7 Ways to Gradually Start a Capsule Wardrobe

I have met (and reconnected) with so many people on IG this week about starting my capsule. Throughout each conversation, I got a bunch of questions about the entire movement of capsule wardrobes, ethical, and sustainable fashion. This will be a part of a series where I answer those questions. This week's question:

I would like to start a capsule wardrobe, but I can’t. I am not completely ready to get rid of everything. What are some steps to slowly ease into downsizing my huge closet?
— Person with a super huge closet

Well, Person-with-a-super-huge-closet, luckily for you, I have 7 ways for you to gradually start a capsule wardrobe. You can use these 7 ways together, or separately, the choice is up to you. 

Photo by Andrej Lišakov on Unsplash

ONE | Hanger Challenge

One of the easiest ways to keep track and I love this one.

ONE | The Hanger Challenge - You make have seen this on Pinterest, this is something that can help you keep track of the clothes you're actually wearing from your closet. You start by placing all of your hangers backward (the opening facing you). When you wear the piece, you put it back in the closet the regular way (opening not facing you). Then, you live your life and keep up your system for anywhere from 30 days to 60 days, depending on how many clothes you have. At the end of the time period, check what is still in the initial position. Those are the clothes you should probably get rid of first because you can see that you are not compelled to wear the piece after 30-60 days.

TWO | Easy Access to Your Favorites - Keep your favorites in one part of the closet that is easily accessible. That way, when you enter or see your closet, you are more prone to wear those closet.

THREE | Check for an Items Versatility - A rule of thumb when creating a capsule wardrobe is finding items that can be easily used for 1-2 other outfits. Take a day to look into your closet and do these two things: (1) try on every piece and (2) see how many different combinations you can use that piece with another piece in your closet. For me, I like button down shirts since I can use them as shirts or cardigans, an outer layer or dresses since I can wear them as is or pair it with a outer layer depending on the occasion. For example, to make a dress professional, I add a blazer and to make it casual I add a button-down shirt over, with or without buttons.

FOUR | Take a Photoshoot with Older Clothing - Do you find yourself clinging to clothes you're not wearing...at all (it's just collecting dust)? Maybe it has a significant memory attached to it, or you talked yourself up to spend the full retail price so you don't want to part with it just yet. Well, instead of remembering it as a sad piece of clothing in your closet, remember it via a photo. That's right, get your hair 'did', nails done, everything 'did' and whip out your Phone camera and starting snapping away. Or schedule a photoshoot, whatever your preference, the point is to immortalize your memories from these pieces into a space that is manageable - the cloud.

I place most of my winter clothes in a vacuum sealed bag so I keep it out of mind!

I place most of my winter clothes in a vacuum sealed bag so I keep it out of mind!

FIVE | Vacuum bags - Maybe your closet simply looks full because you have all your seasonal clothing out. Try packing away those seasonal clothing that you're not currently use. Those Space-saver bags, the ones you can vacuum the air out of, they are my life! I like to put all my maternity clothes in one, my sweaters in the other and tuck them under my bed and out of my closet. That way I don't have to see it and I can operate with what I have in front of me.

SIX | Clothing Parties - Arrange something with friends where you give away your old, take in clothes that are more your style, and get advice on how to wear things. This is a awesome way to ease into sustainability, but also play it safe. If you give/lend it to your friends and you start to miss it, you can always ask for it back. Also, having others in one room to look at your clothing, they might have an creative outlook and style on your clothes that you see everyday.

Sporting my husband's shirt with a front knot

SEVEN | Wear your husband’s clothing

I am just wearing his shirt with a front knot

SEVEN | Give away some clothing and then wear your husband's clothing - This is more a joke, but hey if it works, it couldn't hurt. I don't have a lot of long sleeve shirts, but I get chilly when I go to sleep, so I run into the closet and borrow one of my husband's. He only wears these things in the winter time, so I am putting them to use year-round.

For an awesome question list, check out the article from The Every Girl

So, Person-with-a-super-huge-closet, I do want to send you internet accolades for even thinking about joining the minimal closet world. It's not easy. You're almost there though, you just need to make a decision and follow through. Remember, making the decision and doing it are two different things. Do the latter, my friend.