Obstacles in building capsule closet you may face – the truth about the capsule closet

bariery przy budowaniu szafy kapsułowej

Obstacles in when building a capsule wardrobe – is it possible? As you know, a capsule wardrobe is a very beneficial solution – it supports the reduction of consumerism, eliminates impulsive shopping, helps to organize the wardrobe and appeals to the minimalists. However, it has some disadvantages that I wrote about here. In addition, it happens that people who want to introduce this idea face obstacles at some point. They then begin to wonder if the idea is even good for them. Today I will present you the popular obstacles in creating a capsule wardrobe that I collected during the Instagram survey and I will try to give you answers to these dilemmas. Minimalists may be disappointed at some point, because this post will even show benefits for people that act opposite, but the truth is that people have different needs, and the idea of a capsule wardrobe really is for everyone, minimalist or not.

1| Costs

The answer will be the most complex of all below, because it seems to me that this is the biggest mistake in thinking about the capsule! I wouldn’t say that creating a capsule wardrobe has to come at a cost. It’s not about throwing away everything we have and buying Brand X’s capsule collection (oh yes, have you noticed that some brands now have such marketing gimmicks?). Changing all your wardrobe has absolutely nothing to do with it! You don’t need to throw away what you have to start capsule challenge. You go through the steps of creating a capsule. Declutter first – you should get rid of broken items, but if your budget doesn’t currently allow you to buy new clothes, you can fix them and keep using. It is important at this stage to check if the things match and mix or and if not then this can be a problem. A capsule wardrobe does not mean only having minimalist clothes in neutral colors. Mine is like that because I feel most comfortable with such things. But there can be many colors, patterns and whatever you want in the capsule. As long as these things can be mixed together and are for everyday use, not just good looking on a hanger.

The second important thing is adapting the capsule to everyday activities and your own style. If you like the sporty style, build a wardrobe around it. Just like that!

There may be some expenses for the clothing base, but it should be part of the capsule, because other things mix and match better. But no one said the clothing base has to be expensive. Many people shop second-hand and find incredible things. Burberry coat for PLN less than 10$ – it is possible. Vinted or second-hand stores can also be a godsend when your budget is small but you still want to get higher quality stuff.

A capsule wardrobe can also be very small, which means you don’t have to own much or buy much. In these posts, there are examples of capsules that consist of 10-19 outfits, including shoes and handbags: (example #1, example #2, example #3, even this one: example #4). You can make a lot of outfits out of it! The point is not to have the same clothes that are shown in these examples. Let it be something like a pattern – put your bottoms, tops, shoes instead of those shown, and you will get your own equation for a capsule wardrobe. A little cleverness and for most of the month you will juggle the contents of the wardrobe so that no one will notice that you have little clothes. If you are a master of using accessories (unfortunately I am not :(), then you can do miracles with your #ootds. Watch the movie at this link and let this story inspire you!

2 | I have children and my clothes must be suitable for the playground

The capsule should reflect your daily activities, so in this case build it with clothes that will allow you to feel at ease on the playground, in the park, etc. The principle is exactly the same: clothing base + the rest. After all, they do not have to be trench coats, high heels and dresses, you could use a comfortable parka / thin puffer jacket / comfortable jeans and sneakers. The trend of combining different styles, e.g. a trench coat with a tracksuit, is also becoming more and more popular. The capsule is mainly about the way the wardrobe is built (clothing base + the rest), the functionality of its content (for everyday use) and that things should fit together. And reflecting your style – whether it is a “French” wardrobe, a sports wardrobe, a smart wardrobe, etc. which comes from the lifestyle analysis (see this post). The second option is to create a few smaller capsules – for everyday use, for big events, homewear etc.

3 | Restraint and choosing the content

Before you start selection of content, it is worth considering your own lifestyle. As a rule, we create a capsule for the life we have, not the one we dream about. This will certainly make it easier to choose the things you need in the capsule. As for the restraint in taking up this challenge, I think it is unnecessary. The capsule experiment can be easily done on what you already have, e.g. for a week or two (example #1, example #2), choosing things for such a mini capsule wardrobe and wearing the sets you have planned during this time.

4 | The amount of things in the closet

I’m not sure if the author of this answer meant that she has too little or too much, but I’bet it was the second one. I suggest you first do a thorough wardrobe decluttering (read this post), because this amount will decrease. And if there is still a lot left and you want to try a capsule, then nothing prevents you from creating a maximalist capsule with lots of stuff or mini-weekly capsules to make good use of the large contents of your wardrobe.

5 | The feeling that something is still missing

A lot of people feels that, even those who do not have capsules. In their case, it ends up with constant shopping – and often still “it’s not it”. There can be several ways to do this depending on the reasons.

