Fashion
75 Comments

How to Create A Capsule Wardrobe

I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of the chic Parisian woman with a tiny closet housing a select number of carefully chosen articles of quality clothing that can be mixed and matched to create a simple yet sophisticated wardrobe.

Of course, I live in America — land of the free and home of the discount shopping. I have a mid-size suburban home with a generous walk-in closet that is usually bursting at the seams, although I purge ruthlessly and often . . . or so I thought.

My situation is not an uncommon one, and many of us are overwhelmed with too much stuff. In response, a minimalist living movement is gaining popularity, and with that, the capsule wardrobe.

how to build a capsule wardrobe

What is a capsule wardrobe?

A capsule wardrobe is a mini-wardrobe made up of versatile pieces that you LOVE to wear.

The idea is to select a specific number of pieces that work together in different ways, and to wear them for three months, or one season. During that time, you don’t shop for anything new. At the end of that three-month period, you have two weeks to put together your capsule wardrobe for the next season. You can buy as much as you need, but the idea is to be selective and use as much as you can from your existing wardrobe. You don’t get rid of the clothes that aren’t in your capsule (unless you want to). You store the things you want to keep, and you can swap them out when you plan your next capsule.

The capsule wardrobe was made popular by Caroline Rector of Unfancy, but it is my friend Amy at Mom Advice who really made me stop and seriously consider trying it.

When I first heard about the capsule wardrobe, I thought it sounded pretty cool . . . for other people. Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of having a simplified closet, but with this here blog of mine, I pretty much make a living trying new trends and showing you how to style them. I hesitate to get rid of clothes I’m not currently wearing because I never know when I might need to pull something from the recesses of my closet to create a new outfit.

But as I read more about the idea of a capsule wardrobe, I came to two realizations.

#1. Because you actually plan out your capsule so every piece in your closet can be used multiple ways and all goes together, you don’t have to worry about buying something new and not having the right pieces to make an outfit with it. You only shop for the two weeks before your next capsule begins, and you intentionally purchase pieces to go with the rest of the capsule.

#2. It also occurred to me that we tend to switch out our wardrobes TWO times a year — winter and summer, so by the end of a season, we are sick of our clothes. With a capsule wardrobe, you have four separate wardrobes that you wear for three months each, so you get to completely switch them out FOUR times a year. Yes, some basic staples will overlap, but you’re less likely to get bored, and you’re able to consider the weather variations and move out some things that might not be practical for an entire 6 months.

This fall, I’ve bought (some things I’ve returned) more clothing than I can even wrap my head around. This is partly because of my job, and partly because I have no strategy for my wardrobe. Now that the holidays are behind us and we have three months of winter looming, I decided it was the ideal time to give a capsule wardrobe a try. Even if I don’t stick with it long-term, I hope to learn a lot about my own personal style so I have more clarity when making purchases in the future.

How does a capsule wardrobe work?

There is no right or wrong way, but Caroline Rector’s method makes a lot of sense to me, so I decided to give it a try.

She recommends selecting 37 pieces of clothing to make up a capsule.

Let’s stop right here for a minute.

Do you know what 37 pieces of clothing looks like hanging in a closet???

NOT MUCH, just sayin’. I was shocked when I got down to brass tacks and started emptying my closet. I envisioned ending up with about 10 pieces of clothing that I loved and getting to shop to fill in my closet, but it was exactly the opposite. I had a reeeeeeally hard time reducing my closet to 37 pieces. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Those 37 pieces include tops, bottoms, dresses, outerwear, and shoes. It does NOT include accessories, handbags, jewelry, undergarments, formalwear, swimsuits, or workout clothes. Caroline likes to break hers down into 9 pairs of shoes, 9 bottoms, 15 tops, and 4 jackets or dresses. She likes the rule of three so you can have one casual pair, one statement pair, and one in-between pair. It makes sense, but it’s easier said than done.

Here are the steps to create a capsule wardrobe.

tops

How to Create A Capsule Wardrobe

Step 1: Empty out your closet.

Yes. Take everything out, down to the bare walls. Do NOT skip this step. Caroline says, “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.”

