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Create a capsule closet

By Jean Donaldson

The idea of purchasing quality items that you truly love and will wear is not a new or revolutionary idea, but marketing it as a trend on social media is. A capsule closet, or a small collection of clothes that are essential and combinable to create several different looks contradicts the materialistic culture created by retail stores today. Pins on Pinterest and ads on Facebook both promote the movement towards minimalism when it comes to the closet, but many don’t know where to start.

According to Forbes, the average American family spends $1,700 on clothing annually, and people have about 20 items in their closets that they do not wear but are not willing to part with.

The capsule closet looks to change that. Instead of filling wardrobes with items purchased because they were a good deal or because we liked it but didn’t love it, you can save space and money by condensing it down to a small collection of clothing.

To make a capsule wardrobe work, getting rid of nonessential items from your closet is a must. To be brutally honest with yourself about what you actually wear, like and need from your closet may take a couple of runs through, but once you weed out those pieces, it’s possible to see how the capsule closet works. As a bonus, you can give the clothes that you decide to remove to charity or sell them to help you feel a bit better about parting ways with them.

After getting rid of what you are able to live without, you need to assess what you do have. There are certain staple items that every closet needs such as a little black dress, a pair of khaki pants, black shoes, etc. These items ensure that you will be able to combine all of the clothes in a cohesive way. If you have a couple of beautiful sleeveless shirts, but no cardigan, those shirts will be useless when the weather cools down, and that’s what a capsule closet seeks to avoid – clothes that aren’t versatile or ones you don’t love need to go.

If you’re missing some of those staple items, then look for them. Try to find them in styles that you love so that you will actually look forward to putting that cardigan over your tank tops. Also, try to find them in good quality. The goal of a capsule closet is investment pieces, so get items that will be durable.

And as Sandra Bullock said in ‘The Blind Side,’ “If you don’t love it in the store, you won’t wear it.” Remember all those items you just tossed? It was likely because you bought pieces you didn’t truly love. Remind yourself to step away from the consumer culture. Don’t just buy because it is cheap or kind-of your style. If you don’t fall in love, you likely will be wasting some money.

Once you have eliminated excess and filled in gaps, it’s important to realize that you have more than it may first appear. Although there are less items in the closet, there are still endless possibilities because you can mix-and-match, as well as layer your pieces with one another. If you’re struggling to see the possibilities, there are apps that may help you visualize how to pair outfits together.

Your wardrobe doesn’t have to be expansive for you to have style – less can truly be more. Minimize your closet, and maximize your style by gearing towards a capsule closet. A true capsule wardrobe is tiny, but even small steps towards one can make your life easier when it comes to shopping, styling, and in choosing what to invest.

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