When you've determined your wardrobe's financial budget, space budget, and other considerations for the year, you can divide it up into your wardrobe needs. You could seek them all out at once and be over and done with it if you hate shopping and have the money to spend all in one go, but I'm going to lay it out from the assumption that you like shopping, or have to budget in an evenly distributed way. This approach will work with 10 Item Capsule wardrobes, so that if you don't have a wardrobe you love right now, by this time next year you could.
Financial planner Pete Dunn suggests spending just 5% of your take home pay on your wardrobe. If monthly your take home pay is $3000, that designates $150 per month toward clothing for you.
If your 5% is significantly less, that's ok. You can still have a fabulous wardrobe- it just might take a little bit longer (instead of buying one item each month, maybe you're shopping every other month, or maybe even just one really nice new item a year- it depends on your budget). It's important to buy the highest quality that you can afford, so that you can maximize your pay-per-wear ratio. If something is a good buy now, but falls apart in just a few washings, it will cost you more in the long run. The cruelty of it is that it takes more money to save more money, and not everyone can afford the up-front cost of high quality, long term money saving items. When this is the case, I recommend hand-me-downs and other low/no cost items that serve the function so that you can save more for replacements that serve the function, enhance your beauty, and are made to last. You can find some amazing and cheap items secondhand if you're able to put the time into regularly searching for them.
Once you have your wardrobe's financial budget planned, I task you with diligently sticking to it. You can carry over the budget if you don't spend as much as allotted in a month (i.e. if you have money left over), but never dip into the budgets for months that are yet to come. However great the item is, it's almost certain you'll find something just as good when you have the money for it. You might even find the same item on a better sale by then, so hang in there and be proud of yourself for sticking to your plan. You're reinforcing your willpower to follow through in all areas of your life.
Because we're shopping to maximize cost-per-wear and hoping to find garments that will last us many years, we're best off shopping sales for high quality items during off-season sale times. Looking for a coat? Try the end of spring when things are warming up. Need sandals? The end of summer is the best time. You may not have the joy of wearing it often and right away, but because you're shopping with a long-term game plan, and because you're shopping to enhance your authentic beauty rather than trends, you're making a very smart investment that will bring you plenty of joy in the future.
The items listed are for bigger items. You might want to designate a small portion of your monthly budget towards undergarments such as socks, underwear, bras, slips, shapewear, and the like.
Wardrobe Wheel of the Year
January 1. onesie (dress or jumpsuit)
February 2. top
March 3. bottom
April 4. top (sweaters might be on sale)
May 5. onesie
June *coat, purse, pair of shoes, or piece of jewelry
July 6. top
August 7. bottom
September 8. top
October 9. onesie
November 10. top
December *coat, purse, pair of shoes, or piece of jewelry
The numbers (1-10) are to show what is counting toward a 10-item capsule wardrobe. The asterisks are suggested wildcard months for other major items.
If you find the perfect pair of pants in January, feel free to swap months and try to find a onesie in March instead.
Please enjoy this free one page PDF planner I made for you to fill in the blanks and create a year long budget and plan for your own fabulous wardrobe. <3