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Capsule Wardrobe – FAQ

You can follow my daily capsule outfits here.

capsule wardrobe faqs

Okay, before we get to the most frequently asked questions, I want to share my biggest beef with capsule wardrobes (my current capsule is here), and it goes a little something like this…what about the other items of clothing you own and love? 

To me, I feel like I’m being a little wasteful by packing up and storing clothing that I love to wear. I mean, it’s already in my closet, paid for, and now I’m just not allowed to wear it? Is it just me or does that seem wasteful to you?

I haven’t strayed from my capsule wardrobe, but it is something I’ve been pondering…I’m not sure a specific number needs to be designated for everyone’s closet, and that the true concept is about finding your personal style while honing your practice of not purchasing on an impulse, which I love.

So, I’m a little torn. I love the idea of a small amount of clothing, not purchasing any items on a whim, and finding your signature style through the process, but, yes, I do miss some of my clothing.

Onto reader questions!

Are you sick of everything in your capsule already?

No, as most of the items in my capsule are the items I wore 75% of the time before starting this challenge. I still enjoy every item in my capsule, but like I mentioned before, I do miss pieces that are currently boxed up.

Also, the weather here has been so strange (unseasonably warm), and that has left me with a very, very small pool of clothing to pick from. (Hence one of the biggest problems with capsule wardrobes- dealing with weather.)

Do you think it’s possible to have a capsule wardrobe that will work for a professional setting and when you’re not in the office?

Yes. I am assuming you are wearing suits to work? I would just choose a few core suits for work, and then spend most of your time deciding on what shirts and blouses to wear underneath the suits. That way, those tops could work in a more casual setting as well.

Here are tons of career capsules to check out.

How do you choose pieces that are actually different? Example: I wear jeans and a tee or leggings and some kind of a sweater almost every day….I feel like I’d have to make a major investment into my wardrobe for a capsule wardrobe to actually to work for me.

I don’t really understand this question. It sounds to me like you already have a capsule wardrobe if you only have a few pieces that you wear frequently. You’re already ahead of the game!

I’d like you to start thinking about what you’re going to add for spring. I’d really like to try this, but need to bargain hunt prior to putting the spring wardrobe in place.

I am definitely already thinking and sourcing my spring capsule. I have a Pinterest board where I keep my ideas, and plan to shop for new items during the last two weeks of March. I already have lots of items that I miss and will pull out of storage for spring, though, but plan to add a few new pieces as well.

I didn’t see any dresses, I was curious if you kept anything for a special event?

Special events weren’t factored into my capsule. So if I need to wear something fancy, I will pull something out of my stored clothing.

What about your budget? How many pieces did you buy for this specific capsule, and how might this first capsule budget may change your next time around?

This is a great question. I’m not giving myself a set amount for my next capsule- I’ve mentioned before that I’m much more interested in quality over quantity (and things that I can keep for years and years) now that I’m in my forties. However, I know that isn’t a priority for many yet. (Listen, Forever 21 was my friend for my twenties AND thirties…)

For my winter capsule, I purchased 8 items out of the 37. The are marked with asterisks in the original post.

With that said, can I do a capsule wardrobe on a budget?

Absolutely! Anyone can create a capsule wardrobe, and price points will vary across the board.

However, I do want to mention that Whoorl is not really a frugal fashion website, and that some items I purchase will have higher price points. When a reader commented that she wanted to see less pricey shoes, this was my response.

Like I said in my post, I’ve started to focus on quantity over quality over the past few years, especially when it comes to shoes. Unfortunately, cheaper boots and shoes with heels are very uncomfortable on my feet and back, so when I find a brand that feels good and I know I can wear for years to come, I am going to purchase them. Luckily, there are tons of less expensive ankle booties options out there. I would check Piperlime, Zappos, and even Target.

That’s the beauty of a capsule wardrobe – price points can (and will) differ for every person, and remember, I’m just showing readers what’s in my capsule as an example, not trying to persuade you to buy exactly what I’m wearing.

What I’m trying to say is that yes, you can definitely find less expensive options and create a capsule to fit your budget, but I won’t be sourcing additional budget-friendly options as examples. (I just don’t have the time, unfortunately!) I hope my picks inspire you to find your own perfect capsule-worthy items, though!

Also, here are some great budget-friendly fashion blogs.

Does a capsule wardrobe challenge you mentally?

Oh, definitely. When you are looking at the same items day after day after day, it becomes your personal mission to change it up however you possibly can – my accessories have never gotten so much play in their life! My creativity is constantly being challenged, but I also have to say that it is so refreshing to eradicate the uncertainty involved with choosing clothing from a crammed-full, uninspired closet. It’s the best. Getting dressed in the morning has never been easier. A capsule wardrobe is a timesaver, for certain.

Also, I strongly believe that utilizing a capsule wardrobe helps you to really discover your personal style. Impulse buying has been an issue for me, and I can’t even count the times I’ve worn items that aren’t true to my style. The beauty about a capsule wardrobe is that the impulse buys are no longer. You have to really spend time thinking about each item, and how it helps to define your personal style. It might seem redundant to wear the same thing over and over, but looking back, that item will be a better reflection of my style, opposed to some crazy piece that I bought on a whim and disliked after a month of wear.

