Capsule Wardrobe: Reduce Wedding Planning Stress and Look Good Doing It

Outfit laid out on bed

Everyone has to make daily decisions, and even the smallest choice can become a big deal when planning for a wedding. One way to reduce stress is to reduce those decisions, and a capsule wardrobe is a wonderful way to make sure you are always looking and feeling your best. It removes stress while keeping you beautiful and poised.

A capsule wardrobe is, simply, a collection of only five to seven outfits, with some combination and swapping possible within the chosen pieces. They should represent a perfect cross section of good, practical outfits that work for many occasions and in all weather for the current season. The challenge, however, is to wear only those outfits for 3 months. Here’s how to make it happen.

Woman picking clothes hanging in a closet

Pick Your Classics

A capsule wardrobe can actually be a variety of sizes, but one way to make sure you don’t go too large with your amount of clothes is to give yourself a limit; one common trend is to choose only 37 total articles of clothing, including shoes but not including underwear. Dresses are a plus during summer months, but require a pair of leggings when it gets colder, so if you realize that something like a 37 item limit is too restrictive, you can just raise your limit to make sure you are comfortable.

When choosing a new season’s capsule wardrobe, I start with the heart of my outfit: tops, pants, skirts, and dresses. I try to find some that are able to be swapped, like two pairs of leggings that look equally good with a skirt and top or a dress. Once I have those outfits set, preferably five of them, I add the simplest pajamas I have, two pairs of shoes, a set of workout clothes or two, and outerwear for the season.

The key is to minimize in whatever ways you are comfortable by asking yourself critical questions: do we have to wear different scarves every day, or do we actually have one that works with all our looks? A hat and gloves may be necessary, but if keeping multiples, it is easy to lose or give up on them. Find ways to pick something you can live with as your single item for three months.

Folded stack of clothes on table

Put Everything Else Out of the Bedroom

During this capsule time period, all other clothing should be put away where you cannot see it, and once a week you should wash all the clothing items so they can be ready to go for the following week. The benefit of doing this is that you always have very few items to choose from when making an outfit. Rather than worrying about whether something clashes or freaking out that there is a stain on an item of clothing, you just grab and go. Need to meet your wedding planner? You have only a few outfits to choose from, but they’ve all been selected ahead of time.

Enjoy the Freed up Time and Energy

A capsule wardrobe offers more benefits than just ease of use. At the end of the week, rather than trying to remember which items need to be washed and which might be worn another week without a problem, you can simply wash all the clothes from your wardrobe. Laundry purists can even choose a color palette that will make all the laundry naturally go in the same load. For instance, no whites with reds.

Be Your Best Wedding Planning Self

Rather than accidentally wearing an outfit that you really hate because you are in a rush, a capsule wardrobe plans ahead for those moments by giving you an array of your favorite, well-thought-out outfits and keeping those handy at all times. Just the process of trying to narrow down your articles of clothing can make you zero in on the looks that make you look and feel your best, which always helps during a stressful day of wedding planning.

Clothes hanging on rack in store

Customize the Capsule to Suit Your Needs

A capsule wardrobe can actually be a variety of sizes, but one way to make sure you don’t go too large with your amount of clothes is to give yourself a limit: a person might choose only 33 total articles of clothing, including shoes but not including underwear. This means they would aim for perhaps one real all-purpose cardigan and one coat, one belt, and one hat, so that they’d have enough leftover articles to form a few mix-and-match tops and pants.

Feel Like a New Person Every Three Months

The next step after a capsule wardrobe experiment is to try another one for a new season. You will get the pleasure that often comes with buying new clothes just from opening up your stores of unused clothes and picking from items that haven’t been worn in quite a while. Many people choose to keep a capsule wardrobe for three months at a time, but even if you just cannot bear to wait that long for some variety, you can switch out what you are wearing after six weeks or two months. The benefits in the meantime are still there, you just experience a new shift more often.

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