I can personally speak to the wisdom of this strategy. I thought I was good at purging every season, but I never took every last thing out of my closet when I was organizing. Then one day last fall, after reading this advice from Clinton Kelly, I went into my room and took every last thing out of my closet. Anything I hadn’t worn recently, I tried on. I had no idea how much stuff I was keeping “just in case”, and I was shocked at how many of my “just in case” pieces didn’t even fit anymore. What a waste of closet space!

Step 2: Sort each item into four piles.

  • LOVE IT: If it is appropriate for the current season, and you absolutely love it and want to put it on right this second, hang it back in your closet. This will be the basis for your capsule wardrobe.
  • MAYBE: Is the fit a bit off? The color? Are you keeping it just because it has sentimental value, or because you paid a lot for it and feel guilty getting rid of it? Put it in a box and store it. If you find yourself wishing you had it, you can always go retrieve it. But if you don’t find yourself wanting it before the end of the season, it’s time to donate it and let someone else enjoy it. If you’re not used to purging, this can be hard to do, but I promise you, it is SO freeing!
  • HATE IT: Self explanatory. Donate or sell to fund new purchases.
  • SEASONAL: If it’s not in season, but you LOVE IT (and I mean LOVE IT), put it in a box and store it so you can add it to your capsule wardrobe when the proper season rolls around.

Step 3: Assess what’s left in your closet.

Caroline suggests you live with your clothes for a little while before shopping for new pieces. “Living with what you have for a little while will teach you so much about your style and what you really need,” she says. Take notes about the items you think you need to round out your capsule so you’re prepared when it’s time to go shopping.

Step 4: Shop. 

Shop for any items you need to complete your capsule. Make a list and shop intentionally. Consider your lifestyle. Make sure you have a good ratio of casual clothes to work wear. This varies from person to person and, of course, is based on climate as well.

Remember: Once you start wearing your capsule wardrobe, you don’t shop again until two weeks before the next capsule begins.

How to Purge Ruthlessly

Between the time I decided to try a capsule wardrobe and the day I went through my closet purging and sorting, I started reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. Reading this book is what caused me to actually get off my butt and start purging and sorting my closet. I was planning to do it, but her advice convicted me to start right away, and I credit her with giving me the tools I needed to purge my closet so ruthlessly.

Marie’s advice dovetails nicely with a capsule wardrobe. Both are basically advising you to go through your closet and keep only the things you absolutely love, but she actually has you hold each piece of clothing and ask yourself, “Does it spark joy?” If not, it goes.

It sounds hokey, but there’s a big difference between, “Eh, it’s okay. I might want it some day,” and “I love this, and I want to put it on and wear it right now.” That made all the difference for me. If you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend it.

Tomorrow I’ll go into all the gory details about my wardrobe reduction project, concluding with pictures of my new minimalist closet, but first I want to answer a few questions that I’ve been getting in case it helps you decide if you want to join me or not. Feel free to leave additional questions in the comments.

FAQ

#1. What do you do with the clothes you get rid of?

The short answer is, I donate most of my discarded clothing to a local thrift store that supports a Christian organization and their prison ministry.

I sometimes take a bag to a friend or family member who has shown interest, but I get stressed out by a bunch of bags sitting around, designated for various destinations. I’m certainly not going to deal with consignment or eBay. I just don’t have the time, and that would bog me down and halt the process. I prefer to put it all in the trunk of my car and haul it to the thrift store — usually the same day I take it out of my closet. (This is a good time to put your husband to work!)

That sounds simple, but I realize there is an underlying question behind the question of what to do with the castoffs.

Yes, it feels very wasteful to give away perfectly good clothing, and some people have a hard time with the purging process. Marie addresses this by telling you to thank your clothing for its service and all kinds of mystic nonsense. I look at it this way. It’s not a waste if it blesses someone who needs it.

If my clothes sit in my closet and rot until they are outdated and full of moth holes, then yes. That’s a waste. However, if I can bring joy to someone today by giving them a bag of like-new clothing that they will wear and enjoy, then I’m all for it.

If you don’t personally know someone who wants your castoffs, there are tons of local organizations that do good work providing clothing to needy women and families in the community where you live. Just find one that resonates with you and haul your stuff over there. As an added bonus, get a receipt, and it’s a tax write-off.

#2. What about accessories, handbags, etc.?

