I have accumulated a lot clothes over the years. A lot of clothes. Most of them came from a phase in my life when I was very unsure about clothing and style in general. It wasn’t necessarily that I loved shopping but instead a lack of confidence in myself and who I was. I was unsure of my body type, how to dress it and what my style really was. This led me to buying and accumulating a lot of different pieces which over the years I just kept storing and never got rid of, even if I never ever wore them. And of course on top of that, I use to have this bad habit of buying things because they were “on sale.” Not good!
What is good, is that I can honestly say that over the last few years of countless fashion successes and failures, I now know what I like and what seems to work for me at this stage in my life. And as we are currently house hunting and cleaning up our place to get ready to sell it, it is the perfect time to try a Capsule Wardrobe. I’ve known about this genius idea for a little while now but was too lazy to sort through my clothes. No more. Now is the time. It is the perfect way to clean up my wardrobe to only the essential pieces that I truly love and bring me joy.
So what is a Capsule Wardrobe? It is a mini wardrobe made up of versatile pieces that work together and that you ultimately love wearing. This means no “someday I will fit into these” or “this trend might come back around” or “I might want to wear this in the right kind of mood.”
Why is this so great? Because it forces you to mindfully sort through your wardrobe and keep the clothes you love and fit you right. My favorite part of the whole process is the simplicity of it. No more staring at my closet thinking that I have nothing to wear even though my closet is bursting with clothes (plus the clothes bins I store in our basement).
And as I strive for overall simplicity in my life and focus my efforts, time and money on things that truly matter to me, a capsule wardrobe is very fitting. Less time picking out clothes, less time shopping for clothes, less time doing laundry. Instead I’d rather spend my energy (and money) on things like travel, good food, my family, hobbies and experiences.
- Pair down wardrobe to 35-45 items (this is flexible but keep it to a low number)
- Wear only these items for the season
- Do not go shopping during that whole season (unless it is an emergency)
- When the next season approaches evaluate your wardrobe, shop accordingly and create your next capsule wardrobe
- Learn from each capsule wardrobe and keep the same goals in mind
Rules for #1 Pairing down the wardrobe: the 35-45 pieces INCLUDE tops, bottoms, dresses, outerwear and shoes. It DOES NOT include sleepwear, jewelry, accessories, purses, swimsuits, workout clothes, “gardening” clothes, business formal wear and winter coats for the winter season.
Rules for #2 Wear only the capsule pieces for the season: if you divide each season into 3 months, it’s not too bad. And of course you can spice things up with you accessories and jewelry.
Rules for #3 Do not go shopping: this is really important. If you plan accordingly and pick versatile pieces you should not need to. You can do it!
Rules for #4 Plan for next season: this is the fun part. Once you are almost through with one capsule and season, get ready for the next one.
Rules for #5 Learn and continue: this is my first time doing a capsule wardrobe so I know I’m going to learn a ton. I’m excited to tackle a different season and keep getting better and better at this!
Let’s get started
Empty your closet completely and let the sorting begin. Make sure you take everything out.
Make 4 piles:
- Absolutely love it and I am happy when I wear this.
- Not sure if I should keep it? Sentimental value, strange color, not a perfect fit or weird style. I like it but do not wear it much. I like it but do not love it. Keep these outside your closet and feel free to use them during the season. If you do not end up using them at all, then donate them.
- Donate. Doesn’t fit, old trend, worn out, etc. Donate it, give to friends, family or sell it even.
- Seasonal. A piece that you want to save for the appropriate capsule wardrobe. Store it for later. I like storing in bins in our basement since my closet is not huge.
Re-organize closet and keep all of you LOVE IT clothes. Seasonal and Maybes can be stored outside your closet. Donate the rest. Re-evaluate your closet and decide if you are missing any staples. Feel free to supplement these. Then your Capsule Wardrobe is complete! Go enjoy the freedom of having less stuff and having a mix-and-match wardrobe. Plus look at your closet… like really look at it. Doesn’t it look great? 🙂
This Capsule Wardrobe guidelines, rules and genius idea is from the site Unfancy. Check it out for more details and Caroline’s seasonal outfits. So cute and chic! Here are the winter outfits… ❤️❤️❤️
My experience so far:
Sorting through my closet took me a long time. Yes I had a baby on the bed munching on my clothes, and we took lots of breaks, but still it took a while. There is an emotional attachment to clothes I think and it was often hard to pick between Maybe and Nope. I did a lot of “I never wear it but it’s cute” or “I paid a lot for this, so I should keep it, even though I never wear it.” But after a few days of doing a little bit every day, I was finished!
The result was 5 full boxes of clothes. Let me tell you I found clothes from high school, clothes with steins, hideous old trendy clothes, pieces that were way too small or “hoochy,” other pieces that were more mature than I wanted, even clothes that didn’t belong to me (sorry sis).
Also I realized there are a few staples I want, like a lighter wash pair of jeans, a dressy top or 2, a “nicer” looking purse or a necklace or two to spruce up my wardrobe. But for now I plan to make it to the end of March without purchasing anything. Then I can simply prepare and move on to the Spring capsule. Another bonus of all of this, is that I organized my closet and have much less to pack for our next move.
The hubs also did this with me! Although he had much less to sort through, he ended up with a good donate pile and really narrowed his closet down to the pieces he truly wears.
In the end I would encourage everyone to give this a shot. Although it can be a hard process, it is worth it and you end up feeling refreshed, de-cluttered and happy with a lot less.
Here are most of my KEEP items. Grand TOTAL = 45 pieces
Not pictured and not a part of my capsule: PJs, summer clothes, winter coats jewelry/purse, t-shirts, workout clothes, and loungey clothes.