Why a Premade Capsule Wardrobe Won't Solve Your Style Problems (And What to Do Instead)
A premade capsule wardrobe may sound appealing: no work and new clothes! But you need to put the effort in to create your ultimate style identity.
August 23, 2022
A premade capsule wardrobe is a set of clothes pieced together by someone else that you wear for a set time. They can save you time, reduce mental overhead, help you experiment, or gain style clarity. But they often fail because we forget one simple thing: capsules aren’t magic.
Capsules created by someone else are far less effective. You should be the only one making decisions about the clothes you wear: they’re part of who you are!
What is a premade capsule wardrobe?
You may have heard how a capsule wardrobe can help you pare down your closet, hone your style, and simplify your routine. All of that is true!
But each of those results require a mindset shift. Simply rotating your closet isn’t enough.
A capsule wardrobe limits variety, which can help you get dressed faster each day and push your creative boundaries. Even though there’s no perfect number of pieces to include, no essential items, and no color requirements, deciding on (and sticking to) your own “rules” is a challenge.
Now imagine someone else making the rules: helpful or stifling?
Some clothing brands offer to kickstart your capsule lifestyle with a premade capsule wardrobe. Or you’ll see style bloggers post capsule graphics on Instagram—along with affiliate links to buy every piece they chose. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that capsule will work for your unique style. Proceed with caution!
Why a premade capsule wardrobe isn’t your perfect style solution
A premade capsule wardrobe is appealing to many. Not having to think about the clothes you wear? That’s a gift!
But skipping over the heavy-lifting work of designing your own capsule wardrobe is honestly a huge risk. Here are three reasons premade capsules fail.
If you don’t love the clothes, you won’t love the capsule wardrobe
You have to love every single piece included in a premade capsule wardrobe in order to experience success. And by “love,” I mean love on your body.
Radical change is a tough pill to swallow. You may think you’re ready to cast aside your old ways and take on a new identity. But ultimately, a premade capsule wardrobe can leave you feeling like an imposter—and longing for your old clothes.
A premade capsule wardrobe can seriously restrict your style— if it doesn’t fit your unique style
Any capsule wardrobe comes with limitations. Those designed by someone else are particularly challenging. How do you mix and match pieces you didn’t choose and never fully appreciated?
Even if you think you adore every single piece featured in a premade capsule wardrobe (and you think, “this will be the new me!”), there’s bound to be a few that don’t work for you.
Worst of all, even if the clothes all go together, that doesn’t mean they’ll truly fit you. Maybe the tops do, but the bottoms don’t—and you definitely won’t wear things that don’t fit and feel good, even if they go together.
If it seems too good to be true, it usually is.
Related: The "perfect" wardrobe is a myth, sorry. Here's why.
Capsule wardrobes just aren’t for everyone
Some people need variety. Swimming through a sea of 1,000 pieces of clothing each morning is just part of their process. If this is you, a capsule wardrobe may never be the right fit.
Remember, a premade capsule wardrobe comes with limited options. So even if you can appreciate a minimalist lifestyle, when you’re still discovering your style, you need the freedom to add new items to your wardrobe. Timing is everything, you know?
For capsule wardrobe beginners and experts alike, the Capsule Wardrobe Planner will guide you through the creation of a thoughtful, intentional, and yes, fun, capsule! This free worksheet guides you through everything you need to plan a capsule and make it actually work for you.
How to actually build a wardrobe (capsule or not) that you love
There are no shortcuts to personal style. The best way to achieve your ideal wardrobe is to build it yourself!
But just because you’re doing the work (making the big decisions) doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. Use these strategies to cultivate a closet that complements who you are.
Embrace variety that feels authentic to your style
A premade capsule wardrobe is usually one textbook style or another. This doesn’t work out because most people are the combination of a few different vibes. You can feel boho chic one day and girly the next. Dealer’s choice!
Your wardrobe should cover all the unique versions of you. Whether you take a personalized capsule approach or embrace endless variety in your closet, be sure to have items that suit your ever-changing personality (but still fit your signature style).
Related: How to start a 2022 capsule wardrobe for your unique personal style
Focus on developing your personal style instead of following external rules
Influencers and pretty capsule graphics will trick you into thinking you need some “essential” article of clothing. It’s not true! The only clothes you truly need are the ones that make you feel like yourself and feel good in your own skin.
If a blazer, or straight leg jeans, or a “classic” white shirt doesn’t feel like your style, it’s not “essential” to you.
There is no “right” way to dress. Odds are, you probably already have all the articles of clothing you need to showcase your personal style. (They might just be hiding amidst some impulse purchases or past-life pieces—which is why I never start my clients off with a closet cleanout!)
If you need help figuring out your personal style, download my free Capsule Wardrobe Planner. Whether you’re new to capsules or on your 10th wardrobe rotation, it’ll help you plan out a capsule wardrobe that will actually work for you.
Figure out what you need to replace in your wardrobe
Every now and then you may find yourself inundated with clothes you don’t actually wear (or want to wear). This is normal! As your body, mind, and mood evolve, so too must your wardrobe.
Stay conscious of your feelings towards your clothes. If you’re not wearing something a whole lot, don’t feel obligated to hold onto it just because it’s already in your closet. Trade up for something new that brings you real joy.
Play with constraints in a way that works for you
You may think you hate constraints. (Let’s face it: using a premade capsule can feel like you’re shackled to your closet!) And limiting your wardrobe feels a lot like being told what to do: wear these not those. But constraints you create yourself are actually helpful—honestly, they’re healthy!
Experiment with wardrobe boundaries in order to alleviate stress and focus on the clothing you love. But don’t oppress yourself in the meantime. A Capsule Wardrobe Planner can seriously help you understand healthy rules and limitations so your clothes become a safe, easy thing in your life.
A premade capsule wardrobe may sound appealing: no work and new clothes! But you need to put the work in to create your style identity. Premade capsules fail because they don’t ultimately reflect all the parts of your personality.
How do you discover your personal style and create a wardrobe that works? Sign up for The Unfolding to learn how to show up as your authentic self and develop the language necessary to discuss your unique style!