According to Caroline Rector’s capsule wardrobe philosophy, you don’t count scarves, jewelry, and other accessories in your capsule. They are what help you keep your minimalist wardrobe interesting, so you don’t really have to settle on a number, although “less is more” is her basic philosophy on everything.

I went through my accessories using the Marie Kondo method of purging and sorting. Again, my personal situation is a bit different than most. I’m a Stella & Dot stylist, and it doesn’t behoove me to keep a ton of our discontinued jewelry around because I can’t sell it. I keep my favorites, of course, but I have to make room every so often for the new jewelry I add to my inventory. I gave a few pieces to a friend, and the rest I put in my donation bags for the thrift store.

As for scarves and handbags, I got rid of the ones that don’t “spark joy” and kept the rest. Because I have so much extra space in my closet now, I hung my scarves on pants hangers so I can see them better.

scarves - 1

#3. How do you organize the clothing you have left? What goes in the closet, what goes in drawers, etc.?

This is an interesting topic as well. Marie Kondo advises you to fold everything you possibly can. She says the clothes are happier that way (snort!!) and that it’s more efficient (she has a specific folding method where you stand your clothing up in the drawer, instead of stacking, so you can see everything at a glance.)

I prefer to hang everything I can because I feel like I can see what I have more easily, and I am often inspired to come up with new outfit combinations simply by seeing them together in my closet. My running clothes, pajamas, and loungewear are housed in my dresser drawers. Lingerie and undergarments are in the drawers in my closet.

#4. How do you store your jewelry, and how do you keep them all so shiny and pretty?

I feel the same about my jewelry as I do about my clothing. I like to keep it out where I can see it so I know what I have and can get inspired to create new outfit combinations. However, silver jewelry is best stored in Ziploc bags, so that creates a bit of a conundrum. I have a standing jewelry armoire beside my dresser that could easily house all my collection, but I don’t like to use that for the stuff I wear every day because I can’t see it easily. In fact, I am considering donating that piece of furniture, although it pains me to do so because it was a gift from my husband, and it looks pretty in our bedroom.

I also have a jewelry box on top of my dresser, and I have jewelry dividers in the top drawer of my dresser. AND in addition to all of that, I have some standing jewelry organizers on my dresser. I KNOW. It’s too much. Now that I’ve downsized so much, I need to rethink my jewelry storage. I’m working on that.

Here’s a picture of my dresser.

jewelry storage

And my jewelry drawer.

jewelry drawer

#5. What if I can’t afford to buy the pieces I need to fill in and make a working capsule wardrobe?

It is best to invest in quality pieces that will last, but you certainly don’t want to go broke creating your capsule wardrobe. Don’t forget to take advantage of thrift stores or websites like ThredUp, where you can find gently used but high quality clothing that will be kind to your budget.

And also, give yourself time. If this is something you plan to do long-term, you will perfect it as you go along. It’s fine to add your investment pieces over time. The key is to be intentional about your purchases, making sure everything you buy compliments the rest of your wardrobe.

Stay Tuned!!

Click here to see my 50-piece winter capsule wardrobe.

Resources:

If you’re considering giving the capsule wardrobe a try, here are some articles I found helpful.

How To Build A Capsule Wardrobe | Unfancy

Creating the Perfect Capsule Wardrobe That Will Really Work | Mom Advice

How To Create A Capsule Wardrobe for Work | Stylebook

Project 333 | Be More With Less

Did you like this post?

Sign up to get my Daily Emails, and you’ll never miss a thing!

If you’re looking for help building your wardrobe, I highly recommend Trunk Club. And follow me on Instagram for my daily outfits and sneak peeks on upcoming fashion posts!

Join the Conversation

75 thoughts on “How to Create A Capsule Wardrobe

  1. Count me in for the challenge (is there a hashtag?)! I started the Konmari method this time last year but have never officially done a capsule wardrobe. I don’t have many clothes to begin with and I bet I could easily-ish narrow it down. I’ve already decided not to buy any more winter clothes. This is exciting!

