The capsule wardrobe

It sounds shallow but the capsule wardrobe changed my life. It was somewhere in the middle of 2018, I had a wonderful full-time position (yes on top of running my business), I had a little money in the bank which was super excited after years living incredibly frugal (luckily I had a budget). For the first time in years I had pocket money and I could invest it how I saw fit – this meant books, clothes and learning more about money. I was following sugarmamma.tv – Cana Campbell has an incredible YouTube channel. She speaks at length about the capsule wardrobe and a minimalist lifestyle which links strongly to my favourite topic; decluttering and organizing. 

I researched the capsule wardrobe after I did a video showing how I decluttered my wardrobe. This video was quite popular, but it left me with a question. After I have decluttered my wardrobe what then? You don’t want to go out and buy willy-nilly because before you know it you will need to declutter the wardrobe again. Now I had a terminology that allowed for further research, I found out that the capsule wardrobe is a wardrobe with few items, however the items are key items, good quality and can mix and match with nearly everything. I was sold!

Dividing your life and reflect it in the capsule wardrobe

Like many parents I have at least two lives, one at work and one at home. The clothes I wear at work are different from my home and weekend clothes. So essentially, I needed to come up with some key pieces for the different areas of my life.

Work was the first focus for my capsule wardrobe, I got a perfectly fitting little black dress (LBD), a black pants – both of which were hard to find (especially the perfect fit part). It took me several trips to the tailor to get the already expensive dress just right. In a similar vain I had to return my black pants because when I wore it, it felt horrible and saggy. Then shop assistant and I realised I picked up a pants with broken elastic - whoops.  

Once you get to the other side of all this work however, it is amazing to have a LBD which besides for the incredibly hot months in Australia I wear every week (more often than not twice a week), the LBD can be dressed up, dressed down, worn with a jacket or without one. 

The capsule wardrobe – cost per wear

Cost per wear is an important (and nerdy metric) when purchasing clothes. You can purchase “cheap” clothes however mostly these clothes don’t last more than a couple of washes. Cost per wear means that the garment is so good it retains its shape and good looks over time meaning that for a few dollars per wear you look great. 

My cost per wear will be a few dollars by the time this dress is worn out.

  • The original purchase was $300,- plus alterations of $100,-
  • If you calculate however $400,- / 40 weeks x 2 years of wear. I have an amazing garment for $5,- a wear.

The same applies to the pants

  • Original purchase was $140,- / 40 x 1 year of wear – Cost per wear = $ 3.5

The same applies to purchasing good shoes and to a certain extend tops, that wash well time-after-time. 

A lot of the power of the capsule wardrobe lies in the fact that long term it is cheaper and you look amazing on a day to day basis.

Creating the capsule wardrobe was super fun

This whole process was super fun, as you can only select a couple of key pieces you think very hard about what looks good on you, what feels comfortable and what shops you like to buy from. This in turn means you almost automatically get a signature style of clothing. 

I have:

After you work on getting your key pieces over a couple seasons you are done, you only have to fill up some items that need replacing each season and soon you start to save money on clothes. The main benefit which I have encountered however is invisible.  

The capsule wardrobe makes me feel relaxed, at peace and reinforces to me that I have enough (see here my article on enoughism). 

So if you are feeling overwhelm as soon as you open your wardrobe – 
give decluttering and then the creation of a capsule wardrobe a go. 

I think your life, your look, your feeling of organisation and sense of style will never be the same again.

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