How to build a capsule cabinet on a budget
Have you ever had the great idea of giving your entire wardrobe a makeover? Several years ago, I did this – in an effort to be more like who I am: a confident, successful corporate account manager. I revamped $ 19,000 worth of brand new clothes in one year. Yes, you read that right. It was the biggest money mistake i ever made.
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Let’s get one thing straight about my $ 19,000 wardrobe mistake: I walked into it blindly. I had no plan, no real idea of my personal style and I bought items on an emotional whim, only to put them on consignment a few months later, realizing that they weren’t “me” or that they were uncomfortable to wear. Imagine spending as much on designer clothes as having them in your closet with the tags still in place, or to be worn once and then sent to a consignment store.! Not funny.
After seeing my mistake in a summary of the annual budget, I realized that spending $ 19,000 in a year on clothes was ridiculous. Sure, I was making a lot of money, but nobody needs that much big ticket. Average person spends $ 1,900 a year on clothes, CreditDonkey says.
A capsule wardrobe is a small selection of quality clothing, organized around your chosen color palette, that reflects your personal style and lifestyle. Here’s how to adopt a capsule wardrobe to save money and stay on trend.
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1. Understand what a capsule wardrobe is
“A capsule wardrobe refers to a limited selection of complementary and interchangeable clothing. This allows you to create a wide variety of outfits with a small selection of clothing, ”said entrepreneur Elisa Bender.. “Capsule wardrobes became a trend in the 1970s, when boutique owner Susie Faux began selling high-quality, minimalist clothing that could be easily mixed and matched. People started to embrace this trend because it made it much easier to choose outfits.
2. Determine what you want to look like and organize yourself.
“The easiest first step in going from a ton of clothes to a few pieces is figuring out what you want to look like,” said James Thomson-Sakhrani, founder of Style standard. “It can be a lot of work if you’re still discovering yourself emotionally and psychologically, but understanding your end goal is an important start to making cuts. ”
Thomson-Sakhrani quotes a quote from Steve Jobs: “If you define the problem correctly, you almost have the solution.
In this case, adds Thomson-Sakhrani, the problem is, what do you want to look like? So you need to determine the style and niche you want to fit into.
“If you are in finance, it can mean that you focus on suits and dressier clothes, while a craftsman can look at the classics of work clothes and functionality,” said Thomson-Sakhrani. . “Once you’ve clearly created your image in your mind, there are a number of ways to cut down on wardrobes. My favorite is to put everything on a hanger upside down. Every time you carry something and put it away, you are putting the hanger back in the right direction.
After 3 to 6 months (depending on the seasonality of your clothes), Thomson-Sakhrani recommends identifying what you wear regularly and what you haven’t touched.
“Getting rid of these clothes will be a lot easier than trying to choose between two favorites,” he said.
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3. Be chic with neutrals
There are many types of capsule wardrobes, but according to Maria Juvakka, founder of Chic pursuit, one of the most popular is the French minimalist capsule wardrobe.
“The Parisian style is chic, minimalist and feminine, which is why many women adopt this wardrobe,” said Juvakka. “Neutral colors like tan, black, cream and brown are preferred over bright purples and blues. It is also better to have tops, pants and dresses in solid color so that everything can be combined.
4. Understand what you need
By sitting down and understanding what I wanted and needed from a wardrobe, I was able to concentrate my shopping trips. Armed with a list of key pieces, a color palette, and a knowledge of the styles that flattered my skin tone and body type, I was able to create a practical wardrobe that I loved and made me feel. made me feel confident (and at ease).
Having guidelines for your wardrobe keeps you from buying anything outside of your “rules” and helps you avoid quick fashion and trendy impulse shopping.
5. Choose only quality “bullion” coins
One thing I did right in my $ 19,000 mistake was buy quality clothes. They retain their consignment value and last longer. Your initial cost is higher, but in the long run, your return on your investment is much better.
If you save up to buy quality now, you’ll save money by not having to replace items every year. I went from buying cheap, ill-fitting Gap jeans for $ 80 to Citizens of Humanity or Paige jeans made in North America for $ 200. They look good on me for the last few years instead of several months and I only have three pairs of jeans instead of eight.
6. Define the intentions or goals of the wardrobe
By setting guidelines for my wardrobe, I got my money and time back. I was no longer shopping every free moment that I had and throw money.
Setting guidelines, like the ones below, will free up your time and money, and allow you to approach your wardrobe with care and intention.
Buy no more than three pieces per season.
Buy only when something is worn out and beyond repair.
Pick items based on your lifestyle, how they look on you, and how you feel. Do you feel confident wearing it? Is it comfortable to wear?
Buy only from a curated list of ethical, quality designers you love.
7. Set a budget
“Capsule cabinets can be as cheap or as expensive as you want,” said Kenny screven, a fashion and beauty influencer. “It mainly depends on the quality of the clothes. For example, having an oversized beige sweater for fall is essential. But your personal financial situation will determine how much you are willing to spend on your capsule wardrobe. Someone richer may be willing to spend $ 400 at Brooks Brother for the capsule wardrobe effect. While someone more on a budget can get a similar sweater at Walmart for $ 20. They both have the same goal. “
8. Know where to buy to save
“Target, TJ Maxx and Ross have affordable basics,” Screven said. “In these stores, you will most certainly be able to find everything you need to achieve the looks you want for your new wardrobe capsule. While finding the basics, they also add a bit of spice when it comes to shoes and accessories. Truly taking this capsule wardrobe to the next level. They offer clothes for all occasions: work, casual, gym and loungewear.
You should also consider resale apps. “Poshmark and Rent the Runway are great ways to shop secondhand to have less impact on the environment and to get better quality parts at lower prices,” said Tara Dupuis, stylist and model.
9. Have less maintenance
When you organize a small wardrobe of quality items, you have less to worry about. If you pay attention to the care instructions when purchasing an item, you can easily avoid wasting time and money on expensive dry cleaning.
And the big bonus? Less time spent doing laundry – which is also good for the planet.
Adopting a capsule wardrobe will save you time and money, and reduce decision fatigue in the morning when trying to choose something to wear. It curbed my impulse spending and helped me to pay more attention what I put on my body and how i spend my hard earned dollars.
Click to learn more about how to sell second-hand clothes online.
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Nicole Specter contributed to the writing of this article.
Last updated: September 22, 2021