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Curate Your Closet: The Winter Capsule Wardrobe Men Can't Live Without

Posted December 01 2018

Curate Your Closet: The Winter Capsule Wardrobe Men Can't Live Without

Five minutes.

That's how long it took twelve-year-old you to put together an outfit. Jeans, t-shirt, done.

But now?  Now you're staring at a closet full of business slacks, oxford shirts, button-downs, and honestly, too many options. You want to look professional and stylish, but my god, at what cost?

So what's the solution? You could use an expensive curated service, but do you really need to pay someone else to dress you? You can keep buying individual pieces you like, only to find they match nothing you actually own, but that seems like a waste of time.

The answer? A capsule wardrobe. With a capsule wardrobe, men can curate a streamlined collection of pieces that can be put together in multiple combinations to keep you looking on point all year.

Let's take a look at how it's done.

What Is a Capsule Wardrobe?

A capsule wardrobe is basically a chicken breast.

Stay with us here.

Basic, but infinitely customizable with the addition of new and different ingredients. And everyone knows the best ingredients are the ones that are in season.

A capsule wardrobe is the same way. You build a foundation of a few stylish, amazing pieces in great neutral colors, and then customize it with seasonally appropriate extras.

The system is designed so that every piece in your closet can work double, triple, or quadruple duty. A closet of say, 30 items, can suddenly customize to make hundreds of outfits.

Building the Foundation

Most guides you see on building a capsule wardrobe are for women, and while the advice to include a versatile pencil skirt may not apply (although if it does, more power to you), the concept is the same.

The core of any good capsule wardrobe is the neutral basics that stay with you season to season. This is the base of your new personal "uniform" and will be the pieces that work the hardest for you.

To get started, you'll need to consider a few things.

1. What Are Your Clothing Needs?

No matter how much you love brightly colored shorts, if your professional life requires slacks, you need at least a few pairs in your closet. Pants don't have to be a boring piece - spice it up with a fun color, pattern or embroidery if the workplace is causal. 

At the same time, if you want to channel the great James Bond but don't have much opportunity to wear a tux, you don't need to include it, no matter how amazing it looks.

Take a look at what kind of clothing you must have, and go from there.

2. Pick Your Neutrals

You want the basics of your wardrobe to be the workhorses of your closet, so steer clear of funky colors here. Navy, white, tan, and black are your friends.

This might sound crazy boring, but it's going to give you an insane amount of versatility when you start adding seasonal pieces with color and pattern.

3. Make Your List

There's no perfect number of pieces for a capsule, but most fashion experts put the ideal number between 15 and 40 total pieces. With basics, you'll want to start with:

8 tops

4 pants

No lie, it's that simple. Now, yes, you'll need a good neutral jacket or two, depending on your climate. And you'll need a few pairs of good shoes. But at its most basic, 8 tops and 4 pants will get you through an entire week of mixing and matching.

If you're really daring, you can go down to only 2 pairs of pants.

Purge!

Before you can curate your capsule wardrobe, you have to get rid of some things. Most things, actually.

Take everything out of your closet and set aside a few hours. We're going to be here awhile.

Immediately get rid of anything you haven't worn in recent memory or that doesn't fit. Don't make the mistake of hanging on to things in hopes that they might fit someday. That's just wasting valuable closet space.

Now get rid of anything you don't actually enjoy wearing. You know that work shirt you only wear when you have no other choice? Just get rid of it. A capsule wardrobe is about clothes that make you feel great. And if a piece doesn't make you feel great, toss it.

Resist the urge to hang on to anything out of sentiment. If you don't wear it, toss it. Be ruthless. It's going to look pretty bare, but that's ok. Less is more.

Aim to pare everything down to those 8 tops and 4 pants. Chances are you have everything you need sitting in your closet already. Once you're there, put back the survivors and toss or donate the rest.

The Intentional Wardrobe

The great thing about a capsule wardrobe is that it prevents the impulse buy. If you're committed to a minimalist wardrobe, you aren't going to waste money on a fun shirt that you'll wear twice before it makes its way to the back of the closet.

Instead, you can be intentional about what you add in. If you know you want to add in a fun seasonal pant, you can look at what you really love and no what you want before you ever leave the house to buy.

When you're shopping, keep an eye on those neutrals (unless you're doing some seasonal shopping) and think hard about how you can mix the piece with other elements in your closet.

Seasonal Supplementation

Here's the fun part! Once you have your basics, you can supplement them every season with a few pieces that pull everything together. This is where you can get creative with style and color. And since everything else in your closet is neutral, you're guaranteed that everything will coordinate.

What kind of pieces are we talking?

In spring and summer, casual polos can give you a pop of color without overwhelming your closet with choices.

Winter, though, offers a ton more options.

Winter Accessorizing

In winter, you need to be warm and stylish, without sacrificing one for the other. And the good news is you don't need to overload your closet to do it!

One to three great sweaters will give you a ton of combinations, and let you express your individuality in a way that doesn't clash with any of your neutral bases.

You'll also need an amazing coat. And while the classic puffer is always a decent choice, opting for a wool peacoat will keep you warm while keeping your look on point.

Winter also gives you the opportunity for scarves and gloves, both of which can be mixed and matched to provide new outfit options. This is especially successful if you can tie your scarf like a dapper gentleman of old.

Also, think about killer accessories, like gloves, watches, and ties that will put any outfit over the top.

Every season, be intentional about adding pieces and shop for quality over quantity. Spend a little extra to ensure that your wardrobe is working hard.

Capsule Wardrobe Men of Style

In a capsule wardrobe, men can find simplicity and style, without being overwhelmed with choices.

Using this method, you'll develop a unique personal style and always look like the best-dressed guy in the room.

To make the most of your wardrobe every day, take a look at our guides here!



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