Capsule Wardrobe - Step 1 - Research and Plan


I've officially caught the Capsule Wardrobe bug.  (Also see here and here and here.)  I'm one of those people who hates shopping, has a lot of clothes, but when I try to pick an outfit for the day or an event, I feel like I have nothing to wear.  

A few nights ago, we went to a New Year's Eve party.  I was wearing jeans with holes in them, a polka dotted sweater and a newly knitted by me scarf; in my defense, it was a casual kid party, not a dress up adult party, and Star insisted that we all wear stripes; the scarf was the only thing that I could come up with to comply.

While there, the hostess told me that she is following the capsule wardrobe concept, and she loves it.  When she shops, she spends more money per piece than she used to, but she has a closet that works together, works with her body, and she no longer feels like she has nothing to wear.  Sign me up.

My first step was to google around a lot and read whatever I could.  Here are my takeaways: have a reasonably sized collection of clothes you love that fits you now.  Wear this set of clothes for 3 months.  Then update your collection based on the new season, wear and tear to your pieces, your evolving style, and/or any size changes.  Some bloggers seem to use the Capsule Wardrobe concept as an opportunity to buy new things, but my goal is to purge down to a "reasonably sized" collection and only buy necessary pieces down the road.  

My next step was to make a list of the different capsules that I'm hoping to end up with.  Here's my current vision:

Base Capsule

  • Underwear - 15
  • Bras - 5
  • Socks - 10
  • Nightgowns - 4
  • Tank tops - 2
  • Lounge pants (comfy pants that I wear around the house) - 3

Workout / Outdoor Capsule

  • Bras - 5
  • Socks - 10
  • Leggings - 5
  • Tank Tops - 10 (I like to do the layered tank look)
  • Short Sleeve Tops - 3
  • Long Sleeve Tops - 3
  • Sweatshirts - 1
  • Cold Weather Vest - 1
  • Jackets - 3
  • Swimsuits - 2
  • Scarves and hats - 3 (see below for the handmade exception)

Special Occasion Capsule

  • Dresses - 3

Work Capsule

  • Skirts - 6
  • Pants - 2
  • Tops - 15
  • Sweaters - 5
  • Dresses - 4

Everyday / Weekend Capsule

  • Jeans - 3
  • Short Sleeved T-shirts - 5
  • Long Sleeved T-shirts - 5
  • Blouses - 5
  • Skirts - 2
  • Sweatshirts - 2
  • Shorts - 2

Clothes I made - I'm going to go unlimited here.  A lot of stuff I make never ends up in my closet, but I think that the items that do end up in my wearable collection are worth keeping.  Also, I want to encourage me to sew.  If I have a limit to the number of handmade pieces that I have in my closet, then this would be negative encouragement!


  • Sneakers - 1 working pair with a spare pair as a backup.  
  • Ankle boots - 2
  • Tall boots - 2
  • Winter boots - 2 (these double as pre and post workout boots)
  • Flip Flops - 1 working pair with a spare pair as a backup.
  • Wedges - 2
  • Heels - 0.  I hate heels.  I want to get them out of my life forever.  

Ski Capsule - This is its own thing that I don't think I have the capacity to deal with right now.  

Memory Capsule - I'm not sure this is a thing, but I have a lot of memory clothes - clothes that I don't wear anymore, but I don't want to get rid of for sentimental reasons.  The sweater that I wore on my first date with Scott.  An NPR nightgown.  Cal sweatshirts.  For now, I've kept all of these, and hopefully at some point in my life, I'll put them in a big bin in our future garage.  

Up next: before pictures, or a horrible story about how this turned out to be a massive failure.  



jennifer pesetsky