With winter in full bloom, a closet revamp is due. After all, you spent a good three days trying to pick the right New Year’s Eve outfit from a sea of old and frumpy garments – that’s the direct result of not having a capsule wardrobe that works for every occasion. Getting up 15 minutes earlier each day only to try on an endless amount of outfits that simply don’t feel right is definitely another clue that something needs to change. There is one thing that simplifies getting dressed, as well as achieving a chic look – and that is creating a capsule wardrobe. A curated closet that features elevated basics and versatile pieces that you can easily mix and match is key in order to always look put-together and to avoid impulse shopping. Read on to find out 7 tips on how to create a winter capsule wardrobe.
Before anything else, give your closet a good declutter. Anything you haven’t worn in two years must go. Must-stay: a good vintage leather jacket or a pearl necklace from grandma (check out The Pearl Source in case you aren’t the lucky recipient of a heirloom piece). Start by making four different piles: donations, throw, sell and keep. Everything damaged that is beyond repair or anything that is well past its prime should be a goner. Anything that doesn’t bring you joy, but is in good shape should be donated or sold (if of any value). While selecting the keepers, make sure you aren’t focusing on keeping trendy pieces – but rather classics that are versatile. Think of quality rather than quantity while going through this process: a nice wool pullover in a classic black, grey or beige will get much longer wear than a trendy polyester crop knit.
2. Select a Cohesive Color Palette
Mix and matching is so much easier when you are working with a cohesive color palette. Whether you gravitate towards black, navy and grey or prefer warmer tones like beiges, taupe and browns, you can definitely create the capsule wardrobe of your dreams. A few statement pieces in brighter colors are definitely welcomed, as long as you keep your basics neutral and versatile. A ‘little black dress’ (that does not need to be black), a classic blazer, a few good quality tees and pants plus a few sweaters should get you far. Add a few statement pieces in the mix – whether opting for color, volume, asymmetry or interesting cuts. The easiest way to curate a color palette is to stick to either cold or warm tones, with minimal or no mixing. Alternatively, you can use one of the many color palette generators online to personalize your color preferences.
3. Start with the Basics
Create a capsule wardrobe that caters to your specific needs. Selecting your ‘keep’ garments as well as shopping for new ones should always start with functionality in mind. If you are mostly at home, make sure to include a few great loungewear sets – think natural fabrics and comfortable cuts. If you spend a lot of time at the office, a few good blazers and a couple of wool pantsuits should have you covered. Whenever you find a great piece, it’s not faux pass to buy it in two different colors – that will ensure easy pairing and matching, as well as create a signature look for you.
4. Shop with Slow Fashion in Mind
If you are mindful about slow fashion principles while shopping or even decluttering your closet, you are on the right track. The reason: slow fashion is all about the classics and the quality pieces – forgoing trends and sticking with pieces that can be worn time after time again. Capsule wardrobes are very similar to the principals of slow fashion in the sense that a polished look requires mindfulness and thoughtfulness, a signature style rather than a fading trend. Think long-term when setting up your capsule wardrobe and resist the temptation of investing in trendy pieces.
5. Master Layering
Winter fashion is all about layering – and as you’ll soon notice, becoming a pro at it will save you money and convert you into quite the frugal fashionista. There is no reason to push your summer clothes at the back of your closet when the chilly months hit. Your favorite tee, paired up with a spring-ready light knit on top is all you need in order to keep warm under your jacket during those cold months. Even your light dresses, when paired with longer coats and thick tights can work all year long. Plus, layering can really help you use what you already own without impulse shopping the next craze in fashion.
6. Plan Your Outfits
Before you get shopping – or decluttering, make sure you make a list of the basic things you need and plan out your outfits. This will not save only save you money, but also hassle in the future. Having a few staple outfits planned out with pieces that can be mixed and matched easily is the way to go – especially when planning your winter wardrobe, which involves a variety of pieces for a single outfit (missing those hassle-free summer romper outfits!). Shopping with a list will prevent you going over budget, as well as help you keep track of what you have and what you are missing. Before you write your list, aim for four basic casual outfits (or smart-casual, depending on your daily personal style), four office-ready looks that will offer you endless mix and matching possibilities and four evening and formal outfits, as well as a couple loungewear and activewear looks.
7. Opt for Natural Fabrics
When you are curating your wardrobe, materials are a highly important aspect, next to cuts, fit and versatility. Fact is, natural fabrics are generally moisture-wicking, breathable, long-lasting and heat-responsive, all of which are essential qualities during winter months. Opt for natural fabrics such as cotton, linen and wool – or, if you are splurging, cashmere. Going the natural route will ensure more durable garments you can wear year after year – which is key when creating a signature capsule wardrobe.