Uplevel Your Capsule Wardrobe Plan with These 4 Secrets

Having a capsule wardrobe plan is a great way to make getting dressed easier. Here are 4 secrets to help you out.

You want to create a capsule wardrobe. Sounds like a great idea. It’s a way to minimize your clothing and make your life simpler, but you’re struggling, right? In today’s episode, I’m going to share four secrets about creating a capsule wardrobe that no one is going to tell you. Keep listening to figure out what it really takes to get that capsule wardrobe.

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On the heel of style uniforms, I want to talk a little bit about capsule wardrobes. A style uniform is really just a specialized kind of capsule wardrobe because the idea is still to have less and to do more with less. I started looking into capsule wardrobes in 2015 which was my very first exposure to this concept. I was pregnant and I had some maternity clothes.

So I naturally had this easy capsule wardrobe because most women don’t buy an extensive amount of maternity clothing for nine months of pregnancy.  Sometimes we don’t know if we’re going to have more kids or if this is our last one. So we tend to focus on the necessities, only what we absolutely have to have and absolutely have to buy.

That was my story. It was my second baby and I had been given a lot of hand-me-downs with my first pregnancy. Of course, I bought some good jeans but other than that I really didn’t spend a lot on my first pregnancy. By my second pregnancy, some of the clothes I had gotten were kind of worn out at that point.

So I replaced quite a few tops, but I kept the same pants I had and didn’t add a whole lot. So it was really easy to have a capsule wardrobe. It didn’t seem like it was this really hard concept. Fast forward a few years, a few more babies, and I’m back to really wanting to simplify my wardrobe. To have fewer clothes, get more out of them, and have a capsule wardrobe again.

It was not as simple at that time because I didn’t know what clothes I needed. I didn’t know what clothes to wear or what suited my lifestyle. I was breastfeeding. I’ve been breastfeeding for the last almost 10 years now, constantly. I didn’t know how to meld what I actually needed, with what I wanted, who I was, and who I wasn’t. I didn’t know what I was doing. I went down a bunch of rabbit holes.

I say all this to tell you that I have been dealing with capsule wardrobes and learning about capsule wardrobes for the last eight years now. There are some things that I have found when it comes to this concept that no amount of Pinteresting, Googling, or copying other people is going to tell you. 

Capsule Wardrobe Plan Secret #1: There’s no Magic Formula

The number one thing I want to share with you is there’s no magic formula. I mentioned my first experience with capsule wardrobes was back in 2015 when I came across Project 333. I still think to this day that the book version is a great read. If you’ve never read it, pick it up. It’s got great mindset stuff in there. However, the problem that I really had was this number of 33.

Every time I tried to do a Project 333, I just couldn’t pick 33 things. It felt so stifling, it felt really limiting. I just could not wrap my brain around this limit. I’ve seen other types of capsule wardrobes that are done for you and they always have a set number of things that you should get, and they tell you what things you need to get.

If you go to Pinterest and you type in capsule wardrobes, you’re going to get all these really gorgeous-looking infographics and they all have a specific formula. It’s great to have that variety out there that you can go look at and get ideas. But the reality behind creating a capsule wardrobe for you and your life is there’s no formula that’s going to work for you except the one that you create for yourself.

It needs to be based on your lifestyle, the clothing that you want, and your level of minimalism versus maximalism. Do you work? Do you stay home? All of these different things go into the perfect number, formula, and system for you. 

Capsule Wardrobe Plan Secret #2: It’s Not a One-and-Done Process

The second thing I want to talk about here is that contrary to popular opinion, this is not a one-and-done process. You don’t decide to create a capsule wardrobe, go create it in a week, and then you are done forever. It does not work that way because the weather changes. You’re going to need different clothes throughout different seasons depending on where you live.

I don’t need a seasonal wardrobe because it’s always a hundred degrees in Texas. But you have to take into account the fact that your wardrobe is not static. You are going to change constantly. You are going to gain weight, lose weight, get sick, be well, have kids, breastfeed, age, and hit menopause. All of these things are going to happen to you and they’re going to be different for every person.

We are going to change so much that we are going to change out of the capsule wardrobe we created the first time we did it. You may decide to wear different clothes. You may decide you want to wear different colors even within your same color season if you’re into seasonal analysis, but it’s never going to be the same. 

Thinking that you’re just going to do this thing one time and you’re going to be done is a fallacy of thinking. This is something that to me is never more true. I’ve been working on decluttering also in other areas for several years now, and I keep thinking in my head that one day I’m just going to get it all done and it’s going to be fine.

I’ve finally come to realize that it’s never going to be done. It’s always going to be a process. It’s always going to take some work and energy. It’s always going to be something that I’m thinking about mindfully. 

Capsule Wardrobe Plan Secret #3: You’re Going to Make Mistakes

That brings me to number three. I want to tell you that when you’re doing this process, this constant ongoing repeating process that you have to do to really create a small meaningful wardrobe, you’re going to make mistakes. This goes back to the fact that you’re not going to do it the first time perfectly. It’s not going to be done forever and you’re going to make some mistakes. 

