When people see photos of seasonal capsules, they often want to know, “yes, but what do you wear when you don’t leave the house?” While in some fantasies I imagine myself as someone who lounges on a fainting couch in premium denim and silk Charmeuse, in reality I can’t relax in anything that requires dry-cleaning. And when I walk in my door at the end of the day, you can be sure that the first thing I’m doing is putting on sweatpants.
A former hoarder of ill-fitting t-shirts that I somehow inherited from friends, relatives, and marketing initiatives, I understand how quickly a stack of comfy clothes becomes overwhelming. That T-shirt you got from an event from five years ago? Doesn’t really fit, but whatever, you can wear it when you repaint the kitchen. Those leggings that are completely see-through when you bend down? Ehh, they’re cute though, so let’s stuff them in a drawer, and you’ll wear them when you do yoga in your living room. And then before you know it, your drawers are filled with backup clothes that you never even wanted in the first place.
And so for about three years now, I’ve been learning to say no to well-meaning clothes givers, and curating my version of a lounge wear capsule. I realized that once I got my closet down to a comfortable amount, I hadn’t assessed the things cast off into my drawers. I hadn’t been applying the same principles or standards to my comfy clothes.
I don’t think we do ourselves any favors by keeping items that don’t make us feel nice when we wear them – even lounge wear. And personally, I don’t want to worry about changing my outfit before opening the door for the FedEx guy to sign for my package. Comfortable clothes and confidence are not mutually exclusive; we just have to learn to be particular. And I’m a firm believer that we should be choosy about everything we keep in our lives, be it friends, pens, or sweatpants.
My current loungewear capsule is 13 pieces. These items live in both my designated “loungewear drawer” and my closet. You’ll notice with bottoms I abide by a “one pair” rule. This includes one pair of sweatpants, one pair of leggings. Before you say, BUT WHAT ABOUT WORKOUT CLOTHES? I HAVE TEN PAIRS OF LEGGINGS! I will say that I’m only talking about loungewear for the purpose of this post. Take stock only of the clothes you wear when you’re sitting around, binging on a Harry Potter movie marathon, or contemplating the meaning of life. Workout gear is a different beast to conquer, and just like with anything else, I would encourage you to do what feels right for you based on your particular needs.
Here are the contents of my loungewear capsule. Since I live in Los Angeles, I only experience two seasons: hot, and kind-of-chilly.
- 1 pair leggings
- 1 pair sweatpants
- 1 zip hoodie
- 1 crop hoodie
- 1 long cardigan
- 1 oversized long-sleeve tee
- 1 long-sleeve thermal shirt
- 6 tank tops
I don’t own slippers, as I wear either my Croc flats around the house, or put on my Birkenstocks (usually with socks, because I have no shame) to get the mail or laundry. These items can easily become presentable enough to run errands or go for a leisurely stroll without being side-eyed by sophisticated humans who put on real pants to go outside.
For more information about curating your personal loungewear capsule, I highly recommend reading Caroline Joy from Un-Fancy’s post on the subject. Have you tackled the idea of building a loungewear capsule yet? Anything you’re struggling with in particular? Let me know below.
Note: This post was originally published on The Minimalist Wardrobe.