Adopting the capsule wardrobe: everything you need to know

Adopter la garde-robe capsule : tout ce qu’il faut savoir

If you're a Netflix subscriber and a resident of planet earth, you've most definitely heard of Marie Kondo, the queen of the household. Roughly speaking, his approach is to purify his home as much as possible to surround himself exclusively with objects that make us happy. By getting rid of the unnecessary, we can finally focus on the essentials and, consequently, declutter our daily lives and our minds.

In the wake of this minimalist movement (we all have a friend who adopted the Kondo method and who talks to us about it constantly since), it made me want to revisit the famous wardrobe capsule.

The wardrobe capsule: what is it?
Quick question. On average, throughout our lives, how much time do we spend in front of our closet, eyes in the grease, wondering what to wear?

Answer: 287 days!!! Girls, it's almost a year of our lives.

It was therefore first and foremost out of concern for saving time and energy that the concept of the capsule wardrobe was born. It was first set up in the 1980s by Susie Faux, a boutique owner in England who offered this "turnkey" wardrobe service, i.e. a reduced number of garments that match each other. The idea then spread on a planetary scale with Donna Karan in 1985, when the designer offered her famous Seven Easy Pieces collection, mix'n'match clothing for the professional woman.

By spending less time wondering what to wear in the morning, we would also avoid decision fatigue. Let me explain: some studies have shown that the more the day progresses and the more decisions accumulate (ranging from what to eat for breakfast to the emails we should send), our brain is less and less able to make well-considered choices. and enlightened. Exhausted, he tends to lean towards easy (and therefore not necessarily the best) solutions as the hours go by. This is also why several figures recognized for their productivity, such as Steve Jobs and Barack Obama, said they always wear the same "uniform", just to preserve their energy for other more important decisions.

Today, the capsule wardrobe has also become a way of avoiding overconsumption and reducing our ecological footprint. Knowing that an average American gets rid of 31 kg of clothes per year (!), it is clear that we can all benefit from a better thought out wardrobe.

The capsule wardrobe: integrating it into your daily life in 4 steps
Above all, you should know that the rules of the capsule wardrobe are not cast in stone. The goal is to find a system that fits our lifestyle while preserving our pleasure in dressing. The wardrobe capsule is not a punishment; it is the optimization of our wardrobe. Curious? Here's how.

Clean out our closet
To follow in the footsteps of Marie Kondo, we gather all our clothes and accessories in one room and we sort, sort and sort! To do this, we work in three stacks.

Stack #1: The clothes we love and wear.
Stack #2: Pieces that we want to keep, but which, for various reasons, we don't wear.
Stack #3: The stuff you never wear.

For pile #2, we put said pieces in a box and if we forget its existence for the next three months, we give it away without revisiting its contents.

As for pile #3, we donate our unloved clothes to charity and, for the more damaged pieces, to a textile recycling center.

Create an inspiration board
Whether we do it on Pinterest or in real life, a table gathering photos of kits we like is a good way to understand our clothing aesthetic and identify the key pieces to include in our selection. Later, we can even go back to find a new way to wear our tireless blue jeans or our timeless black knit.

Need inspiration? Here are some Instagram accounts of girls who are advocating the “capsule wardrobe” approach:
@caroline_joy
@fashionframebyg
@andrea_hartman_
@thethoughtfulcloset
@heyhegia

Develop a clothing plan
Before choosing the specific clothes that will make up our capsule wardrobe, I recommend establishing a general plan to structure our selection. How many pants, skirts, tops, knitwear, dresses, shoes will we include in our capsule wardrobe? Generally, girls who adopt the capsule wardrobe include 10 to 35 pieces. And yes, that includes the accessories! So it's up to you to see how dedicated you are, even if it means revising your magic number next season. Note: this number does not include underwear, pajamas, sportswear and jewelry that we wear every day (like an engagement ring or small rings that we never remove).

In developing our “winning recipe”, it is also super important to keep our lifestyle in mind. We work from home and we're more of the soft laundry type? It's probably better to include more knits than cocktail dresses in our selection.

Choose the right clothes and accessories
The last step and not the least. We turn to our pile #1 and we choose the lucky ones by following our clothing plan and considering the current season (because with the temperature in Quebec, we should revise our capsule wardrobe every three months).

Do not panic: it is quite possible that you are missing some key pieces, such as a nice pair of leather boots or a well-cut coat. We add them to our shopping list and, the next time we go shopping, we keep an eye open for quality models. Super important: if we want to follow the philosophy of the capsule wardrobe to the letter, we don't buy anything that is not on our list.

Three months later, if certain parts need to be mended or taken to the dry cleaner, we make sure to settle this file quickly. That way, when the season returns next year, our capsule wardrobe will be ready for (re)use.

By Joëlle Paquette for MARIGOLD

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