Okay, let’s get down to the basics. Wardrobe basics that is. These are clothing items within a wardrobe that never go out of style. When creating a capsule wardrobe basics are a MUST.  Aiming for pieces that are versatile, neutral and pair well with pretty much everything is key. Style, fit, and fabric are also key. I know basics within every wardrobe will look different, but here I share with you my list of pieces I “must have” within my wardrobe. Once you have your basics down you can then add more of your individual style into the mix. I like to add pops of color, bright nail polish, accessories, and trendy pieces I know I will change from season to season. So, really sit down and plan out your basics. Pinterest is a great place for this. You’ll find great visuals and you can create a board to save the things you’re drawn to. This will come in handy when you start shopping.  Also, when buying basic keep in mind you want these items to last as long as possible. I aim to keep these pieces for years to come. So, remember quality over quantity. Here is a great article with some great tips on buying clothing that lasts. Below is my list of basics “must-haves”. These are what I refer to as the foundation of my wardrobe. They are essential. Once I lay the foundation it’s easy for me to build and rebuild my wardrobe with seasonal pieces. 

1. Skinny Jeans
I love me a pair of skinny jeans! I can wear these no matter what the season is. I like to have a pair of black, ripped black, dark wash, dark ripped wash, light wash, light ripped wash, white, and ripped white. 8 pair of jeans?? Yes, it a must in my wardrobe!

2. Soft Shorts
multicolor, black

3. Denim Shorts
dark wash, light wash, black

4. Little Black Dress
Duh, right? I like to have 3. A short sleeve, a sleeveless, and a long sleeve

5. Silk Button-Down Blouse
black and white

6. Plain T- Shirt
black, white, and grey

7. Long Sleeve Tee
black and striped

8. Leather Jacket
Black and Brown

9. Turtle Neck Sweater
Black and white

10. Denim Button-Up

11. Pencil skirt
Black and black and white striped 

12. Blazer
black, white

13. Striped Top
Black and white stripes

14. Tank Top
black, white, grey

15. Cardigan
Waterfall and button up

16. Sweater
Black, grey, and white

17. Camisole 
Off-white and black

18. Classic Trench Coat.

19. Long Peacoat
black and white

20. Denim Jacket

 

Shoe Basics

1. Black Ankle Boot

2. pointed Flats

3. Oxfords 

4. Tennis Shoe

5. Versatile Sandals

So, that’s my basics list! I hope this was helpful for you in some way!

 

 

What is a Uniform?

A uniform? As in wearing the exact same thing every day? Nooooo, not like that at all! Well, unless you want to. A uniform is what you make of it. There is no right or wrong or one size fits all. It’s your personal uniform. You’ve probably been wearing one for years and didn’t realize it. It’s your go-to outfit formula. For me, it’s a pair of skinny jeans and a button-down blouse. I love me some skinny jeans and a cute blouse! I love the fit, the feel, the fact that I can dress this uniform up or down, and that I can easily switch it from one occasion to the next. For example, I can wear it at the park while hanging out with my kids and then heads to a nice dinner by grabbing a blazer and a swapping my shoes for a pair of heels or boots. Also, whenever I’m having a day where I just don’t feel like getting dressed or I just don’t feel much like putting an outfit together, a button-down blouse and a pair of skinny jeans are my go-to. So, a uniform is your go-to that you can always fall back on. You feel cute, comfortable, and confident in these pieces. 

How to Create a Uniform

Like I said, you probably already have one and just haven’t realized it. A good place to start is by taking note of your lifestyle and asking yourself a few questions:

1. What do I gravitate towards when shopping or picking out an outfit in my closet? A casual dress? T-shirt and jeans? Blouse and trousers? Whatever you naturally gravitate towards is most likely your go-to uniform.

2. What tops am I most drawn to? T-shirts?  Blouse? Bright colors? Neutrals? Loose fit? hugging?

3. What Bottoms do I like most? Skinny jeans? Boot cut? Trousers? Loose fit? hugging?

4. What’s my favorite kind of shoe? I personally love oxfords and flats equally. But, you may like, tennis shoes? Heels? Wedges?