  2. Let me say upfront that I am passionately in favor of maintaining an organized closet, keeping only those things you love to wear and that make you feel great. However, I find it odd that a blogger whose mission seems to be informing her readers on how to style current trends and where to find great new items would be such an advocate for shop your closet minimalism and shopping avoidance. Don’t these two missions seem to be at odds? Why would a reader want to see you styling the same pieces over and over again with only accessories to mark the differences between outfits?

    1. Good question, and I’ve been asking myself the same thing. Haha! First of all, it’s only for 30 days. 🙂 This time of year it seems that people are often in the mood to shop their closet and try to reduce spending, so it seemed like a good time of year to try it. I had several readers ask for this, so I thought I’d try it. Also, I did not get my closet down to 37 pieces. (More on that tomorrow.)

      1. I think that it’s great that you are trying something new. I see your blog more as an overview of fashion from a fun but practical viewpoint, not just whatever happens to be in the spotlight at the moment. I like the idea of having some classic pieces and seeing how those work with the current trends, and I’m looking forward so seeing the process.

  3. In October or November of 2015 I did this. I packed away all but 40 pieces, which included jewelry, scarves, belts, & shoes. I noticed that I was really only reaching for the same pieces of clothing most days, and only reached for something different if I need to do laundry badly (ha!). I put everything else into black garbage bags and tucked it into our storage for one month.

    After 30 or so days (definitely not less) I opened the black bags and honestly laughed at some of the things I had kept around for so many years. I did take out a few (maybe 10 pieces) and keep them but as of now my fall/winter wardrobe consists of about 40 pieces total including accessories…but not shoes. I love shoes but have always been pretty good about only keeping the ones I actually wear.

    I do have a few things that are Spring/Summer only that I kept in a box to swap out for heavier Fall/Winter items once it warms up.

    I honestly can’t imagine every going back to a full closet!

  4. Wow! As a retiree that will eventually move to the country, I mean living on a dirt road in our smaller home that is on 100 acres of hunting land, I do need to start reducing the quantity of clothes I have. Our closet space is limited and hunting clothes take up one nice size closet. Any way, the lifestyle there is overall very casual, even for church. I’ve had the majority of my clothes for way too long, for sentimental reasons and because I use the “I might need it later” theory. I had donated all of my turtlenecks and most long sleeve cotton tops, then this year I’ve needed long sleeve tops to wear under certain sweaters and ponchos, so I had to buy some. Oh brother!
    I have a suggestion for your jewelry. My husband makes jewelry using stones we have mined, so the number of necklaces I have outgrew my wood jewelry cabinet. So, I bought scarf hangers from Bed Bath & Beyond that will hold a lot of necklaces. I can email you a picture of them later, if you’d like. For my earrings, I use plastic containers that allow you to divide the inside to the sizes you need. My creative mom used empty egg cartons in her vanity drawer to hold her earrings, since she didn’t have the money to buy dividers. I have them in my closet, so they are right there with my clothes as I’m putting an outfit together. I also have a small mirror hung on the wall in my closet so that I can get an idea of how a particular accessory or top looks.
    Have a blessed day!

  5. Donating clothes to any reputable charity is great. I wanted to mention two additional ideas for purged clothes. One is to donate work clothes to your local Dress for Success chapter. Disadvantaged women get these clothes along with resume, interview and other necessary skills training to help them get jobs.

    If your clothing, shoes, jewelry and other accessories are new (3 years old or less), you can take them to a Clothes Mentor store. They will give you either cash or store credit on the spot (you may have to wait a few minutes if they are processing someone else ahead of you). Because all the clothes have to be less than 3 years old, you can often find quality items (sometimes they still have the tags on them) to add to your capsule wardrobe.

      1. I haven’t ever seen a Clothes Mentor, but there are several Plato’s Closets that are localish and they do the same thing.

  6. I have been interested in the capsule wardrobe idea as a way to insure that things can work together easily and to solve the impulse buying of pieces that don’t go with anything. I have been purging my closet regularly due to a weight loss over the last 8 months, but 37 pieces sounds impossible. I will be very interested to read your posts on this topic and thank you for tackling it!

  7. I honestly l’ve a good de-cluttering session. I tend to do it often to avoid buying 1 white t-shirts or another grey cardigan. Seeing your inventory can be helpful. You have a great closet space!

