Struggling with your capsule wardrobe?

November 14, 2015

main collageSo am I. The struggle to maintain a capsule wardrobe is the opposite of struggling to maintain a, dare I say, “regular” closet. Instead of worrying about what new and trendy item to add to your ever-growing collection, or fretting about ways to increase storage space, capsule wardrobe enthusiasts¬†have to try to avoid adding more clothing. I know, first world problems for sure, but hear me out. I have a hard time keeping my capsule a capsule because I get clothing as gifts (thanks Mom xo) and I sometimes lug bags of clothing home with me¬†when I help family and friends out with their own closet clean outs. Is that so bad? Of course not, but it means I find myself sorting through my clothing more often than I’d like to.

As for the shop, we want to provide a carefully curated capsule collection of no more than a dozen pieces per season. Each piece will be selected for its quality construction; natural, durable materials; comfort; versatility; timelessness and fit. Have I made starting an online shop that much harder with this small collection? Yes and no. Yes, because I have to choose well and no, because the Canadian designers that I have my eye on deliver on all of the shop’s criteria. Now back to my personal closet issues.

I love sorting through my closet, but I’d rather be putting together new outfits than purging all of the time. I’ve come to learn that staying small isn’t always easy in a world where more is always outside your door. You have to stick to your guns, stick to your shopping list of items that you need, not just want. Need some tips on how to keep your closet lean?

Keep your shopping list handy

I use this great to-do list app called TeuxDeux to keep track of items that I’m missing in my closet. These are items that I often wish I had on hand when I’m getting dressed in the morning, and items that would help me make use of a few other pieces in my closet.

Whether you keep your list in your phone or on a piece of paper in your purse, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you avoid making impulse purchases. If you give in, you may very well find yourself with a poor-quality piece that doesn’t go with a single thing in your closet = money wasted. True, you could get lucky and impulsively buy an item that ends up being one of your fave go-to’s, but more likely than not, it’ll be in next year’s donation pile.

Store seasonal clothes as the weather changes

Most North Americans will understand that those of us above the 49th parallel experience four seasons. Each season calls for its own wardrobe, but the transition times between seasons do too. Many Canadians find themselves constantly sorting and storing their clothing from one season to the next within a matter of weeks, not months.

For example, it’s fall right now, but we’ve been experience warmer than usual temperatures (+15 degrees Celsius!). When fall hit, I put away my summer items, kept a few light tops to wear under cardigans, and brought out my fall stuff. A few weeks later, a cold spell hit us and I brought out the heavy winter sweaters and my parka. Now, I’m back to early spring items. I don’t think this can ever be avoided, but what I can give as a tip is this: layer.

Keep two to three spring tops that you can wear under sweaters and cardigans. If you get too hot, you can remove a layer. Don’t store away all of your warm-weather pieces because you’ll end up sweating like a pig on an unusually warm fall day, as I have a few times already this season.

Take note of your go-to or “uniform” pieces

These are items that you wear almost every week. These are your “uniform”, or your essential pieces. If you still have some spring items in your fall closet that are never worn because you always opt for one of your essential pieces time and time again, store those spring items away!

I finally stored away a spring, floral blouse that I was keeping this fall in case I wanted to add some colour to an outfit. But you know what? I never reached for it. It was so colourful, it didn’t go with much in my fall closet and come fall, I only want to wear warm turtlenecks and sweaters, not light blouses (even if they’re layered under a cardigan). This leads me to my last note.

Be honest about your likes and dislikes

I’m guilty of keeping things in my closet that I never wear, just in case. I’m not talking about formal dresses and going-out skirts, those are for special occasions, so it’s OK if they’re not often worn. I’m talking about that one shirt that you can’t let go of even though you have at least another two that you can easily wear in its place. Let it go my friends, just let it go. I promise you, you won’t miss it.

If you’re anxious to donate your precious items, store them away in a special box for three months. If you haven’t thought of them in that length of time, say goodbye.

Inspiration outfits for my fall capsule wardrobe

aran sweater

Photo credits from left to right: Fashion Gum, Honestly WTF, Styloholic.

Photo credits from left to right: Elements of Style

Photo credits from left to right: Elements of Style

Photo credits from left to right: Vestiaire Collective, Where to Get It, Absolu Paris Blog

Photo credits from left to right: Vestiaire Collective, Where to Get It, Absolu Paris Blog

Photo credits from left to right: Late Afternoon Blog, People and Styles

Photo credits from left to right: Late Afternoon Blog, People and Styles

Photo credits from left to right: Brooklyn Blonde, Closet Full of Clothes, Pinterest

Photo credits from left to right: Brooklyn Blonde, Closet Full of Clothes, Pinterest

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