A capsule wardrobe is exactly what it sounds like: an intentional collection of clothing pieces that allows you to create various outfits and styles. In many parts of the world, what you wear in winter is very different from what you sport in Summer. Therefore, it makes sense to create seasonal capsule wardrobes to decrease clutter and decision fatigue. Some pieces will overlap seasons, but many can be easily stored away until you need them again.
The benefits of creating a seasonal capsule wardrobe include:
- Limit decision fatigue
- De-clutter your living environment
- Begin or further your minimalist journey
- Live with less
- Be more mindful of what you wear
Now you know why you should create a seasonal capsule wardrobe, here’s how to do it:
How to create a minimalist seasonal capsule wardrobe in one hour
You will need:
- Out-of-season clothing that won’t be worn for a few months
- An empty suitcase OR
- Packing cells OR
- Empty drawers/shelves/any out-of-the-way storage options
Step 1: Gather
Pull out all your out-of-season clothing, shoes and accessories and lay them out on your bed or on the floor. If it’s spring, grab jumpers, stockings, coats, vests, thermals, thick socks, beanies, scarves, gloves and whatever else you won’t wear for a few months. If it’s autumn, reach for summer dresses, singlets, swimwear and skirts etc.
Step 2: Sort
For easy unpacking later on, optionally sort clothing into the following categories:
- Tops – jumpers, singlets, dresses
- Bottoms – trousers/pants, skirts
- Outerwear – coats, jackets, vests/gilets, hoodies
- Underwear – thermal layers, long-sleeve tops, socks etc
- Unworn – anything you haven’t worn that season
Step 3: Roll and store
Any fellow carry on-only travellers will know the benefit of rolling up clothes tightly to fit them in a suitcase or packing cells. Packing cells are small fabric bags that allow you to separate and organise clothing while squashing them down to take up as little space as possible. They’re not necessary for creating a seasonal capsule wardrobe but can organise and simplify the process.
Whether you’re planning to store clothing in packing cells, an empty suitcase or an empty wardrobe space, prepare your storage space by giving it a dust and a wipe down if needed. Roll each piece of clothing up tightly and store away. Place heavy winter gear down the bottom and leave lighter stuff easily accessible at the top incase there’s an unseasonal temperature change.
Optional: Add a scented dried lavender bag to your storage space to keep clothes smelling fresh.
Step 4: Give, donate or sell
Once you’ve rolled and stored your tops, bottoms, underwear and/or outerwear, sort through your unworn pile. Think long and hard about whether you will wear these things in another six months, or whether they will go unworn for yet another season.
If you can’t envision wearing it, it’s time to pass the piece of clothing onto someone who will actually benefit from it. The easiest route is donating to friends and family. If they’re not interested, donate your clothing to a charity shop or thrift store. For quality pieces, consider selling items online or at a local market.
Step 5: Rinse and repeat
Once a season or two has passed and the weather has changed, it’s time to shift your wardrobe again. Wash your soon-to-be out of season clothes if needed and prepare to store them away. Unpack your stored clothing and place them in your wardrobe, washing or iron anything that smells a bit stuffy or has extra wrinkles.
Your wardrobe is a representation of your hard-earned money, your ethical beliefs and your environmental practices. Fashion is an environmentally-taxing industry and is responsible for a whopping 10% of global carbon emissions, according to the UN.
To make matters worse, clothing production has doubled with the average consumer buying 60% more pieces compared to 15 years ago. Yet, each garment is now kept only half as long. The textile sector is also a major contributor to plastic entering the ocean.
Vote with your dollars and support quality, ethical and sustainable fashion brands that don’t exploit their workers or the environment. If you can’t afford to do this, shop second-hand in real life or online, swap or donate clothes among friends and family, or simply wear what you’ve got.
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Seasonal capsule wardrobes are best to create and pack in the middle of Spring and Autumn/Fall when the weather starts to shift. Actively sorting through your clothing seasonally will encourage you to wear what you’ve got, reduce decision fatigue and minimise clutter. Don’t forget to Pin this guide for later and slide into my DMs on Instagram!