Capsule Wardrobe

I have recently become intrigued by the idea of the capsule wardrobe. The idea of a wardrobe built around some key pieces is attractive for many reasons;  I would presumably always have something to wear and I would spend less money and time shopping.  Sign me up!  It turns out I have unknowingly  started my capsule wardrobe.  Most of you probably have too.

But, it’s a little more complicated than building a wardrobe around 7 or 8 key pieces.  Each of us has different lifestyles, not to mention different seasons.  Where to start?

 Most experts agree that 30-40 wardrobe pieces are sufficient for each season.  For our climate, I can get by with 3 seasons : winter, summer, transition. Then,  for each season you will categorize your clothes depending on your lifestyle and your needs.  Categories may include, work, daily (at home, errand running), nice casual (going out) or even semi-formal (weddings, funerals, etc).

Now that you have your needs and categories established, go through your closet and categorize your clothes accordingly.  Do not include clothes that don’t fit or that you haven’t worn in the past 2 years.  Set those clothes aside.

Since it always helps me to see things organized on paper I have created a worksheet to help with the process.  You can print it here.

The worksheet has helped me see what I actually have and its purpose.  It also helped me figure out what I need to buy so that my wardrobe is complete and I don’t have “nothing to wear” issues.

As I was analyzing my clothing needs I knew that one  category I must have is semi-formal.  Our friends’ children are getting married, we go to a funeral more than we used to, other friends  are having those milestone anniversaries and it’s necessary  to have the appropriate clothes for these events.  Some events can be planned for but some are unexpected and you don’t want to be in the position of just buying whatever because you don’t have time.

It is definitely a process.  I put those ‘set aside’ clothes in a bag for donation.  But I love the idea of being intentional about the clothes that I absolutely need and those that are no longer useful.

What is your process for dealing with your wardrobe?  Do you have one?