Capsule Wardrobe // The Beginning

Wondering about how to start a capsule wardrobe? Here are the answers to your questions and a look into how I'm starting my capsule wardrobe.

Many bloggers have shared their journey with a capsule wardrobe, each with their own story and style. The capsule wardrobe lifestyle is one that speaks to my heart, as I've been attempting to minimize and cut down my closet ever since I was 16. The many failed attempts and slight spending problems during my high school years has left me with a big closet of unnecessary and only once worn items. Over the past few weeks, after reading a lot about the benefits of a capsule wardrobe, I've decided to start one of my own and share the beginning process with you today.

First, I'll answer a few common questions. Then I'll share how I'm planning on implementing my capsule wardrobe. Third, I'll share my breakdown of how many pieces of each clothing item I plan to have for each season. Lastly, I'll leave you with a few tips to get you started on your very own capsule wardrobe.

Questions, Answered

What exactly is a capsule wardrobe?

A capsule wardrobe is a minimalist approach to your closet that takes the stress out of picking outfits and lets you feel 100% confident about yourself. It's more than just getting rid of things you don’t need; it’s about crafting a wardrobe that will fit your lifestyle. Typically, it consists of only wearing 30-40 clothing items per season/3 months. There are different types of capsule wardrobes, but the one I'm doing is 40 items per 3 months. You can read more about it below.

Who is it for?

Anyone who seeks to have a simplified wardrobe that perfectly fits their body and lifestyle, anyone who wishes to cut down on their clothing spending, and anyone who desires to love each and every piece of clothing that they own. That being said, it's important to know that this type of wardrobe may not be right for everyone. Do some research and really understand what it entails before stepping into the whole journey.

How can I benefit from it?

There are a lot of benefits, and many are unique to each individual. A capsule wardrobe can help take the stress out of getting dressed, help you declutter your closet, and help you feel more confident about yourself because you'll be wearing pieces that you absolutely love.

Where do I shop for these clothes so I don't fall into the same wardrobe trap as before?

The best practice for a capsule wardrobe is to purchase high quality clothing items that will last longer than their price. When purchasing a more costly item, divide the price by how many months or years you expect it to last. The lower the result, the better the investment (as long as it holds up to that standard!). Budgeting is also a great habit to start. Every season, set a budget for items you'd like to replace and stick to it.

What is the best way to start?

Do your research. Figure out the best way to make a capsule wardrobe work for your lifestyle. Start gradually. There's no need to throw away all your clothes and buy new ones all at one time. Enjoy it! The best way to start is by being excited to start the journey to a simplified wardrobe!

How I'm starting my capsule wardrobe

Because I'm staying here in Lincoln for three weeks of summer school, I'll be going home on May 31 and returning mid-August. So essentially, I'll only be packing clothes that fit into my summer capsule wardrobe. Perfect right?! :) I'll store the rest of my clothes in storage for the summer.

Since I'm just beginning my capsule wardrobe, I have a lot of clothes that I like, but don't love. Being on a college budget, I can't afford to get rid of a bunch of items and buy new ones. So here's my plan:

1. Work through Caroline's Capsule Wardrobe Planner

Throughout this next month, I'll be filling this planner out to figure out what my true style really is and what clothing items make me feel 100% confident in my own body.

2. Adopt the in-one/out-one rule

I'll be beginning the summer capsule with clothing items I already have. As the summer progresses, I'll research and purchase items that really fit my style and body. Once I purchase that item, I'll get rid of another item that doesn't fit my new capsule style in order to create the perfect summer wardrobe!

3. Shop for my Fall Capsule Wardrobe during Labor Day Sales

I love shopping sales! Since my fall capsule wardrobe begins right around Labor Day Weekend, I'll use the opportunity to get my fall wardrobe for 50-70% off!

Capsule Wardrobe Breakdown

Below you'll find a list of how many of each clothing item I'm planning on including in my seasonal capsules based on my lifestyle. By no means is this list going to fit everyone's lifestyle, but feel free to use it as a starting point for your own capsule wardrobe.