First, consider whether there is something missing to create a capsule in general or to create a capsule you dream of. This is a big difference, because it may turn out that you can easily create a capsule from what you have. So do it and see if it’s even an idea for you. Nothing stands in the way of planning your dream capsule and pursuing that wish. For example through shopping “in the French style”, where we buy seldom but timeless elements.

The problem may simply be the lack of a good base to put everything else together. Then you have to give up other purchases for a while and just build even the smallest clothing base.

Another reason may be uncertainty about your own style or being at the stage of searching for it. Here you need a little more patience, and it’s probably a good idea to take a step back and define your style first. Perhaps this post will be helpful.

6| Compulsive shopping

I might surprise you, but compulsive buying is not an obstacle to creating a capsule. It is a big obstacle in creating a minimalist capsule, implementing an ecological and economical approach to shopping, buying consciously, but not in building the capsule as such. I recommend the post about the methods of building a capsule. It shows different approaches based on the amount of things you want to have. You can build a capsule from scratch shopping for every season, if you feel like it. Personally, I would work with the compulsive shopping subject, because it is something that in my opinion is worth limiting and personally I take a different path, but I would be dishonest to say that it is a habit that prevents you from creating a capsule. It may even be worth to try one, because ultimately capsules teach you some planning and resource management, and over time, large purchases may cease to be needed.

7| The belief that there must be only one capsule or that I must be minimalist

There may be only one if you like. If your needs are different, you can have many. In addition to the seasonal capsules, I also have a sports capsule, the so-called a capsule for going out, clothes for walking the dog and a homewear capsule. This makes it easier to move between different activities and allows you to keep your wardrobe clear to the eye.

A capsule wardrobe is often connected to minimalism. I myself, with minimalistic approach significantly limited the contents of the wardrobe, but I just needed to. There is no obligatory amount of clothes in the capsule or the amount of the capsules themselves. It’s something that you adapt to yourself and you don’t have to be a minimalist for it. Although you can be an aesthetic minimalist, that is, focus on how the given things look, and not necessarily on their quantity.

8 | Belief that you have to throw away the rest of your clothes / that you will not be able to walk in what you already have / you are sentimental

I put together these 3 barriers when creating a capsule wardrobe, because I have a feeling that they are almost the same. You already know from the previous paragraphs that you don’t have to be a minimalist to implement this idea. Your capsule can also be very large if you are able to control it. An additional way to make good use of all your clothes is to build mini capsules for a week or two. You can add different items every week. This will make everyday dressing easy (it will limit the number of items from which you will choose your outfit) and at the same time there will be a proportional use of clothes. And remember – clothes that we do not currently use are not padlocked. If you feel like reaching for something lying in the corners of the wardrobe, just do it.

9| It’s difficult to buy what you planned

I think this is a problem much wider than just a capsule project, because a lot of people want to buy something nice that suits them and fits well also struggle with it. But speaking about the capsules – I also have this problem, for example I’ve been looking for decent black ballerina flats for 3 years and so far no trace of them. Until then, I use what I have and keep a close eye on what I am looking for. I don’t have good advice here, because I know that buying something “just to have it” doesn’t work in the long run. However, I think this should not be a limitation. I have been using a capsule wardrobe for 5 years and only now am I getting closer to my ideal one. But all this time my capsules existed and they were doing their job.

10 | The problem with the selection of elements (style, cuts, textures, colors, etc.)

There are some general rules that can be helpful here. The capsule is a clothing base and other clothes. In case of basic clothes, it is best to choose classic cuts without ornaments and expressive textures as well as uniformly colored clothes (even not necessarily neutral, although it is worth having such colors, because they are the most universal). For other clothes, the question is: what do you like? Do you like to dress classically and safely, or do you prefer to go crazy with fashion. In the first case, I would still avoid very expressive textures of clothes and decorative cuts. In the case of patterns, I would choose a stripes, check, polka dots etc. In the second case, the choice is free, but as long as you have the other items needed to create a few outfits with this crazy thing.

11 | You don’t know what the content should be

There are no hard and fast rules. It depends on whether you want a minimalist capsule or not. I like practical and optimal capsules that lean towards minimalism, so my examples are not too extreme and you can either divide or multiply the number of shown things – depending on your needs. In this post you will find numbers for the clothing base.

12| Lack of consistency

These posts: how to be consistent with plans (here) and how to start your adventure with minimalism (here) may be helpful, because the steps are universal and can be switched to any challenge. The experiment may even show that the capsule wardrobe is simply not for you. It is always a step forward and you can start looking for a different method that better suits your needs and lifestyle. Nevertheless, I encourage you to take the capsule challenge, because the capsule wardrobe is a really great thing!

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