The Answer to Closet Organization: MINI Capsule Wardrobes!
Updated: Mar 14
Whether you have 20 items or 100 items in your wardrobe, mini capsule wardrobes could provide a solution to organizing your clothes! It might even identify the "extras" taking up precious space in your closet (and consequently in your life) that you are ready to declutter.
THE PROBLEM with Closet Organization:
Most of us organize our clothes by type: shirts with shirts, pants with pants. You get it. My closet is generally organized this way on a regular basis. Even with less clothes to sort through now in 2022 vs. 2019, I still fight decision fatigue of piecing together an outfit for the day.
Nothing to wear? Nothing to pair? Can't find the "right" clothes to wear for the day's tasks and events? Find one thing but nothing to match it? Too many items to sift through? Too much time deciding what to wear? Too many choices?
Yes, I have been there (well, before minimalism).
Granted, getting dressed nowadays is easier than before I decluttered my closet (over and over until I nailed down the fabrics, fits, and feels I like). However, I still have more clothes that do not mix and match in my closet to qualify as a minimalist capsule wardrobe. (If you'd like to watch the evolution of closet decluttering for some motivation, click this playlist.)
One of my favorite decluttering projects over the last few years as a minimalist has been creating a minimalist wardrobe. I call it a minimalist wardrobe because it's considerably less than before many, many (did I say many?) rounds of decluttering and organization.
Removing the burden of sifting through my clothes each day to find something to wear - and something to pair the selected items with - has relieved stress, saved money, and saved time.
The SOLUTION: Mini Capsule Wardrobes
EVEN WITH LESS CLOTHES, I still faced the same problem: decision fatigue about what to wear and what to pair. I built "mini capsule wardrobes" from the clothes I already owned!
A capsule wardrobe is simply a small collection of items that can be worn together. Many times, the color palette is neutral so all pieces will coordinate. There is not a magic number you can tag to qualify a capsule wardrobe.
My wardrobe has colorful items, and maybe 50 or so pieces. Maybe even more. Comprehensively, it's not a capsule wardrobe. I've learned over the last few years to narrow down to a color palette that complements my skin color plus colors I love wearing. I've expanded with more and more pieces I love while simultaneously decluttering items out of the wardrobe that didn't fit my lifestyle, fabrics, fits, or feels any longer.
Then, I looked at my closet differently. I picked one anchor item and built a mini capsule around it. Then, I did it a second time with another anchor item. I ended up with 11 favorite items and assembled 36 outfits. That left about 40ish pieces hanging in my closet that are not getting my attention this season. I love those pieces and will wear them with the change of seasons... probably. If I do not, then they will be decluttered!
You probably have "mini capsule wardrobes" in your closet already. Think about four or five items that you always pair with your black pants. Toss in one pair of shoes and one outerwear item (blazer, cardigan, etc.) and you have a mini capsule wardrobe!
Why have mini capsule wardrobes?
Capsule wardrobes save you time getting dressed... and time shopping! By identifying the style and items you want to include in your capsule wardrobe, you can get dressed quicker than managing a closet or wardrobe with too many pieces. Decision making is faster and easier. Capsule wardrobes also save you time shopping because you know exactly the fabric and fit for the item you seek.
Now, scale that down EVEN MORE and you have a mini capsule wardrobe within your wardrobe!
You could have a mini capsule wardrobe for work, for date night, for days out with the kids at sports or parks, etc. You create mini capsule wardrobes to fit your life!
Just a side note: you deserve to feel happy when you get dressed for the day. If the fabric or fit of an item does not make you happy, it may be time to let it go to someone else.
If you are ready to declutter some items, consider reading: 6 Steps to Declutter Your Closet and Curate a Closet You Love.
In my opinion, The Simplicity Habit has an excellent definition of capsule wardrobes:
The term ‘capsule wardrobe‘ was created by Susie Faux, who owned a London boutique named “Wardrobe” in the 1970s. She defined a capsule wardrobe as a collection of a few essential items of clothing that don’t go out of style that can be enhanced with seasonal pieces.
The concept became popular in American culture in the mid 1980’s thanks to Donna Karan who created an influential capsule collection of interchangeable pieces.
A capsule wardrobe has come to mean a collection of clothes that can be worn interchangeably to maximize the number of outfits that can made from them.
The idea is to have an appropriate outfit for just about anything without having excess. This is done by having staple pieces and coordinating colors.
Why Mini Capsule Wardrobes Work for My Lifestyle
Creating mini capsule wardrobes within my minimalist closet helped me quickly realize I wear the same 11 items over and over. I paired them together and organize them together in my closet to make getting dressed even easier!
In this video, I built two mini capsule wardrobes and combed through my closet. Choosing TWO anchor pieces led to choosing nine additional items to pair and layer. These 11 items combo to make 36 outfits for me this winter!
Want to try this assembling a Mini Capsule Wardrobe?
Choose one or two anchor pieces. An anchor item in your closet can be anything you adore wearing (a sweater, snazzy boots, favorite pants, a shirt). Here are my two mini capsules:
The Answer to Closet Organization: MINI Capsule Wardrobes!
Once you've assembled a few mini capsule wardrobes and organized them together in your closet, you will see the remainder of items that were not selected. I was surprised to have SEVEN blue shirts leftover that didn't make into my minis. They may be decluttered after another season! To be determined!
Here's how my two mini capsules ended up. Note that I've had a few of these items for years and the color choices may be different.
Grey cardigan: https://amzn.to/3Ls7aco
Cream long sleeve shirt: https://amzn.to/3HGJhLW
Flowery blouse: https://amzn.to/3rHe4CC
Cream blouse: https://amzn.to/366Ieab
Grey leggings: https://go.magik.ly/ml/1f7sm/
Boots: https://go.magik.ly/ml/1f7sh/ (the grey ones are sold out but they still have that gorgeous Cognac color and the pretty Taupe color)
White cardigan: https://go.magik.ly/ml/1f7sb/ (mine is not for sale anymore, this one is similar)
Green blouse: https://amzn.to/3HGHTc0
Lavender tank: https://amzn.to/3GLWGkh
Black shirt: https://amzn.to/3HI6gpT
Black leggings: https://amzn.to/3uhl7Uf
Tan Everlanes: https://go.magik.ly/ml/1f7tk/
11 Pieces = 36 Outfits!
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