in your early 20’s and wouldn’t be seen dead wearing the same outfit twice? That toxic gossip mag culture of shaming celebs for re-using a dress, somehow managed to seep through and made us all paranoid about our wardrobes!
These days my wardrobe philosophy couldn’t be any more different as last year I started to build a capsule wardrobe….and spoiler alert, it’s been the best fashion choice I’ve made in about a decade!
I’ve never been overly fashionable. In the past I tried to keep up with the latest fashion without actually knowing why, and attempted to wear ALL the different styles to stay ‘trendy’. But the truth is I’ve never felt confident in bodycon mini dresses or barely-there tops, I like wide leg trousers and cosy jumpers, shirts, jeans & trainers or a curvy tea dress. My style has always been simple, smart and comfortable which sometimes felt out of place.
But now, in my 30’s, I finally feel like I’m in my element with clothes. It’s like I’m exactly where I should be with my style and my capsule wardrobe has been a HUGE factor in that.
Let me talk you through how I made it happen!
Minimalist Wardrobe for Women – Capsule Wardrobe Style
What Is A Capsule Wardrobe?
A capsule wardrobe is a limited or smaller selection of interchangeable pieces that all complement each other and go together.
You should be able to create multiple outfits from the clothes in your wardrobe as they all fit together with ease in a multitude of different combinations. It means you can wear clothes again and again whilst creating totally different looks from the same items – genius!
How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe?
Ok, so I just need to state for the record that I’m no capsule wardrobe expert! But I’ve had so many messages on Instagram since I started sharing my daily looks asking me to write this post. This is what I personally did to start my capsule wardrobe journey…
Step 1: Have a Clear Out
I started by sorting through my current wardrobe…and I was brutal! Anything that I didn’t absolutely LOVE when I put it on, or anything that didn’t really fit my aesthetic or current body size went in the charity bag. It was tough to do, especially when it came to things that I’d only worn a few times (probably because I didn’t LOVE them when I bought them). I soon realised that you really do get a gut feeling about clothes at the beginning and that usually sticks.
Your clothes should fit you and your style NOT the other way round!
I kept anything that made me feel good and that fit well. There was no ‘oh I’ll fit into that soon’ or ‘I’ll keep that just in case’. I did a Marie Kondo and thanked everything before folding it neatly and sending it to a new home.
Step 2: Vinted
There were a few pieces in my ‘to go’ pile that were really good quality and had only been worn a few times too. I’ve started to buy higher quality items these days, but a lot of my older clothes are Primark jobs that really didn’t stand the test of time.
Anything I thought was decent I sold on Vinted to make a bit of extra cash for their replacements! It was my first time using the app and I loved the process. Snap a clear picture, upload the specs and just wait for it to sell. Buyer pays postage, the drop off points are super easy and the transactions are really quick. I made about £60 from doing that off of a handful of items which I was then able to use on a couple of new pieces for my capsule wardrobe.
Step 3: Find Inspiration
Next I went onto Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest to have a look at some of the people I like to follow for fashion stuff. (Try searching for ‘capsule wardrobe’ or ‘minimalist wardrobe for women’ to bring up the right posts and accounts). I started to pick out key shapes and pieces that were occurring again and again in their outfits.. From here I was able to work out that on top of my current clothes I personally wanted/needed:
- A pair of blue straight leg jeans
- Some black & neutral jumpers/cardigans
- A white and neutral relaxed shirt
- Some wide legged beige trousers
- And some ribbed cami tops as basics
Those were the things that cropped up in most of the outfits (in one combination or another) that I felt really drawn to. I also researched starter items for a capsule wardrobe and came across lists like this as a great place to start:
- Good fitting denim jeans
- A skirt
- Basic tshirts
- Simple shirts
- A pair of trousers
- A couple of jumpers/cardigans
- A neutral dress
- A statement coat
- A pair of Boots, Trainers and Heels
(Just adjust the style/fits/colours depending on your preferences.)
Step 4: Build your New Style
Next I ventured out onto the high street and online to try and find my new items that would form the base of my capsule wardrobe. I didn’t rush it and I only bought clothes that genuinely felt good, fit well and that I loved when I tried them on. If it didn’t work, I didn’t buy it and I carried on looking. I found it a lot simpler now that I had a list of specific items I was looking for and it was actually quite fun finding each piece at a time knowing it was going to work in multiple outfits!
Step 5: Organise your Rails
I then made sure my wardrobe was organised by item – trousers, jeans, skirts, dresses, shirts, tops, jumpers etc – but also by colour within those sections. This makes it easy to grab an item I need when building my looks eg. ‘I’m going to start with my jeans today and it’s not too cold so I’ll go for a black top and a cosy cardigan’. Just grab and go!
Step 6: Continue to Mindfully Add
Once I’d got my basics I was able to mindfully add to my wardrobe as and when I felt like I needed something or if I saw something I REALLY liked. These days I buy better quality clothes but I buy a LOT less. When I’m in the shop or hovering over that checkout button I try to think – ‘will this go with multiple items in my collection?’ And ‘do I actually need it or do I already have something similar?’
It’s a work in progress but I have to say that I’m loving my style right now. I buy better quality bits that are timeless and last for years but I also don’t attach too much emotion to pieces these days. This means if it no longer makes me feel good, I don’t feel guilty for popping it on Vinted to sell (or donating it to charity) to make space for something better suited.
I hope his post was useful! I’ll try to update it as I get better at the whole capsule wardrobe thing and I’ll keep posting my outfits on Instagram too so make sure to come over and drop a follow @xameliax!
Who knows, I might be someone else’s capsule outfit inspiration one day!
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Minimalist wardrobe for women – building your capsule wardrobe in 6 easy steps!