Genue Inc.
October 25, 2019

Capsules and Uniforms and Challenges, Oh My!

capsule wardrobes uniforms

Capsule Wardrobes by Natalie Borton


I can’t be the only one who struggles with getting dressed every day, right? Do you, also, stare into your closet full of clothes and feel like you have nothing to wear? Sometimes I wish I could wear the same thing every day–a structured uniform of sorts–and no one would notice.


Thus, I’m always looking for new ways to get out of a style “rut” and to find more joy and utility out of my own clothing, instead of running to the store because I have “nothing to wear”.  Which is why I’ve become fascinated with the concept of uniform dressing, capsule wardrobes, and other similar concepts.  Essentially, a highly curated closet of fewer items will warrant more wear because they are all items you love and that fit.  I’m definitely guilty of having clothes that don’t fit my lifestyle (i.e. 12 fancy dresses when in actuality I probably dress up about 3x a year) or clothes I hold onto because I spent a lot of money on them, but don’t really like or don’t actually fit.


I first heard about capsule wardrobes from Caroline of Un-Fancy and was instantly intrigued with a new lens to see shopping and fashion through. Caroline started using capsules as a way to curb her shopping and be both intentional and thoughtful about her purchases, both of which appealed to me. I realized I was making a lot of impulse purchases, like shopping for a specific occasion I hadn’t planned for or choosing clothes for the lifestyle I wish I had, instead of the one I actually do have.  Although I love delicate white pieces, they aren’t practical for my day to day life.


Building off Caroline’s capsules, Natalie Borton has started creating a capsule for each month as a way to challenge her personal style, as well as test out less worn items in her closet. She uses a free app called Cladwell that allows you to import your clothing items and makes outfit suggestions based on the weather. I’ve used the app, and while it seems to interpret the weather a bit more loosely than I would, it’s great for when I need a little bit more inspiration. And it lets me shop in my own closet, which I love. Here’s an example of her capsule wardrobe from April.


While I haven’t taken up capsule wardrobes in their entirety (picking a limited number of clothing items and wearing them for a specified portion of time), I love Caroline’s simplified definition of a uniform: “a general outfit formula that you can always fall back on.” If you can feel armed with knowing what kinds of shapes make you feel comfortable and confident, opening your closet to recreate a silhouette you know you love can feel more empowering.


If you’re just looking to dip your toe into these ideas, you can try what Caroline and other bloggers call a 10×10 challenge: 10 articles of clothing for 10 days. Here are the rules outlined by Lee of Style Bee. Want to see some examples? Caroline shares a fall 10×10 and Ellie shares a spring 10×10. It seems challenging, but also a relatively short and easy way to take a break from shopping and figure out what’s working in your own closet.


What do you think of all this? Have you ever tried a capsule or uniform or style challenge? We’d love to hear what’s worked for you in the comments!



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