Modern shoppers are addicted to the dopamine rushes of sales discounts, influencer marketing, and the latest trends. Although today’s styles seem a bit dull and overused, the money-grubbing nature of the fashion world still grips us. The act of shopping, that is, the process of trying on clothes and purchasing them instantly, has become our obsession.
We all look for easy fixes and one-size-fits-all solutions, especially when looking at fashion magazines or influencers’ OOTD posts. However, when we strive to re-create the looks of others, we find ourselves empty-handed, emulating the unrealistic standards of the industry.
Could a capsule wardrobe be the right answer to our fashion struggles – namely, curbing overconsumption, discovering our true style, and eliminating decision fatigue? Most importantly, is it sustainable in the long run? Let’s find out.
Are Capsule Wardrobes Realistic? An Honest Look
Capsule wardrobes are realistic for shoppers who prioritize slow fashion over fast trends, as they require sacrificing your desires for novelty-seeking, convenience, and superfluous clothing options. Conscious consumption demands our commitment – be it to wearing timeless pieces, mending our clothes, or focusing on quality, rather than quantity.
Escaping the Trap of Trend Chasing
Before building a capsule wardrobe, you have to question your desire for convenience, attachment to trends, and shopping impulses – and whether or not you’re willing to give them up.
Rejecting the temptations of trend chasing is hard, especially in the long run. However, maintaining a capsule wardrobe is a responsibility toward yourself, your mindset, and the planet. To reject overconsumption, you must decide on a certain look and part your ways with the fleeting trends of the fashion world.
So, before investing your time and resources in a new wardrobe, ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you willing to do laundry more often to maintain your small closet?
- Are you willing to say NO to new fashion trends for the next few years?
- Do you feel comfortable wearing timeless pieces for a long time, rather than chasing what’s in vogue?
- Are you a creative person who finds happiness in the little things and looks for new ways to maximize their existing clothing options?
If your answer to these questions is ‘YES’, you can commit to a capsule wardrobe without batting an eye. If you are unsure about all the questions, read on to make up your mind.
Dismantling Common Capsule Wardrobe Fears
Whether or not capsule wardrobes are realistic depends on you… and your fashion fears! Believe it or not, your fears of looking too boring, conformist, or ordinary may hold you back from unlocking your fashion potential.
Fear #1. Not Knowing How to Style Yourself
In a world, where fashion faddism is mistaken as a substitute for true style, it’s tempting to replicate advertisements, influencer shots, or runway looks. This, however, dims our authentic self and strips us of our unique aesthetic expression.
In other words, becoming a copy of what you see in the fashion world is not the solution. Like a top fashion designer, Bill Blass mentions, “following fashion diminishes a woman’s style the most.”
Hence, rather than emulating the ever-changing ideal of perfect style, focus on what looks best on you. Make sure to study your body shape meticulously, conduct color analysis, and stand out with your clothing choices. By interpreting your innate undertones, color seasons, and body silhouettes, you will avoid becoming a fashion victim – hence, maintaining your unique capsule closet for years with confidence.
Fear #2. Looking Bland And/or Outdated
If you subscribe to the idea of coordinating monochromes to achieve great style, maintaining a capsule wardrobe is everything but realistic.
With bland colors, monochrome wardrobes create the wallflower effect, making you wonder, “who, me?” They result in carelessness, with an array of bland, faded colors that make you look like a beige sofa in a waiting room. Essentially, they make you look invisible, which is the opposite of what you’d like to achieve with a style makeover.
However, do not despair! Capsule wardrobes do not have to look bland, unflattering, monochrome, and outdated. Simply focus on finding a healthy balance and adjust your closet to your needs – cling to pieces that make you look confident and match colors based on your season.
Most importantly, stop following capsule wardrobe blueprints – they can be counterproductive.
Simplicity Is Difficult to Achieve, But It’s Possible
We may associate minimalism with eliminating decision-fatigue, leading a stress-free life, or reaching the bliss of simple choices. However, simple isn’t always easy. You may invest in the newest pieces, follow a rigid capsule wardrobe checklist, and come up with hundreds of outfit combinations – yet, despite all this, you may still struggle with dressing well.
When reducing your wardrobe to a certain number of pieces, deciding what to discard can be challenging. Like Boris Pasternak says, “it’s better to lose than acquire.” However, before jumping into minimalism, you must take the time to observe your fashion habits, desires, and choices.
Capsule wardrobe is a realistic solution to style dilemmas, as it leads to an important truth – you can simplify your life by shopping your closet.
Saying ‘No’ to Hoarding Clothes
Keeping thirty or forty pieces in the wardrobe may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Nevertheless, discarding clothes after a few wears is the problem that persists among all shoppers. The throwaway clothing culture urges us to purchase more clothing and treat it as replaceable, which results in piles of unworn garments in our wardrobe – with the price tags still on them.
It’s time to acknowledge the role of disposability in our lives and unload those unworn garments off the shelves. Let’s break the mental barriers around fashion and simply arrange them in the best possible combinations – which blouse with which pair of pants?
Work with what you’ve got – but most importantly, revisit and reimagine your beloved garments in creative ways!
Getting Help: When to Consult With a Stylist
Let’s imagine the following scenario: you have rejected the newest trends, assembled new outfit combinations, and invested in a few timeless basics that you always needed. However, you still feel discouraged, as certain pieces from your closet clash with the rest, or some colors simply do not work with your complexion. What to do now?
There’s only a limited amount of guidance that capsule wardrobe blueprints can give you. At a certain point, you need to give up on the map and find a knowledgeable mentor. So, if you feel like your capsule wardrobe is unrealistic or too high maintenance, it’s time to get some fashion assistance.
Determine What You Need Help With
Style is not about copying the fashion world – it’s about discovering and evolving your self-expression. For this reason, it’s crucial to ask for the right kind of help, so that you can fill in the gaps in your wardrobe in an effortless manner.
Think about your unique concerns: what is your capsule wardrobe lacking? would you benefit from a color consultant, a slow fashion stylist, or simply a supportive friend? what do you struggle with the most – comfort, cleanability, practicality, fit, color, or appropriateness?
Here are some ideas to consider in order to maintain a capsule wardrobe in the long run:
- Tired of doing laundry? Consider adding more pieces to your wardrobe.
- Struggling with color coordination? Opt for professional color analysis and determine your color seasons.
- Having nothing to wear in winter or summer months? Build a separate wardrobe for each season or climate.
- Dressing too boring? Follow the 20/80 rule, dedicating 20% of your closet to exciting statement pieces while reserving the remaining 80% of space to trend-proof basics.
- A mismatch between your wardrobe and lifestyle? You may benefit from a personal styling session, where you can plan out what to wear for special occasions, work, traveling, or various hobbies.
Once you determine your unique concerns, you will be able to target the right symptoms and help your capsule wardrobe thrive.
Capsule wardrobes grant us the comfort of simple choices, however, they come at a price. They require us to reject every shiny little piece that the fashion world throws at us. Rather, they urges us to cultivate simpler yet graceful fashion habits.
Building a minimalist closet is not easy. From conducting color diagnostics to discovering the right style for your lifestyle, it demands hard work and effort. Yet, it is realistic. A capsule wardrobe allows you to reap what you sow – after you put in all the hard work, it will consistently elevate your lifestyle, finances, and mental well-being in the long run.