Part of RV living is embracing a minimalist lifestyle. With a motor home of more or less 270 square feet, you want to be selective of what goes inside your RV, and as much as possible, only stick to the things you need, not want.
Therefore, the moment you decide to live in an RV full time, downsizing is one of the major things you have to deal with.
Among the many things you will have to streamline is your wardrobe.
In this guide, we’ll talk about the RV capsule wardrobe, what it is, why you should consider it, and how you can create one.
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What is an RV wardrobe capsule?
Since RVs don’t usually have space for a big wardrobe, you will likely have to get rid of most of your clothes (ouch). However, with a wardrobe capsule, you will come to realize that you don’t need lots of clothes, to begin with.
A wardrobe capsule is a popular practice in minimalist living that is meant to simplify your wardrobe collection. This concept has been around since the 1970s, primarily as a way to emphasize essential clothing items in fashionable workwear.
Today’s perception of a wardrobe capsule is centered on quality, functionality, and comfort, not the quantity of your wardrobe collection. It’s the best example of the cliche “less is more.”
Now, you must remember that creating a wardrobe capsule involves a very personal approach. There is no right or wrong as to what goes inside your RV closet.
However, there are a few things you have to consider before you start:
RV closets are nowhere near your ideal home closet. They are usually cramped, dimly lit spaces (like a storage container or some fabric closet organizers) jam-packed with clothes.
That said, you can’t possibly stuff a hundred pieces of clothes, shoes, and accessories in there. Unless you have plenty of under-storage, you need to work with the space you have.
The best way to easily downsize your wardrobe is to think about your daily activities or planned activities when you embark on your RV trip.
If you have an active lifestyle, then it’s best to focus your wardrobe capsule on sporty clothes that are lightweight, breathable, and comfortable. Since you’re most likely exploring different destinations, you should also focus more on keeping versatile casual clothes.
The colors, particularly of your base pieces, matter a lot. Since you can only keep a small number of clothes, it’s best to stick with neutral bases that go well with nearly any color of your top. Black and navy usually are the easiest to combine with other items.
Neutral hues are also suitable for any occasion or environment. Whether you’re stopping by to visit a museum, attend church, or walk through the countryside, you won’t go wrong with black, white, grey, navy, beige, or brown pieces.
Tips to Create a Capsule Wardrobe
Here are some very helpful tips for building a functional wardrobe that suits your RV lifestyle:
Consider white, black, and blue for your base pieces.
Before you start, you will need to decide on the colors of your base pieces, such as pants, skirts, slacks, shorts, and shoes.
Stick to neutral tones like white, black, and blue so you can blindly pull anything from your closet and not worry about whether or not it matches your top.
Stick to one or two accent colors.
Accent colors can elevate your capsule wardrobe. Since you’re choosing versatile colors for your base pieces, any bright, popping color will make a stunning accent to your silhouette.
These colors can reflect in any of your accessories, from your favorite scarf to your most treasured handbag or jewelry.
Another thing to remember is that accent colors need not be the brightest hues out there. It’s not what they’re all about and not everyone can pull them off. Your accent colors simply have to be those that stand out in your chosen color palette.
Your personal style matters.
A capsule wardrobe is all about your personal style. Choose the pieces that make you feel confident, beautiful, and comfortable.
Instead of letting the latest fashion trends dictate what goes into your wardrobe, let your wardrobe be a reflection of your personality.
Consider your RV space.
Your RV closet space matters so much. If you have a big camper, you’d be able to store more clothes and accessories.
However, if you are traveling with friends or your family, you might need to streamline your wardrobe even more even if you have a big camper so they can put their own stuff in too.
A good rule of thumb for creating a wardrobe capsule is to stick to 20-50 pieces. Many people swear by 35 or 30, while others say 50 is too much.
Keep your collection versatile.
Maximizing the flexibility of your wardrobe involves choosing the most versatile basics possible. These include jeans, a blazer, a few t-shirts, a cardigan, and a pair of casual sneakers.
It’s best to invest in high-quality clothing basics that don’t easily wear out even if you use them frequently.
Basic Capsule Wardrobe Structure
At this point, you’re very much ready to create your capsule wardrobe.
Here’s a sample collection to further help you out:
- Three Tank tops in neutral colors
- Three T-shirts in white, black, and grey
- A black or navy dress
- Black and grey blouse
Feel free to substitute black or white jeans or black leatherette skinnies. Each of these pieces should be easily mixed and matched with the other items.
- Two pairs of jeans or pants (one light wash and one dark wash)
- One pair of dark or black jeans
- Denim jacket
- Sweater or sweatshirt
- Weatherproof puffer jacket
You can also sub a black or white tweed jacket, or a black leather jacket – whatever that appeals to you. Again, a wardrobe capsule is all about your personal style!
Footwear (one pair each)
- Tennis shoes
- Sandals or flats
- Casual sneakers
- Heels or mules for ladies
Having a hard time tossing away your “extra” clothes? Here are some things you can do:
- Donate them. Only select clothes that match your base colors and donate the rest.
- Sell your clothes for cash. This is a great way to save extra space in your closet and also extra money.
- Choose what you can use from current clothing and get rid of clothes you don’t wear, because really, what’s the point?
- Get rid of clothes that don’t add value to your life. According to popular Japanese organizing consultant, TV host, and author Marie Kondo (also known as Konmari), if you’re having a hard time getting rid of something, ask yourself “Does this spark joy?” If it does, keep it. If not, dispose of it”.
- Use your under-storage for seasonal clothing, Make sure it’s climate-controlled to keep your clothes well-preserved.
See, creating an RV capsule wardrobe is easier than you think. By focusing on function, versatility, and quality, you will be able to pull off the only wardrobe you will ever need for your RV adventures!
Don’t forget to consider your RV space, lifestyle, personal style, and planned activities so you’re able to pick clothes that will give you the most comfort.
Guest Author: Mariam Simmons is a fashion trendsetter and a storyteller at Alpine Swiss. She loves traveling to the world’s top stylish destinations and gets inspired to create helpful fashion and lifestyle guides.