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Capsule Wardrobe: Beginner's Guide to Simplifying Your Closet

Capsule wardrobes made simple for beginners.
January 5, 2023
By Amy Melton

Building a Lifelong, Sustainable Capsule Wardrobe

Explore building a sustainable capsule wardrobe with the Oliver Charles sweater as a key piece. The benefits of starting a capsule wardrobe are endless, and I'll provide tips on how to get started. In the final part of the series, I'll showcase my 6 favorite easy everyday outfits.

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For several years, I’ve been addicted to shopping for all the latest clothing styles I could get. When hot trends emerged, I would race to the nearest mall to buy new outfits.

However, after looking at my bank statements and seeing my closet bursting at the seams, I concluded that I was buying too many clothes and spending too much money.

At the time, the word “capsule” had taken over social media and became a sustainable fashion trend, so I started reading about capsule wardrobes.

The idea clicked when I finally understood that you don’t need to constantly spend hundreds of dollars on clothes you may only wear a few times.

I started buying pieces I could layer and wear often, and soon, I started curating my ultimate capsule wardrobe.

I didn’t stop until I felt my capsule wardrobe was complete and full of versatile outfits.

OLIVER CHARLES - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition

What Is A Capsule Wardrobe?

Capsule wardrobes are personalized collections of interchangeable pieces that can be versatile during any season.

This means that your favorite summer clothes become your favorite winter clothes, too (with the right layering, of course.)

Anyone can create a capsule wardrobe. You need to follow a few easy steps, and soon, you can start your capsule wardrobe. Building this kind of wardrobe is perfect for anyone, especially if you’re aiming toward the minimalist approach.

Many pieces selected to be part of a capsule wardrobe are quality, timeless, and, most of all, sustainable.

The pieces picked should last long and be versatile, so planning the pieces you want in a wardrobe will take time and effort.

A capsule wardrobe maximizes the number of outfits you can create from within a wardrobe, not buying nonessential pieces that will sit quietly in your closet and never be worn. 

OLIVER CHARLES - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition

Why Should Anyone Have A Capsule Wardrobe?

I have a few reasons why starting a capsule wardrobe is an excellent idea.

One reason, and the biggest, is to save money down the road. Investing in high-quality clothes may seem like a lot of money at first, but once you see how long these pieces last, you will be less likely to spend more on your wardrobe.

Another reason you should start a capsule wardrobe is that it’s much easier to outfit repeat using the pieces you have and interchange them.

I wouldn't say outfit repeating is boring, but you have to become even more creative with your outfit styling when you have a capsule wardrobe. You can easily style an Oliver Charles sweater with a pleated skirt. There are many possibilities when having a capsule wardrobe filled with all the right pieces and accessories.

Poor quality clothes might be cheap and a quick fix, but they will most likely have a short life span and tend to end up in some landfill. The planet is already suffering enough, and we’re making it worse by buying more clothes, causing more mass production, and, in the end, more waste. If you buy clothes you love, you’ll wear them more often, and they’ll have less chance of being thrown away.

So, start researching sustainable, long-lasting pieces you can see hanging in your wardrobe. 

OLIVER CHARLES - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition

What Pieces Can You Have In Your Capsule Wardrobe?

The pieces in your capsule wardrobe depend on you, your style, and your creativity. So you can have as many pieces as you want in your capsule wardrobe. The world is your oyster.

Usually, the minimalist approach to starting a capsule wardrobe is buying the least amount of items possible.

For example, you probably wouldn’t buy 5 of the same color t-shirt (or any style piece). You may aim to buy 2-3 t-shirts in different colors. I would suggest sticking to the motto, “less is more.”

The Oliver Charles sweater is a great starter piece for your capsule wardrobe. It can be worn with several other pieces repeatedly throughout all seasons.

Its sustainability factor will reassure you that it will be a long-lasting piece you can depend on within your wardrobe. It even has a lifetime guarantee.

OLIVER CHARLES - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition

How Do You Start Building A Capsule Wardrobe?

The best and first step before starting a capsule wardrobe is doing some research.

Research what items you would want to wear from your closet. Social media is a fantastic resource for gathering ideas about what you want in your wishlist wardrobe.

Once you research what pieces you want in your capsule wardrobe, start focusing on the colors you want to wear. Sticking to a few colors, such as blacks, greys, and whites, will help you with your starting point. I always say to pick the base and neutral colors first and the bolder colors last.

The most popular essentials in your wardrobe are sweaters, tanks, t-shirts, long sleeves, jackets, pants, skirts/shorts, dresses, shoes, and accessories such as bags, belts, and jewelry.

Remember, you don’t have to buy all of them. If you’re not into skirts, don’t buy them.

Use the starter checklist below to help you check off each step in starting your capsule wardrobe.

After researching the essentials you want, buy each piece at your own pace. You don’t have to purchase all the pieces right away. That pressure to get everything all at once defeats the purpose of saving money.

When you start curating your capsule wardrobe, you may change your mind about certain pieces and colors throughout the process. 

  • Look for outfit and style ideas.
  • Pick 2-3 colors for your palette.
  • Pick 1-2 bold colors (optional).
  • Pick your wardrobe essentials.
  • 2 sweaters
  • 2 solid tops
  • 2 patterned tops
  • 2 blouses/button downs
  • 1 blazer
  • 1 pair of dark-wash jeans
  • 1 pair of light-wash jeans
  • 1 pair of trousers pants
  • 1 skirt/shorts
  • 1 heavy coat
  • 1 lightweight coat
  • 2 pairs of shoes
  • 1 everyday bag
OLIVER CHARLES - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition

How Do You Start Building A Capsule Wardrobe?

Once you buy a piece you want, see how you can create multiple outfits and add these to your daily looks.

As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day. The same applies to your capsule wardrobe. You're off to a good start if you focus on buying sustainable pieces, such as top and bottom pieces. Once you’ve found some quality pieces you can wear for several occasions, your wallet will thank you! Take one step at a time, and your capsule wardrobe will soon be complete!

Amy Melton enjoys writing about fashion and wardrobe styling. She has been writing about these topics for a while and loves sharing her knowledge with others. Amy used to focus on quantity when shopping but has since shifted to prioritizing sustainability and quality. She hopes to help others find what they are looking for in the fashion world through her writing on topics such as capsule wardrobes, outfit repetition, style, sustainability, and travel.

If you believe that every good wardrobe starts with owning less and owning better, consider buying yourself an OLIVER CHARLES sweater.
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