As I wait (very impatiently) for Canada Post to sort out what happened to my recent online clothing purchase, I’ve been perusing Pinterest, researching capsule wardrobes and trying to envision how mine would look, if only my shipment would appear!
The capsule wardrobe idea first wowed me in January of 2018, and I did a little bit of research on it then. It was an intriguing idea, and I was very keen on the concept. Since I was decluttering our home of so much crapola anyway, it made sense to go through my clothes and get rid of stuff that I no longer wore. I currently have regrets about one particular skirt, but I’ll make do.
I cleaned a lot of clothing out, and my husband, not wanting to be outdone, also went through some of this things and contributed to the donation pile. It felt good to have less. Did I mention he wants us to retire to a tiny home on wheels? I mean, the house isn’t going to clear itself out.
One of the best-illustrated articles about capsule wardrobes popped up in my Pinterest feed a second time as if reminding me it was there (and that I really hadn’t reached my goal of a minimalist closet). I visited the site again and scoped it out. Again. Got inspired. Again. Check it out here—> Living in Yellow. I’m not going to lie, I’d love to sit down and chat with Erin over a glass of wine and talk clothes.
Disclaimer: I’m not a huge fan of brand names or shopping for clothes. When I go to the mall, I’m looking for something very specific, and NOT a name brand.
If you’ve had a chance to check out Living In Yellow, you can see what I mean. Pretty and inspirational.
I went back to my closet and repeated the process from January. Only this time, I had a specific colour scheme in mind. And, this isn’t even the first time I’ve tinkered with this idea, I advise parents to pack their kid’s camp clothing in this manner too – remember this post? Thing is, I forgot about applying it to my everyday life (although I definitely use it for camping!).
So what does any of this have to do with camping?
Well, when you reduce the amount of clothing you have, you’ll also reduce the amount of clothing to bring. You’ll even reduce the amount of time it takes to throw an outfit together because IT WILL ALL MATCH. But, that doesn’t mean you won’t have options!
How to develop a starter camping clothing capsule
Start by picking a neutral colour or two in bottoms. Black and denim work well here. The idea is to pick two colours that are going to go well with nearly anything. You can pick tan, brown, or gray, too.
I chose white and blue denim and black because I own them already. I also own black, blue and white denim skirts, plus a black dressy skirt. The white will work well in spring and summer, although I’d never wear white camping.
Add a few neutral pieces in tops. Think tank tops, t-shirts, and long sleeve t-shirts. Don’t forget sweaters and sweatshirts. These should all look great with the bottoms already chosen, in any combination.
I stuck with black, blue and charcoal grey, again, because I already own these pieces. Don’t buy brand new unless you need to replace a piece. After all, this is about spending less and working with what you already own. Definitely be sure to have a white tank and a white t-shirt.
Pick an accent colour. The accent colour is what’s going to add interest and choice to your outfits. Definitely consider a tank top, t-shirt and something floral in your chosen accent colour. These will be great items to mix and match with what you’ve chosen above.
I stuck with pink since I already own a fair amount of it. A pink floral short-sleeved shirt, a tank top, and a t-shirt. I also have a pink cardigan, and a deep maroon sweater, which will go with black or pink. To carry the capsule wardrobe outside of camping, a bag, scarf or necklace in your chosen accent colour are also great options.
Pick a second accent colour. You’d be wise to pick a secondary accent colour because you want to continue to love your first accent colour, and not get tired of it. Again, be sure to have a tank top, a t-shirt and maybe a long-sleeved shirt in your secondary accent colour.
Footwear counts too!
Next on the list is footwear. If you are just picking out a capsule wardrobe for camping, then you can leave your regular shoe collection alone. Camping footwear should include good, solid running shoes or hiking shoes, rain boots and flip flops or sandals.
If you are extending your capsule wardrobe to include your everyday clothing, you may have a substantial number of shoes in your collection. Minimalist is what we’re going for, so take a long, hard look at your collection and see what you can donate or get rid of. I know how hard this is, believe me – I tossed 6 pairs of heels I never wear, and only kept my favourites, so I feel your pain. I was operating on the one-pair-in-one-pair-out rule, but I really needed to pare down (see what I did there? Yeah, sorry!).
You will want a casual shoe (that goes well with jeans), a dressy shoe and some boots. You can have more than three pairs, but again, the idea is to be able to mix and match and have each pair go with at least three outfits.
I kept a white pair of sneakers (that will never see a campground, they’ll get destroyed), a gray pair of slip-on running shoes, three pairs of heels, two pairs of boots and then, my trusty flip-flops. I am not counting winter boots here, either, because it just doesn’t apply.
And here we are!
At this point, you should have fewer than 10 bottoms and maybe 15-20 tops in your capsule. You can have more, you can have less. The key is to make sure everything goes well with the other players in your closet because this is what allows you to mix and match while offering you maximum choice in your day-to-day outfits. You also should be sure you LOVE the pieces you own. They shouldn’t bunch, cause wedgies or itching. If you find you’re picking or readjusting something shortly after putting it on, it’s probably not for you.
Now, when you pack for your camping trip, you will pack confidently because even if you’re packing light, everything will match. Don’t forget to roll your capsule clothing to maximize your packing space, too!
What do you think of the camping capsule wardrobe? Do you think I missed anything?