Picture this, you're a doctor with your own private practice.
One day you decided to hire a full time nurse.
No big deal right?
Only you never do an interview. In fact you never even ask for a resume. You just go with your gut!
That would be nuts, right?
You're not sure if the prospective employee has any experience in nursing but she told you a really funny knock knock joke, and won an art competition in college. In fact, she reminds you a lot of the woman your best friend hired at her bakery.
STILL CRAZY! OF COURSE NONE OF THAT MAKES SENSE.
I am sure you would find it obvious to be MUCH more careful and deliberate about how you would hire an employee.
An employee is an investment to your business so of course it is crucial that they can do the job.
To hire an employee that can't do the job well is not only is it a bad investment but it is also a liability.
What does this have to do with capsule wardrobes?
If you asked me, choosing clothing for your capsule wardrobe is like hiring the perfect team of employees.
- A business decides what positions need filled.
- In a capsule wardrobe decide what pieces you need.
- A business has minimum criteria that must be met to be considered for a job.
- A capsule wardrobe has specific criteria for what works and what doesn't.
Are you following me?
Hiring a nurse because she told funny knock knock jokes, and won an art competition and your friend has a similar employee would be equivalent to purchasing a dress because the color is really unique and it has a fancy zipper in the back, and your friend looked great in something similar.
Admit it, you've done something similar at least once!
A dress being unique doesn't necessarily mean it fits your wardrobe needs. A fancy zipper doesn't mean it will go with anything else in your closet.
Is "fancy zippers" a criteria for your wardrobe? No?
Have you been searching for the perfect fancy zipper that will go with all those blue jeans you have? No?
Then promptly put down that dress and walk away from that impulse buy.
The biggest difference between a person who has a closet and a person who has a capsule wardrobe is one person carefully curates their clothing, the other fills their closet with impulse and emotions.
How does this help me create a kids capsule wardrobe?
The way you shop for your kids and the way you shop for yourself is probably not as different than you think.
The average consumer these days will be bombarded with choices and options. Overwhelm and temptations blur the lines between what you need and what you like and what they want you to think you need or like.
Look, I don't want you to think having a capsule wardrobe means you will have to question everything we buy EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
No, not at all!
BUT by asking ourselves some important questions we will give ourselves clarity we criteria that we can use over and over.
This will be helpful when crafting your kids wardrobe criteria. This criteria will be your number 1 tool when shopping and will save you many headaches.
I'm going to show you how to "hire" the right wardrobe for your little one's by answering a few simple questions.
3 questions you must answer first
1. Can it do the job?
2. Is it a good fit?
3. Is it an investment or liability?
Question #1 Can it do the job?
When I'm on the hunt for capsule wardrobe clothing I like to make my list based on" jobs" instead of items.
- A job would be "Light outer layer top that is summer friendly but will keep me warm when the office AC is blasting"
- An item would be "Light cardigan"
Do you see the difference?
I do this for two reasons.
- Listing items can be restrictive. In the example above, putting cardigan, an item, on my shopping list would have limited me from thinking about other items that could have worked just as well, if not better. If I stick with listing "jobs" then I might consider a blazer, shawl, light summer jacket, etc.
- Listing items leaves you prone to settling. When you choose to convert to capsule wardrobes you are choosing to change your mindset when it comes to clothing. When your shopping thinking is built on "items" not "jobs" it would be easy in the example above to buy the wrong cardigan. Maybe a cardigan that was too heavy for summer, or that doesn't go well with your professional attire.
Something as small as asking if it can do the job can make a big difference in whether you stay a clothing collector or become a closet curator. Do not underestimate the power of mindset.
Question #2 Is it a good fit
When you are building your company team, how well someone can do the job is only 1 important consideration. You must also try to gauge how well a potential employee will work alongside your team.
The same concept is true with your wardrobe, as most items are grouped together to create one outfit.
Luckily gauging how well an item will fit your wardrobe usually a little easier gauging the fit of a potential employee ;)
Here are a couple things you can think about just to get started.
- Does the color(s) work well with the other pieces in my wardrobe?
- Will the size and shape flatter me in my other clothing?
- Is this item versatile enough to pair with multiple items and create several outfit combinations?
In the beginning this takes some practice but if you craft a strong criteria for clothing that really fits your needs and personality than these steps become almost intuitive. Shopping won't always be an inquisitive process, but learning these questions now will help frame your mindset and keep you on track while building up your wardrobe.
Question #3 Is it an investment or liability?
When we first get started with capsule wardrobes, the items we choose pave the path for what is to come.
Asking ourselves whether our choices are assets or liabilities is even more important as we first get started.
If while you were culling and tossing items from your pre-curated wardrobe, you found yourself left needing many essentials then it is important to prioritize building a solid capsule wardrobe "base".
Maybe while shopping you found a wonderful pair of designer jeans that fit perfectly, go with anything and are known to last forever.
The only downfall is those are $300+ designer jeans and buying those would mean having nothing left in your clothing budget.
The jeans would certainly be an asset in your wardrobe, but they are also a liability by creating indefinite sacrifices of the other "jobs" you need to fill in your wardrobe.
In this scenario it would be a good idea to continue shopping on so you can build more into your base items.
Here's the kicker, investments and liabilities should be evaluated long after you buy.
Sometimes we hold onto wardrobe items much longer than we should.
Items which once suited us will NOT ALWAYS suit us. It's okay to be ready to let go.
If we choose to hang onto things that are best left to retire, we risk future damages.
Think about it, "question #2 Is it a good fit?" is based on what's already in your wardrobe.
If you're basing these decisions off things that should no longer be in there well then...you see where this is going right?
I'm sure you've experienced this.
Years ago when I decided to Kon Mari my house I realized how many clothing items hardly cared for but bought simply because they went with other clothing items I hardly cared for.
Don't purchase anything or take it home unless you've answered those 3 things correctly.
Can it do the job?
Is it a good fit?
Is it an investment or liability?
What is wonderful, is that once you have crafted and customized your criteria for clothing it actually makes shopping easier.
In our consumer driven world, where options are endless having a STRONG clothing criteria is ESSENTIAL!
ENDLESS CHOICES + STRATEGIC CRITERIA = WARDROBE FREEDOM
It also means precision.
While putting together your outfit for the day you are no longer deliberating between something cute, or something comfortable. Something work appropriate, or something functional. Not only is everything functional but putting pieces together is no longer a puzzle!
ALL of your clothing items will suit ALL of your needs because you bought them to do just that!
Allowing yourself time to choose wisely when buying is the perfect trade in for the time you will spend dressing yourself day in and day out.
This is what I mean by precision. Your clothing will always be precisely what you need.
As a parent it is our job to teach our child how to tie their shoes, button their sweaters, zip their jackets, and dress appropriately so one day they can do all of these things without our help.
What is just as valuable but often forgotten is the opportunity to teach our children how to develop a curated wardrobe.
We are not just teaching our children how to dress well, but also how to shop sensibly, how to maintain a tidy wardrobe, and live intentionally.
Do not underestimate the many ways something as simple was a capsule wardrobe will benefit them in the future.