Decision fatigue is a massive problem in today's world. We’re constantly bombarded with options, ads, and persistent notifications that demand our attention.
At TEREN, we’re advocates of streamlining basic tasks so you can reduce your stress and enjoy the things you love most.
One of the daily challenges many face is the seemingly simple act of choosing what to wear for the day. This routine decision can be surprisingly time-consuming and stressful, especially when faced with a cluttered closet and the daunting mountains of laundry that follow.
This is where a capsule wardrobe shines. By curating an intentional wardrobe with minimal pieces, you can mitigate decision fatigue, reclaim your time, and focus on what truly matters in your hectic life.
So, let's break down what a capsule wardrobe is and how to curate a closet that works for you.
What Is a Capsule Wardrobe?
A capsule wardrobe is a streamlined and intentional approach to crafting a wardrobe. The idea is that less is more, and each piece should make you feel good and be easily styled with the other pieces in your wardrobe.
The ability to mix and match each piece interchangeably with the other items in your closet means less time in front of the mirror, and wondering if your outfit looks good. The versatility of each individual piece also helps to keep your wardrobe feeling fresh and cohesive.
Why Choose a Capsule Wardrobe Over a Traditional Wardrobe?
There are a lot of advantages of a capsule wardrobe over a traditional wardrobe.
First, reducing the number of things in your wardrobe and having a cohesive theme takes a lot of stress out of choosing an outfit. Fewer clothes also mean a smaller opportunity for dirty laundry to pile up.
Also, if you’re spending less money on buying tons of different clothing, you can focus on building a high-quality wardrobe that you can rely on.
Lastly, capsule wardrobes encourage mindful consumption and are much more environmentally friendly than traditional wardrobes. Did you know that three out of five garments end up in the landfill after only a year? Mindful consumption is a great way to lower your carbon footprint.
Capsule Wardrobe Versus Minimalist Wardrobe
While capsule and minimalist wardrobes share similar philosophies like reducing clutter, quality over quantity, and positive environmental impacts, there are a few key differences.
Minimalism is a philosophy that encourages people to live with less and only keep the essentials. While capsule wardrobes encourage versatility, personal style, and investing in quality clothing.
Also, minimalism is a philosophy that spills into other areas of life, while capsule wardrobes focus on practicality and style within a wardrobe.
7 Steps to Creating a Capsule Wardrobe for Men
Here are seven steps to cleaning out your closet and curating the perfect capsule wardrobe:
1. Assess Your Current Wardrobe
When creating a capsule wardrobe, it's important to analyze the pieces you already have. If there are items in your closet you don’t wear because they don’t fit right, make you feel good, or align with your personal style— it's time to get rid of them.
This isn’t a time to get too sentimental, either. While you may feel an affinity for a shirt you wore to your best friend's wedding or picked up on a great vacation— if the item no longer serves you, let it go.
Sometimes it can be challenging to eliminate items that once fit you. While it can feel tempting to keep that pair of size 30 pants you fit into a few years ago in hopes you’ll be able to squeeze back in— this creates clutter and often perpetuates negative self-talk.
Remember that donating clothing that no longer serves you allows it to serve someone else.
2. Define Your Style Needs
Once you’ve stripped your wardrobe down to only items that fit well and make you feel good, it's time to get specific about what your ideal personal style looks like.
Don’t underestimate the power of social media, either. Check Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok and find outfits that align with the ideal image you want to portray to the world. This is an opportunity to get specific and elevate your style.
Capsule wardrobes should have an emphasis on neutral colors, timeless items, and versatile pieces, but there’s plenty of room to get creative through a few statement pieces, accessories, and your preferred color palette.
Opt for neutrals like white, beige, navy blue, light blue, black, gray, and green.
3. Prioritize Quality Over Quantity
When you limit the clothing in your closet, you want to ensure that each piece you own is high quality and built to last.
Instead of owning five t-shirts with holes, stains, and shrunken fibers, opt for two high-quality white t-shirts that are stain-resistant, antimicrobial, ultra-soft, and temperature-regulating.
4. Start With The Basics
A great starter capsule wardrobe begins with a solid foundation of basics. At TEREN, we created a line of the perfect capsule pieces for the adventurous, hard-working, and style-conscious guy.
We knew we wanted the perfect base layer to be made of high-quality, natural fibers that could withstand the demands of daily wear and adventures.
We also created a great button-up called The Daily Driver Shirt that is designed to elevate any outfit while keeping you comfortable, dry, and odor-free.
Tons of men gravitate toward jeans for their capsule wardrobes, but we wanted to create some great alternatives to jeans that were more stylish, functional, and comfortable.
