How a Capsule Wardrobe Will Change Your Knitting Habits (For the Better!)

If you have ever spent lots of time and money knitting something, only to realise that it was a bit of a mistake, I'd like to introduce you to the concept of a "Capsule Wardrobe."

Now, if you've been hanging around in the online fashion space anytime within the last couple of years, you will be no stranger to the concept of a capsule wardrobe.

I've briefly touched on the topic of capsule wardrobes before in my post about resolutions you can make to improve your handknit wardrobe, but today I will be going into more depth.

In short, a capsule wardrobe is a relatively small collection of clothing that you love to wear and is easy to mix and match. This means that you no longer hang onto those jeans that used to fit and that dress that you bought online but forgot to return. This wardrobe is highly curated and leaves no room for clothing that doesn't make us feel amazing.

My capsule wardrobe is very small at the moment, as I was pretty ruthless about keeping only what I wear regularly. It will probably get a little bigger over time.

How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe

  1. Take all of your clothes out of your wardrobe and examine every piece. Do you love it? Do you actually wear it? Does it still fit? Is it falling apart?

  2. Put each piece into one of three piles: keep, maybe or goodbye. Keep the items that you love and wear all the time. Do not keep anything that doesn't fit or doesn't make you feel amazing. Anything that you are not 100% sure on can go in the maybe pile to be reassessed later.

  3. Take a look at what is in your keep pile and make notes on any colour palettes, patterns and silhouettes that jump out at you. This will help you to further understand your personal style.

  4. Make notes on any regular activities you do, so that you can ensure you end up with a wardrobe suitable for your lifestyle. If you regularly go to parties where you need to dress up, you better have a couple of fancy outfits in your capsule. I, on the other hand, rarely need to dress up, so my wardrobe is a lot more casual.

  5. Start to build your capsule, using as much of your own clothing as possible. Fill in any urgent gaps with handmade items you'd like to knit/sew and make a shopping list to purchase the things you can’t make.

Note: Don't worry about keeping to a strict number of garments in your wardrobe. In order for this to be sustainable, you should be patient and allow your capsule to evolve over time. Mine started extremely small but is slowly growing with new pieces that are special to me. The crucial thing here is to have enough clothing that you love in your wardrobe to accommodate your daily lifestyle. Eliminate the excess.

Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.
— William Morris

The Benefits of a Capsule Wardrobe for Knitters

A capsule wardrobe makes you hyper-aware of your personal style. When I started loosely using one, approximately one year ago, I realised that whilst I adore working with colour, I don't enjoy wearing much of it. I prefer neutrals with a subtle pop of colour.

"Ahhh, so that's why I never wear that beautiful, yet utterly luminous, orange cardigan!" A lightbulb moment.

When you have a deep understanding of the kinds of knits that you like to wear (silhouette, fibre, colour, weight of yarn etc.) you are able to make more considered decisions about the garments you would like to knit. You can almost guarantee that each and every garment that comes off the needles will become a much-loved part of your wardrobe!

Additionally, a capsule wardrobe makes you much more focused on what your wardrobe genuinely needs. When you've gone through it with a fine-tooth comb, you are far more likely to spot the gaps (and the duplicates!) Why make another cabled sweater when you are missing a lightweight cardigan for the summer? Perhaps your handknit socks are on their last legs, so it's time to make a few more pairs.

Working with a capsule wardrobe has helped me to prioritise the knits that I know will make a tangible difference to my wardrobe (Whilst leaving some room for a little frivolity when the mood takes me!)

Make a Start

Having a strong capsule wardrobe will help you to make better decisions on what you knit based on your own personal style, rather than a whim.

If you're ready to have a wardrobe full of hand knitted garments that you love, it's time to start your own capsule. I actually have a Ravelry group on this topic, so it would be lovely to have you join us over there!