The in’s and out’s of a Capsule Wardrobe

When I first stumbled across the term “Capsule Wardrobe”, I had no idea what that meant! It was completely foreign and confusing to me.  For a fashion lover and someone who gets a kick out of being super organised, it’s actually really surprising. It took a bit of research and a little while to get my head around the what-and-why of a Capsule Wardrobe.

What is a Capsule Wardrobe?

A Capsule Wardrobe is a small selection of clothing that you stylishly live from for a whole season. It consists of a number of items, usually between 33 to 40 (but the number is really up to you and what suits your lifestyle and goals).

A Capsule Wardrobe is intended to reflect your true personal style and is created in a way that will enable ease of mixing & matching and adaptability. It’s an approach of simplicity and minimalism. A capsule wardrobe generally incorporates work wear, casual wear, going-out-for-dinner wear, and weekend-nights-out wear.

Once a capsule wardrobe is selected, there is a non-clothes-shopping phase which is in place until the end of the season,  when the capsule is rotated. Someone might go through two to four capsules a year, depending on your seasons and desire to change it up.

What isn’t a Capsule Wardrobe?

The items in your Capsule Wardrobe don’t include:



-underwear and lingerie

-undergarments (like that singlet that you wear underneath everything but is never visible)

-swim wear

-the clothes you go camping in

-the clothes you wear to do the gardening or painting

-workout/gym wear

-formal wear

The reason these items are not included in a capsule wardrobe is because these ones are inflexible. You can’t wear your bleaching-the-bathroom pants to work. Or your ball gown to the Sunday market. Due to the inadaptability of these ‘looks’, including them in the capsule equation would stunt your capsule wardrobe’s flexibility. (This doesn’t however mean you should go out and buy 35 ball gowns on your non-shopping phase because they’re not included. It’s beneficial to keep these selections to a minimum too.)

A Capsule wardrobe is not intended to be an experience of deprivation and suffering.  It is intended to aid you to appreciate more, and be more stylish with less. It is intended to reintroduce you to gratitude for the beautiful things you own. It is designed to remind you of the joy of creativity that fashion can inspire. To teach you to fall in love with your wardrobe all over again. And I can assure you, it works!

In addition, a capsule wardrobe isn’t meant to be too hard-and-fast. It is adaptable and can be ventured upon in your own way (within reason little-miss-shop-a-lot). If the idea of capsule wardrobe scares you, or you’d like some ideas on how to make it work for your unique lifestyle, check out this post. But don’t fear, it scared me too once upon a time, I promise it will be one of the best things you have ever done!

How to create your Capsule Wardrobe…

  1. Get your hands dirty with a wardrobe clean-out of epic proportions! Anything that’s less that a 7 out of 10 on the scale of whether it sparks joy inside you, or hasn’t been worn in over 18 months… it’s time to go. Be brutal, and say goodbye.
  2. Complete the final pare down. Narrow down your seasonally appropriate wardrobe to a recommended 33 to 40 items. These final items will make up your wardrobe for one whole season. A season can be 3, 4 or 6 months long depending on your climate.
  3. Store non-seasonal items away, out of sight. Sell, donate or trash unwanted items.
  4. Take some time to reflect. Set up some goals and boundaries and establish the “why” behind your journey. This will really help later on at times of difficulty and ensure a lasting change.
  5. Now, no clothes shopping for the duration of that season. No. Shopping. At. All. (I know it sounds scary huh!?)
  6. Two weeks before the end of your season, it’s time to review, recap and prepare to rotate your capsule wardrobe. It might even be time to allow a reasonable budget to purchase some adorable new pieces for the new season! The recommended rule with  new purchases is one in = one out, to avoid reintroducing one hundred hangers again. And now it’s time to start back at step one!

Creating a capsule wardrobe may take one week or up to a couple of months. I wasn’t ready to live with a capsule wardrobe at first. I started with a massive clothing cull and the big credit card chop. A few months later I relapsed and I knew it was time. It was another huge wardrobe assessment, two weeks of planning and mindful consideration that finally lead me to my first ever capsule wardrobe of around 40 items, not including high fashion evening wear, shoes or accessories. You can see my first ever capsule wardrobe right here.

Happy cleaning, culling and organising! It will all be worth it I promise you!

If you have any questions about the capsule wardrobe process, feel free to comment below or contact me!


x x


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