5. What do I reach for first if I need outerwear? A sweater? A cardigan? A blazer?

I like for my uniform to be pretty general. That way it’s easy to switch it up from season to season AND from one occasion to the next.  So keep in mind uniforms change! Your uniform will not look exactly the same for every season.  For me, my skinny jeans pretty much go with me through every season but I will swap them out for a pair of shorts in the Spring and Summer. I go from skinny jeans and a blouse to shorts and a blouse. 

Uniform or No Uniform?

Let me start by saying, “It ain’t for everyone!” This may not be your thing. And, that’s totally okay. I love uniforms because they are simple (And, I LOVE simple), time-saving, and energy-saving (mentally). However, I know to others they can feel limiting, uncreative, and boring. Even if you want to create a capsule wardrobe you don’t HAVE to create a uniform. But, at least now you know if you ever want to how to go about doing so. Like I said above, there is no right or wrong or one size fit all to this. The point of a uniform is to always have something to fall back on. It helps to minimize stress on those days you just don’t know what to wear or just don’t feel much like putting any effort into an outfit. If creating a uniform makes you feel stressed, less creative, or anything negative then do whatever works best for you.

 But, if you do decide to give it a try, I’d love to hear how it worked or is working for you! 

The What

To understand what a capsule wardrobe is I think we should first learn where and how the concept came about in the first place. “Capsule wardrobe” is a term coined by Susie Faux, the owner of a London boutique called “Wardrobe” in the 1970s. Faux described a capsule wardrobe as a collection of a few essential items of clothing that don’t go out of fashion, which can then be augmented with seasonal pieces.

With the career woman specifically in mind, in 1980, Faux pioneered the term and provided a more detailed look into the concept in her book, “Wardrobe: Develop Your Style & Confidence. The idea was then popularised by designer Donna Karan in 1985 when she released a capsule collection called, “Seven Easy Pieces”. 

The term has since come to refer to a collection of clothing that is composed mostly of interchangeable items to maximize the number of outfits that can be created. The aim is to be able to create an outfit suitable for any occasion without owning excessive items of clothing. This is usually achieved by buying what are considered to be “key” “staple” “essential” or “basic” items. 

The Why

Capsule wardrobes just make life easier! I aim to make things as simple and uncomplicated as possible. chronic stress and anxiety have been a part of my life since I was a child. I now structure my life in a manner that creates calm by reducing stress, overwhelm, and decision fatigue as much as possible. It’s why I’m a minimalist. Minimalism is how I manage my mental health. It creates calm, peace, and organization in my life and I LOVE it. Here I’m going to give you my top 5 reasons why I choose a lifestyle of capsule wardrobes.

  1. Capsule wardrobes push me to be more intentional, present, and mindful
    I am more intentional with how I spend money, and the pieces I bring into my home and put on my body. They push me to be more present because I shop by choosing pieces that fit my body and lifestyle right now. I don’t shop for “one day” or “maybe”. This has helped me become intentional about buying clothing I will actually wear, and to carefully consider whether I truly need each piece before bringing it into my closet. I am also more intentional about choosing to shop from brands that practice mindful manufacturing, fair labor rights, natural materials, and lasting garments. This pushes me to be mindful about staying away from fast fashion
  2. Saves time
    Ain’t nobody got time to be wasting on trying to figure out what to wear *eye roll*. I mean really, who has time for that? Because my closet is filled with pieces I LOVE, I already know everything I own looks and feel good on me. I don’t waste time and energy going through and/or trying on pieces I don’t love, don’t fit, or know damn well don’t look or feel good on me.
  3. My closet is organized and neat
    I love my organized closet! It’s my favorite. I love finding what I’m looking for with ease and putting away clean clothes easier and faster. Plus, just looking at my closet all organized makes me happy!
  4. Less stress
    This should have actually been number one. This is really my number one reason why I choose simple living in the first place. Capsule wardrobes help me relax. They create calm and peace in my life. Laundry day is much more manageable (thank you, Lord!) and I’m able to focus my attention and decision-making on more important things.
  5. Confidence Booster
    Before adding a piece to my wardrobe I ask myself what I call the three C’s, Do I feel, cute, comfortable and confident in this? I must say yes to all three. If I am unable to say yes to all three, I don’t buy it. By doing this I create a wardrobe I LOVE and fill absolutely confident in. A capsule wardrobe means I fill this way every day, even if I’m just rocking my uniform.

