My Capsule Wardrobe

I first heard about a capsule wardrobe and the thought behind it while reading one of my favorite blogs, Espresso and Cream. Another blogger, Caroline, the author behind Unfancy, began this new minimalist wardrobe craze .  Here is the basic idea behind a capsule wardrobe from Caroline herself:

Simple definition? It’s a mini wardrobe made up of really versatile pieces that you totally LOVE to wear… For Unfancy purposes, it’s a 37 piece wardrobe that includes tops, bottoms, dresses, outerwear, and shoes… Ever buy some fun new clothes, but end up wearing your old favorites anyway? Me too. Ever go to your closet and feel like you have nothing to wear, even when your closet is filled with clothes? Me too!… To me, a capsule wardrobe represents more time and energy for what really matters (less time spent deciding what to wear / less time spent shopping / less time doing laundry or caring for clothes) more money for our dreams + helping others (less money spent on clothes that never get worn) and more contentment and happiness.”

The first two thoughts to enter my head after reading about a capsule wardrobe was

  1. How true!
  2. This is me!

Capsule Wardrobe :: Happy Wife Healthy Life

I own so many clothes, but it can be easy for me to look into my closet and feel as if I have nothing to wear.  I tend to be drawn to the same clothes over and over again while not touching half of what’s in my closet.  I then go out searching for new clothes to buy when I already have so many pieces on my hangers at home that I don’t wear already.  We are talking hundreds of dollars in clothes that just sit in my closet.  It makes me sad to think about all of the money I’ve wasted, but the good news is that I have a plan going forward and it’s called a capsule wardrobe.

Capsule Wardrobe :: Happy Wife Healthy Life

Last weekend I pulled all of the clothes out of my closet and began sorting, putting some in the definite keep pile, a few in the maybe pile, and others in the giveaway pile.  I wanted to start from scratch, but in order to do so I had to be honest with myself about what I like to wear.

Capsule Wardrobe :: Happy Wife Healthy Life

Here are five things I realized about my wardrobe during the sorting process that I would like to put to use when shopping in the future:

Capsule Wardrobe :: Happy Wife Healthy Life

  • I love wearing comfortable clothes and if it’s not comfortable, I either won’t wear it or I will dread wearing it the whole time.

This doesn’t mean that I will wear sweatpants every day, but a beautiful tunic blouse with comfortable fit skinny jeans and cute flats, or a loose fitting tank with a tailored (not to tight!) skirt and wedges, are my go-to pieces.  One of my biggest hang-ups is if something is too tight, not form fitting, but too small!

  • Keep the focus on how I look and feel in the clothes, not on how they look on the mannequin or hangers.

No bodies are the same; it’s true!  Just because something looks great on a tall and slender mannequin does not mean it will look the same way on my 5’ 3” figure… And that’s okay!  I need to focus on what the clothes really look like and how I really see myself  and feel in them when I try them on, not on what I wish the pieces looked like.

  • Quality over quantity.

I like bargain shopping as much as the next girl, but it is honestly a kryptonite of mine as well.  So many times before, I would buy clothes, shoes or home décor just because it is on sale and would wind up either never wearing it or experiencing the dreaded buyer’s remorse.  Not anymore!  I would absolutely rather have one investment pair of jeans that I love so much rather than three pairs of less than perfect jeans for the same price.

  • Less is more.

I am realizing that I don’t need a closet full of average items, but what I really need are key pieces that I love.  If you want to wear literally everything in your closet, it makes getting ready so easy and it saves money and time in the long run!

  • Stick with the classics.

I have tried to be trendy with my clothing purchases before, but I need to be honest with myself; I am a classic girl through and through.  I prefer timeless pieces a lot more than trendy ones and I need to remember this when I shop.  This doesn’t mean that I can’t ever try a trend, but it does mean I don’t need to try every trend there is, just the ones I really love.

After cleaning out my closet, I still have a bit more than the suggested 37 pieces.  (More like 45…)  I plan on keeping a few of the maybes in my closet for now just to see if any occasions pop up in which I wear them.  If not, I will be giving those pieces away as well.  (I love these ideas for what to do with the clothes that don’t make the keep cut.)  My goal is to not buy any more clothes for the rest of the summer season.  That is a lofty one I know, but we will see how it goes.  I am so far enjoying this transition into a more minimal closet, and I have a feeling this idea of minimalism will pour into other areas of my life as well!

Conversation Time.

