Save Time and Money: Build the Ideal Capsule Wardrobe (Part 1)

Decluttering your closet
February 12, 2020 Updated: February 12, 2020
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Let’s talk about structure, cut, budget, fun, and … style. You may wonder what these words have in common. But from the title of this article, you can probably guess that I am inviting you to undertake a most satisfying exercise to reshape your personal style and save you money: building a capsule wardrobe for this new season.

It may sound fancy but most of all, it will be rewarding. Let’s dive in, shall we?

What Is a Capsule Wardrobe? 

It is a mini-collection of 25–50 pieces of clothing that are timeless and that can easily be mixed and matched with each other. The ultimate goal of a capsule wardrobe is to buy less but to buy better.

In this three-part series, I will walk you through the process step by step, from decluttering your closet to putting together your ideal wardrobe.

The Proper Way to Declutter Your Closet

This process can be overwhelming. How to sort the clothes? And how to organize your thoughts to get through this task? We’re not all Marie Kondo, but we can use a bit of her wisdom to make this very important step of the process a little smoother.

Pick a day when you’ll have time because the task will be tedious. Make sure to have good snacks and good music, and just dive into it! First, get rid of everything you don’t need.

The Old Stuff

These are the old clothes, worn out with holes, discolored, maybe ripped, but you love them because they are so comfortable. Too bad; they must go, and besides, you deserve better clothes. And don’t forget your favorite football team’s sweatshirt, with the logo so faded it doesn’t even show anymore. Or the white T-shirt with distinct yellowish underarm marks. Don’t feel bad, and let them go. Keep one or two pieces for house cleaning but no more than that.

I Bet You’ve Never Worn Them

Yes, I am referring to the type of clothes that you bought on impulse, even though they ended up not being your style. And the ones that you bought on sale thinking you got such a good deal but that turned out to be poor-quality. Give them away—maybe you have a friend who can fit in them, or simply give them to charity.

You Watched the Oscars, Didn’t You?

Let’s be honest, this event makes us dream in so many ways: “Oh, I wish I had that body!” or “Wow, if I could get that type of dress for my wedding anniversary, that would be great!” 

And say you finally splurged on a super nice red-carpet dress, four years ago—and you’re still waiting for the right occasion to wear it. You’ve convinced yourself that it was a good buy, but was it really? It’s been years, and it is obviously not your personal style … Just sell it and make some money out of it.

Regift It

So your husband surpassed himself and bought you that beautiful blouse from Ted Baker, except that the pattern is not your style and it doesn’t fit. But you tell yourself, “But he made the effort, and when I’ll lose the weight, I’ll wear it.” Or, “my mother-in-law knitted that sweater for me but I look like a sausage in it!” 

What to do with these gifts? Be firm in your mind, let go of the emotion, and find them a new home. And maybe during a conversation with your husband or mother-in-law, you could perhaps let them know that a book or a gift certificate to the spa would be most welcome.

In My Mind, I Am Still 22 …

And that is a great motto to keep in mind all the time: feel young, free, and beautiful. Except that the mind gets it but for some reason, the belly, the thighs, the arms, and the double chin didn’t seem to get the memo! 

At 22, you might have been size 4 or maybe 6 or 8, but today, let’s face it, ladies, we have delivered babies, we stand at work for hours. We’ve gone through a lot of stress in life, and our bodies have been affected—and that’s fine because it’s normal to go through these phases of life. So let’s accept the new size—be it 10, 12, or 14, and get rid of those size 4 jeans and that size 2 dress you’ve kept for years.

These Can Be Saved but …

“I love these pants but I need to fix its hem.” Does this sound familiar? I am so guilty of this especially because I sew, so I have no excuse! But unless I fix that hem or add that button to that coat, they are useless.

The same also holds true for clothes that need to be sent out to the dry cleaner. If you feel you don’t have time to fix these kinds of clothes, just give them away. If you waited that long to fix them, you probably don’t need them.

After going through all these steps, your closet should feel empty and light, and that is a good thing. Decluttering the most important part of the process. Next week, let’s build around what you have. And when each morning, you ask yourself what you’re going to wear, I promise the answer will be quick and easy.