Apparently I have been doing a version of a capsule wardrobe for years and never knew it. Ever since I was in college, I organized my wardrobe by season. I lived in a climate that had hot summers, cold winters, and mild climates in between. I also had a very small closet that couldn’t house all my clothes at once. So I changed out my wardrobe every season, packing away the off-season clothes in bins or other closets in the house.
I continued to do this even when I moved to the Central Coast where the weather is more mild and the climate more constant. My seasonal wardrobe wasn’t always marked by the extremes (wool coat vs. tank tops), but was more marked by colors and patterns reflective of the season. Even though I have an embarrassingly-large closet now, I still practice this sort of capsule wardrobe. Here’s why:
- Fewer choices make getting dressed quicker
- Unused items are preserved better packed away with care than sagging on the hanger or crammed in a drawer
- Swapping out wardrobes every few months keeps things fresh and exciting! I tend to shop less out of boredom.
So here’s how I go about organizing my wardrobe by season:
- I keep staples out all year long: jeans, camis, leggings, lounge-wear, active-wear, graphic tees, and a few light-weight cardigans
- My winter and summer wardrobes are the most diverse. For winter (comes out after Thanksgiving and stays until late Feb): sweaters, Christmas leggings, sweater dresses, tights, holiday apparel, heavy cardigans, and knit scarves. For summer (comes out in June and stays until Sep): shorts, tank tops, short skirts, and breezy dresses.
- My spring and fall wardrobes are smaller, and usually overlap and mix a bit with summer and winter. For spring (comes out March to May): light-weight scarves, blouses, and any clothing with florals or pastel colors (this could be blouses, cardigans, light sweaters, etc). For fall (comes out Oct till after Thanksgiving): clothing with autumn colors like my orange sweater, brown cardigan, jewel-tone skirts, etc.
- Special wardrobe: maternity and post-pardom clothes. I keep these stored in bins.
Each time I switch out my wardrobe for the season, I also take inventory and sort through it all. It’s a good time to ditch clothing I’m tired of or that is in shabby condition. I do most of my shopping at thrift stores where I can add to my wardrobe at low cost, and don’t feel guilty for getting rid of clothing when I get bored because I didn’t spend much money to begin with!
I anticipate the changing season for many reasons, but one reason that excites me is the prospect of a new wardrobe to wear!