Last Updated on July 7, 2020
A question that comes up a lot when discussing a capsule wardrobe (although this doesn’t just apply to capsules!) is:
“Doesn’t it get boring/dull/uninspiring wearing the same clothes all the time?”
I chatted a bit about this in my recent spring/summer capsule video, but I wanted to dig into it more. I completely understand why people think this because I also had these worries, it’s why I initially just challenged myself to try the capsule wardrobe for a year – I thought it would be an interesting experiment and help me understand my style and wardrobe needs better but that I would likely go back after because it would be too “boring”. (Spoiler: 6 years later I still love my capsule!)
Here are some of the things I’ve learned to keep my closet feeling fresh and how I fall in love with my pieces again and again:
Forget about Trends
Trends are designed to make you feel like what you have isn’t good enough and you can only be cool/pretty/sexy/stylish if you wear the newest style. Fast fashion in particular has a ridiculous 52 micro-trends a year. The business model relies on constantly selling clothes and therefore needs you to always be shopping, fast fashion is intentionally designed to make you feel like you constantly need new and “better” things.
Letting go of and ignoring trends can be hard at first but it’s incredibly liberating. If you focus on finding your personal style and wearing the clothes you feel best in, you can have a much more fulfilling wardrobe that uniquely reflects you, your lifestyle, and aesthetic.
Give your Star Pieces their Time to Shine
Too often we don’t wear special pieces our of fear of damaging/losing them, wearing them out, or that if they are worn too often they will somehow be less special.
For me this was an eye-opener when I started minimizing my closet and building a capsule wardrobe, some of my most precious pieces were rarely worn – what a waste! You can’t truly enjoy a garment when it’s just hanging in your closet.
Is there a risk it could get damaged? Yes, but that is part of life and I think it’s worse to never wear it. I’ve had very treasured items get worn out/damaged over the years, and while it’s sad I remind myself that I actually got to enjoy the piece instead of it rarely or never seeing the light of day. It also feels wonderful to wear your most special pieces!
If it is something quite formal, try dressing it down – a pair of flats and jacket can do wonders! Or plan some occasions to wear it, maybe a fancy dress brunch with friends or dress up for a date night (even if it’s just sharing a bottle of wine at home).
Step Out of your Comfort Zone
We tend to gravitate towards the same looks and outfits which over time can feel stale and boring. To combat this, push yourself to try new combinations or ways of styling your clothes.
Try challenging yourself to wear an outfit you’ve never worn before. A fun way to get creative can be to blindly pull two pieces from your wardrobe and try to build an outfit around them. You can also look on social media for inspiration and see if there are outfits you can recreate with what you already have.
An easy way to change up your look is also styling them differently – try belts, different tucks, ties, cuffs, playing with layers, or different accessories. Even a small change can really reinvigorate an outfit!
Are you Comparing Yourself to Others?
Oof this is a tough one. Seeing friends, peers, and people you follow always in new outfits, constantly shopping, or with huge closets can definitely make you and your wardrobe feel boring and “less than”. Unfortunately recognizing when you’re comparing yourself to others and mentally combating it can take a lot of work and is an ongoing process, however one thing that’s helpful is simply unfollowing people who only bring up negative feelings for you.
It’s also important to remember the benefits of not shopping – how wasteful, destructive, and unethical the fast fashion consumption cycle is. While all the new outfits may look glamorous and exciting on social media it’s the product of a very ugly industry.
Remember Why you Bought a Piece
What did you love about your clothes when you got them? Sometimes just recalling when they were new can reignite that feeling.
Ask yourself if the items still have the qualities you initially bought them for – was it a great fit? You loved the style/colour/shape? It filled a hole in your wardrobe? Or you simply felt amazing in it? If the answer is no, then is there a way the piece can be altered or styled differently to bring those features you loved back out?
How is your Closet Organized/Arranged?
We will usually pick what is easiest to see and find and this can result in wearing the same pieces and combinations over and over.
Re-organizing your closet or arranging your clothes in a different way so they are easier to see or that certain pieces are more centered can help with creativity or remind you of pieces that were forgotten in the corners or bottoms of piles.
Also clear out the clutter – if there are pieces you definitely aren’t wearing (maybe they no longer fit, need mending, etc.) put these somewhere else. The clearer and more easy to navigate your closet is, the easier it will be to find and put together outfits and get creative with new combinations.
Even if you don’t re-organize it’s helpful to go through everything and remind yourself of all the pieces in your closet and which ones might deserve some more wear.
Put your Clothes Away for a Season or Two
One of my favourite things about having a capsule wardrobe is bringing my seasonal clothes back out of storage. Even though I’ve had them for years, it’s exciting to see them again and brings a freshness and creatively to my wardrobe and outfit planning.
If you have clothes you are bored with or on the fence about keeping, pack them away for a season or two. When you pull them out see how you feel with them re-introduced to your wardrobe. This is a great way to help decide if they work for your closet or it’s time to let them go.
Are there any other ways you’ve found to get creative or relieve wardrobe-boredom without shopping? I’d love to hear them!
If you’d like more tips and guidance on assessing your wardrobe needs, changing shopping habits and building a conscious closet, check out my ebook!