What’s a capsule wardrobe?
I started wearing a capsule wardrobe in early 2015, and one of the most common questions I get about it is, “What’s a capsule wardrobe?” Because my answer (“It’s how a guy dresses all the time”) is insufficient for some, I thought I’d let someone else describe it. Welcome Cladwell.
Cladwell—started by three gents named Blake, Tim and Chris–is a new fashion service specializing in capsule wardrobes. These wardrobes, as they describe them, are built on a small number of quality pieces meant to be worn seasonally (or longer, depending on your preference). By intentionally restricting the number of garments, you simplify your wardrobe. But by rotating your capsules 3-4 times per year, you keep from getting bored.
According Cladwell, in 1930 the average woman had 36 items in her closet. Today she has 120. This increase is primarily due to one factor: The recent availability of really cheap clothes in the US. And while this cheap clothing boon has been exciting for many, there are some unfortunate side-effects to the trend, including clutter, child labor, pollution, and a TON of clothing waste.
I was personally attracted to the idea of a capsule wardrobe because I wanted to simplify my morning routine. I was tired of standing in front of my closet every morning trying to decide what to wear. I also recognized that I wore certain things over and over, and left the rest (more than half my closet) untouched. So I reduced my clothes down to about 35 items and never looked back.
Based on my experience, I agree with Cladwell’s listed benefits for keeping a capsule wardrobe: It reduces excess consumerism, keeps clothing out of landfills, helps you avoid trends and settle into a personal style, and simplifies your routine.
Because this isn’t a fashion blog per se, I won’t go into more details about my wardrobe now. But if you’re interested in starting a capsule, here are some excellent places to start:
- Unfancy: I used her downloadable capsule wardrobe planner to get started with my first capsule
- Be More With Less: 333 Project
The capsule wardrobe trend is one the rise, and garnering more press and attention with each new week. Expect to keep hearing more about it here, including more discussion about why it’s connecting with people.