  8. Okay, this is warped but I toggled between reading your post today and the “after party sale” for Lilly Pulitzer…LOL!

  9. Ahh!! I keep going back and forth about doing this! I NEED to do it, or at least a ruthless purging session. The theory makes perfect sense, but I can see my clothes hoarding side getting the best of me. Maybe I’ll shoot for toning it down and worry about the actual numbers later when I see how it goes. I love how easily you broke it down. If I do actually do it, I can guarantee my husband will thank you!!

    1. Honestly, the numbers don’t really matter. i didn’t get down to 37, and I’m not going to stress about it. I think going thru my closet ruthlessly was so worth it, though. Anything you’re feeling wishy washy about can go in a bin where you can retrieve it at any time. I still saved a lot, but it’s not staring at me when I open my closet. 🙂

  10. Bought enough this fall/winter, should be good without any purchases til Spring! Plan on purging more this week! Look forward to rest of the ideas, but probably won’t get down to 37 pieces, HA! Things go down into a cedar closet, if they aren’t missed, donation time!

  11. I believe this is a brilliant idea for a fashion blogger, like you, to tackle head on! After all, a capsule wardrobe IS a huge trend and you’re guiding your readers thru it step by step. This time of year, it’s good to hunker down on a cold day and organize your home and your closet. I’m looking forward to seeing the clothes that you choose, which will help me with some of the pieces in my wardrobe that I’ve been on the fence about.

    As always, I look forward to your daily fashion advice. Thank you!

  12. Wow! You certainly have done a lot of homework & work on this challenge! So many good tips. I started the Ruth Soukup 31 Days to CLutter Free Life & did somewhat good. It seems I get interrupted a lot! I started on my summer clothes at the end of the season & some of them are still hanging over the side of the Pac n Play in the grandkids bedroom! I think Ruth Soukup did a certain number of hangers as well, I just can’t remember what it was now! I aimed for 40. I have 4 seasons of clothing that I switch out. Our home is the typical 1974 ranch, we lived in for the past 42 years, complete with small bedroom closets. In the grandkids bedroom, we have one of those small half closets. I added a closet organizer & made it much more useful. Also, I purchasd one of those “assemble it yourself” wardrobes from Sauder & placed it right next to the closet. This handles the seasonal clothes I switch out. Plus it has a top shelf & bottom shelf big enough for a few baskets that my miscellaneous goes in. Our basement is finished off , so on the utility side, we purchased 2 more additional wardrobes. That’s where our off-season coats go. My husband has bulky outdoor wear so it needs the extra space. Boy, is that purge going to be difficult. I cut down last summer, after reading Ruth’s book, but then started buying again after seeing your fashion blog posts! I do have an outlet for my purged clothes though. Anything in style & brand name goes to a consignment shop I’ve used for years, including handbags. I enjoy getting that monthly check! Other than that, it goes to our local rescue mission (people get this clothing for free), or, if its out of season, I take to the Salvation Army. The rescue mission doesn’t have the room, so they only can take current season clothing. I also make a separate white garbage bag labeled Recycle, and give to mission or SA. In it will be items that may have a stain from deodorant, a hole, etc. Both organizations “bale” unusable clothes, etc, & get money for it. Back to clothing – I did try the backward hanger method & have noticed I have quite a few hangers still backwards, meaning I have yet to wear the items. However, we have had a very mild winter here in Northeast PA, that I haven’t even worn a coat yet, so I have to take that into consideration. I may need that warm clothing for next year! Scarves are another thing I need to purge. Apparently I have purchased scarves to match a whole lotta sweaters, vests & jackets. How in the world do I start that purge? I’m thinking I need to go with the reality of my life & purge accordingly. The reality is that I’m 60, don’t work outside the home, get our grandkids on & off the bus 4 days a week & babysit our 2 & 4 year old grandchildren every Thursday & Friday. So how much “going out” clothing do I really need? Other than my one day a week to run errands, out to dinner once a week & church, not much……I was trying to dress up more, but with grandkids no farther than a path through the woods, it’s casual all the time! I think the reality is hitting me as I type this comment, I don’t need all those clothes! And to stop buying in order to replicate an outfit of what you & Cyndi post on your blog, just use what I have! You post so many great outfits though! And build that capsule wardrobe from whats already here, for the lifestyle I lead. So I’m in for that challenge! Where do I sign up?

