Ready to try a capsule wardrobe? Here’s my approach:
Rule #1: Pare down your current clothes situation into a happy little 37 piece capsule wardrobe. Your 37 pieces should include: tops, bottoms, dresses, outerwear, and shoes. Your 37 pieces should not include: workout clothes, jewelry, accessories, purses, swimsuits, pajamas/loungewear, underwear, and the jeans you wear when you paint your living room.
Why 37? After trying out different numbers, I settled on 37 because of how it broke down in each category. For example, I knew I wanted 9 pairs of shoes, 9 bottoms, and 15 tops. Then the remaining 4 were just enough for 2 dresses and 2 jackets/coats. To me it feels generous yet minimal.
And honestly? The point of this is just to try something new if we don’t like our current closet situation — it’s not about getting obsessed with a number. If 37 isn’t your thing, find a number that’s right for you.
Rule #2: Wear only these 37 pieces for 3 months–what I refer to as a season. I split up my seasons like this: Winter (Jan-March), Spring (April-June), Summer (July-September), Fall (October-December). And remember, since accessories aren’t included in your capsule wardrobe, you can mix them in to your heart’s content. Yay.
Rule #3: Enjoy your capsule wardrobe, and don’t go shopping during the 3 month season. Like, at all. That is, until you get to Rule #4…
Rule #4: During the last week or two of the season, plan + shop for next season’s capsule wardrobe.
Rule #5: Okay, not really a rule, but still really important! The amount that you buy for each new season is up to you, but remember, this is a minimalist challenge. So, less is more, you know? That being said, style should be fun and picking out a few new pieces for my next season is my favorite part. I typically end up getting between 4-8 new pieces for each new season.
Need help paring down your closet? Here’s 3 quick steps:
Step 1: Empty your closet. Seriously, take absolutely everything out of your closet and lay it out on your bed. Don’t cheat–taking everything out at once is the secret to style clarity. As you put your LOVE IT pieces back into your empty closet, your style will practically scream at you. But that won’t be the case if your closet is still being muddied with MAYBE pieces left hanging in there. So just take it all out, mkay?
Step 2: Sort each item into one of these four piles:
- LOVE IT AND WOULD WEAR IT RIGHT NOW!! Self explanatory. Put it back in your closet.
- MAYBE. This is for items that don’t fit quite right, the color is a little off, have sentimental value, you can’t put your finger on it but you just don’t wear it, or you’re keeping it because you paid a lot for it but you don’t wear it. Put all this stuff in a box and store it in the garage. You can always go get stuff out of it, but you probably won’t. If it’s still in the box at the end of your season, it’s time to say goodbye to it.
- NOPE. Self explanatory. Donate, swap with a friend, or sell it to fund new purchases.
- SEASONAL. Wool coat in summer? Probably don’t need it handy. But you’d never get rid of a staple like that–come on. If it’s not in season, but you LOVE IT, put it in a nice under-the-bed box and store it. You’ll definitely use it in your capsule wardrobe when that season rolls around.
Step 3: Assess what’s left in your closet–aka your LOVE IT clothes. You’ll want to have 37 season-appropriate items in your closet. Do you need to supplement? Time to plan + shop. Do you need to downsize? Put a few more items in your MAYBE box.