We should absolutely love all of our clothes. But so often, we don’t.
We should be pleased when we look at our wardrobes. But sometimes all we want is something new.
Our clothing should make us feel fantastic. And yet, it frequently doesn’t.
It’s time for a new approach to building a wardrobe. It’s called a CAPSULE WARDROBE.
A capsule wardrobe allows us to simplify our closet, eliminate the amount of time folding, organizing, buying and washing our clothes, and guarantees that we’ll always love what we wear.
I’m launching my capsule wardrobe today: 40 pieces in 90 days.
The purpose of a capsule wardrobe
Have you ever found yourself staring at a closet full of clothing, and yet having this awful feeling that there’s nothing you want to wear? I have.
Have you spent hours organizing your closet, and yet still forget about the pieces you never wear? I have.
Do you continue to shop despite the fact that (if the above is true of you) you clearly have tons of clothing already? I definitely have.
So, the purpose of a capsule wardrobe is to ultimately change our relationship with our clothes.
With a successful capsule wardrobe, here’s how we’ll feel when we put on each piece:
Wow. This dress was made for me.
This shirt actually takes me from desk to dinner.
I feel so comfortable in this.
I could walk miles in these shoes and still feel fabulous.
When I wear this, people actually see me, not my clothes.
These pants make me feel good in my own skin.
… And so much more.
Despite what the fashion industry and advertising companies want us to believe, clothes should be made for the body, not the body for clothes.
Your closet should work for you by being a simple, flawless collection of items that do what they’re supposed to– clothe you appropriately. It should not be a labyrinth of doom that engulfs you, overwhelms you, and takes hours to clean out and shop for over and over again.
So, let’s build wardrobes that are made for us. Let’s stop forcing ourselves into fashions that are anything less than PERFECT for our bodies and our lifestyles.
This is why I am (and hope that you will consider) building a capsule wardrobe.
The Numbers: 40 pieces / 90 days
I’ve selected 40 pieces– clothing and shoes– to carry me through the next 3 months. This is clothing that I will reach for every single morning. Whatever outfit I put together should carry me through the rest of the day.
These are my current favorite pieces. These are the ones I’ve reached for almost automatically; the ones that I know will keep me comfortable and happy all day long, all week long, all season long.
Why 90 days? Every three months, seasons change. Our schedules might change as well, and the weather will certainly change. So within 3 months, we should be able to cycle through the same pieces and find ourselves appropriately dressed.
Often times people will ask at this point what’s not included in these 40 pieces. As you’ll see below, I am not including: loungewear, undergarments, athletic wear, formal occasion (e.g. wedding) attire, accessories or anything that I wouldn’t be able to wear to work or out on the town. More on these exclusions later!
I am including pieces that:
- Are appropriate for my lifestyle: both work and play.
- Actually fit me right now.
- Make me look and feel my best.
- Transition from one scenario to another with ease.
- Are versatile enough for moving around.
- Are consistent with each other.
- Can be dressed up or down.
The 40: Favorite Brands and Favorite Pieces
Everyone’s style is different, and everyone’s needs are different. These are the items I’ve selected to reflect my needs, my job, my hobbies and my personal style!
Tops: A balance between loose-fitting and tighter-fitting tees, button-downs and blouses.
Outerwear: A mix of simple cardigans that pair well with the tops.
Bottoms: Pants (for work), long skirts, and shorts for warm weekend days.
Shoes: Comfortable flats, sandals and one pair of heels.
Dress: My absolute favorite work and dinner dress.
A Note on Brands:
Brands don’t really matter for a capsule wardrobe; but quality tends to matter. Since I’m wearing these pieces for 3 months straight, they’re going to have to hold up to washing, some stretching and a variety of activities.
One perk of shrinking your wardrobe is that you might be able to purchase higher quality, long-lasting pieces that would otherwise be too expensive. Buying less allows you to spend more on quality, which means you get more wear out of each piece. More bang for your buck!
More importantly, I started with 40 pieces that were already in my wardrobe. I did not go out and purchase 40 new pieces of clothing.
Brands included in this capsule wardrobe: Ann Taylor, Vince, Madewell, C. Wonder, Bar III, Earth, Tory Burch, Silence & Noise, Joe’s, Adriano Goldschmied, Aerosoles, Stuart Weitzman.
What to expect next from my capsule wardrobe:
In case you’re wondering, I actually will be sticking to these 40 pieces of clothing for the next 90 days. I’ll even show you some of the outfits I put together!
I’ll also be writing more about capsule wardrobes, including: how to build one that works; some goals that it can help you achieve; how to decide what to keep and what to toss; where to find high-quality clothing; and much more!
I hope you’ll follow along on this journey of mine! It’s just one more way to make minimalism work in practical ways.
* An earlier version of this post had 120 days– my mistake! The intention is for this to last about 3 months, not 4!