Creating My Capsule Wardrobe
posted on February 17, 2016 | by Amanda Holstein
While I’ve talked about the capsule wardrobe before and have even cleaned out my closet on multiple occasions, I’ve never gone through the process of creating my very own capsule wardrobe. When I discovered Capsules by Cladwell, a simple service that helps you create your own capsule wardrobe, I knew I had to team up with them to help get me through this process. And they made it SO much easier. Here’s how it worked:
1. Closet Cleanout
According to Capsules by Cladwell, the first step in creating your capsule wardrobe is to clean out your closet. This was definitely the biggest challenge for me because I just have way too much and always like to keep things “just in case”. Cladwell’s first video takes you through some simple steps to make the cleanout a bit more manageable.
First, they had me take EVERYTHING out of my closet and drawers. This was a bit scary, I’m not gonna lie. Then, I had to pick out only the items I absolutely LOVE and put them in one pile. By the end I was left with two very uneven piles:
Next I took a survey of my “love” pile and wrote down what I like about each piece. This was really helpful in order to see the similarities among the items, and it truly gave me a better understanding of what I really look for in a wardrobe. Some things I already knew (clearly I like white and gray), and others were new to me, like loose silhouettes and very specific prints.
I kept this in mind when sifting through the second pile to see if there was anything else in there that I wanted to move over to my “love” pile. I gave myself plenty of wiggle room, hoping by the end of the process I’d be able to narrow down my wardrobe even more.
2. Self Discovery
The next step on in the process is to figure out your color palette and put together an inspiration board. Below are the colors I selected, which became much clearer to me after going through Step 1. I also created a Pinterest board that helped me get a better sense of what I truly want in a wardrobe and what I aspire towards.
3. Your Lifestyle
I love that Capsules by Cladwell had me really consider my lifestyle. I made a list of different “activities” I take part in, including working at coffee shops, producing photoshoot, meeting with clients, going on dates with my boyfriend, etc. I then selected which items I tend to wear for each activity. Rather than just focusing on items I like, Capsules by Cladwell had me thinking in terms of my daily life and what I realistically wear, which was super helpful.
4. Your Closet
Finally, Capsules by Cladwell generates a recommended capsule wardrobe for you to review (i.e. gray t-shirt, white blouse, etc.). I went through and checked off items I already owned, which turned out to be all of them…shocking. This also helped me put a few more items back into my donation pile. I was also pleased to see the list was larger than I expected, which meant I didn’t have to get rid of as many clothes. I’ll admit, there are a few items I just couldn’t part with, even though they weren’t on the list. But even so, my closet is looking SO much better and I feel like I truly love every single item in it!
5. Putting Together Outfits
Creating looks with my paired down wardrobe is SO much easier now! I feel like I can just give in to what my style really is (and keep my 5 pairs of white jeans) and stop trying to wear certain trends that just don’t fit who I am. So I wear a white top and ripped jeans a lot, so what? I love the look, it fits with my lifestyle, and makes me feel beautiful. Here’s an outfit I put together after being able to truly see my new closet — what do you think? It really represents my style and my capsule wardrobe to a tee!
Amuse Society Top, Zara Jeans (similar), Azalea Jacket, Madewell Sunglasses & Sandals
Love that white top! It’s been on my wishlist for a while now :) Would you say it’s true to size, or that i should size up? Mixed reviews on Revolve.
Allison // Always Eat Dessert Says
I’m very intrigued by the idea of a capsule wardrobe, but I haven’t yet taken the plunge. I think the most important part of your experience was that your everyday life was taken into account. Our wardrobe needs are can be very different depending on our jobs and lifestyles, so it’s great that you were able to create a wardrobe that’s uniquely suited to YOU. Thanks for the inspiration!
Wonderfully said and SO helpful! Thank you!
