How to Shop for a Capsule Wardrobe and Buy Clothes You’ll Actually Wear

How to Shop for a Capsule Wardrobe and Buy Clothes You’ll Actually Wear

The average adult in the UK has 118 items of clothing in their wardrobes with 31 items going unworn for at least a year. The reason for owning but not wearing these items is usually down to comfort. If something doesn't fit your body or suit your style, you're unlikely to reach for it when getting dressed.

We are buying more clothes than ever before but we're wearing them a lot less. Some items never get worn at all! When 350,000 tonnes of wearable clothing is being sent to landfill every year, it's important to shop responsibly and only buy clothes you know you'll love to wear—which is often easier said than done!

If you've ever purchased an item of clothing and never worn it or struggle to find clothes you love the look of and feel good on; this article will show you how to shop for a capsule wardrobe and buy clothes you'll actually wear.

Where do I start when buying new clothes?

The biggest mistake when buying new clothes is focusing on individual items rather than the outfits they can create. That doesn't mean buying a whole new outfit every time you shop for new clothes! Instead, focus on the number of outfits you will be able to create with the new item. If you can't style it in at least three different ways using the clothes you already own, don't buy it! By focusing on outfits rather than individual items, you'll end up with a more cohesive wardrobe that is easier to style. You'll save money and get more wear out of your wardrobe!

How do I choose clothes to buy?

When choosing clothes to buy, look for items that are easy to style with your existing wardrobe and can be combined to create numerous outfits. Avoid trend-led pieces and focus on classic silhouettes instead, paying close attention to fabric and fit. Start with a plan, like a wardrobe wishlist, with pieces you're looking to buy and know will suit your style and existing wardrobe. This helps develop your personal style and maintain a cohesive wardrobe over time.

How to Shop for a Capsule Wardrobe and Buy Clothes You’ll Actually Wear

How do you find clothes you feel good in?

Feeling good in your clothes is about comfort and confidence. Understanding your body shape and personal style preferences is a great starting point. Only buying clothes that fit well in cuts and colours that suit you will create a wardrobe full of outfit options that feel good to wear. When you pay attention to how an item of clothing feels and only buy clothes that fit your body, your confidence will soar.

How can you shop smart when it comes to buying clothing?

Before shopping, identify the items of clothing your wardrobe is missing. Create a wardrobe wishlist and set a budget based on the items you want to purchase. This will help avoid overspending on impulse purchases leading to a wardrobe full of clothes you don't love! When you're ready to buy clothes, try thrifting first before considering buying new. You can often find what you want at a fraction of the price!

How to Shop for a Capsule Wardrobe and Buy Clothes You’ll Actually Wear

How to Buy Clothes That You Will Actually Wear

Create a Wardrobe Inventory

The only way to shop for new clothes you'll actually wear is to know exactly what's in your wardrobe to begin with. Start with a wardrobe audit by decluttering your clothes and creating an inventory of items of what's left. This will give you a fresh start with a wardrobe full of clothes you like and enjoy wearing. From here you can start pulling together style inspiration, making a wardrobe wishlist, and planning new purchases.

Find Style Inspiration

Personal style is something a lot of people struggle with. Not knowing what clothes you like to wear and the style that looks best makes putting together cohesive outfits very difficult. Before shopping for any new clothes, you need to find style inspiration that reflects how you want to dress. Both Pinterest and TikTok are an excellent way to find wearable everyday outfits. Keep track of these outfits and try recreating them using what you already own to figure out what you enjoy wearing.

Keep a Wishlist

Once you know what clothes you already own and have style inspiration to refer back to, start putting together a wardrobe wishlist. It could be for the exact items you want to buy or something similar you're looking for. Go window shopping online and save the clothes you're considering buying. Don't forget to look on secondhand apps, like Vinted and Depop! When you're ready to make a purchase, refer back to this list. It will prevent impulse purchases and keep you on track to only buying clothes you know you'll wear.

Make Style Guidelines

Having a few style rules will make creating a cohesive wardrobe much easier. One of the best rules to follow is to not buy any item of clothing unless you have at least 3 ways to wear it. Other good style rules to follow include sticking to a defined colour palette and only buying clothes that fit exactly as you want them to. Following these rules will lead to an easy-to-wear wardrobe with versatile pieces that can be effortlessly mixed and matched. The result are outfits that look good and feel good to wear!

Shop for Outfits Not Items

When shopping for new clothes, think about the whole outfit not the individual pieces. Knowing how you'll style a piece of clothing once it's in your wardrobe is crucial for putting together outfits you love to wear. Something might look good on the hanger but unless it works with the clothes you already own, it won't get worn! It sounds obvious but try on multiple sizes on and buy the one that fits the way you want it when styled—ignore the size label!

Document Outfits

One of the best ways to figure out your personal style and make better choices about the clothes you buy is to keep track of the outfits you wear. By documenting your outfits with outfit of the day videos or photographs, you can identify the clothes you love to wear—as well as the ones you don't! Wardrobe tracking in this way will help you to keep a clutter-free wardrobe full of clothing items that make you feel as good as you look.

Be Honest

Buying clothes you actually wear ultimately comes down to being honest with yourself. Will you actually wear that item or do you just like how it looks on the hanger? Does it fit your current lifestyle or the fantasy life you wish you had? Can it be worn with the clothes you already own or do you need to buy something else first? If you want a capsule wardrobe you actually wear, you should only be buying clothes that fit your body now in a style that is wearable for your current lifestyle.

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How to Shop for a Capsule Wardrobe and Buy Clothes You’ll Actually Wear How to Shop for a Capsule Wardrobe and Buy Clothes You’ll Actually Wear