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What is a Capsule Wardrobe?

In a world where we have infinite access to products from all over the world, it’s easy to find your wardrobe fuller than ever before. Loading up a shopping cart on the internet takes far less time than filling one at a department store or mall – and the prices are often lower as well!

This means that we have a wider selection, fewer obstacles to shopping, at a better price than we could ever imagine. This is a recipe for fashion overload if we’ve ever seen one.

In response to the trend of mass consumption and convenience, more people are flipping the script and going in the opposite direction. We see minimalism trending all over social media, with influencers showing off how few possessions they have in their homes.

With respect to fashion, the minimal wardrobe isn’t necessarily new. Iterations have appeared throughout the 20th century, but now we’re seeing trends like the capsule wardrobe come back in full force.

What is the capsule wardrobe, and might it be something you want to consider for yourself? In this article, we’re going over the origins of the capsule wardrobe, why it makes sense in the modern era, and how you can get started with your own capsule wardrobe today.

We’ll even apply the principles of the capsule wardrobe to the world of athletic wear and talk about essential items for an active lifestyle. No more waiting - let’s go.

How the Capsule Wardrobe Came to Be

It might sound futuristic, but the term capsule wardrobe actually has roots dating back as early as the 1940s. Yes, your grandparents – even great-grandparents – might have been up on the capsule wardrobe trend way back in the day, so give them some credit where it’s due!

Of course, fashion was a bit different way back when, but herein lies the deeper philosophy of the capsule wardrobe. The point is to assemble a small collection of timeless items that will remain stylish for many years, or even decades, to come.

Just flip through some old photo galleries to see what folks were wearing in the mid-20th century. The looks appear to be a bit outdated, but some pieces, such as overcoats, trousers, tops, and even t-shirts, still stand the test of time.

That explains why it’s sometimes difficult to put a particular photo in a certain place in time. Some outfits just work no matter where you might travel in your time machine.

Fashion trends come and go, but there are certain staples that never go out of style – that’s the whole point of a capsule wardrobe and what inspired its revival in the 70s and 80s.

Modern Capsule Wardrobes and Minimalism

For the modern woman, the advantages of a capsule wardrobe are many, especially for those who live in cities and may be low on closet space (or cash).

Rather than constantly swapping expensive pieces in and out of your closet, you make a point to only purchase items that transcend seasonal trends. The result is a wardrobe that never goes out of style, plus a lot of time and money saved by not following every trend that appears on social media. It’s quite a liberating way to view fashion, and you end up looking great no matter what.

Some might say that a capsule wardrobe is restrictive, but the opposite is actually true. A capsule wardrobe doesn’t mean that you can’t incorporate new trends into your look! The key is to be consistent when selecting staple items and not to let trends dictate your overall style.

If you’re someone who can’t seem to resist overhauling your entire wardrobe every single year, the capsule wardrobe is definitely something to consider. You will save yourself money, time, effort, and quite a few headaches that so many modern women experience from jumping around to different fashion trends every few seasons.

Besides, with a capsule wardrobe to rely on, you can more quickly assemble outfits every day when you wake up instead of trying on various looks in front of the mirror before leaving the house. It allows you to streamline your entire life and makes packing for trips that much easier.

It’s like putting your wardrobe on autopilot while leaving just enough room for personal touches and accessorizing. Why not give it a try for yourself?

Rules to Build Your Own Capsule Wardrobe

Is the capsule wardrobe starting to sound pretty good to you? You can get started now by following a few simple steps.

First of all, do a complete audit of your current wardrobe and take note of the items you return to over and over again. Perhaps it’s that trench coat you’ve had for years or that cashmere sweater that only seems to get softer and comfier with time. Jeans, shoes, tote bags, sunglasses – put them all into your capsule to get started and look for patterns that unify them.

What do these staple items have in common? More than likely, they will have similar colors (usually black, grey, white, or navy blue) and have classic cuts and lines that aren’t out of the ordinary for any occasion.

These are the clothes that you can wear to work, out for brunch, on a date, or for a breezy walk in the park on an autumn afternoon. They’re versatile and reliable, and they work perfectly with your body shape, complexion, and other features unique to you.

You’ll also find that your favorite pieces are made from high-quality fabrics and may even look better as you wear them in. A leather jacket or pair of jeans, for example, can feel like an extension of your own body after long enough, and that’s a good sign!

Once you set aside a few of these essential items, you may realize just how much of your wardrobe goes unused or underappreciated. This may serve as a reminder to start utilizing your clothes more completely, or you might just want to donate all that stuff that only seems to be taking up space.

If you’ve ever done a big closet cleanout, you’ll know how good it feels, especially if it’s been a few years since your last go-round. Bring over some friends to help you out and maybe offer some clothes to them as a little incentive – they’ll probably be thrilled to partake!

By the end of the purge, your wardrobe might start to be looking a little thin. Before you gear up for a round of shopping, remind yourself why you’re doing this in the first place. Remember to only buy clothes that work within the scheme of your capsule - avoid buying things on a whim simply because they’re on sale or on-trend.

Better yet, make a shortlist of items that you absolutely need and set out to find them one at a time rather than just browsing aimlessly through department store sections or the aisles of discount shoe stores.

Shopping intentionally is the key to building a great capsule wardrobe, and it will prevent your closet from overflowing once again.

Ask yourself: What’s really missing from this wardrobe? It could be plain white t-shirts or camisole tops, a pair of slick black boots, a semi-formal black blazer, some quality tailored slacks, or maybe just a pair of casual white Chuck Taylor sneakers. Maybe you need to up your athletic wardrobe—those ratty t-shirts just aren’t cutting it anymore. 

This isn’t an excuse to go on a mad shopping spree, but a chance to start fresh with clothes and accessories that you will truly make maximum use of for years to come.

Capsule Wardrobe for Athletic Wear

Getting into the minimal lifestyle is a fun and interesting journey, and it’s not as easy as it looks on social media! You’ll want to hold on to some of those items deep in your closet, despite knowing that you don’t actually wear them that often (or at all).

A great way to practice the capsule approach is with your activewear wardrobe, which is likely a ragtag arrangement of various gym clothes you’ve accumulated over the years. A tank top here, some leggings there – it probably lacks cohesion, and nothing seems to match right.

Organize your entire activewear wardrobe and see what you really want to keep, then say goodbye to all that unnecessary stuff. From there, only purchase items made from exceptional materials with top-quality construction.

This way, you’ll be more organized, better coordinated (with colors, fits, and shapes), and feel way more confident when you step into the gym or studio.

Let Us Curate Your Upcoming Outfits

If you’re short on time and need a hand with your activewear capsule wardrobe, we are happy to help you get started. Our monthly subscription box program is perfect for people like you, and it actually ends up saving you money in the long run.

Simply fill out a quiz with your preferences, answer some quick questions, and we send you an amazing outfit every month that you definitely want to include in your capsule. If it misses the mark, just send it back, and we’ll try again!

The capsule wardrobe is an amazing way to organize your clothes, so help us get you on the right track with quality athletic wear shipped direct each month.



 What Is A Capsule Wardrobe? | The Good Trade

The Perks of an All-Neutral Wardrobe | HuffPost 

Why cashmere is so expensive and how it's made | Business Insider

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