  13. I am very interested to see your clothing selections. I needed to reramp my wardrobe this fall – changed sizes, etc. The capsule wardrobe idea helped me stay focused on essential pieces and use accessories more effectively.

  14. I really should do this. I tend to reach for the same pieces over and over again, but I have those pieces that I will occasionally reach for to mix things up a bit. I’ve gotten rid of so much stuff within the last year, but I still find my closet has too much it in, as well as a dresser full of stuff as well. I don’t even wear street clothes most days. I’m in scrubs during the day and when I get home it’s pjs for the night. I feel like its not quite a waste of money if I still have the clothing hanging in my closet for “someday” than if I were to donate them. Your way of thinking certainly helps though. This may be my weekend project. I can’t wait to see what you come up with and to read about your process tomorrow!

  15. I am excited about this! I have already decided not to buy during the month of January. Thanks for sharing this great idea. I plan to follow along. 🙂

  16. I started to declutter my closet (and home!) after reading the Magic Art of Tidying Up in November. I am really trying to be more of a minimalist this year and sticking with wearing what is already in my closet while purging what doesn’t work. It really is so wasteful to realize how much we have in our closets when you think of all the people in our country who are homeless or struggling to put food on the table! I am currently on a “no buy” and am even weeding through/using up my beauty products including nail polish, glosses, hair products etc. before I will let myself buy anything new. I have encouraged my kids to do the same. While some of what Marie Kondo writes was a bit far fetched to me (talking to your clothing so they know you haven’t forgetten about them!), I did like that she talks about the importance of only keeping what makes you feel good/sparks Joy in wearing. That made the process easier for me. I know that the money has already been spent so I don’t have a problem passing on what is not working for me. Looking forward to further posts!

  17. We pared down a lot when we became empty-nesters and downsized to a smaller home. It could be a “stage of life” thing, but I find a simpler lifestyle very appealing.

    I’m in for a 30 day freeze on spending! I’ve done some shopping since Christmas, mostly with gift certificates, but I’d like to take a break from shopping. This is going to be interesting.

  18. I have downsized and donated a ton of items this year — I went for the “wow” factor and if it didn’t meet that criteria, it was gone. But having a work wardrobe and a non work wardrobe and going down to 37 pieces would be too tough (since I do NOT wear my work clothes when I am not working). I could probably do 37 pieces for work, since I wear a dress every day to work, and then 37 pieces for non work would be super easy. You’ve got me thinking now 🙂

  19. This is so awesome!! I was just thinking that I have way to many clothes and need to get organized. This sounds like it will be interesting to try. Thank you so much for doing this! I am really excited for the next post!!

  20. Loved this post and look forward to tomorrow’s post! Thinking I’m ready to try a capsule wardrobe. I started thinking about this while reading Jennifer L. Scott’s book Lessons from Madame Chic and think it’s finally time to put my “education” to work!

  21. I am also going to try to do one month!!! I picked out about 40 pieces for January. I just moved the extras to our storage room. If nothing else the exercise will show us all how to mix things we own already and force us to think “outside” the box when getting dressed (while staying in the box of 30-40 items)!!!!! I am also going to put the clothes I have worn at the end of the group to see what is left after the 30 days…..also…if I sneak anything from storage!!! I think it will show us what we actually wear and guide us when making new purchases….regardless of our shopping habits/profession!!!!!

    1. Yes to all this!! Just living with my simplified wardrobe for a week, I’ve found myself making so many new combinations. I just tried on a bunch the other day. 🙂 I think it’s going to be a fun exercise.

  22. Hi Jo Lynn! I am new to your blog and I have to tell you I LOVE it!!! I look forward to reading it everyday (usually while I’m on the treadmill at the gym). I too am a stay @ home Mama and live in the Suburbs of Philadelphia (Chester County). I am also over 40. You have inspired me to purchase several of the items that you have worn over the holidays. Until now, as a stay @ home mom, I was used to wearing my boring yoga pants and hoodie. Since I have come across your blog I feel like I am finally getting my “mojo” back! haha! I just didn’t know where to start and I thank you sooo much for helping me do that. I can wait to get to Nordstrom’s at the KOP mall to try on the DL1961 jeans that you suggest. I have the hardest time buying jeans so I’m hoping that they’ll fit well. So, thanks again!
    Take Care!

