How to Have a Capsule Wardrobe at University

Since you won’t be able to cram every piece of clothing into your suitcase, it’s best to arrive at your Uwaterloo off-campus housing with a capsule wardrobe.

But first, what exactly is a capsule wardrobe? As the name suggests, it is a small collection of clothes that can be mixed and matched so you can come up with a variety of outfits. The wardrobe is usually made up of classic pieces in neutral colours that work well together.

With a capsule wardrobe, you’ll have less decision fatigue at the start of your day, and more time to do your morning ritual.

Building a Capsule Wardrobe

Take stock

The first step to having a capsule wardrobe is by doing a quick audit of your closet and going through every piece you own. It’s important to choose only the items you love, because you’ll be wearing them again and again for the entire semester.

Plan ahead

Make a list of activities you’ll do at university, and then come up with a list of appropriate clothes to wear for these activities.

Are you an introvert who will be spending most of your days in-between classes and your Uwaterloo off-campus housing? Then you’ll need to invest in comfortable day clothes and loungewear. Will you be applying for an internship or getting a part-time job? Then you’ll need to include smart casual clothes in the mix, and bring in a pantsuit or a blazer-suit combo.

Stick to classics

Start with basic clothing staples that are versatile, and avoid trendy items that will quickly go out of style. Choose a colour scheme that goes well with almost anything: black, brown, grey, white, or cream. If most of your clothes are neutral, they’ll be easy to pair with almost anything.

Pare it down

Less is always more. You can implement the KonMari method and donate clothes that you haven’t worn in more than a year, or give away items that no longer spark joy.
However, you should still have enough clean clothes to last you for at least two weeks. Otherwise, you’ll have to do your laundry once a week, which can be difficult if you have an upcoming exam or paper.

Quality over quantity

You might be tempted to shop for clothes at highstreet shops because of their affordability. But these will cost you in the long run because their quality deteriorates quickly, and you’ll soon find yourself having to buy clothes again.

It’s an endless cycle of ecowaste that can be prevented by investing in a lesser number of quality pieces. If you’re working with a limited budget, you can shop at thrift stores, check out secondhand listings online, or swap clothes with friends.

Follow your personal style

At this point, you already have an idea of what you want your outfits to look like. If not, you can check your favourite style icons’ Instagram or browse Pinterest for a dose of inspiration.

By following these tips, you can start building a capsule wardrobe as early as today. You can add or remove items from your wardrobe as the seasons change and your personal style evolves.