51D15B7A-F310-4A48-AF21-E648A069A3E9The How

Before we go any further, I feel the need to emphasize that there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all capsule wardrobe and there certainly are no set of rules to this. It is what you make it. YOU set your closet rules. YOU define your enough. And, you create what works best for YOU. I suggest writing down your “why” in as much detail as you can. This will help with setting your intention and sticking with it. Okay, so let’s get started.

  1. Go through your calendar and pick a day to purge and organize your wardrobe. WRITE IT DOWN. You really want to PLAN for this. Do you need hangers? Boxes for donating? A sitter or friend for the kids so you can focus?
  2. Take all your clothes out and put them in one big pile. Yup, EVERYTHING. Then look at everything you have. Is it a lot? Do you have a lot of items you’ve never even worn? Do you have a lot of items you haven’t worn in years? Take it all in.
  3. Divide your clothes into 4 piles. 
    1. Love it: Do You feel cute, comfortable, and confident? It fits well? yes, girl, keep that!
    2. Maybe: You kinda like it, but something is off about it. Don’t worry you’ll come back to it.
    3. Donate: You are over it! It doesn’t fit and it’s not even your style anymore. NEXT!
    4. Trash: You see holes? It’s in poor condition? Don’t nobody want that! TRASH!
  4.  Once you have everything sorted into your four piles go back through your maybe pile and try on those pieces. Are you feeling cute, comfortable, and confident in them?  If not, it’s time to let someone else have a go with them. There’s no need in holding on to clothing that you feel so-so about and won’t really wear. The point here is to create a wardrobe filled with pieces you absolutely love and will wear often. If your immediate reaction is not, “I love this” then go ahead and put it in the donate pile.
  5. For those pieces you are donating, go ahead and box them up and label it “Donation”. Those clothes do not belong to you anymore. You have let them go and they will serve someone else’s needs. For your trash pile, throw them away immediately! 
  6. Now that you have your pile of pieces you LOVE, hang them up and admire your new wardrobe full of pieces you love! At this point, you may still have a lot of clothes or you may not have much at all. When I did this process I was left with 29 pieces!

  7. At this point, it’s decision time. Are you going to go bigger? Smaller? Create a seasonal wardrobe? A year-round wardrobe? Or, stay where you are? You have to decide what type of capsule you are going to build. Courtney Carver, the creator of Project 333, from Bemorewithless, does a great job showing you how to create a seasonal wardrobe using 33 pieces for 3 months. This was very inspirational to me and I was planning to do it, but the idea of having to switch out my wardrobe every three months felt draining. So, I decided a year-long capsule would work best for me. When trying to figure out how to go about creating one I came across Laurie, from Laurie loo, who created a 52 piece year-round capsule wardrobe, consisting of 37 basics and 15 fun/trendy pieces. I was very drawn to this concept right away but still felt like it didn’t quite fit me. So I decided to put my own take on it and created a 77 pieces year-round capsule wardrobe. So, as you can see, there really is no one-size-fits-all capsule. Create one that works perfectly for YOU.  Below is a sample list showing how I put my 77 pieces together.

    Bottoms: 
    8 jeans 
    2 pants/trousers
    4 shorts
    2 pencil skirts
    Tops:
    7 tanks
    5 T-shirts
    6 Camisoles
    7 Sweaters
    14 blouses
    Dresses:
    7 casual dresses

    3 black dresses
    Outerwear:
    2 blazers

    3 cardigans
    1 trench coat
    1 jean jacket
    2 leather jackets
    1 zip-up sweater
    2 peacoats
    ——————–
    77 PiecesI break this list down in more detail here. As you can see the only things included in my 77 pieces are clothing items. I do not include shoes and accessories. I like to keep those in their own separate capsule.  You can check those out here and here.

If you take anything away from this, I hope it’s that there is no one way, or right way, to create a capsule wardrobe. I think the key is finding YOUR style, creating a wardrobe that works best for you and your lifestyle, and defining your enough.