The beginning of a new season is the perfect opportunity to start building a seasonal capsule wardrobe. Learn how to get more outfits out of fewer pieces by creating a visual overview!
1. Work With What You Already Own
Start with opening your closet and pick as many items as you like, that you want to wear during the upcoming season. I chose some T-Shirts, two blouses, a shirt, two long sleeves, some cardigans and blazers, two biker jackets, three pairs of jeans and a denim skirt as well as three pairs of shoes.
For a better overview, I recommend hanging your selected items on a clothing rail. I suggest asking yourself about every piece:
- Does this fit me well?
- Do I feel good when I’m wearing it?
- Is the item in good condition?
- Does it wash well?
If you can answer these questions with a definite yes, keep them in your capsule. If it´s a no or maybe, I would advise not to include these items, as you´ll be wearing every piece often and repeatedly.
2. Get an Overview
When you take a careful look at your clothing rail, you will probably already see a color scheme that evolved naturally from your picks. Is there something that stands out and seems not to fit? Think about how you could make it work! Do you think something is missing, a color, a specific item? Save that thought for later, maybe take some notes.
3. Create As Many Outfits As You Can
For me, the easiest way to create an outfit overview is to take photos of every chosen garment. You can either hang the clothing in front of a white door or wall or lay it flat on a bright floor or bed linen and then snap a picture with your phone. Also, you could search online for similar pieces and screenshot them.
Alternative 1: Closet organizer apps
There are several closet organizer apps out there, which let you upload photos of your garments, define colors, categorize them and also put together outfits. When I tried to build my first capsule, I used the free app Your Closet. It never gave me a complete overview though, so I started making my spreadsheets myself.
Alternative 2: Computer programs
If you’re able to mask objects in Photoshop, Gimp or any other image editing app, you can do that; however, this is not necessary. Put all the photos in a Document (you could use Indesign, Sketch, Powerpoint or any other application that’s capable of placing photographs). Start with putting all your bottom pieces in a row.
Next, take the first top, and copy/paste it on top of all the pants and skirts. If it doesn’t match each one, only keep the outfits that you like. Proceed with every top. Don’t forget to add tops to dresses and jumpsuits too, either under or over them. Now you’ve already got a pretty good overview of your capsule! Last, try adding cardigans, blazers, and jackets.
You will most likely be surprised how many outfits you can create already!
4. Find Out What Is Missing
Now that you‘ve got a solid overview of all your potential outfits, its time to find out if something is missing. This time I was lucky and didn’t need anything, but if you have the feeling that you need an additional color or a particular garment, don’t go and buy it right away. Instead, screenshot the items on your wishlist and include them in your overview. You will immediately see if something makes sense or not. If you decide to buy something new, try finding it secondhand, vintage or ethically produced.
Whatever final number of clothes you end up with doesn’t matter. There is no perfect number; you will find out what feels right for you. For me, it always turns out to be around 25 items.
5. Enjoy Your Seasonal Capsule!
When you start wearing your capsule, you’ll maybe even notice that there are things you don’t wear often, or never. Since a capsule wardrobe is evolving with you, you can always get rid of items or include others if you want to, and with the help of your visual overview, you will find that process much more manageable.
All in all, the mindset of thinking of outfits rather than focusing on single items has changed my shopping behavior completely. It helps me not to buy clothing impulsively, which is a massive step towards a more conscious wardrobe.