    1. Michelle, this is so awesome to hear! I’m also in Chester County. Maybe I’ll run into you at the mall. Haha!!! You might also try the denim dept at Bloomingdales. They carry all the same styles, but their department is more compact, and I find them to have more selection than Nordstrom, at least at the KOP mall. Although the sales staff is much better at Nordstrom… so it depends on if you want help or not. Good luck!

  23. Yes, yes, and Yes! Such great ideas, and the pictures are great tools because instead of just reading about how do to it, you show how it can happen and what the end result can look like. AWESOME POST! Count me in for sure! Thank You!

  24. I am really excited about this! I love style blogs but I feel like it isn’t realistic for readers-who has the money to buy what’s featured every day?! I am glad to see that you are balancing the new (which is fun) with creating a wardrobe that works all season. So thank you for doing this!

    I worked on making a winter capsule this weekend actually. I think I got it down to 55 items including accessories & shoes. I used stylebook to do it. I may just participate in this challenge!

      1. Yes-it’s pretty daunting! I gave up trying to photograph my own clothes! So much work & they looked awful! If I buy something new I find the image online & for older pieces I just try to find something similar in the apps ‘shop’ area. The models arms & stuff used to bother me but I got over it!
        I also started out only adding the clothes for the current season. That made it more doable.
        That said-I love it! It is so easy to see what I own! I use the calendar feature to track what I actually wear & its neat to look at the stats (what you wear the most, how many times you have worn an item, what items you have never worn).
        It has some downsides but overall I love it!

        1. HM. I wonder if it’s worth giving it a try. A lot of my clothes ARE new. Is it online or just on iPhone? Seems like it would be easier to put it together on a computer.

          1. I am pretty sure it’s iPhone only. I either screenshot or save image then crop out as much as I can of model. Then you just add image to your closet. It’s really not bad if you go that route (maybe a minute per piece). You could start out with just your capsule items for now.

            Now if you were to photograph your own items it takes about 5 minutes per piece. For me about 15! I stink at flat lays though.

  25. Yes! This is a Great idea. I must say your Blog just gets better everyday! Count me in! I already do this four times a year. I have done the same thing as the other ladies. I store items for later in a Tupperware…then when I go back to retrieve them I get rid of all of it and can’t believe I thought I might wear it! I take little bags and place my jewelry in them. I hang them on each outfit…the when I go to get ready I have everything I need. I was finding that I wasn’t wearing a lot of my jewelry because I just didn’t have the time to hunt and search when I go to get ready for the day. You can actually do this with everything in your house. The thing that helped me the most was getting rid of items that had emotional sadness attached to them. Something an old boss bought me when the two of us never got along that well. Things my son’s ex girlfriend had bought me etc… to many bad memories.

  26. This is the perfect convergence of my favorite online bloggers. I have been following Project 333 for about 3 years and have done a couple rounds of a capsule wardrobe, with varying degrees of success. I found Unfancy sometime last year, as well as your blog. I am an over-40 SAHM and like your style, but found myself to be excessively shopping in 2015. Last week, I decided that I’m in for another round of Project 333 (I have narrowed to 33 items, but I don’t include outerwear, shoes or accessories). I have found this number works well for me with the modifications. And here I am today reading your latest blog post, on the topic of capsule wardrobes…..a topic near and dear to me. I look forward to seeing your post tomorrow and what you’ve put together!

  27. As I read your post I kept mentally walking through my closet seeing all the duplicates I have in their – I mean, really, how many beige or grey or black sweaters do I need? I find when I’m wandering the shopping mall I gravitate towards the same things. I am going to try this method of paring down mt closet and see how it goes. I’m sure I won’t miss most of the items hanging in there and I might actually renew my love for an older item. I am also getting my husband in on this – he has way too many dress shirts that I know he doesn’t wear! Now to convince my son….

