as the freshness of spring awakens and energizes us, many are called to rituals of spring cleaning— shaking off the sleepiness of winter and reinvigorating our wardrobes with new life as the weather begins to get warmer.
one of our favourite ways to refresh and reset is to take stock of our capsule wardrobes— the key core collection that makes up our “uniform”, our go-to items that make us feel like our best selves.
maybe you’ve heard the phrase ‘capsule wardrobe’, but you’re not sure what it is exactly— or how to start creating one. never fear, our in-house virtual stylist is here to help!
VS: the goal is not to ditch your current selection or start completely anew, but rather to evaluate what you have, how it speaks to your story, and find ways to make a little go a long way! You don't have to start over— you can shop your own closet, work with what you have, and go from there.
everything you need to know to get started can be broken down into three categories: condense, curate, and connect.
THE THREE C’S OF A CAPSULE WARDROBE
- turn all of your hangers around, all consistently one direction. each time you wear a piece, flip the hanger around, so that it is hanging in the opposite direction. at the end of the month, assess which pieces (excluding event/formal wear) have been left unturned. go through them and ask yourself a few questions about each piece:
- when was the last time i wore this?
- do you see yourself wearing this in the near future?
- is this item broken, torn, or damaged? can it be fixed? if the answer is no, consider ‘upcycling’ it to reintegrate back into your wardrobe.
- is this item part of a ‘trend’ you no longer align with?
once you’ve answered these questions, the decision to keep or let go will feel a lot easier.
curating your wardrobe means to build a cohesive collection of staple items that work together in different combinations, linked by colour family or style.
VS: some good questions to ask yourself: “is this a versatile item— can i style this with more than three pieces? how many ‘looks’ can i create with this?”
VS: to get started, it helps to define your style: you don’t have to pick just one, but having an idea of your style influences helps you choose what to keep.
Some styles to get you started: eclectic, edgy, sporty, comfortable, scandi-style, polished, feminine— the list goes on!
- Colour schemes, patterns, and textures
curating your capsule collection entails a certain level of understanding of what colours, patterns, and textures work for you— and which you could live without. ask yourself “which colors make my eyes pop? which colors make me feel happy when i wear them?”. a good place to start is choosing five of your favorite color items to see if there is any consistency with the undertones, i.e. neutral, jewel-tone, pastel, rustic, vibrant, muted, earthy, etc.
VS: not everyone feels comfortable wearing certain colours. for example, i have always found that pastel colours tend to wash me out— and even though there is nothing I love more than the look of a petal pink, everytime i attempt to wear it, it just doesn’t feel like me!”
here’s a tip: if you're not sure, visit your nearest home improvement store and collect a few paint chips with varying undertones. hold them up to your skin to see which sing and which are just ‘okay’.
- Staples: quality over quantity
though not everyone’s staples will look exactly the same, there are a few core pieces that many of us use on a daily basis:
- Blue jeans
- Black blazer/solid color
- White t-shirt
- Flattering Dress pants
- Leather (or vegan leather!) jacket
- White dress shirt
- Solid, high-quality long sleeve- mock neck, turtleneck, scoop neck, etc…
- Trench coat
- Printed dress or dress shirt— try choosing something timeless, something that you can’t imagine getting tired of wearing.
- Slip dress
the key to a capsule wardrobe is that it should be built around items you love to wear and rewear. consider the difference between pieces you *like* versus pieces you *like wearing*— what are the items that make you feel like your best self?
- tips for finding the pieces you most resonate with:
- Shop with intention: spur-of-the-moment purchases often are the ones most likely to get returned or donated, so spend time thinking about what items you would love to add to your wardrobe and what value they’d add to your collection.
- follow your heart: what memories are attached to different items in your closet? that jacket you picked up that rainy sunday, thrifting with a friend, the purse you inherited from an older sister, the dress you wear whenever you need a boost of confidence— identify the pieces you can’t bear to part with, and imagine new ways to enjoy them.
of course, no outfit is complete without some jewelry— and you can do a lot with a capsule collection!
VS: for tarnished or damaged costume jewelry, try getting creative— I’ve turned a pair of broken (and particularly flashy) earrings into buttons for a jacket, and a broken necklace pendant into a lovely broach!
- Honour your roots: which pieces have you inherited? which pieces do you wear most often? these are your staples, the non-negotiable keepsakes that you can integrate into your daily wear, or save for special occasions.
if a piece is broken, tarnished or damaged, explore your options for repair or replacement of missing parts. if that isn’t possible, pawning the item for the material, or having it altered in a way that you will be able to get more use from.
- you want to keep the essential stackers that can be worn in a multitude of ways, the sentimental items, and a couple of options for special occasions— but don’t feel pressured to purchase items you don’t necessarily need or want. some people love an artful ear stack, and some prefer to wear rings so they can see their jewelry every day; some love wearing necklaces, but can’t bear to wear bracelets, others love it all— there’s no right or wrong, there’s only what is preferable, enjoyable, and doable *for you*.
- the sentimental items are often the ones we reach for first, the ones we could never part with. jewelry is a magically intimate form of self-expression, a way to tell your story and remember your most cherished memories. more than passing trends, aim to only purchase items that strike a chord in your heart, that make you feel wonderful, or that add a certain irreplaceable something to your outfit— anything else is unlikely to get much use.