In the fall and the spring, I always take a closer look at my closet in preparation for the changing weather.
I’m a work from home mom of two girls under 4. My main wardrobe consists of athletic clothes and loungewear (if you’ve seen my stories on Instagram, you know what I’m talking about)!
And the truth is, I used to suffer from major mom guilt whenever it came to buying myself anything, so 90 percent of my wardrobe was purchased way back before I had kids.
Before I started going through this process, I actually still had a number of pieces I still had from high school and college — how bad is that??
I’d been under the notion that I shouldn’t buy myself clothing since I had my oldest daughter. That I should buy my family clothing. Take care of the house and everyone else. And not really worry about me or what I’m wearing. Who cares, anyway?
Well, I’ve been trying hard to break that habit of not allowing myself to spend time and money on ME! Of feeling guilty and feeling like I need to justify every purchase I make for myself.
This capsule-ish wardrobe process has helped me slowly break that habit, intentionally, because it’s allowed me to figure out exactly where my wardrobe gaps are so I can spend intentionally on items I know I need and love.
And it’s important to note that when I say capsule-ish, I just mean I don’t follow all the rules of a traditional capsule wardrobe that restricts the number of items you can have in your closet, etc. As you know, I love to live in the “ish”. I like to make things simple for myself and personalized for me.
So I took what I read about and created this super simple step by step process to create a capsule-ish wardrobe from (mostly) what you already have in your closet so you can discover what you truly love to wear and never have to exclaim, “I have nothing to wear!” ever again.
HOW TO SIMPLIFY YOUR WARDROBE WITH THIS STEP BY STEP WARDROBE CAPSULE-ISH PROCESS
STEP 1: PURGE YOUR CLOSET
It’s as easy as it sounds! I like to pull everything out of my closet and sort my clothes into piles: Love it, like it, sell/donate it.
And I’d like to note here that this really doesn’t include any of my athletic wear or sweats – those are staples for me as a work from home mom. So while I purge these piles a bit to get rid of what I don’t wear, I don’t include them in my capsule-ish wardrobe!
STEP 2: ORGANIZE YOUR CLOSET BY COLOR AND ITEM
Once you’ve critically taken everything out of your closet that no longer brings you joy, you will likely begin to see some common themes.
Begin organizing your clothes by item and by color. Make an inventory list of what you have, and start to list out your common themes and what you might need more of in order to pull together some good, cohesive outfits.
In my case, I typically see that I have a good neutral base color palette with a lot of navy and pink. I also had some pops of olive green in my closet and a few pops of mustard as well.
The first time I did this, I had tons of dresses and very few nice tops. Noted!
STEP 3: DETERMINE YOUR COLOR SCHEME AND VIBE FOR THE UPCOMING SEASON
Once my closet is purged and organized, I use my common themes of the clothing items I love to pull together a color scheme and vibe I want to go with for the season!
Most of the time I will pull out these items and hang them on a clothing rack so I can see them all together. I call this ‘shopping my closet’!
For these capsule-ish wardrobes, I focus on cute, comfy casual looks and outfits that work for my day to day! Your vibe can be whatever fits your lifestyle! For me – I really needed those good day to day casual outfits that could be dressed up or down a bit depending on the occasion.
Start with your base outfits — or the outfits that take you from season to season. These are closet staples such as jeans, leggings, solid colored tanks and t-shirts, etc. Think outfits that you can layer and accessorize to create different outfits for every season.
For more information on base outfits, head here!
Then pull from categories such as cardigans, kimonos, sweaters, shoes, hats, scarves, etc.
Then pull out accent pieces such fun tops and pants that you want to pull into your capsule.
STEP 4: PUT TOGETHER A SHOPPING LIST OF THE ITEMS YOU NEED TO ROUND OUT YOUR WARDROBE
Now comes the fun part! Once you’ve determined your color scheme and vibe, you will have a sense of the items you need to go shopping for in order to round out your wardrobe!
Think of items that will help turn one outfit into multiple as well as good layering pieces for when the weather changes so you can wear your outfits for longer.
Depending on where you live, determine whether or not you need jackets, boots, sandals, flats, scarves, accessories, etc.
Remember – don’t go crazy! Think about staples that you truly love. Don’t just shop to shop (unless that’s your thing, then by all means)!
STEP 5: TRY IT ALL ON!
Once your clothing is pulled out and your lists are made (and maybe you’ve done a little shopping), try it all on!
Get a sense of the outfits you’re able to create with what’s in your capsule. Start with your base outfit essentials and layer! Switch up the base pieces (like your tops or bottoms) to create new outfits. Think through the changing weather and add layers as needed.
Get all the outfits planned out in your head. That way, you’ll never waste your time in the morning wondering what to wear. You’ll already know exactly what works and what doesn’t in your head, so getting ready will never be something to stress about.
I don’t focus on a certain number of items, but more so items I know I could use for many different combinations of outfits throughout the season that I also know I love! And outfits that I could easily mix and match because they all stayed in the color scheme I had chosen!
This won’t be my entire wardrobe, by the way! This will be the main cozy casual wardrobe I can easily choose from when I’m searching for a good, cohesive outfit so I’m not wasting time staring blankly at the full yet empty closet in front of me!
Which leads me to the next step….
STEP 6: JUMP FOR JOY AT YOUR NEW SIMPLE (YET CUTE) WARDROBE!
You’ll be amazed at how you feel when you simplify your wardrobe. There’s something to be said about the whole ‘less is more’ feeling!
I didn’t realize how my cluttered closet was actually creating unnecessary stress in my life. Now that I have a clear idea of many different outfits I can create in my chosen color palette and vibe, I’ll never need to wonder what to wear again.
And now that I have a clear list of the items I actually NEED to help round out my capsule-ish wardrobe, I will be able to shop with intention and find many items I will truly wear instead of shopping aimlessly and purchasing items I’ll never really wear.
So if you’ve been wanting to try a capsule wardrobe but feel overwhelmed by the steps involved, I encourage you to give this capusle-ish process a try to get you started on the right foot!
Do you think you’ll try it this season? Let me know!
hi (: I love the idea of a capsule-ish wardrobe, especially the ‘ish’ part because it’s so important to do what works for you! do you have any advice for someone like me who loves being casual and cozy but I don’t like the look of basic t shirts and tanks paired with jeans on me? I wear mostly jeans to work and sometimes leggings but around the house I’m always wearing leggings (: I live in a state with all four seasons so versatility is important too but I need to get the base down first!! I just don’t like the look of basic t shirts on me!
Hi Lee! That’s such a great question. It sounds like half of your base outfits are set — leggings and jeans! If you don’t like basic t-shirts, I would go with a variation of what you wear on top most often. Button downs, tunics, fitted or ‘dressier’ tops could all work here! Go with what you feel good in, and search for some neutral variations of that. Then, you can think about how you can adjust them for each season. Lighter versions in the spring and summer with jackets, scarves, vests, etc. in the fall and winter. It can really be anything you want! All in all, focus on what you feel good in – that’s what matters most!