What is so great about that Capsule Wardrobe Thing anyway?

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The fashion part of the Internet has a new obsession: A concept called capsule wardrobe. What is that about, why is it great, is it maybe not great at all, and should you give it a try? Let’s see.

What the f is a capsule wardrobe?

A “capsule wardrobe” is a collection of a few essential items of clothing that are timeless and can basically be worn forever. Susie Faux, a British boutique owner, was the first one to use this term in the 1970s. After that, fashion designer Donna Karan was the one to make the concept popular with her Seven Easy Pieces in 1984.

Fast forward to 2018: In the past few months and years, the capsule wardrobe thing has been blown up across Pinterest, Instagram, and the rest of the Internet. Minimalism has become popular. People are trying to reduce consumerism, trying to get rid of chaos, de-clutter their desks, apartments, lives – and wardrobes. The concept of owning only a limited number of clothing items seems appealing to many.

Why the concept of a capsule wardrobe might be total bullshit

Why would anyone voluntarily limit themselves when it comes to fashion? At first, as someone who describes fashion as their hobby, this concept was a little hard to grasp for me. Fashion is a way of expression, of being what and who you want to be – and it allows you to reinvent yourself every day. Why would I allow myself to only have a few pieces of clothing? Why would I take the fun out of playing with fabrics, patterns, combinations?
Having only a few clothing items might take the fun out of fashion and getting dressed for some people. Also, if most of the pieces in a capsule wardrobe are cheap or bad quality, they can look really bad in a really short time because they are worn and washed so often. But maybe I’m just looking for excuses.

What is actually great about a capsule wardrobe

The whole concept can actually have a few benefits. Especially people with little time and big ambitions say that they don’t want to spend time or waste energy on planning their outfits. A capsule wardrobe, if done correctly, means that you can basically mix and match all of your pieces which allows some people to get ready faster in the morning. Therefore, they can use their energy on conquering the world. After all, Steve Jobs mastered the capsule wardrobe by wearing the same thing every day – and how often have you seen Mark Zuckerberg wearing something that is not a gray shirt?

In the long run, having a more minimal wardrobe does mean less consumerism, more mindfulness, and it offers the chance to shop more responsible which is a little nicer for our planet and all the people on it.

Is the capsule wardrobe for me?

Ask yourself a few questions: Do you ever feel like you have nothing to wear, even though your closet is full of clothes? Do you automatically reach for the same few pieces? Do you own several versions of a similar item?
If the answers to questions like these are “yes”, then you might want to change something about your closet.

However, I’m not talking about throwing out all of your clothes and keeping only, like, 3 things.

You can start by sorting out your closet. Do you really wear all the things you own? If you are a fashion chameleon and really wear all of your pieces on a regular basis, amazing. However. If you are like me and only wishing you were a fashion chameleon while you, in reality, wear the same items most of the time… Go through all of your clothes and sort out the pieces that you haven’t worn in a year. Sell them, donate them, or store them somewhere if you can’t quite let go of them yet.

Secondly, if you really want to go full capsule wardrobe, start with what you have. Use the basics or the pieces you already have and build your wardrobe around it over time.

Also, change the way you shop. If you wear the same few things more often, it might be worth it to invest in high-quality pieces. Try buying sustainable pieces, look out for nice fabrics and good quality – as long as your wallet is okay with that.

Starting the change in my own closet

As for me, I opened my closet doors last week and took out every (!) single (!) thing (!) that I don’t absolutely love. Now I have a ginormous pile of clothes on my sofa. Great. The plan is to go through all the items, giving away or selling the ones I really don’t want to keep, and store the other ones in a “maybe” box on top of my closet to see if I’m going to miss them.

So I can only recommend spending some time and thought on your clothes. Even if you don’t end up with a “proper” capsule wardrobe, distilling your wardrobe down to things you actually wear might still make you a lot happier.


Have you heard of the capsule wardrobe before? Have you maybe even created your own? Tell me your opinions and experiences!


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