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South Williamsport, PA
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Capsule Wardrobe Challenge

With all the hubbub of the upcoming holiday season, you may be looking to simplify other aspects of life and reduce the number of decisions you have to make in a day. Editing your closet down to a capsule wardrobe for the season is one way to minimize daily choices and clears up some space

With all the hubbub of the upcoming holiday season, you may be looking to simplify other aspects of life and reduce the number of decisions you have to make in a day. Editing your closet down to a capsule wardrobe for the season is one way to minimize daily choices and clears up some space in your home. What is a capsule wardrobe, you may wonder? A capsule wardrobe is a mini wardrobe made up of versatile pieces that you enjoy wearing, fit your lifestyle, are durable, and preferably machine washable.

A capsule collection is a combination of garments you already own and love to wear, as well as new, quality pieces that you shop for once a season. For those who regularly practice creating capsule wardrobes, the benefits include more time, saving money, and having more energy for the things in life that matter instead of worrying about what to wear each day. You’ll also reduce frivolous shopping, and by narrowing your wardrobe, you may find you’re able to define and understand your personal style preferences more clearly. Plus, who wouldn’t love to have a closet with only pieces you love and are flattering?

To create your capsule wardrobe, start with a clothes purge. Hopefully, at this point, all warm-weather attire has been stored away. For your fall/winter clothes, think about what the next three months have in store: events, the weather, your work and daily activities, and any upcoming travel. Then pick out garments that will fulfill those needs for the next three months that you also like to wear. I have several skirts that I can wear to work, but I don’t actually like wearing skirts. So, I wouldn’t include them in my capsule, even though they would be appropriate for my lifestyle. Also, pick your most flattering pieces. You may love a certain dress or blouse, but if it’s uncomfortable and you avoid full-length mirrors when you wear it, best to leave it out of your capsule rotation.

Also, think about versatility. You’re building a collection similar to a fashion show. You want pieces that can be worn with each other for multiple types of occasions. There are various “golden numbers” floating around out there when it comes to how many pieces a solid capsule wardrobe should total. Some say 30, or 40, no more than 50 for sure. And it’s up to you if that number should include loungewear, workout clothes, pajamas, and any type of uniform you wear consistently. My flight attendant friend doesn’t include her various uniforms in her capsule. Instead, she focuses her collection on non-workwear, including comfy clothes and yoga pants.

Once you’ve pared down your closet, you may have a few holes in your wardrobe. Go ahead and shop to fill those holes. Maybe you need a better-fitting pair of black pants, or you need a new suit for an upcoming wedding. When you’ve completed your shopping, there’s no more shopping for the rest of the season. You have your capsule wardrobe set, and you only wear those pieces for the next three months. During the last two weeks of those three months, start planning your capsule for the next season. Go through spring/summer clothes and pick your favorite and most versatile garments. Pare your wardrobe down to approximately 40 or so garments and shop for any missing pieces.

Something to also consider is the timeframe of a season. We think of fall as September, October, and November, but date-wise, fall DOES go into December. And, as we all know, summer-like weather can extend into October, while most of the spring feels like winter. So don’t feel that you must stick to the calendar’s timeline of a season. You also don’t have to limit yourself to a 3-month season period. Your summer capsule wardrobe could be from June up through September. Or have a two-month season collection for January and February. It’s whatever fits for your schedule and lifestyle. For me, I’ll be looking to create a capsule starting in the new year with a cozy oversized sweater, turtleneck, white button-down, snow boots, and a heavy-duty coat to be included in a winter capsule wardrobe.