I’m confused. The whole point of a capsule wardrobe is to only keep what you love to narrow your closet down at the start of the process, not to do a second sifting and give yourself wiggle room so you end up with a lot of clothes that you’re ambivalent about back in your closet. Was a second sift suggested or did you just find you didn’t love a lot of your clothes and panic? I would have thought realising you didn’t love a lot of your clothes would have been a good learning and blogging point. Did you buy things that you liked but didn’t love because you were blinded by a sale, were they impulse purchases because you needed an emotional boost (retail therapy), sentimental items you once loved that no longer suit your style and that you can’t let go of, did you take a risk on a trend that didn’t work out? And what was it about the items that you didn’t love the first time around but that you let back into your closet in the end that earned their closet space? Did you realise you didn’t have many appropriate clothes for the current season because you have a stronger sense of style or find it easier to shop for one of the other seasons, do you prefer wearing trousers but most of them are jeans so you needed to include a skirt that could be dressed up for business occasions? I feel like this was a missed opportunity to explain what comes across as a bit of a rookie error with creating a capsule wardrobe, namely keeping a lot of extra things you don’t 100% love.
Amanda SaysPost author
Hi Sophia! Wow – lots of questions! Let me see if I can answer :). When I say “wiggle room” I just meant that there are some items that I wanted to give another chance or realized I really do love but they just got lost in my closet. I definitely paired my closet down A LOT and feel like I know love everything in there! Like many of us, I have a lot of clothes that I either were convinced to buy in person or I was trying a trend I thought I liked or items I once loved that I just got bored of! Those were the majority of the things I took out of my closet. I’m sorry you feel this was a “missed opportunity”, but the purpose of the post was to show my experience and if you try out Cladwell, you’ll get a deeper dive into making those decisions on what to keep and what not to keep. Thanks for reading!
‘I just meant that there are some items that I wanted to give another chance or realized I really do love but they just got lost in my closet.’ That makes a lot more sense. I was imagining you pulling items out of your ‘everything else’ pile that had a legitimate reason for being in there because deep down you just weren’t that into them. If it was a case of realising that you just hadn’t taken enough advantage of what the item was offering and seeing them in a new light, then yeah, I can see how you may have had a slow burning love for it rather than love at first sight!
Love this idea and your wardrobe!!
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Ohmygoodness – I’ve been searching for my dream leather jacket and the one you’ve got in your capsule looks so close (the one that looks stonewashed gray). Might I know who made it?! Love your style! :)
Thank you for the great info on Capsules by Cladwell. I’m kind of thinking about it and feel like I have a much better idea of the process now. I love your style by the way. Thanks again!
I’ve been reading about Capsules by Cladwell and I’m trying to figure one thing out – at then end do they actually give you a list of buyable clothing? Like ‘this awesome dress click here and you can buy it’. Or is it just here are things you need. A white shirt. A grey shirt.
They do not have a link for the specific piece of clothing you need, but they do have a suggested list of retailers that are eco-friendly. So yes, it’s just basically a list of things you need for your capsule and whether you currently have it in your closet or not.
I loved your article as I have been considering using Cladwell for a while now. Your clothes are absolutely beautiful as well! I will be moving to South America this fall for a year and a half and only taking 2 suitcases with me and I think a capsule wardrobe is really the best way to ensure that I make the most of my limited space. I was wondering about how many pieces actually happened to be recommended for your wardrobe? Thanks again for the article, I think I’ll try Cladwell after all!
Hi Amanda! L O V E this idea. V inspirational. I’m hesitant on giving my card to a website and being charged monthly. I’ve seen ads for a Capsules by Caldwell app, but can’t find it!
Amanda SaysPost author
I link to it in this post! Just click above!
This is more a question than I comment. But will add first that I feel inspired by your capsule wardrobe and love your style! In the pics, I noticed your bedding (the light blue colored duvet?) Was wondering where you got it from? I love it! :) Thanks!
Amanda SaysPost author
Hi Anne! It’s from Anthropologie. You can find it here!
Thanks so much! :)
Thank you so much for writing this! I’ve been searching for ways to dress simpler and that showcase more of my personal style. I was skeptical about using cladwell, but I believe they might be exactly the kick int he pants I need. Just one question, is everything true to size?
Thanks so much!
Amanda SaysPost author
Hi Lee! You don’t actually purchase clothes through Cladwell. It just makes recommendations for you like “gray t-shirt” and then you can pick where you want to purchase those items. Hope this helps!
How many pieces of clothing do they send you??
Awesome collection. I loved the ripped jeans and blue colored sunglasses. Thanks for sharing these ideas here. Everyone wants to look unique with their own style. You can choose items according to your requirement and choice. To know more have a look here : http://elsunglasses.com
Ashleigh Watson Says
how did you get the color pallet shown in your picture I don’t have the app and don’t own an iPhone.