Dress with less with a capsule wardrobe. Say goodbye to everything that’s called “I have nothing to wear” and hello to a future where getting dressed in the morning becomes an awaited pleasure.
A capsule wardrobe is a collection of clothes and accessories that include only items that are essential to you. In other words: a regular wardrobe minus all the excessive clothes you never wear anyway. With these 9 steps, we will help you transform your wardrobe space into a streamlined, sustainable bliss.
1. Have a wardrobe inventory
A recent survey by Weight Watchers has calculated that UK shoppers own £10bn worth of clothes they don’t wear. With this in mind, we can quite safely conclude that the average person in the UK has a lot more clothes than actually needed... This is why the first step to a wardrobe detox is a wardrobe inventory: getting a realistic picture of everything you own is a great starting point for making the right choices, but also to assess what you have. So start by counting every last piece (look through your wardrobe, drawers, storage spaces, laundry baskets and don’t forget what you are wearing right now!) - you might be surprised by the result.
2. Empty and pile it up
Now that you have identified what you have - let’s break it down to what you need and use! Empty your entire wardrobe, preferably in quite an open space so that you can operate efficiently. Then, create five different piles:
- Keep: frequent use
- Keep: occasional use (mainly for sentimental pieces such as a wedding dress)
- Keep: to action (for all the clothes needing mending or alterations)
- Reject: To sell
- Reject: To charity
Make sure to go to the charity shop for the “To charity”-pile, sell the “To sell”-pile and go to the tailor for the “To action”-pile as soon as possible - if you have easy access to all of them, best would be to aim to do this the same day! For any piece requiring a mend or a fix, don’t forget that we have private fitting rooms in our BLANC stores and our tailors will be delighted to help with measurements - see when our tailors are in store here.
This step is tough for many of us as clothes are actually very sentimental and can hold a lot of memories. Don’t forget that the goal of such a closet cleanse is not to throw away anything you actually love even if you don’t use it as often, but to create a wardrobe without unnecessary clutter that you never use.
3. Stow the seasonal
Regardless of where you live, there are seasonal shifts in the climate which will affect what you choose to wear. Most wardrobes are stuffed from A to Z with clothes from all seasons which means you’ll see twenty summer dresses alongside ten different winter coats. This increases the visual clutter, which in turn will increase stress.
Some garments are worn all year round and cannot be divided into a season. Put them in a separate pile. For the remaining items, sort depending on the season you usually wear them in: spring/summer or fall/winter. You can create piles for all different seasons, but to simplify the process a bit, two piles are usually enough (and at least in the UK, the transitions of winter to fall and spring to summer are not that remarkable).
4. Freshen up your wardrobe space
When the wardrobe detox is in full swing it is likely that your focus will be on all the clothes you own, so let us remind you to redirect the spotlight to the actual wardrobe. It’s not every day that your clothes are outside of your wardrobe space, and so here comes its five minutes in the spotlight! Your clothes should not be stored in a dusty and grimy space so take this opportunity to wipe and clean the drawers and the entire wardrobe space. If you feel like your wardrobe is too small for your clothes, IKEA has some really great space-saving storing solutions that are made for clothing specifically - these are also great to store away the pieces that are currently not in season. Before you put the clothes back in, place some natural cedar balls in the knitwear drawer to keep them moth-free and a lavender-scented bag to keep the rest of your wardrobe fresh and with a good smell.
5. Time to organise
Now that your closet is sparkling clean, it’s time to fill it with all the beautiful clothes you decided to keep. Store your clothes from the “Keep: frequent use” pile - and if you’re going for a seasonal wardrobe, your clothes that are in season at the moment - in an easily accessible space and tuck away your least-used items. To make it easy for you, group like-with-like, so that all different types of items have their own place. If you’re using boxes or other storing solutions, label them to simplify finding your clothes in the future.
6. Ditch the excess hangers (or better: give them back to us!)
After a closet cleanse as serious as this, your wardrobe should look a lot less filled than it was before. What many people forget to remove at this stage are the hangers. Leaving the hangers inside your wardrobe after a purge also leaves the impression of visual clutter and will, therefore, cause stress even though you did your detox. So, ditch the excess hangers - they won’t be fulfilling their purpose in your wardrobe anymore!
However, when we say “ditch”, we don’t suggest the bin as an option (even if it’s for recycling). According to fashion designer Roland Mouret, the hangers are the straws of the fashion industry and so far, billions of them have ended up in landfills. Because of their ungainly form, they are extremely hard to recycle and if they are, the process is extremely energy-intensive. The best and most sustainable way to handle the hangers issue is to reuse them for as long as possible - and that is exactly what we are doing at BLANC. You can either give your excess hangers to our staff in-store, or to the drivers collecting and dropping off your orders! Note that we can’t accept hangers made of wood or fabric as they can colour off on the clothes. However, if we can’t accept them, most charity shops and vintage stores do! Here you can see all the things we reuse and how you can help us continue to do so.
After completing these six steps, your wardrobe is hopefully more loved than ever. But how can you keep the wardrobe organised and tidy? Here are three more of our best tips to maintain your dream wardrobe after the big detox.
7. Build a Capsule Wardrobe with Project 333
Ever heard of Project 333? It’s a great concept and the perfect challenge for anyone who is trying to get into minimalist living. The idea is simple: wear only 33 items for the next three months. The idea of a minimalist capsule wardrobe is to optimise the mix and match outfits so that you can own fewer pieces. Start by sorting your basic pants and skirts and your basic tops and sweaters. Then, evaluate if you need to add some items to get the colour and style options you want.
8. One in, one out rule
To make sure your wardrobe never again becomes excessive and cluttered, introduce the one in, one out rule. It is exactly as easy as it sounds: if you buy or receive a new piece of clothing, one of the items in your wardrobe needs to be given to charity, sold or given away. This way, you’ll maintain the size of your wardrobe that works best for you.
9. Invest in longevity
To help you get started on your capsule wardrobe, we teamed up with Riley Studio this January. On a mission to make conscious consumerism the new norm, Riley Studio have set out a wardrobe of gender-neutral staples that are kind on the planet. They design products to love for a lifetime and only produce small runs of versatile, durable pieces in the most sustainable manner possible. Enter code “BLANC” in the checkout when shopping with Riley Studio to get one of their beautiful tote bags for free!