2019 Nov 29
As life gets more and more extra as the days go by and the sheer amount of choices we have to make as well as the stuff we need to pay attention to can be quite overwhelming.
For this reason, many people are adopting a simpler, minimalistic lifestyle reducing the clutter and noise around them. Although being a minimalist can get some getting used to and you need to make some important decisions, in the long run, there are a lot of benefits.
Today we’re looking into how minimalism can be implemented into our lives through one of our most treasured necessities; our clothes. Capsule wardrobes have been around for quite some time but recently it has been gaining a lot of traction.
As someone who has maintained a capsule wardrobe for the better part of the last two years let me tell you that it can be lifechanging!
And no, a capsule wardrobe is not an actual piece of furniture. It’s a clothing and styling philosophy where the number of clothing items and accessories (this includes shoes, bags, jewellery and everything else) you own is reduced to the bare minimum. This could be anything from 10 items to 30 but people usually don’t go beyond that.
A capsule wardrobe is like any other form of self-expression in that there are many ways to do it and there is no “perfect capsule wardrobe preset” that you can follow. Because of this, I will not be talking about what you need to have in your wardrobe and how to curate one. On the contrary, I will be talking about the general philosophy and ideology of this so you can build up your own system of values and curate things in a way that makes you feel good. I will, however, be giving some tips as to how to best execute this in Sri Lanka and maybe a few of my recommendations on some basics.
Why should you have a capsule wardrobe
- You’ll dress better – Having a capsule wardrobe means you only have clothing items that you really like and makes you feel good. This means things like those denims that don’t quite fit well or that top you got as a gift but don’t really like won’t make its way into your outfit for the day.
- More for less – If you don’t have to spend money on a lot of clothes you are able to spend a lot on the few you have. This means your clothes will be of better quality and this value will translate well into your daily life.
- Less decision fatigue – Decision fatigue is literally what it sounds like. With all the decisions we have to make our brain gets tired and the quality of our decisions tend to reduce. Taking the guessing game out of your outfit will help you focus your decision making efforts into better things.
Building an identity and sticking with it
Curating a collection of clothes where you love every part of it and you can mix and match to create an array of impressive outfits is not an easy task. It takes time and a lot of thought but is one of the easiest ways to build your own clothing identity.
It’s easy to start with colour. One of the chief rules of a capsule wardrobe is not to have too much deviation in colour. Most who do this opt for a neutral palette but you don’t have to. That being said having a limited colour palette helps with the mixing and matching because there won’t be any colours clashing. (I stick to black, white and grey with a little bit of blue)
Once you have your colours sorted choose a few key silhouettes that you want to stick to. Obviously, you can come up with a lot of different silhouettes with a limited wardrobe but that takes some practice and time and we’re just trying to get started. When choosing your silhouette(s) make sure you are comfortable with them and that you will be able to dress them up or down depending on the situation. (being stuck with a wardrobe full of shorts and t-shirts can be bad when you have to do to a meeting or something.)
Basics are your friend
Basics are a staple for a capsule wardrobe because these are a blank slate that you can add anything onto. Some plain t-shirts (white, black, olive green and other neutral colours like that), some denim trousers, slacks, a nice white top, a black dress are some things you need to have.
Finding these might not be the easiest IRL but shop online and it will open up a world of possibilities.
You can still have a lot of fun
Having a capsule wardrobe doesn’t mean that you have to wear a white T-shirt and denim every day. (although this can be perfect for some people). Accessories are a great way to add some variation.
Layering is a popular practice with a lot of people who do capsule wardrobes but living in a warm country like Sri Lanka, this won’t be the easest. That being said you can and should try this out but make sure you layer items that are lightweight.
It has to accommodate your life
A capsule wardrobe is an efficient and minimalistic way to express yourself and it should add value to your life. Because of this make sure you collect a wardrobe that accommodates your life. Look into the things that you do on a daily basis and the clothing items that you need to have. For example, if you’re someone who goes to a lot of events you need to have a few options that you can dress up.
A capsule wardrobe is a wonderful addition to our daily lives and it’s something that totally changed how I function as a human being. It took me some time to get things right ( and I’m still going through changes). it’s a deeply rewarding process and it’s something I highly recommend.