Not Included:

  • Church clothes
  • Business clothes
  • Undergarments
  • Athletic clothes
  • Accessories such as scarves, hats, bags, glasses, etc.
  • Vacation clothing for climates different from where you live
  • Anything that can’t be worn on its own (such as a slip worn underneath a sheer piece)

Summer (June, July, August) - 40 Pieces Total

  • Sandals (3)
  • Flats (2)
  • Sneakers (2)
  • Leggings (2)
  • Jeans (2)
  • Shorts (5)
  • Pants (2)
  • Blouses (5)
  • Button ups (1)
  • T-shirts (5)
  • Tank tops (5)
  • Dresses (3)
  • Skirts (3)

Fall (September, October, November) - 40 Pieces Total

  • Sandals (1)
  • Flats (2)
  • Boots (4)
  • Sneakers (2)
  • Jackets (3)
  • Vest (1)
  • Leggings (3)
  • Jeans (3)
  • Sweaters (3)
  • Cardigans (2)
  • Blouses (4)
  • Button ups (3)
  • T-shirts (3)
  • Long sleeved (2)
  • Dresses (2)
  • Skirts (2)

Winter (December, January, February) - 40 Pieces Total

  • Boots (5)
  • Sneakers (2)
  • Jackets/Coats (5)
  • Vest (1)
  • Leggings (4)
  • Jeans (4)
  • Sweaters (5)
  • Cardigans (2)
  • Blouses (3)
  • Button ups (3)
  • T-shirts (3)
  • Long sleeved (3)

Spring (March, April, May) - 40 Pieces Total

  • Sandals (2)
  • Flats (1)
  • Sneakers (2)
  • Jackets (2)
  • Vest (1)
  • Boots (1)
  • Leggings (3)
  • Jeans (3)
  • Shorts (3)
  • Pants (1)
  • Blouses (4)
  • Button ups (3)
  • T-shirts (4)
  • Tank tops (2)
  • Long sleeved (2)
  • Dresses (3)
  • Skirts (2)

 My Three Tips for You

As you begin on your own capsule wardrobe and journey towards simplicity, you'll likely find challenges and have a lot of questions. Take it slow and move at your own pace. Here are three tips that I've found useful as I've begun my journey:

  1. Read about other people's capsule wardrobes to get ideas.
  2. When you're ready, do a deep clean of your closet (and donate as much of it as you can instead of throwing it away!)
  3. Keep a positive spirit. You'll feel better about yourself and enjoy the process a whole lot more!

What about you? Have you considered starting a capsule wardrobe?


100 Things to Throw Away

The first step to minimalism is reducing clutter in your home! Many people dismiss the idea of simplifying or minimizing their life because they don't know where to begin. Truth is, the concept of minimalism isn't to own a certain number of items or get rid of all your favorite belongings; it's living with enough to be content and getting rid of unnecessary clutter.

Taking the first step to owning less isn't difficult. Begin by simply reducing the excess things in your home. For example, you need towels so you will never remove them completely—but you could simplify your life by reducing the number of towels you own.

You can even go a step further and recycle, donate, or trash items. I'm working on doing this in my own life (I have wayyyy to much junk!) and have come up with a list of 100 items you can most likely do without. Try getting rid of 10 items a week and before you know it, you will have made significant progress in your journey towards a more simplified life.

100 Things to Throw Away

  1. Old makeup/ones that you don't use much
  2. Old nail polish
  3. Movies you don't watch anymore
  4. Old coupons/flyers
  5. Old manuals to electronics
  6. Ticket stubs
  7. Takeout menus
  8. Cards given to you with no sentimental value
  9. Socks with holes
  10. Old t-shirts/ones you were given for free that you don't wear
  11. Dried flowers/dead leaves from house plants
  12. Old planners
  13. Old notebooks
  14. Unsubscribe from email subscriptions you don't absolutely love
  15. Expired food
  16. Old/broken phone cases
  17. Ripped denim
  18. Travel brochures
  19. Old shopping catalogs
  20. Old magazines
  21. Boxes that you aren't using to store anything in
  22. Purses you don't use
  23. Old shoes
  24. Empty bottles of
  25. Broken necklaces
  26. The other half of a missing earring
  27. Clothes that don't fit you right now
  28. Old/unused/broken hangers
  29. CD's
  30. Receipts you don't need
  31. Old bills
  32. Empty perfume bottles
  33. One of anything you duplicates of
  34. Old invitations
  35. Outdated electronics
  36. Piles of plastic grocery bags
  37. Old paint
  38. Neglected projects you won't get around to finishing
  39. Rarely used kitchen gadgets
  40. Extra buttons
  41. Soap/shampoo/conditioner from hotel rooms
  42. Tissue paper/gift bags/bows that you're going to "reuse"
  43. Hair accessories you don't use
  44. Old bras
  45. Ripped up pet toys
  46. Stockings with runs
  47. Unused vases
  48. Extra tupperware containers (they're reusable!)
  49. Unused stationery, stickers, sticky notes
  50. Last year's calendar
  51. Business cards from places you don't need
  52. Books you have already read
  53. Chopsticks from restaurants (if you use them a lot, buy a reusable pair!)
  54. Pencils where the eraser doesn't work
  55. Dried out pens
  56. Extra shoelaces
  57. Last years Christmas cards (both yours and ones you received)
  58. Cardboard food boxes
  59. Old dish sponge
  60. Hair products you don't use (you don't need 3 different types of shampoo)
  61. Board games with missing pieces
  62. Old homework
  63. Textbooks from classes you're finished with
  64. Extra sets of headphones
  65. That bag of gems/rocks you got from a tourist spot
  66. Old prescription glasses
  67. Broken sunglasses
  68. Worn out flip-flops
  69. Loyalty cards you don't use
  70. Free samples
  71. Posters you don't display
  72. Excess decks of cards
  73. Phone books
  74. Magnets
  75. Extra decorative pillows
  76. Paper plates
  77. Plastic forks/knives/spoons
  78. Empty shoeboxes
  79. Lanyards/keychains you don't use
  80. Puzzle books
  81. Broken Christmas lights
  82. Ornaments that have no sentimental meaning
  83. Old contact lens cases
  84. Extra bubble wrap
  85. Crafting supplies you bought for a project but don't use anymore
  86. Plastic water bottles (buy a reusable one!)
  87. Belts you don't like
  88. Hats you don't wear
  89. Puzzles with missing pieces
  90. Old medication
  91. The other half of a missing mitten/sock
  92. Used/ripped envelopes
  93. Random containers/jars
  94. Extra matchbooks
  95. Chip clips
  96. Old, raggy towels
  97. Old school projects
  98. Small pieces of scrap paper/ribbon/string
  99. Notes from your middle school lover
  100. Chapstick

