Frugal fashionistas always look for ways to make their dollar stretch a little further. This is hardly new. In the 1970s, designer Susie Faux coined the term “capsule wardrobe,” a closet reduced to indispensable, timeless articles of clothing that could be worn over multiple seasons and brightened up with a new statement piece, or an accessory or two. Stylish and practical, the capsule wardrobe concept remains popular 40 years later. For a little less effort to your elegance, consider these starter tips to build a capsule wardrobe.
#1: Clean Your Closets
Ideally, you want to pare down your current wardrobe to about 30 pieces that work for you. If there’s anything in your closet you haven’t worn for over a year, let it go. What you choose to keep and toss may vary by circumstance (for example, new moms may opt for adaptability and comfort while women who work outside the home may need to dress up their look a little more). Of the 30 pieces, some staples remain: a pair of stylish, well-fitting jeans, t-shirts in neutral colors, a white blouse, a black blazer, both heels and flats, tailored pants and of course, the little black dress. Versatility is key—add a pearl choker, your blazer, and a clutch to dress up a denim and white blouse combo, or play it casual by adding a baseball cap and sneakers instead, for example.
#2: Buy Seasonally, Buy Smart
In Arizona, we’re blessed—mild winters and warm springs mean we can embrace a little less seasonal change, and our staple clothing items go far. Still, you don’t want to be stuck with sweaters in May, so it’s best to shop a little before each season for new pieces you might need to add to your basics. When buying, consider the following:
- How much do I want to spend?
Set a budget for yourself and a limit to your clothing purchases. Many people have a “one in/one out” rule for their closets, meaning that for every new article of clothing they purchase, they have to get rid of another. Also, think about where you’ll do your shopping. Sure, everyone wants to hit the boutiques, but sometimes you can find equally incredible deals at Goodwill or Deseret Industries. Another way to stretch your style is to host a clothing swap with friends.
- Will it match, and how often will I wear it?
That lime green and fuchsia floral print wrap-around blouse with the shoulder ties is adorable, but think realistically. Complicated wardrobe items aren’t ones that get worn frequently. Also, statement pieces are a bonus in any closet, but when going minimalist, consider neutrals or at least a color family for your accents so that they can be paired with more than one outfit. Remember that the goal is to get the most bang for your buck. Don’t sacrifice quality for price, though—you need to have items that will last multiple seasons.
The minimalist wardrobe approach isn’t for everyone, but if you’re short on money and space, it’s a great way to keep your style simple and classy.