How To Create A Personalized Capsule Wardrobe

Updated: Aug 4

Capsule wardrobes are all the rage, but getting started is still kind of a mystery. I've started a capsule wardrobe three different times. The first two times, I failed miserably. This last time, I nailed it. I feel confident in my wardrobe, I love every item in it, and it's perfect for my lifestyle.

If that's the kind of lifestyle you want to have (simple, ready-made, and fashionable), I can help you make that happen TODAY. Just read on to get started.

NOTE: I have three capsule wardrobes: daywear, loungewear, and activewear. They all have different color schemes and I love all three of them. I keep them separate so no matter what I'm dressing for, it's easy to make a decision. Before starting this project, decide what your capsule is for, and consider creating multiple capsules to make your life a bit easier.

First, abandon the Pinterest curated capsule wardrobe boards. I have never found a capsule wardrobe on Pinterest that covered all my needs and desires without throwing in items I won't really wear. This goes for the checklists too. None of those checklists seemed to fit all of my needs, unless the checklist was well over 75 items long and included things I've never needed or owned in my life. What's the point of that?

Capsule wardrobes are made to simplify your life. Period. If you create a capsule wardrobe with 75 items, that's just going to cause you stress in the long run.

NOTE: Some Pinterest capsule wardrobes include shoes, purses and other accessories. I don't add those items to my wardrobe count mostly because I only own the accessories I actually NEED, and I purchase them based off of what works with my wardrobe. If it helps you to include them as you do this project, please do! This is about making YOUR life easier, not stroking Brigette's ego ;)

Second, Create a board (private if you prefer) on Pinterest called "21 days" or something along those lines. Then, look through all of those pictures of perfect outfits you've been saving on Pinterest and ask yourself "If I could wear anything I wanted for the next three weeks, what would I wear?"

You can check out mine here!

As you're pinning outfits, consider your lifestyle, the weather, and anything else that might impact what you would wear in a normal three weeks. For instance, I stay at home, so I have "daywear" clothes that are mostly jeans and t-shirts. I have a few (and I mean a few) pieces that are somewhat dressy for weekends or when I go out in the evenings. Other than that, my wardrobe is nothing fancy. It just works.

Third, look through the 21 outfits and write down all of the items that are a part of the outfit. You can skip things you really don't like. For example, I had an outfit I loved, but the woman was carrying a white purse. I would NEVER use a white purse, so I didn't add it to the list. It's that simple.

NOTE: I did write down the shoes and accessories in this list that I liked because it helped me create my own personal style, I just don't count shoes and accessories in the final item count.

This is what I had on my list when I was done:

-leather jacket

-grey hoodie

-black jeans

-black boots

-denim jacket

-grey t-shirt

-denim button-up

-black or white tennis shoes

-army green t-shirt

-striped t-shirt

-light wash jeans

-black sweater

-grey sweater

-black graphic t-shirt

-white graphic t-shirt

-striped sweater

Fourth, it's time to have fun. Go through your closet and dressers and pull out every piece that fits in your capsule wardrobe. You may be surprised by how many items you have that will work for you. I had 27, which is around the perfect size for a capsule wardrobe. See what you have, and what you would have to give up. To help you with this, take everything out of your closets and dressers that doesn't work, and put everything that does back neatly. Look at it. How does it make you feel? My heart felt lighter than air when I stepped back and saw two dozen perfectly arranged articles of clothing that all fit together.

Right now, I have a total of 14 shirts, 6 bottoms, and 8 jackets/sweaters. I also have two dresses for funerals and weddings. (This is something you need to consider as you go through your wardrobe. These are essential.) In total, my daytime wardrobe has 30 items. That's a good target to have for clothes I wear everyday.

Divide your clothes into the following categories:

-Tops (includes any top that can be worn without anything or with a cami under them)


-Jackets and outer wear sweaters (like hoodies and cardigans)

Count how many you have in each category. How many you need to have depends on you. I consider jackets to be a major statement, so I have a few more than I really need. Denim only needs to be washed every 2-3 wears, and since I just wear jeans, it makes sense that I have fewer bottoms. Tops should be washed every time they're worn, so I make sure I have plenty of those.

After taking inventory, look back at your list of wanted items from the "21 days" challenge. Ask yourself about each item on your list, and consider whether or not it would be essential to making your wardrobe work.

For example, there are a few items I didn't have, but chiefly I didn't have black pants. Since black pants showed up in nearly every picture I saved, and because they're kind of a staple, I ordered some. On the other hand, I didn't order a white sweater, because I have plenty of sweaters and can do the same things with the sweaters I have as I could with a white sweater.

When you're finished, look over your wardrobe and make sure you have everything you need. I discovered I needed to replace a few black camisoles. You may begin using your wardrobe as well and find you're missing important items. This is a learning process so give yourself some grace. And if you aren't sure you can go cold turkey, collect all of the items that don't fit in your capsule and store them in garbage bags away from your closet. Try your capsule for 21 days, and if you like it, donate the clothes in the garbage bags.

How has trying the capsule wardrobe gone for you? Do you like it, or does it make your life more complicated? Comment below!