After reading Caroline’s, the blogger behind Un-fancy, five steps for creating a capsule wardrobe, I was ready to take on my cluttered closet. I figured, if something only takes five steps, then it can’t be that intimidating. Upon rifling through my endless supply of clothing for what felt like an entire day, I concluded that this was a faulty logic. Step one in her guide to creating a capsule wardrobe was to pare down my closet to 37 items. After tossing nearly double that number into the “keep” pile, I panicked at the fact that I was stuck at only the first step! I looked to Caroline’s site once more for much needed assistance, and came across her capsule wardrobe planner.
The planner is designed to help you with paring down your closet to 37 items for each season’s capsule wardrobe. Users filling out the planner will receive a better understanding of what their closet should look like based on their general lifestyle, personal style, favorite brands, budget, and preferred color scheme. Examining the planner prior to using it, I recognized that it is only effective if you are 100% honest with yourself. I.e. Don’t convince yourself that you wear lots of pieces suited for formal events if in reality you rarely have any use for them. An issue beginner minimalists have is a constant nagging anxiety begging, “What if?” What if I need a cocktail dress or a bright colored printed blazer for insert hypothetical event here? Cross that bridge when you get there.
The planner provides a pie chart so you can estimate how much of your overall lifestyle is dedicated to specific types of activities. I spend my most of my days in and out of meetings and at night, I typically lounge around my apartment and work from my laptop. I always find time to squeeze in a workout but formal wear definitely doesn’t get as much use as my sneakers and yoga pants.
The planner suggests writing out all the words that come to mind when you think of style in general. Go over the list and circle words you’d want to represent your final 37 pieces. My final group of words included: Classic, professional, polished, chic, and effortless.
Make a list of all the brands of which you admire the style or shop at most. I found that I frequent Ann Taylor and Banana Republic most for a lot of my business casual pieces, and Loft, J Crew, and the Gap for my casual pieces.
The planner provides a color scheme diagram to be colored in order to establish the hues of your 37 pieces. Decide what colors will be staples in your wardrobe. My closet is typically saturated with navy and black. Then decide what colors will be supporting hues in your wardrobe. I love neutral tones and white. Pick what colors you’d accent your wardrobe with, particularly with accessories or shoes. I gravitate towards silvers and golds.
Pick your go to pieces
The planner asks you to identify what articles of clothing you use most frequently in your wardrobe. These may be pieces you’d want to dedicate most of the 37 items to. I immediate was able to think of two pairs of jeans that I wear out of the dozen that I own.
Plan your go to outfits
What are typical outfits that you’d wear on an average day? On a super casual day, I’d wear leggings and an oversized sweater with boots or flats. Or jeans, some sort of dolman styled t-shirt and white keds. When my day is packed with meetings, I’d wear a basic skirt, tights depending on the weather, and a tucked in blouse or sweater.
Making a list, checking it twice, and making the buy (if need be)
By this point the planner suggests you should be ready to make a concrete list of what would go into your final 37 piece wardrobe. Go over your items once more and identify what pieces need to be purchased or replaced. Set a budget and spend all of your money on paper before actually committing to the purchase.