Are Capsule Wardrobes Boring? Pros and Cons of a Capsule Wardrobe

are capsule wardrobes boring - picture of capsule

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Considering a capsule wardrobe? You may be wondering if you can you wear the same items on repeat and not get bored of them. I had the same question when I started my first capsule wardrobe 5 years ago after finding Project 333.

I’ve learned a lot since that first capsule wardrobe and I’ve experimented with several capsule wardrobe methods since then including:

So as someone with a few years experience wearing capsule wardrobes what is my opinion?

Are capsule wardrobes boring? The answer is they can be. If you are a Fashionista and someone who has to have the latest styles, or if you enjoy playing around with many different silhouettes and styles on a regular basis, you may feel there’s not enough variety in a capsule wardrobe.

How do you know if a capsule wardrobe will work for you? You may be on the fence and unsure. To help give you a better idea I’ve scoured the web and pulled together a few pros and cons from others who’ve tried capsule wardrobes so the opinion here is not just my own.

Personally, I have come to love capsule wardrobes. By using them I’ve honed in on my personal style and they’ve made getting dressed in the morning so much easier. That’s not to say there haven’t been bumps in the road. We’ll get to those later.

However, before we dive into what I feel is one of the best capsule wardrobe formulas, let’s explore some of the capsule wardrobe pros and cons I found on the web.

Cons of a Capsule Wardrobe

“My go-to pieces might be boring and a little shabby, but they also feel like trusted friends. That’s what’s confounding about this whole concept: either I’m bored or I’m drowning in a pile of stuff.” ~ Leslie, Man Repeller

“While having a capsule wardrobe did alleviate the pressure to follow every trend and constantly wear new outfits, it created new pressures I wasn’t ready for. As it turns out, it’s hard to ever “finish” a capsule wardrobe. Every time I tried to shut the closet door, so to speak, and say: this is it, this is my 100% complete capsule wardrobe, something would go wrong.” ~ Joules, Style by Joules

“Ultimately, one can embrace the best parts of themselves in very different ways, and not all of us should be aspiring to minimalist perfection. Not all of us should be looking to reduce our habits, style, and joys down to their most pure and simple essence….My wardrobe is decidedly un-capsule, and I’m okay with it.” ~ Chelsea, The Financial Diet

“I couldn’t do it anyway. I did 10 items for about a week, and then I was bored; I love clothes too much to restrict myself that drastically. But it took trying such a challenge to see that…I love clothes, and I like to play around with different silhouettes frequently; I will do fitted one day and drapey/oversized the next.” ~ Grechen, Grenchen’s Closet

Pros of a Capsule Wardrobe

“I honestly didn’t realize just how much lighter and happier I’d feel with fewer clothes…I love that when I look in my closet every item I see is something I love and look forward to wearing…It’s easy to decide what to wear, because all I’m left with are my favourite clothes!..I love that I’m not wasting anymore of my limited decision-making capacity on my clothes than I need to.” ~ Melissa, Simple Lionheart Life

“Clothing and fashion and shopping are not my great loves, which is why a capsule wardrobe (a very small collection of useful clothing that you love that changes with each season) IS VERY MUCH one of my great loves.” ~ Lindsay, Pinch of Yum

“I have truly found my own style and have learned to stick with it, stopped buying things out of impulse, learned to think quality above quantity, and in general gained more space for other important things in my life…And actually, it’s become much more fun getting dressed in the morning.” ~ Signe, Use Less

“After having fully adjusted to my capsule wardrobe I feel the benefits many others have realized: more time because it’s more efficient, better decisions because it reduces stress, and because I seldom buy new clothes, more money.” ~ Chris, Chris Reining

Why Capsule Wardrobes Fail

As you can see there are many valid and varied opinions for both the pros and cons of a capsule wardrobe.

Common themes for reasons people try a capsule wardrobe and then give them up include:

  • the feeling of a lack of variety
  • choosing a capsule wardrobe method that is too strict
  • difficulty in choosing what to include in a seasonal capsule to meet varying weather conditions
  • the misconception that capsule wardrobes can only consist of neutral colors and basic pieces

Know Your Reason

Before you even start a capsule wardrobe I highly encourage you to really take into consideration the reason for trying a capsule wardrobe in the first place.