The Lightweight Traveler Pants are ideal for:
- The Office
- River trips
- Travel & more.
They’re equipped with a gusseted seat, 4-way stretch, moisture-wicking abilities, sun protection, anti-microbial properties, quick drying, and they’re even insect repellant.
The Daily Driver Pants are ideal for:
- Everyday wear
- Office wear
- A night out
These pants go above and beyond and feature durable water resistance, stain release, 4-way stretch, antimicrobial properties, odor resistance, quick drying properties and are totally moisture wicking.
Jackets and Outerwear
Regardless of the season it's wise to have some pieces in your wardrobe that can be layered to keep you warm or dry during inclement weather.
Your base layer should be breathable, moisture-wicking, and odor-resistant like our Long Sleeved Traveler Tee, but your mid-layer should be insulative & stylish enough to throw on when the temperature drops.
We created some great mid and outler layers to help keep you warm and stylish when the temperature drops. Our Daily Driver Fleece is lightweight, packable, and quick drying. This makes it ideal for wearing out on the town or even under your ski jacket in the winter.
The outer layers we created were the Campfire Puffy, and Daily Driver Puffy. What we love about puffy jackets is that they pack down small and weigh next to nothing, This makes them ideal for backpacking, minimalist travel, and for going out. They can be worn alone, or they can also also serve as outer layers when it's extra cold outside.
Lastly, regardless of where you live it's wise to have a great rain shell to keep moisture out during rain and snowstorms. We created the Cloudland Shell as the perfect companion for winter activities, heavy rain, and a sleek minimalist capsule wardrobe.
5. Adding Personality With Accessories and Statement Pieces
One of the biggest concerns when curating a men's capsule wardrobe is that unique style won’t be honored or highlighted. This couldn’t be further from the truth. There are so many great ways to accessorize through a few statement button-ups, hats, belts, and shoes.
Changing from casual shoes like sneakers to dress shoes can instantly elevate an outfit. Similarly, opting for a stylish pair of pants like The Daily Driver Pants, instead of jeans, can instantly give an outfit a business casual appeal.
Your capsule wardrobe will be the ideal foundation to let your statement pieces shine and should be easily dressed up or down.
If you’re worried about only having a couple of fun shirts, remember that you can always recycle your old clothing through consignment stores. When I feel the statement pieces in my wardrobe are overworn, tired, or no longer aligned with my desired aesthetic—I simply consign them and swap them out for pieces that do.
6. Consider Seasonal Rotations
Rotating seasonal pieces isn’t just a concept you see in capsule wardrobes. Tons of people cycle through cold and warm weather wardrobes to create space in their closets and keep them feeling fresh.
Doing so aligns with the principles of building a capsule wardrobe.
This prevents you from having too many clothes to choose from, but also will allow you to be prepared if you live somewhere with heavy weather fluctuations.
7. The One-In One-Out Rule
Just like we stated previously, there is nothing wrong with swapping tired clothing items with newer ones. Just be sure you’re following the one-in, one-out rule so you’re not letting your wardrobe grow unnecessarily.
A shirt here and there paired with a few skipped trips to the thrift store or consignment store can cause chaos in your wardrobe and detract from what you set out to achieve in the first place.
This is why so many capsule wardrobe enthusiasts limit the clothing items in their closet to 30 to 40 items. You know that if your own capsule wardrobe exceeds your desired number, it's time to reevaluate your closet.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some commonly asked questions about capsule wardrobes:
How Many Items Should Be in a Men's Capsule Wardrobe?
The number of clothing items in your capsule wardrobe is a matter of personal choice. However, most people aim to have anywhere from 30 to 40 pieces.
How Often Should I Update or Rotate Items in My Capsule Wardrobe?
Depending on your needs and the weather patterns of your city, you can refresh your wardrobe anywhere from 2 to 4 times a year. Your clothing should have a timeless style that will withstand multiple years of wear, but statement pieces can be swapped out seasonally to help keep your wardrobe feeling fresh.
Can I Have a Capsule Wardrobe if My Lifestyle Requires Different Dress Codes?
Yes, it is entirely possible to have a capsule wardrobe even if your life requires different dress codes. You may need to increase your clothing item limit by 5-10 additional pieces, or simply opt for clothing that is truly versatile– like the options we have available on our site.
Hopefully, by now, you’re convinced that a capsule wardrobe is a great way to eliminate stress and align your closet with your ideal personal style.
If you want to build a capsule wardrobe, it’ll likely require a good, hard look at your existing wardrobe and analyzing your body type, particular style needs, and budget.
Remember to invest in quality over quantity, and any clothing item that isn't an absolute yes is a definite no.