Your mistakes are going to be things like buying too many things if you’re feeling down or something grabs your attention.

Buying things that you don’t really like, things that are terrible colors for you, things that seemed like a great idea because somebody else was wearing them, and things you thought you were going to try. Or maybe a trend to break out of your style rut but then you realize that that trend was terrible for you just like it was 20 years ago.

I want you to know you’re still going to make mistakes. I’ve been doing this for a long time. I have a wardrobe that I love 99% of the time, and I still make mistakes with my clothes. I still occasionally buy something that doesn’t work out for me. I still sometimes decide to experiment with a color that’s just right outside the edge of my own personal color attributes.

And you know what? I still can’t wear that color even though I really want to. I just want you to know that this is such a normal part of the process because it’s a learning process, it’s a transformative process, it’s ongoing, and you have to adapt to the changes as they come. Sometimes those changes are big and they’re going to contribute to those mistakes.

You have to know that it’s okay to make mistakes. It’s okay to have a failure moment when it comes to your closet when it comes to shopping and decluttering your clothes. It’s okay to make mistakes. I love to think about this phrase “fail forward faster”. I don’t know if this is an actual quote or if I’ve just mangled it somehow. It has to do with the fact that you learn so much from your mistakes.

This is true in your style and true in your wardrobe as well. You learn a lot each time. You make one of these mistakes and it helps you to just get where you’re going even faster. The mistakes are there. If you’ve made them, if you make another one, it’s okay. Just keep going. Learn from your mistake and your closet is going to be better off for it.

Capsule Wardrobe Plan Secret #4: You Have to Change Your Mindset

The last secret about creating a capsule wardrobe is that you really have to change your mindset.

This goes back to that one-and-done process. You think you’re just going to create this capsule wardrobe this one time. It’s going to be great. But if you don’t address all the head trash up there about how you look, how you perceive yourself, how others perceive you, how you want to show up, what minimalism is, what it means to be trendy, and what it means to be fashionable. 

There are so many things that go on inside of your head, if you don’t start addressing those internal thoughts you’re never going to get to that place. There will always be something grabbing you and pulling you back into a bad habit that you’ve had about your style, your clothing, your wardrobe, how you look, how you present yourself, how you feel about yourself, and what you believe about yourself.

It’s always going to pull you back in. So unless you do that hard mental work, it will never change. 

Final Thoughts on a Capsule Wardrobe Plan

I want to encourage you that having a smaller wardrobe is amazing. Mine is definitely a capsule wardrobe. I probably have less than 60 wearable items of clothing right now that I am wearing and that is a full year-round amount. I do have some clothes in storage that I have not quite decluttered yet, but I’m not counting those because they are packed so far away that I’m not even sure where they are right now. 

The point I want to make here is that it’s a wonderful process to really simplify, to walk into your closet and feel like you aren’t overwhelmed. To be able to get dressed in five minutes every day and not have to overly think about the outfit that you’re putting together or the colors you’re putting together, or how you look or any of those things, it’s completely freeing. It’s life-changing. And I want that for you. 

If you want that for you, I want you to know that it’s attainable. You can do it. But you also have to know these secrets that I’m sharing with you because it’s not all roses and flowers and beautiful Pinterest infographics with 30 pieces of clothing that are just going to jump into your closet and be absolutely perfect for you.

That’s not what this is about. This is a process of transformation. It’s a process of learning yourself and learning your style and then taking that and translating it into your closet. 

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With these 4 secrets, you can create the capsule wardrobe plan of your dreams!

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One Comment

  1. Dear Stacey, thank you for your blog, which openly expresses your faith in Jesus Christ as a Christian. This openness is such a rarity! Also, you write about all the seasons of life women experience, and depending on our lifestyles, type of work, whether in the home or outside the home, weather conditions, and our personal sense of style and best colors for us, our unique personality and style shines through.

    I like your take on a capsule wardrobe representing one’s own personal uniform. For me that means dark pants (black, dark grey or deep navy), a long-sleeve blouse/top, and a cardigan, accessorized with elegant-styled earrings, possibly a ring or a bracelet or necklace, and sometimes I may wear a scarf, depending on the temperature. I find shoes, boots, sandals (depending on the weather), simple jewelry and handbags/other accessories (scarves/hat/gloves) and coats help pull the outfits together. At times, I may wear a collared shirt dress with a cardigan, which is also part of my capsule wardrobe style. I really believe I am a dark winter, as I look good in dark jewel tones, have almost black hair, and very fair skin, and hazel eyes. I also can lean into dark autumn, depending on the depth of the color, shade and tone, i.e. especially the color olive.

    And, yet, at home, I will gravitate to the most comfortable of clothes: black leggings, a loose top, and light/warm casual cardigan.

    I live in Ontario, Canada, where there are distinctly four seasons giving us drastically different temperature extremes, from -30 degrees Celsius to 40 degrees Celsius, and weather conditions, i.e. snow, sleet, freezing rain, rain, windy/breezy conditions, and sunshine, so you can imagine the different types of clothes, coats, shoes and boots needed. I dress for all four seasons and their extremes and only use one closet!

    Again, thank you for your honesty and encouraging blog.

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