How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe

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How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe

Posted by Alyssa on May 9, 2017

If you are sick of a) Spending too much money on emotional clothing purchases b) Staring at a closet full of clothes, but feeling like you have 'nothing to wear' because you don't love most of them c) Thinking that buying stuff will make you happy, only to realize that it doesn't....then this blog post is for you!

I've heard about capsule wardrobes for the past few years now, and to be honest, the idea had never really appealed to me.....until now!  I realized the other day that I need a serious closet intervention, and I think this is it!  

What is a capsule wardrobe?
Minimizing your closet into a small collection of seasonally appropriate clothes, THAT YOU LOVE, that mix and match well together.  

What are the rules?
You limit your wardrobe for 3 months (the length of the average season) to 37 items.  Yes, you read that right.  Thirty-seven items. Included in this number are shoes, tops, bottoms, dresses, and jackets & outerware.  Not included are pajamas, work-out apparel, underwear, swimsuits, accessories, and special occasion outfits.  Also, you can shop during the week or two that you are planning for your next season's capsule wardrobe, but otherwise, ABSOLUTELY NO SHOPPING!

Here is a breakdown of the general seasons you want to get capsules for:
Winter (Jan-March)
Spring (April- June)
Summer (July- Sept)
Fall (Oct- December)

How do I do it?
Here are 3 quick steps that Caroline from Unfancy (the girl who we have to thank for starting this genius wardrobe capsule phenomenon), gives to help pair down your closet and build the perfect capsule wardrobe:

Step 1: Empty your closet. Seriously, take absolutely everything out of your closet and lay it out on your bed. Don’t cheat–taking everything out at once is the secret to style clarity. As you put your LOVE IT pieces back into your empty closet, your style will practically scream at you. But that won’t be the case if your closet is still being muddied with MAYBE pieces left hanging in there. So just take it all out, mkay?

Step 2: Sort each item into one of these four piles:

  • LOVE IT AND WOULD WEAR IT RIGHT NOW!! Self explanatory. Put it back in your closet.
  • MAYBE. This is for items that don’t fit quite right, the color is a little off, have sentimental value, you can’t put your finger on it but you just don’t wear it, or you’re keeping it because you paid a lot for it but you don’t wear it. Put all this stuff in a box and store it in the garage. You can always go get stuff out of it, but you probably won’t. If it’s still in the box at the end of your season, it’s time to say goodbye to it.
  • NOPE. Self explanatory. Donate, swap with a friend, or sell it to fund new purchases.
  • SEASONAL. Wool coat in summer? Probably don’t need it handy. But you’d never get rid of a staple like that–come on. If it’s not in season, but you LOVE IT, put it in a nice under-the-bed box and store it. You’ll definitely use it in your capsule wardrobe when that season rolls around.

Step 3: Assess what’s left in your closet–aka your LOVE IT clothes. You’ll want to have 37 season-appropriate items in your closet. Do you need to supplement? Time to plan + shop. Do you need to downsize? Put a few more items in your MAYBE box.

Caroline's site, Unfancy, is an incredible resource. Check out this awesome Capsule Planner to help you get started!  


Samantha Okazaki via TODAY

The whole idea behind building a wardrobe capsule is to do more, with less.  To find your true style by getting rid of the clutter of everything else that you don't actually love. To simplify and have time and money to find joy in life's many rich experiences, not things.   Doesn't it sound refreshing??  I can't wait to try my hand at simplifying my wardrobe this summer!  Also, one of the most common misconceptions about capsule wardrobes is that in order for it to work, you have to have only boring clothes.  This couldn't be further from the truth!  

Now, who is with me??

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