  28. I recently discovered your blog, and I’ve been enjoying reading along. I like your style and get some great ideas. All that being said, it bothers me a bit that you are so dismissive and a bit derisive of the tone of Marie’s book. It is fine not to agree, or even to dismiss something like the mysticism of the clothes in your closet, but I really feel badly to hear someone’s (anyone’s) beliefs simply dismissed as so much “nonsense”. It feels like there is so much of that in our world today. Ok, I’m off my soapbox now! 🙂 thanks for listening! Keep those great outfits coming our way.

  29. I can’t wait to see how this works for you! I desperately need to purge but for some reason, the thought paralyzes me!

  30. Hello Jo-Lynne,

    Great post! I had been MIA lately, too much going on juggling different things. However, I always enjoy reading the innovative ideas you share on your blog. I have been trying to this for a while, but I have not been home long enough to get this project off the ground. It makes such a difference wearing the clothes we love and not just having “things” occupy closet space.

    Thank you for these tips! Happy New Year to you and yours!

  31. I’m so thankful you posted this! I’m a clothes hoarder. I also just spent $200 at target tonight on more clothes! I definitely want to try this for 30 days just to motivate me to purge!! THANK YOU!

  32. thanks for speaking towards the mystic aspect of the book…….. it has put me off of purchasing it.. but with your attitude of humor towards it (snort) I think I can get the book and weed through what is useful to me and discard the other stuff!!
    Thank You!!!

    1. Yeah, I didn’t want to get distracted by sharing my thoughts on all that in my post. I’m not going to be thanking my house and clothing, however, I do appreciate her attitude of gratefulness – I just prefer to thank the One who provides all of our material needs, not the possessions themselves. It’s still interesting to read, and it made me think about some of my beliefs and how they jibe (or don’t). 🙂

      1. My thoughts exactly!!! My clothing doesn’t need to be folded a certain way to increase it’s ‘energy’ either… but I have downloaded the book to my kindle and am excited to glean useful info from it!! I do think taking a photo in an outfit truthfully helps you decide if it is flattering on you. And if it isn’t flattering, then it needs to GO!! Even if I love it. (I am a closet hoarder of clothing–hahahaha)

  33. I’m really proud of you for trying this, JoLynne. I have learned so much about myself and my purchasing habits through this. I am working on putting together my winter capsule now so I am so excited to see how you style of this as you embark on your 30 day challenge!! Thank you so much for linking back to me!!! xoxo

  34. Purge ruthlessly…my new motto. I’ll never get to 37. Let’s not pretend. Haha! But I can definitely weed out things that don’t belong anymore!

  35. I have a question. I am a nurse so I have lots of uniforms. I know I can reduce some of them but I wouldn’t think they count in the 37 pieces would they? I actually probably have more uniforms than regular clothes!

  36. I have to say I’ve used the Marie Kondo method for folding my tanks and t-shirts and I’ve been able to maintain the organization. Love to open the drawing and see all the colors to make my choice.

  37. Thank you for posting this! I didn’t quite understand what a capsule wardrobe was and you have explained it so clearly! It is sort of like the 80/20 rule. You wear 20% of the clothes in your closet 80% of the time. I had read the Marie Kondo book last year and did a fairly heavy edit of my clothes. But after reading your post, you have re-inspired me to go back and edit again. I’ll have to post about it once I get done.

  38. I have wanted to do this since I first heard about it via homewiththeboys.net. I LOVE the idea of it! I have hesitated due to my fluctuating weight and lack of TIME to think it out! I’ve even started a blog post on my progress….so I guess I need FINISH this project so I can publish the post lol! Thanks for all the notes and inspiration. Muah!!

  39. I wasn’t planning to do this when you first started talking about it. But then I was packing to go on a trip for about 2 1/2 months, and I basically had to do it due to space limitations. So count me in. LOL

  40. I think I’m already doing this without realizing it haha. I don’t go out that much and pretty much wear the same leggings and rotation of shirts every day. Aside from my bi-monthly networking meetings, I don’t really need to vary my wardrobe. AND since I live in my workout wear, this could be cake! I actually think I would have a hard time doing this for my middle daughter who has both hand-me-downs and new clothes. Maybe we’ll try a kid-sized version!

    1. I helped my daughters go thru their dressers with the Marie Kondo method of “do you love it?” and they cleared out a lot! Especially my younger, who has the hand-me-down problem. 🙂

Want More?