The onset of 2016 brought with it a flurry of inquiries from new and established clients about whether a capsule wardrobe could be the best wardrobe solution for them. The concept was created by London boutique owner Susie Faux in the 1970’s. In 2008, when the economy tanked, interest in this strategy for dressing swelled. But, this most recent round of interest wasn't lining up with economic trends or a runaway trend.
The more I thought about it and spoke with clients, the more I understood where all the interest was coming from as we ushered in a new year. My clients are busy, ambitious, and smart women. Here's what they were wondering:
Will this help me spend wisely while simultaneously hone in on my unique personal style?
Before diving into some guidelines for who a capsule wardrobe is the best solution for, and who may want to think twice, here’s a very brief description of what a capsule wardrobe is in case you’re not sure:
A capsule is made up of 37 pieces of clothing from the following categories: tops, bottoms, dresses, shoes, and outerwear. Accessories, cocktail attire, undergarments, athletic wear, and pajamas are typically not included in the original 37 items as these tend to be less seasonally based. All 37 pieces should work together, mixing and matching to create a tightly edited wardrobe of pieces you love to wear. There’s no room for “I only wore it once” in a capsule wardrobe. A capsule typically changes every three to four month depending on the weather patterns where you live.
Here are a few guidelines to help you decipher whether or not a capsule wardrobe is something you should pursue:
A capsule wardrobe could be a good fit for you if...
You enjoy buying high-quality pieces, and you currently have items in your closet you’ve had for more than two years that you still wear regularly and enjoy.
You gain energy and confidence from a great outfit, but you don’t enjoy shopping and put it off until you honestly have nothing to wear.
You love the idea of having a signature look. If having consistency in your style gives you a sense of freedom instead of feeling constricted, a capsule wardrobe could be just right for you.
A capsule wardrobe is probably not a good fit for you if...
You enjoy shopping. You're okay with your love of shopping; it doesn't negatively impact your lifestyle, and it's not something you are looking to give up.
Opening your closet and seeing lots of options gives you a sense of calm, not overwhelm.
Your lifestyle or career requires you to have a wide range of outfits on hand for everything from business casual, more formal business occasions (think presentations to board members or public speaking engagements), and black tie events.
Alternatively, if you are not comfortable repeating outfits regularly (bi-weekly or monthly), this is not the right wardrobe solution for you.
Looking to get some wardrobe clarity and figure out what wardrobe solution is best for you?
Check out my Closet Analysis service here or request a complimentary phone consultation here.