  • Have you ever heard of a time capsule wardrobe?  What are your thoughts on the idea behind it?
  • Tell me about your shopping habits?  Do you stick to the rule quality over quantity?  Do you prefer more classic or trendy pieces?
  • What are the most important characteristics you look for in items while shopping?
  • Do you consider yourself a ‘minimalist’?


  1. I think we are the same person. I’m convinced of it. I am all about the classics, as well as quality over quantity–more often than not, the “sale” or “cheap” items don’t last nearly as long, or they LOOK too “worn” after just one or two wash’s. But it’s a catch 22, because sometimes too the expensive clothes are the ones that break or fall apart quicker! GAH! I think if my husband read this he would jump for joy at the thought of me minimalizing my closet and not buying anything else 🙂 I definitely tend to only wear the saaaame basic things week after week. Case in point – the beige cardigan I’m wearing to work today gets worn probably 3X a week because it literally goes with EVERYTHING, every top and every color. My coworkers probably think it’s the only cardigan I own 😉
    Sarah @ Sweet Miles recently posted…Easy Breakfast HashMy Profile

    • HappyWifeHealthyLife says:

      It is a compliment for me to say we are the same person! I would love to be as sweet and caring as you! 🙂 I am such a sucker for wearing the same things over and over, especially my favorite pieces like my chambray button ups and my black and white striped tank. Then I get sad when I don’t have ‘anything to wear…’ That is why I love the idea of sticking with my favorites and only buying and keeping the items that I love! It is going to take time, but I am definitely excited about the whole idea behind a capsule wardrobe!

  2. What a cool idea! I am going to need to adopt this capsule wardrobe life! I tried packing for my vacation and was totally, completely, overwhelmed by the options to put in my suitcase. And there is absolutely NO way I’m going to wear them all while I’m on vacay! A 37 piece wardrobe of really great pieces sounds perfect to me.
    Amalia recently posted…Happy Fathers Day, DadMy Profile

    • HappyWifeHealthyLife says:

      Yes! Isn’t the idea so perfect? I am so excited to embark on the journey and I really hope it brings a peace to my closet and to my bank account! 😉 Who need 15 pieces when you only love and wear 5…? Stick to the five and mix-it-up, that way we’ll always love whatever we put on! 🙂

  3. This is such a great idea. My closet looks like a bomb went off in there. Several times a year, I give bags away to charity but it never seems to improve. I think my problem is I don’t focus on how the clothes look on me but how they look on the hangar. I end up saving things that I don’t really like to wear, just because they are nice pieces of clothing. This has reminded me that it may be time to reevaluate my wardrobe again 🙂
    Whitney @ To Live & Diet in L.A. recently posted…5 Hot Hey Girl Memes For Your Monday MotivationMy Profile

    • HappyWifeHealthyLife says:

      I am right there with you girl! I could see an outfit on a mannequin or hangar and think it looks amazing, and then I buy it, bring it home and I don’t ever wear it…? Being honest with how I look and feel is definitely something I want to take into account when purchasing. I agree, I save nice pieces as well just because I bought them, but if I am not wearing them I know it is pointless. And who knows, maybe someone else would absolutely love the items that I give away and then they at least get more wears than they would sitting in my closet! 🙂

  4. I need to do this! I have way to many clothes that never get worn! I had plans to weed out my wardrobe this week. Maybe I’ll give this minimalist approach a try.
    Amanda @A Latte Learn recently posted…Glo Run in Dayton {Giveaway!}My Profile

    • HappyWifeHealthyLife says:

      Definitely check out Caroline’s blog and original capsule wardrobe posts. She explains it so well and provides great tips and pointers for approaching that filled closet! Let me know how it goes if you decide to give it a try! 🙂

  5. I love this idea!! I do the same thing – often times looking past many of my pieces of clothing and reaching for the same pieces over and over again. I totally need to do this!
    Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries recently posted…Les Mills Body Pump Initial TrainingMy Profile

  6. Girl, we are SO similar. I identify with every single thing you wrote. I, too, like to try out the trends, but always come back to some version of the classics. I SO need to do this. My closet is jam-packed with clothes that I never wear. Like you, I sometimes tend to go for the bargain, but it’s not usually quality pieces, and they end up not lasting long. Also, I have the opposite problem as you…I’m 5’10″…but, like you, things totally don’t look the same on me as they do on the mannequin!

    Being that in Alabama we have REALLY hot summers, but it can get chilly in the winter, I’m thinking maybe I should do this for both climates. And then of course, I should probably keep my shorts and t-shirts.

    Thanks so much for sharing!! I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts after living with it for a few months.
    Sarah @ Sarah Sincerely recently posted…ExpectationsMy Profile


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