The principle of a capsule wardrobe is simple: rather a manageable selection of favorite parts that can be combined with each other rather than an overwhelming mass of clothing. These basics for spring and summer belong in every well-stocked wardrobe and make everyday styling easier. A closet full of favorite clothes that fit perfectly and can be easily combined – that is the basic idea of a capsule wardrobe, in German “capsule wardrobe”. The wardrobe principle is helpful for women who want to consume fashion more responsibly and sustainably – and for anyone who wants to make faster progress in the morning when choosing an outfit or who prefers minimalist styling.
Because once you have put together your ideal basic wardrobe, you will quickly notice: All existing clothing is worn regularly, instead of short-lived trend pieces, timeless classics are established in the closet and unnecessary spontaneous purchases are a thing of the past. The joy of fashion does not fall by the wayside with a basic wardrobe: a seasonally changing capsule wardrobe offers versatile styling options despite the reduced selection. Anyone who constantly adapts their clothing to the respective season is all the more delighted with the changing wardrobe variety and the return of forgotten “oldies” in the closet. In our fashion guide, you can read which basic parts for spring and summer should hang in your wardrobe if you want to build up a capsule wardrobe.
Reorganize wardrobe: rules are good, but not mandatory
Important for the successful implementation of the capsule wardrobe principle: do not be too impressed by the rules and think carefully about which items of clothing are essential for your individual fashion taste, profession and lifestyle . The classic costume, for example, is an indispensable basic part, if you work in a company with a dress code, it is unnecessary in the closet of a doctor’s assistant or salesperson with work clothes specified by the employer. Confident capsule wardrobe fans also consistently implement the principle in shoes, handbags, jewelry and other accessories.
How strictly you follow the rules is entirely up to you. Your basic wardrobe should tend to contain as many pieces as you can all wear regularly . Ideally, you have a good overview of your wardrobe and know exactly what is hanging where in the closet. However, it is still allowed to purchase frequently worn parts in several color or pattern variants – especially if you have to adhere to a strict business dress code for work-related reasons. In this case, one or two sets of clothing are usually not enough: sometimes the costume is still in the wash or the shirt blouse with coffee stains is in the laundry basket when you actually want to put it on.
With your capsule wardrobe, you should therefore make sure that you have enough parts to get enough outfits for a working week. By the way: Underwear, pajamas and active wear are usually excluded from the minimalist basic wardrobe.
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Capsule Wardrobe: The Idea
The principle of organizing the wardrobe was invented by the British Susie Faux : The boutique owner already recognized the problem in the 1970s that many people buy disposable parts that were produced impulsively and because of the unmanageable number of items of clothing they never find the right one. Thereupon, she developed her capsule wardrobe based on the idea of creating a wardrobe from a few basic parts, which can be combined with individual seasonal or fashion items based on current fashion trends and changed.
Faux’s idea is more relevant than ever more than 40 years later: since the collapse of a textile factory in Bangladesh on April 24, 2013, in which 1135 people were killed, the fashion industry has become increasingly popular due to the ethically and ecologically unacceptable mass production Criticism. More and more textile companies and consumers in Western Europe are rethinking and committed to sustainable production that protects people and the environment. This also includes encouraging others, thinking more consciously about their shopping behavior and only buying new clothing when it is really needed. Because of this development, the capsule wardrobe principle is back in vogue and is being used by influencers such as the British Anna Newton or the American Caroline Joy implemented publicly.
Before shopping: the inventory and requirements
Before you buy new items of clothing, you should take the time to thoroughly check your existing wardrobe: think really carefully about what is important for you in the spring / summer season and for which eventualities you need to be equipped with your wardrobe :
- How do you dress in the job? What occasions are there that differ from your usual business wardrobe?
- What leisure activities do you do in the warm season? For example, do you cycle a lot?
- Are important events or formal occasions coming up, such as a wedding or an elegant dinner event?
- Are you planning trips for which you need different parts than at home in spring and summer?
- In which parts did you feel most comfortable last year?
- Which items of clothing have you worn most frequently in the past season – and which items least or not at all?
- Which colors and patterns do you prefer to wear?
When you have answered all of these questions for yourself and, if necessary, made notes , you can proceed to the inventory in your closet. Which parts are available, which can you safely sort out and what is still missing for a complete basic wardrobe? If you are unsure about this question, you can use the checklist below. Before putting together your capsule wardrobe for spring and summer, you should store autumn and winter parts in airtight plastic boxes and prepare sorted clothing for sale, gift giving or donation.
Conclusion: What does a capsule wardrobe bring?
With just a few parts, you can put together a well combinable, variable capsule wardrobe that is suitable for many occasions. If you follow the principle for several seasons, you will quickly see which categories you need more or fewer items in and you can continuously optimize your reduced basic wardrobe. If you want to give your wardrobe a detox or radically muck it out , you can of course choose fewer parts. You can already create a complete basic wardrobe for the spring and summer season with around 20 to 40 items. If you want, the same principle applies to shoes and accessories.
But: don’t be too strict with yourself. Switching to a minimalist wardrobe will not work overnight and will also require some practice. Use the capsule wardrobe method to get to know your own style better. Because with a cabinet inventory you can see what you like or dislike to wear and can adjust your shopping habits based on the inventory and reduce the risk of incorrect or impulse purchases.