Building a Capsule Wardrobe with Thrift Store Basics

published Aug 30, 2017
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(Image credit: Chloe Berk)

There are so many things that I know I should do, like taking more than one barre class or making açaí bowls instead of emptying the Lucky Charms box directly into my open mouth. Streamlining my own embarrassingly overstuffed closet into a well-curated capsule wardrobe is also on that list — it’s just a matter of getting started.

A capsule wardrobe is a collection of pieces that work together to meet every possible style need, from work and travel to casual Saturdays and first dates. Some style experts say that the perfect capsule should contain 37 pieces — not counting lounge wear, gym clothes, or accessories — and that each collection should cover roughly three months; after that, you’ll be ready to swap pieces for the next season. This is just a place to start, of course, so play around to find your sweet spot, and also to figure out if your climate allows you to get away with fewer seasonal needs.

(Image credit: Creative Studio)

Obviously, everyone’s capsule will be different, but the general idea is more or less the same. First, you’ll need to select a color palette so that all of your pieces play nicely with each other. After you have the basics — think jeans, a neutral cardigan and the kind of tee you can dress up or down — then you can add a few patterned pieces for variety. Finally, add your personal flair by accessorizing with shoes, a statement necklace, handbags or a scarf.

Thrift stores like Savers are a big help, both when you’re streamlining your own closet and when you’re filling the gaps in your newly created capsule. One crucial component of capsule-ing (yes, it’s an action verb now) is clearing out the things you no longer need or wear. Donating these items to a local nonprofit organization at Savers will prevent landfills from turning into laundry piles. Plus, Savers partners with over 120 charitable organizations, providing a source of revenue and empowering these organizations to advance their missions and causes.

Going to Savers to curate your capsule wardrobe can save you between 70–90% compared to department store price tags (maybe that’s because 95% of their inventory costs five bucks or less). Plus, thrifting all but guarantees that you’re not going to run into your outfit twin in the office elevator.

Now that you have the basics, it’s time to head out and start capsuling!

This post is sponsored by Savers and was created by Apartment Therapy’s Creative Studio.
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