Show us your outfits! Will you please show us your outfits? Pretty please? (x 1,000)

This was by far the most asked question, and yes! I will post outfits. I am shooting tons of outfit combinations next week and will hopefully have them up in early March. So sorry for the delay, and I promise to get photos up in a more timely fashion for the next capsule. Still learning the ropes over here.

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13 Comments
  • Jessica

    February 11, 2015 at 10:50 am

    I’ve been following along with Un-Fancy for a while and have been really interested in how many bloggers are participating in capsule wardrobe challenges. I have attempted a few capsules – actually, five or six, and what I find most interesting was how much more time I spent thinking about my clothes, trying to find the right things to buy for the new season, etc. Granted, it was all much more mindful and intentional but it still sucked up a lot of time. After doing capsules for about a year straight, I am done now. I pulled all of my stuff out of storage and hung it up. I’m gradually paring down while looking at everything I own.

    My biggest takeaways: 1) consume less. I need less than I thought I needed. I have very little urge to walk out of Zara or Madewell with a bunch of stuff. 2) Consume better. When I do purchase something, I now think hard about the cost of that $20 skirt. The cost of the labor, the environmental costs, etc. I question whether that $20 skirt is going to add value to my wardrobe. The answer is usually no. I am much more likely (although not perfect….or even close to perfect) at shopping ethically made, American made, environmentally friendly brands. After all, if I’m going to add a skirt that is timeless, I don’t mind paying more money for something that will see me through years instead of just a season. 3) Know what I wear. I’m a stay at home mom to two little ones in Southern California. I’m much more likely to wear a t and jeans than I am to wear a silk blouse. And therefore, I need very few silk blouses. I didn’t understand that before. I thought I needed a closet full of stuff to cover me in any situation but the truth is, I don’t. Honestly…shopping has become just a mindful activity for me.

    If you do another capsule, I’d be very interested to see your day to day outfits. Even if it’s a crappy iphone picture on instagram. One of my biggest issues with Un-Fancy is that her capsule photos aren’t true everyday life pictures. They’re beautiful – as yours will be, I’m sure! – but I’m more interested in real.

    Sorry for the forever long comment. I’ve loved your blog for a long time and am excited to continue following you along on your journey!

    • whoorl

      February 11, 2015 at 4:19 pm

      I totally hear you on the photo thing. It’s been a struggle for me – I don’t want to clog my Instagram feed with daily outfit photos, but I get what you’re saying about wanting to see true, everyday life photos. This first go-around, I’m spending a day shooting outfit combinations to show everyone, which isn’t real life, but I guess it is what it is. However, I would consider opening another Instagram account solely for wardrobe photos for the capsules going forward.

      (Also? I am sooooo with you on the silk blouse thing. I always want to buy silk blouses, but NEVER WEAR THEM.)

      I really appreciate your comment, Jessica. Really spot on!

  • Alyssa

    February 11, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    One of the things I wonder about is shopping. I know for some this is a way to be more thoughtful and controlled in that area. Some of us need/want to bargain shop, shop clearance at the end of a season for the next one, or grab a quick shopping time when we have a babysitter and are out anyway. I also wonder if you wait too long, do you find that the websites you shop from have run out of the size/color you want?

    I am practising my own version of capsule/uniform and see the many benefits. I love to read about how others make this idea work-thanks!

    • whoorl

      February 11, 2015 at 4:21 pm

      Thanks, Alyssa! Good question – I think I’ll have more to say about this once I try to buy for spring. Hopefully my sizes won’t be gone!

  • Elena

    February 12, 2015 at 10:09 am

    I read your capsule posts yesterday and they got me thinking. After I became a mom to an adorable and superactive girl I needed to simplify my routine. Cook quicker dishes, short effective workouts, etc. Without making conscious decisions I started buying less clothes and the pieces that made it to my closet are pretty much basics and neutrals. Quality over quantity. I havent stored any items, but I have been rotating the same items over and over again. Time saving? Hell yeah. And I think my style is now more polished. Go figure.

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  • Kati H-P

    February 13, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    Great post! I too am trying for a capsule wardrobe, but I did not store anything. I noticed I was working off the top of my wardrobe anyway, so I donated a TON. Sure, “I paid for it already” was an issue, but having the extra space was worth more than money for me. Also, it frees us up if we need to move to a smaller place. Of course, I will admit I live in the SF Bay Area, so I don’t need a bunch of clothes for different seasons and weather. So far, I have donated about 3 carloads worth of items, and sold a couple hundred dollars’ worth of items to my local consignment store (also an option if you have nice/expensive items). I don’t have kids, but my new, smaller, wardrobe has meant quality over quantity, simplicity, and ironically, more fun outfits because I’m not as overwhelmed with choice. We consume far too much in our society, and I definitely think capsule wardrobes and the like are a step in the right direction.

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