Welcome back! Today I’m going to be sharing with you how to build a “Capsule Wardrobe.” I’ve been working on this process for about a month now and I’m excited to share with you the things I’ve learned. In case you’ve never heard of a Capsule Wardrobe, you can read more about it over on the blog called Un-Fancy. I really loved that blog post to help me get started with my own Capsule Wardrobe, because I was getting frustrated with the amount of stuff I had and trying to maintain it all was super overwhelming. Capsule Wardrobes are usually about 30-40 items of clothing total which includes shirts, dresses, pants, jackets, shoes, but it usually excludes workout gear, socks/undies, and pajamas. I don’t think that you should necessarily limit yourself to a specific number, because everyone and everyone’s lifestyle is different, so do what works best for you. The general idea behind this organizational system is to have a collection of essential and your favorite items that can be updated with seasonal pieces. Only keep the things that you absolutely love and wear often. Another idea behind it is that you stick with the Capsule Wardrobe for an entire season and rotate things in and out every 3 months. This is also a great excuse and discipline to not shop for clothing all the time. Once a season is over, you might be able to identify some items that you need to buy for the next season, but not go overboard unnecessarily. While I’m definitely not down to 37 items yet, I’ve cleared out quite a bit and have an idea of where my Capsule Wardrobe is headed. Here are a few of the tips that I’ve found useful so far!
Questions to Ask:
If I went shopping today, would I buy this? I heard someone say this on a podcast and once I started thinking this way, almost half of my closet got chucked over my shoulder. I had so many items of clothing that I had bought during sales because they were cheap, but found that the quality was bad or I just didn’t really have an interest in wearing them. So a lot got taken out and I was able to sell those items or donate them. I haven’t missed any of those items yet, either, which has been such a relief because I had a little bit of anxiety that I would regret getting rid of stuff. A funny thing though is that everything I kept is navy blue, grey, olive-green, black, black, black, beige, and maybe one or two things with red. I guess I’m pretty basic, but I love the classic, simple style.
If I went on a trip, would I want to haul this around? This is a question that one of my sisters came up with and she thinks this way when shopping or organizing her clothes. Because she does travel quite a bit, it’s great to only have things that you love and don’t mind wearing for a few days out of the trip. To me, it’s really frustrating to pack things only to find out later that you don’t even feel comfortable wearing them. I’m all about comfort and if something doesn’t make me feel that way, out the door it goes.
Reverse hanger trick. I think I talked about this in another blog post but when I do a complete closet clean out, I’ll hang items back in the closet from the back side of the rod, instead of front facing. Once you wear an item, wash it, and hang it back up, hang it front facing. After a while, you’ll be able to identify the items that you haven’t worn in a while because they will still be hung up on the reverse side. So when you see this, ask yourself, how long has this item been hanging here and when will I ever wear it again. If you’re not sold on it, maybe cycle it through to another closet cleaning or just get rid of it.
While there are specific categories of things that I’m still working on, and there are specific work wear items that I’m excluding altogether from my Capsule Wardrobe, here’s a little update of how it’s going so far.
I have narrowed down my pants/jeans to 10 pairs, from about the 18 that I had when I started. I like folding them wrongside out to protect the color wash of the jeans. Or maybe I was just lazy and didn’t want to refold them. You can decide which one is the truth…
Here you can see an example of the reverse hanger trick. This section of the closet has things like t-shirts, long sleeve shirts, button down shirts, and cardigans. I have 57 items now, compared to about 80 that I started with.
Sweaters were a pretty funny thing for me to get rid of, because I tossed out so many with colors I don’t even wear. I did keep a few colored sweaters and I have worn all but the bright yellow one recently. I don’t know why, but I couldn’t part with the yellow one yet, even though I haven’t worn it in about a year. The other side though, I obviously love tri-blend grey. Is it too much to have 7 tri-blend grey sweaters?? Haha! I now have 17 sweaters, compared to the 24 I had in the beginning and I have worn, I think, all of them recently.
I have other shoes that I’m waiting for spring to see if I will keep them or not, but I have narrowed it down to wearing these 8 pairs of shoes this winter. I like black boots and I cannot lie……womp womp.
So that’s it! Here’s my Capsule Wardrobe in progress! I hope this has inspired you to try living with less and that these tips have been helpful. If you have any tips, as well, please share them because I’m curious to know what others are doing. I’m hoping to do an update in the spring, as I cycle clothes in and out again.