If you are working on your capsule collection for the next 3 months, or even if you are just considering it, these tips will encourage you to create something that works for you. When you choose items that fit your body and your lifestyle, you create a capsule wardrobe that helps you discover the benefits of dressing and living with less.
1. Make your own rules
Project 333 began changing closets around the world in 2010 and since then different capsule wardrobe projects have popped up with slightly different rules or numbers, but the core concept and challenge is the same … to create a small collection of clothing for a set amount of time (usually 3 months). Start with the Project 333 rules. If you need structure, stick with the rules. If you need flexibility, add your own touch.
2. Pick your favorites
Having it all doesn’t require owning it all. Take a look at the things in your closet. Are they your favorites or are they things you got on sale, or things that looked good in a magazine ad, or on someone else? Donate your duplicates, the jeans that haven’t fit in a long, long time, and those trendy items you thought would make you happy, but now reside in the back of the closet. Dress with less and wear your favorite things every day.
The following comment on this post reminded me how important it is to make room for your favorites, “An unexpected side-effect of simplifying my clothes: The other day, I went to grab a top for slopping around the house in… Stared in confusion at my options for a little while, before I realised that now I only have my favourite tops left (ie ones I would be happy to go out and be seen in), so I ended up wearing a favourite top just for sitting on the balcony and reading a book. It felt great”
3. Kick comparison to the curb
I’ve seen the perfectly dressed bloggers and capsule wardrobe collections with the colors and patterns that you would never dream of putting together. While some of them can be inspiring, many of them are completely intimidating and overwhelming. If you didn’t dress that way before, you probably won’t stick with it for very long.
Go your own way for the next 3 months. Work with what you have and take the emphasis off of shopping and style and put it onto the things that matter most to you. Ignore the trends, the advertising, and everyone who looks like you think you should look, and be happy in your clothes.
4. Identify what’s most important in your capsule wardrobe
The next season for me is winter, and the most important quality of my capsule wardrobe is warmth. I’ll still include something for the occasional warm day or room, but most of my clothing will be serving the purpose of keeping me toasty warm. Earrings don’t do that, so they aren’t on the list. Instead I’ll include an extra cozy scarf.
5. Don’t buy your capsule wardrobe
You could go out and buy 33 perfect pieces, but then you end up spending money you might not have on things that you won’t love in 3 months. Instead, figure out what you really need by working with what you have. If you need to add a piece or two, do it, but otherwise, give yourself three months of dressing with less to better understand what you need for a capsule wardrobe that works best for you.
6. Eliminate the fear
Dressing with less can be scary stuff. Not there’s a snake in my sleeping bag scary, but it can trigger feelings of fear:
- fear of not having what you need
- fear of people noticing that you are wearing the same things
- and the simple fear of trying something new
The best way to eliminate the fear is to remember that this isn’t permanent. It’s 3 months, and if you think about what you were doing 3 months ago, you’ll remember how quickly time flies.
Don’t donate your clothes yet, except for the stuff you never wear. Instead, get it out of sight so you can enjoy the benefits of a capsule wardrobe with the security blanket of your clothes hidden in a box somewhere besides your closet.
7. Think about how you want to spend your time
Once you’ve created your capsule wardrobe, you won’t need extra time to get ready in the morning, and you won’t be spending time shopping online, or in dressing rooms. You’ll naturally create more time by eliminating those activities. How do you want to spend it? Make a love list to identify how you’ll spend those precious extra minutes and create a morning routine for health, energy, and creativity.