Know your WHY.

Is it to be more sustainable? Save money? Be more organized? Reduce the stress of picking out what to wear in the morning?
Whatever your reason, be clear on what it is.

Having that as a goal is going to keep you motivated and help you not stray from your capsule wardrobe rules, whatever those may be.

My Capsule Wardrobe Story

Earlier I mentioned that I first tried a capsule wardrobe back in 2015 when I discovered Project 333 with which you aim to have 33 items (shoes, outerwear, jewelry, accessories included) that you wear for 3 months.

I followed Project 333 for a couple years, but overall I found it difficult to completely switch out my closet every 3 months and hard to stick to the 33 items, the number was too restrictive.

From Project 333 I moved on and tried the 37 item capsule Wardrobe from Unfancy. What I liked about her approach was the larger number of items to work with.

However, after giving it a try for a couple seasons I still found it difficult to switch out my closet every season. I was almost always late. So I’d end up sweating in clothes that were too warm or freezing in clothes that were not warm enough.

Next, I tried the 10-item Wardrobe by Jennifer L. Scott in which you have 10 core items that are of high quality that you supplement with “extras”. And she switches her capsule out bi-annually instead of seasonally.

I really wanted to love her method because I just adore her, but I found it difficult to practice because I was never 100% sure which items should be considered core items and which should be considered extras.

My Capsule Wardrobe Happy Place

For the past year I’ve been transitioning to an all year basics capsule wardrobe and this is by far my favorite method. I first learned of it from Signe of Use Less.

The idea is you have a year-round capsule wardrobe of the basics that form the foundation of your style and then you supplement it with smaller seasonal capsules.

I found this method works best for me because I like having pieces that work for various types of weather and I enjoy the freedom of adding one or two pieces to my wardrobe each season.

I’ve linked her video below. As you’ll see she has a very minimalist, neutral basics wardrobe, but don’t let that deter you or make you think that you have to do the same.

Everyone’s basics are different. They are unique to you. If you mainly wear bright colorful and full of pattern pieces, then those are YOUR basics. There are no restrictions.

In fact if you want to see one of the most fun capsule wardrobes I have ever seen check out the colorful fall capsule video at the end of this post. I think you’ll be really inspired.

Conclusion

My final advice once again is to reiterate how important it is to figure out your capsule wardrobe reason. Knowing what your reason is, or lack of one, will help you decide if a capsule wardrobe is for you.

Also, completely ignore articles and other advice that say you must have a set number of pants, tops, skirts, etc. You can use those as a guide, but don’t feel like you have to follow any of them to the letter.

And, regardless of which method you decide to try, or how many items you decide to include, I encourage you to pick one and just give a capsule wardrobe a try.

Most Fun Capsule Wardrobe Award

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Jodie Locklear
Jodie is a former art teacher turned Graphic/UX Designer and QA Manager. She's applied her knowledge of visual design and software testing on many projects over the years, ranging from small businesses to large well known brands and organizations. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, blogging, and travel. View About Page

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2 Responses

  1. Doing the capsule wardrobe thing would take up way more time than I’m willing to spend. Here’s my thing: I have 90 inches of hanging space in my closet, so I have 90 hangers. All of my clothes–except underwear, swimsuits and coats–go on a hanger. No folded garments on a shelf or in a drawer, every item–including scarves and belts and my workout pants and tops–is on a hanger. Nothing gets rotated in or out for seasons or any other reason. It’s all there, all the time. If I want to add a new garment, it has to replace an old garment that will be promptly donated to a charity shop.

    1. It sounds like your system is working really well for you, Jean. I love that you have the set number of hangers and the one in, one out rule. I find that doing a capsule wardrobe is very time consuming and I still waffle back and forth over switching out seasonly, versus having an all year capsule, versus having a very small wardrobe of say 50 pieces total and having them all out all the time as you describe. Right now what keeps me using some form of capsule is a I love the feeling I get when I take items out of storage. It really does feel like Christmas and like I have new items (and well loved old favorites) to play with.

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