Keeping a lean closet is a personal choice.
And like all personal choices, we each have our own reasons and rationales for committing to our lifestyle decisions. While some may prefer capsule wardrobes for their simplicity and ease, others might see owning less as a creative challenge. And although one might edit their closet simply to save money, another does so to reduce the harmful environmental and social costs of ownership.
Enter VETTA’s seven favorite lean closet bloggers, each with their own idiosyncratic philosophies behind their wardrobes. And while it might be intuitive to think minimal wardrobes equate to a single, particular aesthetic, these bloggers' styles range from classic-prep to European tomboy. These women will provide you with capsule wardrobe how-to's, brands to shop, daily outfit inspiration, and most importantly, proof that curating a lean closet is a personal choice worth making.
Caroline Rector of Unfancy
With her "mix and match and repeat" philosophy, Unfancy's Caroline Rector went a full year with only 37 pieces in her closet. While Caroline's structured capsule experiment is over, she still maintains a small closet filled only with intentional purchases and continues to share her clean, classic looks on her site. We love Unfancy because it’s essentially a capsule wardrobe playbook, with piece-by-piece inspiration for any season or special occasion. For those looking to adopt a leaner closet, check out Caroline’s post, "How To DIY a Capsule.”
We asked Caroline why she continues to populate her closet with only the essentials. “I do it because it's calming. It's a way to invite peace into my life, almost like meditation or yoga. It reminds me that I don't have to chase; I can be happy with a lot less. Practicing contentment with something small, like my closet, allows me to get better at it in other areas of my life, too.” For Caroline, keeping a lean wardrobe goes far beyond the clothes themselves. On Unfancy, a capsule wardrobe makes for a calm and clutter-free mind.
Lee Vosburgh of Style Bee
In 2013, Lee Vosburgh began her blog Style Bee, which has evolved into one of the most influential lean closet websites online today. Based in Guelph, Ontario, Lee has gained recognition from fashion influencers like Refinery29 and FLARE for her relaxed-chic style and timeless ensembles. Minimalists credit Lee for the booming popularity of the “10x10 Wardrobe Challenge,” in which participants pick 10 items from their current closet and style those exclusive items for 10 days.
When asked why she keeps a lean closet, Lee tells VETTA, "I keep a lean closet for peace of mind. Having only functional pieces I love to wear makes getting ready a pleasure instead of a dilemma!" Style Bee works to inspire readers to get creative with what they have, reminding us that getting dressed should be both fun and effortless.
Often we buy clothing on a whim, if we happen to find something that we like or if something is on sale. But these seemingly harmless in-the-moment purchases could be the one thing keeping us from loving our closet.
CREATE A BLUEPRINT
If you're going to create a wardrobe that works, you need to think of it as a whole. You don't want to buy random things that don't go together, even though you may like the pieces individually.
Make a list of all the things in your ideal capsule wardrobe that you don't currently have. Since we usually don't have an unlimited budget, it's important to prioritize these items. The order will be based on how much you will wear them, how many outfits you can make with them, and what the holes are in your closet.
Half the battle when getting dressed in the morning is just being able to see everything you have in in your closet, to create an outfit. If your closet is unorganized or cluttered, you may have all the building blocks of a great outfit right in front of you, but you won't be able to identify them. By organizing your closet, you can take the stress out of getting dressed and instead feel relaxed and even excited when you go to put on something to wear.
Here are three ways to organize your closet, so that it's beautiful and easy to find things.
Normally people clean out their closets item by item, without a vision of what they want their wardrobes to look like as a whole. That can leave you with a wardrobe that isn't as cluttered, but still may not have the building blocks for great everyday outfits. You want to end up with a closet that you can mix and match, and create tons of outfits, so that it's easier to get dressed every day and feel your best.
Set aside 3 hours or so, so that you're not rushed. Get a few trash bags or boxes. Bring your ipad or laptop into the room and pull up your "Wardrobe Style Guide" Pinterest board and your list of outfit recipes. Put on some music that makes you feel happy and energized.
SEPARATE INTO GROUPS
The first step is to go through each item one by one and assign them to one of three groups: yes, no, or maybe. I like to leave all the yes's in my closet, and then put the maybe's on the bed (still on the hanger) and no's on the floor (off the hanger). I feel like it's less intimidating than taking every single thing out of my closet. That being said, a LOT of things will be coming out of your closet, so just be ready for that.
We are continuing our series on building a capsule wardrobe, and now it's time to put it all together and actually design our ideal capsule wardrobe!
Starting from a point where you know your style and what you want to wear every day, you can much more successfully fill in the details of what makes up your capsule wardrobe.
FINALIZE YOUR PINTEREST BOARD
Based on the past exercises, you should have a "Wardrobe Style Guide" Pinterest board made up of outfits you love, that you would actually wear. We're going to use this to create "outfit recipes" that will turn into your capsule wardrobe.
As an example, here's my pinterest board as of late.
Sometimes the reason we have that feeling of “I have nothing to wear” isn’t because the style or color palette of our closet isn't working. We could have the perfect wardrobe in theory, but it just doesn’t suit our lifestyle.
That can happen when you make life changes (like going from working in an office to being a stay at home mom). It can also happen if you gravitate towards dressier or more casual items than you can't realistically wear in your current life stage.
Finding clothes that fit well and make you feel great can be a challenge. It's easy to buy something because it looks good on the hanger, or on the model, and not realize that you wouldn't really like it on you. Over time, you usually become aware of some of the things in your wardrobe that don’t flatter you and other things that make you feel confident. This post was written to help you start identifying the patterns, so you can stop buying those troubled items, and instead build a wardrobe that you love.
We're back for part two of the Create a Capsule Wardrobe series! We're going to be talking about building a color palette for your wardrobe.
One of the most helpful things you can do when building a capsule wardrobe (or any wardrobe) is to create a color palette. This allows you to mix and match different items easily, and get the most bang for your wardrobe buck. With a color palette that's well thought out, the pieces in your closet can create tons of outfits, which makes getting way dressed easier. So let's get started.
Whether you spend a lot of time on your style, or you're a total newbie, it's helpful to clearly define your personal style so that you can create a cohesive wardrobe. It's easy to buy clothes because you like something about them, but it in the end it really wasn't you. Without a vision of what you want your wardrobe to be, your closet can quickly end up as a mishmash of styles.
This exercise will help you identify your style and create direction so that you can build a wardrobe you love.
STEP 1: GET INSPIRED
We here at VETTA are really passionate about helping you build a more thoughtful wardrobe, so we decided to start a blog about just that!
Our first series will be about how to create a capsule wardrobe. Whether you're totally into the capsule wardrobe thing, or you're just interested in getting some outfit advice, this series is for you.