Capsule wardrobe is a term coined by Susie Faux, the owner of a London boutique called “Wardrobe” in the 1970s. According to Faux, a capsule wardrobe is a collection of a few essential items of clothing that don’t go out of fashion, such as skirts, trousers, and coats, which can then be augmented with seasonal pieces.
I started creating a capsule wardrobe without even knowing it. In a quiet moment, I admitted to myself that I had too much clothing. My oversize closet took up my space, money, and time. I needed a change and it admittedly hasn’t been easy. Over the last two years (yes, years!) I’ve made many donations and yet my closet still feels overly full. I still have some purging left to do, but so far, along the way I’ve learned a few things. Hopefully this advice on purging your closet can help you out if you’re also looking to create a capsule wardrobe.
Take your time, and start by doing it seasonally
I estimate it’s been over two years since I started to purge my closet. I started by examining my closet at the end of each season. Anything seasonal item I didn’t wear from the finishing season I would put aside to be donated or sold. The first time I did this was hard. There were many items I thought I might use and some that had sentimental value. As each season passed, it got easier though. I recommend taking your time with purging because the process can be overwhelming. At least for me it was, and I’m pretty sure it was because of the sheer amount of clothing I had!
Donate most items, but sell the ones worth your time
The clothing that automatically gets donated or sold are things that I haven’t worn in the past season (as previously mentioned) or things I’ve found don’t flatter me. I’ve donated about 95% of my clothing. The other 5% I try to sell. These are usually item that I myself paid a lot for (Aritzia anyone?) and feel I can resell for a reasonable amount. I use Facebook groups to sell my clothing but I will admit it isn’t the best use of time. Sometimes people don’t show up to purchase or are unreasonable and etc. If an item doesn’t sell within a month, I usually just donate it.
Try your best to only shop for new clothing if you really need it during your purge
Going more then a year without purchasing new clothing can be tough. Well, at least for me it is! Try your hardest not to purchase anything you don’t absolutely need during your closet purge. For myself, I went through 2 pregnancies while cleaning out my closet. I did purchase some maternity clothes and items I thought I could also use post-partum. What I’ve found is that some of the pregnancy plus post-partum items I purchased have already been donated. I should have purchased less as I had Ellie only 4 months ago as I write this. Trying to purge your closet while simultaneously purchasing new clothing is taking one step forward and then one step back. I believe one of the best ways to start a capsule wardrobe is with the simplest closet you can manage.