It can be emotionally taxing to dig through your closet, sort your clothes, and begin to build your perfect capsule wardrobe. But once you get started, you may find that you want to apply the same principles and philosophy to all your belongings, including accessories. Most capsule wardrobes do not include shoes, bags, jewelry, scarves, and belts. These items are not typically counted towards your 20-30 pieces of clothing. However, it is difficult to experience the freedom that comes from a capsule wardrobe if you still own mountains of shoes and bags.
We believe in cultivating a selection of accessories with substance. If you’re ready to cull through your accessories, consider the following 3 thoughts when determining what to keep and what to discard.
Most capsule wardrobes are filled with black, white, gray, and navy because these are the easiest colors to mix and match. Think of your accessories as an opportunity to include some color and express your style. They accentuate a capsule wardrobe and serve as little pieces of punctuation. Whether your style is preppy, boho, tomboy, or edgy you can still have accessories that are timeless and signature. For example, if you are preppy you should absolutely have a classic pearl necklace. If you’re more boho you’ll need to have a pair of well-loved leather boots. And if you’re a tomboy, a pair of Chuck Taylor’s should definitely be in your closet. Try to identify yourself with one or two style categories. (If you’re having trouble, ask your most stylish friend to identify them for you.) Once you’ve done this, you’ll be able to pin point some signature accessories that will help you express your style more. If you identify with being preppy, it will become very clear that you don’t need those fringe leather boots you bought 5 summers ago. Great style is achieved with consistency. A bunch of accessories that fall into multiple style categories will just make you feel and look disjointed. Once you’ve decided what styles you identify with, stick to it and be consistent.
The best accessories are those that have a great story. They might have been gifted to you, handed down from a relative, or purchased in a foreign country. A bracelet made by a friend, a ring from your grandmother, a classic leather bag from Italy; accessories with stories are ones to be treasured. Always keep an accessory that has great meaning to you. If it no longer fits your personal style, or you’ve grown out of it, consider giving it to someone. There is nothing better than a well-loved bag or scarf to give as a gift to a girlfriend. You don’t need a special occasion to give it. Just write a nice note that includes the story of the item and pop it in the mail to your friend. Do your best to be a good friend and gift special items to others based on their style, as well. Do not give your grandmother’s pearl bracelet to your tomboy friend. She won’t wear it or even like it.
The last thing to keep in mind when sorting through your accessories is purpose. Just because most capsule wardrobes do not include shoes in the 20-30 pieces does not mean you should have 50 pairs of shoes. Your accessories should express your style, but they should also serve a purpose. A pair of shoes or a bag that only gets used once a year does not serve a lot of purpose in your closet. Rather, items like this just take up space and gather dust. Keep and purchase shoes that can be worn on multiple occasions and in various settings. A pair of slip on mules look great with a t-shirt dress but can also be worn with pants and a blazer to work. Apply the same principle to bags. Don’t be one of those women that has bags inside of bags. A useful work bag, one cross-body purse, one tote and one clutch should be plenty. If you find that you have bags, shoes, or scarves that only get worn a handful of times per year, then you need to get rid of them. Items that are used this infrequently do not serve enough of a purpose. They have not earned their place in your closet and it is time to go.