Creating a Capsule Wardrobe

Create a Capsule Wardrobe

Have you heard of the term capsule wardrobe?

The idea has been toss around since the ’70s, coined by the owner of a London boutique and later embraced by fashion designer Donna Karan, and it is making a comeback amongst those passionate about minimalistic living. While I am not a minimalist, I definitely appreciate the focused attention on making your environment and possessions work for you in the simplest way possible. That’s why I’m a fan of the eliminate and concentrate approach to life. Even though I have a hard time parting with my “things” and appreciate some measure of cozy-but-not-clutter filling up my spaces, in the end I’d opt for purposeful and simplified over filled-up and disorganized, especially when it comes to my wardrobe.

A traditional capsule wardrobe is simply this:

1.  a collection of a few essential items of clothing that will not go out of fashion, such as skirts, trousers, and coats

2.  these basic pieces that can be livened up by seasonal pieces

3.   the pieces should be inter-changeable, working together in multiple ways

The idea of a capsule wardrobe is enticing because it offers structure and focus in coordinating and simplifying the clothing you already have in your closet, while it also gives guidance and purpose when it comes to shopping and sticking to a budget.

Like everything in life, however, I hardly ever feel compelled to follow a per-fabricated system exactly. Trust me. I tried to make the resources (like this one) for capsule wardrobe planning work for me, but the reality is I’m not a suit-wearing professional nor a 20-something freelancer — 37 pieces won’t cut it for me with all the variety of attire I’m supposed to put on over a given week. I’m a work at home woman, who starts the day in yoga pants but transitions to dressy casual attire by noon, so I need to have gear for both in my closet. There are times when I need business attire and other a dozen other occasions, which require something formal. Of course, there’s also the jean dilemma, common for almost every woman over 30, with a stack of wide leg, boot cut, skinnies, plus dressy and distressed, comfortable favs and a little too tight but “when I lose the weight” hopefuls.

Let’s not devalue the fact that as we age, our bodies change shape while our hearts still long for that favorite outfit that fit 10 pounds ago. It’s hard to let go of something, especially when it’s a classic piece, simply because it doesn’t fit. And it’s equally difficult to ditch a fav even when the trend says it’s long over.

So, my friends, if you’re in need of wardrobe simplification and a fashion update, but you don’t have a budget to go buy a whole new closet nor the figure to fit into a 20-something Pinterest wardrobe capsule, let me meet you right where you are.


Capsule Wardrobe for a Life-Seasoned Woman


A Life-Season Capsule Wardrobe is For You

I’ve come up with a capsule wardrobe formula that is tailored to my life, but may be exactly what you’re looking for to help you establish a wardrobe that fits your personality and life-season. It’s a life-seasoned capsule because is designed for the woman whose figure is ever-flexing and whose attire is ever-changing to match the role she’s filling.  Here’s what you’ll find in this download:

A life-seasoned capsule wardrobe looks like this:

1.  has a goal to set up a wardrobe that only contains clothing for a two to three month season, with the non-season clothing packed by capsule and stored in bags or containers elsewhere in the house (attic, basement, another closet)

2.  a clear understanding of what type of attire is needed and how many pieces are necessary in the follow categories:  workout, casual, dressy casual, business professional, formal, shoes, coats, and accessories

3.  a solid selection of traditional pieces that are interchangeable

4.  the freedom to add a few new seasonal or trendy pieces into each capsule

5. a two-week period of prepping and purging for the next-season’s capsule

6.  an understanding of preferred styles, colors, and brands

7.  a specific shopping list based on what is needed as well as what you like and don’t like, so you make wise purchases

Invest Time = Reap Blessings

I’m certain that if you put to use this download and create for yourself a capsule wardrobe, you’ll walk away with a whole smattering of blessings, like the ones I’ve experienced:

  • relief to have a cleaned out closet (and drawers)
  • feeling good about donating clothes in good condition, which were taking up space in your closet
  • clarity about your style and what works for you
  • no more guilt over not being able to get dressed without leaving a trail of tried-on, discarded clothes behind
  • a reality check helping you to know what to buy, when to buy, where to buy, and when to just say no
  • easy-peasy packing for each seasons, since everything fits and most of the capsule should work together

You might think you’ll never be able to pair down your wardrobe nor have the budget to find only the exact pieces to fit your lifestyle, but trust me: You can do this! Set aside small chunks of time or dedicate a Saturday to the overhaul process. Be committed to spending only what your budget allows. In the long run, you’ll save yourself time and money, while living in clothes that fit you right and feel good.

Here’s the real motivating question:

Wouldn’t you like to spend more time focusing on responding to the opportunities God puts before you each day rather than on wondering what to wear or distracted by being uncomfortable in what you have on?

Matthew 6:25-26 NIV
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

Yes, in God’s eyes, clothing is nothing we should fret about, and yet we can find ourselves all-consumed by it. So let’s put the clothing-distraction in it’s place, by setting up seasonal capsules, giving it a set period of time to focus on, and a limited budget to spend, and then get on with living the life God has called us to each day.

Download the Capsule Wardrobe Worksheet

Capsule Download




If you’d like help working through this capsule project, I’d be happy to help you through life coaching. Feel free to contact me to set up a free consultation and be sure to mention the Capsule Wardrobe focus.

(sources: wikipedia, unfancy)

1 Comment
  1. I recently took an online class that helped me find my true style and I have the exact colors, jewelry, accessories and other things that complete my outfits daily. I don’t feel anxiety every time I have to get dressed or shop. But I do need to streamline my wardrobe to work for each season. I will definitely be using this little worksheet to make my wardrobe work for me.

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