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Capsule Wardrobe Tips and Questions You Need to Know Before Starting

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Thinking about starting a capsule wardrobe? While limiting your clothes sounds counter-intuitive, it’s actually a great way to make sure you’re wearing all the clothes in your closet (use this opportunity to declutter your closet once you see everything you’re NOT wearing). It’s also nice to eliminate decision fatigue and stress when you’re trying to choose the perfect outfit every morning.

If starting a capsule wardrobe seems scary, these are the most common questions to create your first capsule wardrobe.

How do I simplify my wardrobe?

Using a capsule wardrobe and organizing your clothes is a great way to simplify your wardrobe.

There’s no need to buy ALL.the.things, even if you live in a location with four seasons (I live in Michigan and am able to successfully use capsule wardrobes to simplify my clothing choices).

How many clothes should be in a capsule wardrobe?

Typically, 40 items are in each “capsule.”

Especially if you change your clothes seasonally, 40 items, including tops, bottoms, and shoes, should be plenty!

However, depending on your purpose for creating a capsule wardrobe (work clothes, SAHM clothes, gym clothes, etc.), you may need more than 40 items. In that case, create mini capsules with fewer items in each.

Consider getting a done-for-you set of outfit formulas for specific capsule wardrobes, like seasonal capsule wardrobes or a capsule wardrobe for your workout gear.

What should be in a capsule wardrobe?

Think about how you use your clothing. Are you a SAHM? Do you work in the corporate world? Do you only need “cute clothes” to go to the grocery store?

The type of clothes that you need (business professional, business casual, casual, workout, etc.) will largely determine what you include in your capsule wardrobe.

Also, depending on your lifestyle, it’s possible to use more than one capsule. When I was working part time, I used an Excel spreadsheet to track my work clothes, and then I rotated my gym outfits based on my laundry cycles so I wasn’t rewearing my clothes too frequently.

I’ve since switched to listing my clothes on one sheet of paper with the coordinating pieces (download my free printable here).

There are also apps that you can use to take photos of your clothing and pair (and shuffle) your outfits so you have a nice capsule wardrobe rotation.

How do you set up a capsule wardrobe?

To create a simple capsule wardrobe, start with your bottoms.

If you’re using a printable worksheet or a spreadsheet, list each pair of pants, skirts, shorts, etc., that you’ll include in your capsule. Underneath each bottom, list the tops that match.

To actually set up your capsule wardrobe in your closet, simply pack away everything that you’re not currently wearing.

Use this chance to declutter and get rid of everything that you no longer love, doesn’t fit, or is too worn to wear or repair.

How to build a capsule wardrobe

Over time, you may realize that you no longer love certain pieces of clothing, items no longer fit, or you just need a general update to your clothing/fashion sense.

I built my entire wardrobe on pieces from Stitch Fix.

As you build your wardrobe, make requests for certain staples, like black pants, a pencil skirt, and a top that can be worn to work or for date night. Over time, log into your Stitch Fix account and shop for new pieces. You’ll be able to build a wardrobe based on your own pieces from previous Stitch Fix purchases, as well as trending items based on your style profile.

Sign up for a Stitch Fix account today to start building your capsule wardrobe!

If you need help starting a capsule wardrobe or figuring out which items to include or how to pair outfits, I LOVE the Outfit Formulas site. The Closet Staples Capsule Wardrobe Builder is a great starting point, but they also have specific capsule wardrobe ideas, like seasonal capsules, SAHM capsule wardrobes, Body Shape Outfit Formulas, and more.

How to transition to a capsule wardrobe

Chances are, you already only wear a portion of your clothing. To create a capsule wardrobe, decide which clothing you love and wear frequently in your existing closet. Then, create outfits based on those staples.

Be sure to consider how you wear your clothes, your laundry schedule, your lifestyle, etc., when deciding which outfits to add to your capsule wardrobe.

Capsule wardrobe rules

Other than the number of items and how often you’re willing to wear an outfit or item, there aren’t any specific capsule wardrobe rules.

Feel free to experiment and see what works for you!

However, these are some important rules to consider when designing your capsule wardrobe:

  • Take into consideration the weather and seasons in your area.
  • Plan your wardrobe based on what you actually wear, not necessarily what you’d like to wear.
  • Don’t be afraid to play with color, but make sure you have a solid neutral base so you’re easily able to pair outfits.
  • Follow fashion formulas, not trends. Fashion is actually based on mathematical principles, so it’s easy to find flattering clothing once you understand how to dress your body shape.
Body Shape Capsule Wardrobe Outfit Formulas

Capsule wardrobe checklist

I love the printable capsule wardrobe planners (complete with outfit formulas) from Get Your Pretty On. If you’re struggling with what to wear or want to be more fashionable without a lot of effort (and while staying within your budget), get a done-for-you capsule wardrobe plan.

Whether you’re a SAHM, looking for fashionable workwear, or just want seasonal suggestions, these capsule wardrobe combinations are perfect!

Creating a capsule wardrobe can be a great way to simplify your clothing choices, relieve decision fatigue, and make sure you’re wearing clothes that make you look and feel great. Try it today!

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