What else would you add to the list?


A Call for Simplicity

A Call for Simplicity Simplicity and minimalism are becoming hot topics in today's society. People feel the need to downsize in order to feel less frazzled. That's a good thing! Personally, I'm beginning the journey to minimalism–using baby steps. I find it difficult to jump headfirst into a new lifestyle. If you're like me, here are a few small steps you can take to begin to simplify your life.

1. Possessions

If you feel the need to begin simplifying your life, eliminating the amount of things you own is a great place to start. Choose a finite number of items to get rid of (perhaps 20, 50, or 100—it’s easier than you may think), or choose to purge 10 items from each room in your house. A few places to consider:

  • Your closet (creating a capsule wardrobe is a great idea!)
  • Your desk (do you really need another set of pens?)
  • Your beauty items (find a hair and makeup routine and keep only items that you use, no extras)
  • Your "collections" (throw away old nail polish and consider donating any movies of books you don't need to watch anymore)
  • Paper items (trash any old coupons/flyers and cut out the pages you want to keep from magazines)

2. Time

Sometimes we give priority to less important tasks and people over those we really should care about. Try this exercise:

First, make a list of everything you need to do in one day. My list looks something like: school, homework, work, blogging, time with Caleb, time with friends, cooking, cleaning, relaxation.

Second, prioritize that list. For me, spending time with Caleb is number one, then important things like school, homework, and work come next.

Next, honestly decide if you can fit all those events into a normal day. I realized at the beginning of this year that I tried to fit too much into my days. How did I fix that? I began to say no to things.

Then, schedule out your ideal day, giving more time to things more important and less time to tasks that aren't.

3. Attention

In a world where multi-tasking is considered normal, even admired, people still aren’t getting stuff done as efficiently as they could. Simplify your to-do list by learning to single-task.

  • Focus on having only one tab open at a time so you can truly engage with what you’re reading and learning. (This is hard for me. I currently have 22 tabs open…)
  • Keep your desktop clean, clear, and organized so that you aren’t distracted or stressed out throughout the day.
  • Avoid distractions by turning off the TV, putting your phone away from sight, and closing the door.
  • Prioritize by focusing on what is most important first and moving to the next task as you complete them.

3. Nature

Nature naturally makes you feel good :) If you feel overwhelmed, spend some time outdoors. Take a walk, ride on a bike trail, eat dinner on the deck/patio, let nature inspire you!

4. Technology

Sometimes it feels like technology complicates our lives rather than simplifying it. But it doesn't have to be that way! Monitor the amount of time per day that you're on your phone, tablet, or computer (not counting work) and decide how much you can reduce your usage and still be satisfied. Even simple tasks like deleting emails can take up a lot of useful time. Take the time to unenroll yourself from campaigns or sign up for a service such as to clear out any unnessary email clutter.

What about you? Have you considered living a more minimalistic lifestyle?


P.S. 8 Ways to Simplify Your Life!