Tips for Creating a Workout Capsule Wardrobe

Jessica Rose Williams
by Jessica Rose Williams

This post is a paid partnership with Organic Basics. All thoughts and opinions are my own, unedited and unaltered as always.

Keeping exercise simple is how I make it happen. When getting dressed for the occasion feels like a chore or makes me feel anxious I’m less likely to do it.

Overflowing drawers of random workout pieces I’d accumulated throughout the years of my various exercise phases only caused me confusion and overwhelm. On the flip side, having a small but curated collection of workout clothes that compliment one another and make me feel good is often the carrot I need to give myself a motivation boost. It’s easy to overcomplicate what we think a workout wardrobe should look like. We’re constantly being marketed to by brands, magazines and more recently influencers who feed the idealised versions of ourselves we create in our heads. As a result we lose ourselves, spend our money on the unnecessary, over inflate our expectations and we’re left sifting through heaps of unsuitable clothes that make us feel bad.

A workout capsule wardrobe doesn’t have to be complicated and in fact, keeping it simple is preferable in terms of practicality and how these clothes make us feel. A simpler, smaller curated collection of clothes to exercise in will act as a strong foundation for what is often an arduous task we want to do but struggle to actually make happen. Getting dressed becomes enjoyable, less stressful and we feel comfortable when we roll out our yoga matt or set off on our run, walk or gym session. Most of us need all the help we can get but with a little groundwork we can set ourselves up for success. This is how I approach creating a workout capsule wardrobe.

Buy less but better

This is the number one rule for any capsule wardrobe. When you focus on stocking your wardrobe and drawers with fewer clothes you up the stakes. Space becomes a premium and is reserved only for the very best, not necessarily in terms of cost but quality, sustainability and suitability. We need so much less than we’re led to believe. There’s an abundance of high quality sustainable workout gear available now and Organic Basics  are no exception. Their active leggings and sports bras have been part of my workout capsule wardrobe for years. The dusty rose set featured throughout this post are my latest additions. It’s worth noting you may already own plenty of high quality suitable workout clothes in which case keeping these is always the most sustainable option, but only keep what you will actually wear.

Organic Basics Active Sports Bra In Dusty Rose

Choose activities that make you feel good

Contrary to popular belief exercise should make us feel good. Forget weight loss. Forget what everyone else is doing and forget what looks good on Instagram. Exercise is a core pillar of your self-care and needs to have you and your mental health at the centre of it. This means you should only exercise in ways that makes you feel good. This could look like you switching between a few activities depending on what your needs are or perhaps you opt for something a bit quirky because that’s what motivates you and feeds your soul. For me, it looks like horse riding, running and at home yoga. When you’re doing what you love you’ll not only enjoy it more you’ll also enjoy creating a capsule wardrobe around it.

Think about what you do

Now you know what you’re going to be doing and you’re being intentional about why you’re doing it you can take a practical approach to your workout capsule wardrobe. It’s no god having a super restrictive but supportive sports bra when relaxing yoga is your thing. Let go of all stereotypes surrounding workout gear and make a list of what you’d feel most comfortable in based on what kind of exercise you’re doing. I like to feel free when I’m working out, like I’ve got nothing on as opposed to feeling highly supported. To cater for this I opt for soft comfy clothes that offer gentle support. Trust you know what’s best for you and create this section of your wardrobe from the inside out as opposed to being dictated to by what you feel is expected. Give yourself permission to challenge the stats quo and do things your own way.

Organic Basics Active Leggings In Dusty Rose

Organic Basics Active Sports Bra in Dusty Rose

Consider how often you do it

How many clothes you need depends on how often you’re actually exercising. Past predicts future so this is a great place to start. There’s little point in owning ten pairs of running tights if you’re only running once a fortnight. I’d advise owning enough to get you through a typical week of your exercise routine so you’re not having to keep washing everything all the time. Anything more could be considered as excess but of course give yourself permission to do what works best for you. If you’d prefer to have as little as possible and do more mini washes then of course that’s fine. This process is all about doing what’s best for you and the aim is to only own what you love and use.

Make it an extension of your everyday capsule wardrobe

If you’ve read my simplified wardrobe ebook you’ll know I’m a fan of having three keywords to describe your personal style and a colour palette to create some gentle structure in a capsule wardrobe. Your workout wardrobe should be no exception and it can be easier to create if you keep your keywords and palette the same. Workout clothes can look however we want them to and should reflect our personal style as much as our everyday clothes do. Feeling like you when you’re wearing them is really important because you’ll not only feel like the best version of yourself but you’ll also feel less tempted to keep buying more. The added bonus here is that your workout wardrobe will blend in beautifully with your everyday wardrobe should you need it to and versatility is always a good thing.

I hope this post has given you some ideas but mostly given you a nudge to sign your own permission slip and create a simple workout capsule wardrobe that supports exercise that makes you feel good.

Thank you to Organic Basics for sponsoring this blog post and providing me with pieces to feature throughout. You can find out more about Organic Basics here. If you see anything you like you can use JESSICAROSE10 for 10% off.

Jessica Rose Williams
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