Capsule wardrobe

I’ve been increasingly intrigued by capsule wardrobes. The concept is that you whittle your clothing options down substantially and that this (counterintiutively, perhaps) results in a wardrobe that feels much more versatile, usable, and fun. Although some blogs have systems which recommend a specific number of items (to really enforce the minimalist mindset), in general it’s understood that this can be tweaked to fit your personal situation. Some blogs that showcase capsule wardrobes are:

The Vivienne Files — great for thinking about color families and being inspired by the range of outfits which can be created from a small number of items.

Project 333 — SUPER strict as far as these things go; she limits EVERYTHING in her 3-month wardrobe to 33 items, including clothes, accessories, shoes, and outerwear.

Un-fancy — closest to my philosophy, although she wears mostly neutrals while I have a bit more color in my wardrobe. She recommends 37 items of clothing, shoes, and outerwear (but not accessories, those are unlimited). She generally aims for 9 shoes, 9 bottoms, 15 tops, and 4 dresses or jackets.

One week from today, I am moving to the Bay Area for a year. Although I’ll be coming back to my current home frequently for visits, and could certainly also ship my moderately-sized wardrobe to CA, I think this is the perfect time for me to attempt a capsule. I like the idea of moving fewer items, and I also would love to spend less time trying to figure out what to wear in the mornings. However, a few things about my situation in the coming year are making it hard for my wardrobe to be as strictly minimal as the examples above.

1. Work. I am starting a new job in a more conservative environment. Not “suits every day” conservative, but I’ll definitely want to be firmly business casual (as opposed to just “dressy casual”). A lot of the minimalist bloggers work from home or in more casual environments, perhaps with occasional client meetings or other “dress up” events.

2. Weather. This is somewhat specific to the Bay Area, which is well known for its wide temperature ranges and microclimates. I’m especially nervous about starting this challenge at the end of August and continuing through November! Seems like 3 months that have the potential for a LOT of variation in heat/humidity! I know I added a few extra pieces that are more like security blankets in case of truly dire weather shifts.


In any event, the total final tally (clothing, shoes, and jackets, but not accessories) is 56 items. That breaks down to 15 bottoms, 14 pairs of shoes, 20 tops, and 7 dresses/jackets. Although the number of items is way higher than 33 or 37, I’m trying to keep the wardrobe separated into 2 sections (work and play), and will only use items from the appropriate capsule. A handful of items are on both lists, but I didn’t intentionally try to add everything possible to both lists.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: