My Capsule Wardrobe, Part 2: The Process

So as I mentioned Monday, I got rid of most of my clothes when I realized I only wore a few pieces, as most of them didn't fit or didn't fit my life. I showed my inspiration pics, and now let's get into the nitty gritty. I still have a long way to go to complete my wardrobe, but I know what I want, because of this process.

In my capsule wardrobe I included pieces for only these categories: Shoes, Jackets/Coats, Tops, Bottoms, & Dresses. Accessories, bags, swimsuits, work out clothes, grubby work clothes not included. If you need help I highly suggest Un-Fancy's Free Wardrobe Planner. It's what I used when I first started on the Capsule Wardrobe path.

So, behold the convoluted process I created to sort, track & plan my wardrobe:


List out all your needs for each of the seasons. This means shorts & tanks for summer, boots & heavy coats for winter. There are clothes you NEED, so list out the specifics (like Sorel Snow Boots or Heavy Winter Jacket) as well as general numbers (5 summer tops, or 3 tank tops, or 4 pairs of jeans).


List out your wants. These can be more unneccessary goods (such as a floral dress for spring) as well as items that can fill in your need categories (say you need 3 tank tops, you want 1 to be a strappy black tank top for going out).


Using your lists, create a master list - decide on how many items you'll need per category, and your total number. I have 13 pairs of shoes, 7 jackets, 32 tops, 15 bottoms, 8 dresses, and 5 'flex' items, totaling 80 items. Not all of these slots are filled, and I may find I don't need something I wrote in, so I will adjust as necessary. These 80 Items are for the full year, not just a season. 

After I decided how many items per category, I created & filled in my Capsule Wardrobe List. After I filled in the category with the specific number of items, I wrote in a general description of the items I want. You don't need a specific item in mind, or even an idea of what you want. We're trying to get a structure to base future purchases on.

Capsule Wardrobe List:


Now the fun part - getting rid of stuff. You may have already done this, but if not, we're going with the pile approach: keep, store (aka maybe), donate, & housework clothes (clothes that fit but aren't in great shape - I keep a bunch because I do a lot of DIY projects, but this is totally optional - I just suggest keeping a few tops & bottoms you don't feel bad about getting painty/dirty). Don't forget to sort shoes & jackets, too.


Wash all your clothes. Including donate clothes. This gives you a fresh start with your wardrobe.


Write in your keeps on your list. Note things you'll need to replace in a season or two, in case there's a big sale.


Now you can stop at six, but I wanted a way to keep things really organized. So I made little numbered tags, cut them out, then taped a piece of baker's twine at the top - it looks like a little shopping bag. These numbers hang on all my hangers and are held with binder clips next to my shoes. I only have 75 numbers, and I can't go above that. This will be especially useful for someone who wants to keep too many clothes (I'll be using it on my boyfriend eventually). You can even forgo the whole planning thing above and just go the number route if you need to slim down your wardrobe. I made the cards in pink, but I also made a black version.

BONUS STEP: If you're a super visual person, I suggest recreating your capsule wardrobe on Polyvore. You can create a collection with your items or look-alike items and use that when searching for new additions. Here's mine.

Now that I have my list and my wardrobe is pared down I feel so much freer. I also am way more intentionally with my clothing searches and possible purchases. I also only need to check the weather in the morning to decide what to wear. 

Have you ever tried a capsule wardrobe? Have any tips for keeping up with it and keeping organized? Let me know below!