The Capsule Wardrobe Revisited

With the arrival of a new season usually came a new capsule wardrobe for me. For the past couple of seasons, I really stuck to the original capsule wardrobe idea of a certain amount of pieces divided into different subsections. As super academically this may sound, it was actually very easy and also very enjoyable to do. I quite enjoyed to just spent an afternoon on the the most personal clothing shop in the world: my own closet. I really liked to put all my floral blouses and velvet pants together, try them all on, find new combinations, donate stuff I hadn’t worn in a really long time to charity and, finally, create a seasonal wardrobe that really made me excited to start a new season. This Autumn, I’m revisiting the original capsule wardrobe. What elements do I still use and actually find really helpful and beneficial? And what aspects did I completely abandon?

Let’s start with looking back on what the original capsule wardrobe entails. My initial obsession with the capsule wardrobe was triggered by my friend Yonna, who sent me a YouTube video of The Anna Edit. The video explains the capsule wardrobe idea perfectly: 37 items that make up your entire seasonal wardrobe. This includes jeans, tops, sweaters, coats, dresses and shoes, but excludes formal wear, work wear and sportswear, for example. The main idea behind the capsule wardrobe is to make more of the wardrobe you already own, instead of buying more and more pieces. By making a schematic overview of the items that you already own, you can get a much better overview of your style, your favorite pieces and new combinations you can make. Although I still love the idea of a very classic capsule wardrobe with a certain amount of pieces per season, I’ve noticed that I don’t really use the principle in such a strict and precise manner.

Instead, I’m now using a much more relaxed version of the capsule wardrobe. I still include certain elements of the capsule wardrobe, but I feel like I’m much more loose with the principle. For starters, I don’t tend to stick to a certain amount of items anymore, just because I feel like it’s a bit too restricting. I still believe that there’s only a certain amount of clothes that you really need and that you shouldn’t buy items just for the buying or for only one occasion, because it’s just very wasteful. However, I still really love fashion and I don’t want a number to restrict me from buying items that I’ve simply just fallen in love with.

Something that I did take from the capsule wardrobe, is more a way of thinking then a way of organizing. Now when I take a look at my wardrobe, I have a much better idea of the items that I really get a lot of wear out of, and items that I really truly love and probably will love for many seasons to come. This also helps me when I’m shopping for new clothes, because now I really know what items I do wear and which I simply don’t, no matter how cool I think they are. For example, I’ve learned that I really love loose-fitted floral blouses, anything velvet, corduroy jackets and bags, black skinny jeans, and ankle boots. This knowledge really helps we when I’m in a store deciding whether or not to actually purchase a new item, because I know that I will get enough wear out of it.

So it’s okay to let go of fashion principles, such as the capsule wardrobe, it really is. Instead, try and stick to your own principles and mindful of them when shopping and creating a wardrobe that you love and that excites you. Because in the end, the clothes you wear should excite you, make you happy and make you feel confident, which is really all that should matter.


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