How To Build A Capsule Wardrobe

Are you looking to start 2018 with a clear mind? Creating a capsule wardrobe will help you to focus your time and energy on what matters to you most, -it’s not your wardrobe! We are not going to find happiness and inspiration in the depths of an over stuffed closet. Eh?

A little history! The term “capsule wardrobe” was coined by Susie Faux,  in the 1970s to refer to a collection of essential items of clothing that would not go out of fashion.


I recently realized the amount of time I spend online shopping and getting ready in the morning has gotten out of hand. Like, no one even notices what other people are wearing unless it is hideous but for some reason I continually forget that I don’t need to care so much.

It shouldn’t feel like pulling teeth to pick out an outfit and shopping should only result from a need rather than an impulse.


Over the past year I have reduced my clothing by 75% and invested in staple pieces that will last many years, it feels amazing.

Honestly wearing clothing from a capsule wardrobe decreased my stress, and freed my mind to focus on daily decisions that matter. Even if it gives you 5-10 minutes of your day back, that time adds up. 

I live in a tiny apartment in New York City, where the seasons are intense. This means that I need our



Not every capsule wardrobe looks the same, it should be build around you. Take into account your lifestyle, how you dress for work, and your cities weather.  A capsule wardrobe should be 30 – 35 items including clothing, jewelry and shoes. I know that number sounds crazy but it is possible!

Start by doing a quick sweep of  every piece of clothing, jewelry, pair of shoes.


Create 4 piles: Love, Maybe, Donate, Trash 

Don’t think too much about it, just do a quick sort. You will already clear quite a bit out this way.


Frequency – how often you wear the item

Quality– will it hold up with more use? Try to avoid fast fashion brands like H&M or Zara. Go for quality brands like Everlane, Madewell (jeans).

Sentimental Value – we all have those 1-2 things you just can’t part with but keep it to 1-2.


Take a second pass at your two remaining piles (love & maybe). Try on clothing you aren’t sure about and ask the following questions:

  • Would I go to the store and buy this today?
  • Will I wear this in the next 3-6 months (or ever)?

Make a list of your  items by category. Start with the items you can’t live without, that you already wear everyday.  This list may change over time as seasons change, or work/life situations change.



Make a list of all the items you are going to keep! Making a list is key in making your capsule closet come to life. Google capsule closet for great example lists and inspiration. Here are some of the key pieces on my list.


  • madewell denim
  • leather jacket
  • simple t-shirt
  • sweatshirt
  • simple long sleeve shirt
  • button down shirt
  • blazer
  • sweater


  • sunglasses
  • purse
  • scarf


  • sneakers – black plain
  • Birkenstocks
  • boots
  • oxfords
  • short heel


I don’t count underwear, sleepwear, or workout clothes, but workout clothes have to workout. but be mindful of the amount you keep. Don’t hold onto every ratty pair of shorts or underwear. It has helped to purchase all nude and black undergarments so I am less overwhelmed when I look in the drawer. I love Targets 5 pairs for $20 stretch/silky thongs. They are the bomb for cheap!

Check out the blog who what wear for minimalist fashion inspiration!

Best of luck and happy 2018!

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