The Capsule Wardrobe

So what exactly IS a capsule wardrobe anyway?

The struggle can be so real, but it doesn't need to be this way! The idea of a capsule wardrobe is to pare down your items so that you only have 15-25 basic items to work with. These must be able to mix and match with each other to create different looks and layers. From there you add the accessories, purses, footwear and jewelry you need to create dozens of unique looks.

This trendy idea is super simple and effective at helping you minimize your belongings and make the most of what you have in your closet. I don't know about you, but I struggle every day to shove hangers aside to really be able to see what I have hanging in my closet, and don't even mention the stuffed-full, over-flowing drawers. And that whole body workout fighting with hangers and handles, only to discover I don't really have anything that goes with my new shorts!

Sounds too good to be true? Let me walk you through the how-to of it all.

  • The key is that the pieces MUST be able to mix and match with each other. To do this you want to look for neutrals, but they don't have to be boring! Make sure you are incorporating different textures, fabrics and silhouettes.
  • Add bold colours and patterns in your accessories: belts, scarves, headbands, etc. This is where you can shine and really show you personality. And because these items are so unique and fun they will be the star of the show, meaning you can pretty much wear the exact same outfit, and just mix up the accessories, and no one is going to notice. Slam dunk!
  • Look inward - the idea here is NOT to go out and buy new items every season. Even if you are buying second-hand and follow the sustainable fashion movement, you can still ring up a hefty bill if you are replacing your entire wardrobe. I suggest going through your closet in spring and fall and eliminating what doesn't work (see my blog post Spring Clean Your Wardrobe for inspiration and step by step on how to accomplish this easily and stress-free). From there you can find items that you already have to start the process and use your existing favourite pieces as the foundation for your capsule wardrobe.
  • Think of it as a personal uniform. Bottom, top, (or dress), outer layer, shoes, purse, accessories. But the fun part if you get to choose every day how you switch your uniform up. This takes all of the guess work out of it and sets your morning up for success!
  • Ignore the trends. Trendy items don't usually mix and match well, which is how we end up with really full closets full of items we love but don't wear. If you do want to see what's hot for 2021 you can refer to our 2021 Spring/Summer Fashion Guide, but don't let the trends take over the process.
  • Choose a colour scheme rooted in what you love, what looks good on you, and what goes together. Having common, or complementary colours will help you curate your personal style in a ton of different ways.
  • Make sure you have "staple" pieces which are timeless and versatile.

So what items do I need for a capsule wardrobe? Up here in Canada in the spring and even the summer the weather can be mischievous and change in an instant. "If you don't like the weather in (fill in your town name), just wait 5 minutes". We've all heard this one. So the key is to focus on layering so you are ready for anything.

Ideal items for a spring/summer capsule wardrobe in Canada include:

2x basic t-shirts

2x tank tops

1x long sleeved top

1x denim jacket

1x cardigan 

1x lightweight sweater

1x romper

1x sundress

1x for structured dress

1x jeans

1x leggings

1x shorts

1x capris

1x skirt

1x non-denim pant

1x every day shoe

1x casual sandal

1x dressier sandal

1x rain boots

1x lightweight jacket


Use this list as a guide and tailor it to your own style. By adding in, or taking out, a few items here and there you will end up with 20-25 items that can be mixed and matched together to get you through both spring and summer in style. Voila. 


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