How to Create a Capsule Wardrobe to Simplify Your Life


I’ve been on a simplification kick in every aspect of my life. I’m doing everything I can to scale back and simplify everyday tasks that take up meaningless head space so I can have more time and energy for the things I really love. This includes wardrobe simplification.

I’ve done a lot of reading about wardrobe systems and tried a bunch out, but none of them really worked for me. I need a wardrobe capsule system to suit my specific storage and seasonal needs. There are a few important points I focus on to create this wardrobe capsule:

  1. I live in a city with extreme summer and winter seasons.
  2. I don’t want to switch my closets over so all my clothes need to live in one place throughout the entire year.
  3. I only want to inventory my closet twice per year.
  4. I want to account for every single piece in every category of clothing in my closet’if I leave out certain categories in my wardrobe capsule like loungewear or intimates, those categories will just build up.
  5. I want a simplified wardrobe with choice.
  6. My days are spent mostly in smart casual clothing.
  7. I want to do two big shops per year but keep my options open to browse and pick things up as I see them if I want to.

You can download the wardrobe list I came up with here.

There are 133 items listed in the wardrobe capsule above not counting jewellery and silk scarves (which are jewellery to me). When I thought about including jewellery in my wardrobe capsule I felt constricted so I left them out.

In addition to the pieces above I’ve given myself 10 ‘play pieces’ to work with. These are pieces that I feel are works of art and I’m so drawn to I can’t pass up, but might not fit very well into the categories of this wardrobe capsule. I’ve also given myself 10 stored pieces. For me, these are vintage and designer pieces that no longer fit but I don’t want to get rid of, and a few maternity pieces.

That makes the total number of pieces in this entire wardrobe capsule system 153.

A little note: I wear loungewear for pajamas. If you don’t, you’ll want to add two pairs of pajama’s to your capsule wardrobe.

I believe that the greatest styles and wardrobes evolve as the women who wear them do. I have no doubts that this wardrobe capsule will evolve as I gain experience with the system. I can feel in my bones that I will likely shave the listed number down by at least ten, and I think that change may even happen this year.

It’s really important to allow yourself this flexibility as well.

Currently, I have 114 pieces in my closet of the ‘ideal’ 153 listed above. I don’t know if I will ever actually have 153 pieces in my closet as I ebb and flow through the seasons. Of the 114 pieces I own, I have too many in some categories (mostly shoes!) but I’ve decided that I will keep them until it feels right to let them go and move forward only shopping for what I need to fill my capsule wardrobe.

Making a wardrobe capsule of your own? Could you use the system I’ve designed exactly as it is in your own wardrobe or tweak it a little to work for you? Are you starting with a few less pieces so a smaller wardrobe capsule might work better for you to start? If you sat down and thought about it, what are the 3-5 things that matter to you when it comes to creating a wardrobe capsule? I highly recommend writing these motivations down so you have them in front of you as you decide what direction you’d like to take your wardrobe.


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