Six capsule wardrobe myths and how to bust them


A capsule wardrobe is a core collection of timeless clothing that doesn’t go out of style, such as shirts, pants, skirts, and dresses which can then be supplemented with seasonal pieces.

Over the last three years, the capsule wardrobe has started to take on a life much bigger than any one designer thanks to the minimalist movement, which emphasizes simplicity. With the help of social media and a few key bloggers who started writing about their experiences the movement has grown.

Patryk Dziejma
Photo by Patryk Dziejma

Myth 1: You must use a capsule if you’re going to dress responsibly.
Actually: The capsule is just one ingredient amongst a host of other ingredients that might make up a person’s “responsible wardrobe” recipe. Style to taste!

Myth 2: You have to go extreme in the numbers.
Actually: As a society we are purchasing 400 percent  more clothes than we did 20 years ago. We  buy so many low quality clothes, yet we feel like we have nothing to wear. We need to stop. Any reduction is a good place to start. There’s nothing wrong with building a capsule of 50 items that work together, if it helps you use what you have. We are choosing the 10×10 because it really gives you an opportunity to do a short experiment and see how you react to a capsule. What did you like? What was a challenge for you? What surprised you? This will prepare you for doing it again: but next time you’ll be able to insert a little more of YOU into your choices. And maybe next time you go longer, or more comprehensive.

Myth 3: Once you commit to a capsule, you can’t take a break from it.
Actually: There’s nothing stopping you from having a capsule for work, and a capsule for leisure. Or from taking a day off. Or every evening off. No judgement! The point is to free you from decision fatigue, not imprison you with an all-or-nothing stance.

Myth 4: You have to look minimal in your aesthetic.
Actually: A minimalist “look” is different than a minimalist “number.” If you want to “be more with less” and you want to do it with pink, gold, and big floral patterns, go for it. If you like denim, leopard print and rocker tees, make it work!

Myth 5: You will get bored.
Actually: In the creativity department, restriction will be a stimulant. You’ll think out of the box about combos, layers and accessories. You’ll find winner looks that will become faves in high rotation after the capsule challenge is over.

Myth 6: You can only have one capsule, therefore one “look” at a time.
Actually: If you’ve got a hybrid style like me (sometimes I’m classic French with trousers and scarves, sometimes total boho with long beads and bright colours, sometimes both!), then you might want to have a small capsule for each, with obvious pieces that work in both.

By Sarah Peel