• Annie Hutchings

Capsule Wardrobe basics

What is a capsule wardrobe??

A capsule wardrobe is a wardrobe you wear for one season (3 months) and includes 30 items or less of everyday clothing.

A capsule consists of 3 “modules”

One module is made up of 3 tops, 2 bottoms and an outter layer that can all be mixed and matched You can customize the modules however you like by adding or taking away items (I added a jumpsuit or overalls to each module) be sure to keep your everyday clothing to 30 items or less.

Sell, donate or store clothing you are not using in your current season. Keep only clothing that fits you and that you love wearing. Having a capsule wardrobe makes getting ready easy and enjoyable.

2 weeks before the end of the season you can begin planning next seasons capsule (don't worry I'll cover that In a minute)

What is the First step in creating your capsule wardrobe? Cleaning out your closet. Yes, I know, this sounds like a big task. It’s definitely the hardest part of the whole process in my opinion. Once it’s done however, you’ll be switching out wardrobes each season seamlessly Start by pulling every piece of clothing out of your closet and Setting it on your bed. Creating a blank canvas in your closet will allow you to be mindful about what to keep and what to let go of. Start going through items and sort them into these 4 piles: YES NO MAYBE SENTIMENTAL Your maybe pile is for items you still like but don’t wear often and aren’t ready to make a decision yet. Do NOT keep items that don’t fit you anymore. This process is about feeling good and simplifying. Clothes you hope will fit again someday or items you’re saving because you might gain the weight back are not serving you in a positive way. Let them go. Sentimental items you don’t wear often can be stored in bins under your bed or in your closet. Donate or sell items from your NO pile. Seperate items from your YES and MAYBE piles into “warm weather” and “cool weather” groups. Store the group of clothing that doesn’t work with the current season in a bin. You can revisit it when that specific season approaches. Anything left can be used to start creating your 3 modules for your wardrobe. You’ll be surprised how little you’ll have to purchase (if anything at all).

What to do with extra clothing items?

One of the most common questions I get from those wanting to start a capsule wardrobe is what do you do with all the extra clothing items. Not your capsule clothing, but things like workout clothes, pajamas, swimsuits and special occasion dresses.

You’ll want to take a look at your lifestyle and make a list of activities you are involved in. Hiking, skiing, Church, whatev. Ask yourself how often you’d like to be doing laundry. I personally only want to do my laundry once a week, so I made sure to keep enough exercise clothing to wear for week without having to wash anything. I then stored, sold or donated the rest. Additional items I decided to keep in my wardrobe are: 2 pairs of pajamas, 2 hiking outfits, ski clothing, 5 church dresses (which I will evaluate and possibly switch out between seasons) Yoga clothing, running clothes, and 2 lounging outfits for when I’d like to be comfortable but don’t want to be in my PJs. Take time to do some planning before diving in!


Once you’ve cleaned out your closet and have a solid base for your daily capsule wardrobe, what about accessories? This is another common question I get. There are two ways to do accessories. The First option is to choose a certain number of accessories to set as pieces for each module (if you have no clue what I’m taking about check out my highlighted story “how to” for details on curating your own capsule wardrobe). For instance, option one: each module could have your clothing pieces plus 2 pair of shoes, a scarf, a handbag, a hat and 2 pair or earrings, or whatever amount of accessories you choose for each module. The second option is to give yourself a little more freedom and just buy accessories as you’d like to add them. For my first season using a capsule wardrobe, I chose option 2. Because I was already letting go of so much clothing, I wanted to give myself some freedom within the accessories. I also love how accessories can complete change the look of an outfit. I still went through all my hats, shoes and other items to determine what to keep and what to let go of but I didn’t limit myself with a specific amount of each item. I haven’t been worried about adding too much to my wardrobe because at the end of each season I will go though my entire wardrobe again and sell, store or donate clothing AND accessories that isn’t working for me anymore. Once you’ve determined what option you’d like to use, make a plan and begin going through your accessories the same way you did your clothing.

What If I get bored with my clothing?

I was SO excited to do a capsule wardrobe, like dive in head first never look back excited, and I did it. And it was awesome. And then 6 weeks into my season I got bored.

ugh! It kills me to admit that, but I LOVE change and not having any for 3 months felt hard, so I came up with the “BONUS module” and I absolutely love it!!

If you wardrobe is made up of 3 modules, add in a 4th! The BONUS (4th module) module you can be added 1/2 way through one season and continue wearing half way into the coming season.

It will add a few new pieces to your wardrobe while still staying around 30 pieces of clothing in your closet . The BONUS module allows you to choose clothing that will “carry” me from one season into another and most importantly keep things interesting.

Changing Seasons

What does changing seasons look like in a capsule wardrobe? First things first, it’s important to decide when you’re seasons will be. This is completely up to you! 🙌🏼 You can have as many or as few “seasons” as you’d like depending on how often you need change or what the weather is like where you live. My seasons look like this: Jan-mar Winter Apr-June Spring July-Sep Summer Oct-Dec Fall I like to group the holiday season (Oct-Dec) as one wardrobe season so I can have a variety of “party” clothes available for those months 🥳 2 weeks before one season ends and another begins go though everything in your closet. Decide what you’d like to keep wearing into the next season, what you’d like to store and revisit next year and what you’re ready to let go of. Take what you’d like to keep wearing and what you had stored from last years bin and start putting together your modules. Remember a module consists of: 3 tops 2 bottoms Outer layer All of which coordinate. Build yourself 3 or 4 modules and you’re wardrobe is set for the new season 🥰

Storing your clothing

Here are a few tips for storing clothing between seasons:

* Find a space that’s out of the way and measure to buy perfectly sized bins.

* Have a separate bin for accessories and handbags so they don’t get smashed and lose their shape.

* Use clear bins so you can see easily what’s being stored where.

* Store leather and suede in pillowcases or sheets to allow it breathe (not in a plastic bin or bag)

* Have formal clothing dry cleaned at the end of the season and store it in a garment bag at the back of your closet.

I absolutely love storing clothing between seasons because it makes my closet space so much less overwhelming.