Everyone Has a Capsule Wardrobe

You have a capsule wardrobe.

It’s true. Unless you are a celebrity or a famous fashion blogger, you are likely wearing 20% of your wardrobe 80% of the time. You want to mix it up, yet you feel like you are in a rut. You probably don’t even know what is in that 80%! I understand - I’ve been there.

An exception to the 80/20 rule is someone who has already pared down her wardrobe to only the clothes she loves. She can see all of her pieces, and she knows how to mix and match them. She wears 80% of them on a regular basis (non-seasonal clothes aside) and the other 20% is made of special occasion and activity-specific clothing. Her closet is a place of beauty that reflects her style and her life.

IN 2016, I WILL HELP YOU BE THAT WOMAN.

You Already Have a Capsule Wardrobe

I hear you. “Hey, Rosie, back to me having a capsule wardrobe already - what do you mean?” The 20% of items you reach for day-in and day-out are the core of your capsule wardrobe. I would bet money that most people wear the same 40-50 items on a regular basis; actually, it’s probably closer to 25-30 during a particular season. They are the foundation. They are either pieces you love that you feel good in and look great in, or they serve an important function, like a suit or a uniform. The first step to creating a capsule that will truly serve you well is to gain an understanding of what those pieces are.

I am not good at keeping a daily tracker; food journals - yuck! But, even I can fill in a few lines in a spreadsheet each day for a month. So, I have created a simple tracker that will help you determine your go-to pieces, as well as help you understand what’s missing.

HOW TO USE THE TRACKER:

  1. Make a copy. You must make a copy in order to edit it.  (Go to "File" and "Make a Copy", rename as you wish.) You'll see that I have inserted some sample days. Feel free to keep them or delete them. DO NOT DELETE ANYTHING IN THE “TIMES WORN” COLUMN. These cells tally your inputs. (Email me (rosie@thecapsulepoject.co) if you do this and can’t get back to the original state or don't know how to sum up the cells.) If you do not have a Gmail account, you can download it to open in Excel, Numbers, or a similar application. You also can print it out, you will just have to do your own math at the end of the month.

  2. Each day, write down the outfit(s) you wear on the "Outfits" sheet. Just write down the pieces in the first column. You may wear more than one outfit on any given day - write both down! If you wear basically the same outfit but with a slight variation, make that a separate entry. (Explanation below.)

  3. Each day, write down each item worn on a separate row in the first column of the “Clothing Items” tab. When you repeat an item, do not write it down again.

  4. Write a “1” in the appropriate column each time you wear a specific outfit and a particular item of clothing. There are 31 days for tracking. You can start at the beginning of a month or any day during the month. Just decide whether the first column “1” is the first day of tracking, or whether you are going to track in accordance with the date. So, if I start January 21st, I can either start tracking in the first column for or I can start tracking under “21”, finish the month, and then start at “1” for February 1st and continue until the tracking period ends.

  5. Write down any notes that come to mind in the “Notes” column. Do you like this outfit? How does it make you feel? What did you wear it to? What didn’t work about it? This will help you next time you next time you want to wear a similar outfit.

  6. When you have a repeat outfit or repeat item, do not create a separate entry. Mark a “1” in the same row under the appropriate day.

  7. The spreadsheet will automatically tally how many times you have worn a certain outfit or item as the month goes along. You can see in the sample entries that I’ve already worn black leggings and a black tank 2 of the 3 days!

Within the next few weeks, I will be sharing what to do with this information. If you would like to make the spreadsheet more complex, by all means, please do! I’d love to hear what you add, as well as any feature requests via email or in the comments. I’ve tried to keep this as simple as possible, but am happy to create something more robust. Feel free to share your worksheet with me (rosie@thecapsuleproject.co, too, if you’d like input, feedback, or help.

Another fantastic way to keep track of your wardrobe and what you wear most frequently is the Stylebook app. You can easily mark either full outfits or wardrobe items on the built-in calendar when you wear them, and the app will tally up how many times you have worn that item. Input the price and it calculates cost per wear. The team also just released an outstanding update that allows you to shuffle all the items in selected categories and creates all the outfit variations possible. It is a capsule wardrober's dream! It will take a bit of time to enter your clothes into the app, but it is truly worth the time and expense . Plus, it's just a lot of fun! 

I can’t wait to hear what data you uncover over the next month!

Click here to read the first post about how to analyze your tracking data.