Hello everyone! Today I’d like to share with you my process for minimizing a capsule wardrobe. This warm season capsule has been curated over the last 5 – 8 years & many core pieces will carry nicely into the coming season. However, I want to ensure each piece is in good condition, hasn’t become “dated” & truly reflects my personal style.
People change. You change.
Just think, there are garments you wore five years ago that you no longer wear. Some garments you wear now, you wouldn’t choose in the next five years.
Personal style evolves, lifestyles change, and a well-functioning capsule should reflect your life as it is now. A bit of style & color inspiration each season will keep your capsule looking fresh & like “you”.
- Replace/Upgrade dresses
- Add colorful tops
- Have fewer, more functional items
Since the best capsule you can own is the one you already have ~ I’ll begin by shopping my own closet!
Your closet needs & goals will be different. Hopefully walking through the minimizing process will give you a framework on where to start. Hopefully, you get some ideas & inspiration!
Some of my dresses work better than others so my goal is to replace/upgrade for a wider variety in color & better fit.
Evaluation: (L to R):
- White ~ a great classic, but I don’t reach for it ~ “on trial”
- Pink Floral ~ sleeveless, too long – hem it, add sleeves?
- Red Print ~ perfect ~ keep
- Polka dot ~ fabulous year-round piece ~ keep
- Black ~ great for formal occasions ~ keep
Evaluation (left to right):
- Periwinkle print ~ perfect ~ keep!
- Geometric ~ too short ~ goodbye
- Coral floral ~ pretty, starting to pill ~ replace as needed
- Pink rose ~ perfect ~ keep!
- Kelly green ~ great, too hot for summer ~store away
Next up, tops & cardigans
I was surprised how cohesive the color palette was here, easily diving into three sections. Neutral, coral/red, and blue/black.
- Lace vest ~ pretty, but I never wear it “on trial”
- White t-shirt ~ didn’t wear it last season “on trial”
- Gold Stripe ~ great for layering
- French Graphic t ~ love it, but it’s sheer…
- Lace front ~ layers well
- Polka dot ~ cute, but sleeve band is too tight. hmm… remove sleeves & layer with a cardigan?
- Vintage silk dot~ love this, neckline too low & a bit sheer
- Stripe ~ cute, but boxy
- Vintage floral ~ love, but hot for summer… make short sleeved?
- Coral ~ good, but was stained…
- Floral shell ~ A favorite!
- Cap sleeve floral ~ perfect!
- Pinstripe button ~ perfect!
- Floral t ~ cute, too long
- Navy t ~ rarely worn
- Black bell sleeve ~ perfect!
- Leopard ~ love this…make short sleeved, or store for fall?
- Taupe pebble ~ probably one of my most worn cardis, love it!
- Lilac ~ love the color, but it’s thick with 3/4 sleeves making it challenging for any season.
- Leaf ~ absolute fav, hope it never dies!
- Rose ~ lovely color, a bit thin (cheapy)
- Ruby ~ great find, works in fall too
- Navy ~ great almost year-round piece
- Black sweater ~ easy, instant class.
- Blush ~ gorgeous, need to style & wear more!
- Vintage Red ~ favorite! Remove shoulder pads
- Beige ~ classic, timeless cut
And now the bottoms:
These skirts are set aside for my spring/summer capsule. Too many unworn choices, time to minimize…
- Too many of the same (black & white)
- Poor fit/too short
- Color works poorly with palette
Results: Skirts kept for this spring/summer capsule wardrobe.
Evaluation: (L to R):
- Green floral ~ perfect! Great color options.
- Coral ~ a little loose & long… “on trial”
- Camel ~ love!
- Black & white print ~ Great!
- Denim ~ wonderfully useful!
Note: I’d like to try a daffodil yellow skirt…
Three church skirts
- Scroll pattern ~ elegant & simple, keep!
- Lace overlay ~ Kate Middleton inspired favorite! 😉
- Black pencil ~ classic
- Navy 1940’s pencil ~ classic, fits great!
Lastly, pants & capris
- Pink straight leg ~ adorable, too stretchy
- Sand capris ~ great fit
- Denim capris ~ goes with everything
- Black capris ~ chic & classic
What I’m Minimizing:
These pieces have been “on trial” since last spring/summer. This “on trial” step to evaluate clothes helps me to not discard too quickly. This saves time & money later from replacing pieces actually needed.
These pieces will be finding a new home. Consider selling your unworn or gently used clothing & use the cash to purchase pieces from your shopping list!
A minimal every day capsule wardrobe!
By minimizing my capsule at the beginning of each season getting dressed is easier, more fun, & I have a better idea of the pieces needed to fill any gaps.
This season’s shopping list includes: a dress or two, colorful tops, & possibly a yellow, or coral cardigan.
I hope this post has been helpful & inspiring for your capsule wardrobe journey!
Please let me know in the comment box below what your challenges are in this process? Do you have any tips to share?
Robin Totten says
Good Morning, Rachel! I love the way you evaluate each piece. I also like the “on trial” system. I’m still amazed at the final result. It’s so hard for me to imagine culling down that far. In fact, I showed Marty the final result and his question to me was: “What would you do?” 😀😂 Blessings, Robin
Good morning, Miss Robin!
I’m glad you found the post inspiring and informative ~ that’s my goal! Even though it may seem drastic there is such freedom getting ready for any occasion. Knowing that everything fits & will go with all the other pieces means I really have quite a variety. Since this post was written I have found another dress, two cardigans, and two tops which help fill any gaps. I love the challenge of making “new” outfits from existing pieces! Just focus on the progress YOU’VE made, and keep on! Remember, it’s progress (not perfection) that matters!
Aunt Nita says
The next time you come to see MiMi and PaPa you’re going to have to go thru my closets. They are a disaster
Hello Aunt Nita,
Haha! I would be willing to help you out! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.
Joanna F. says
The colors in your wardrobe are very fresh and cohesive. I can see the value of having a few quality pieces over many pieces. Could you do a post on putting outfits together? I always like to see how people use what they have in their closets, I tend to have a hard time putting together an outfit.
Good morning Joanna!
Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! Yes, I’ve been thinking on doing a “look book” post from my capsule in the weeks ahead. Is there anything in particular you’d like to see?
Joanna F. says
I would love to see your thought process behind putting together some outfits. Like how do you decide what goes with what? What are you thinking as you mix and match pieces from your closet? I’ve never seen a blogger do this before so I think it would be fun to see. Thanks!!
Those are some good thoughts. Thanks for the feedback!
Have a lovely day!
Terri Ramsey says
Rachel, this post was truly delightful! I so appreciate your critiques and evaluations of each piece. It makes me think of a grading system of A-F, with the goal in mind of having a “straight A” capsule wardrobe! I love how your system really focuses in on specifics like length, sleeves, colors and overall fit. It truly helps define what we love to wear, what we feel great in, as well as what really belongs/doesn’t belong in our closet! Thank you for your spring inspirations!
Blessings! Terri 😀
Good morning, Miss Terri!
I’m thrilled you found inspiration & useful information from this post – your feedback is really helpful! I like your “straight A” idea, and I’m sure you have many pieces that have “aced” the test in your closet!
Lenda Denson says
I just loved this post! I can never make up my mind about what to keep so when we left our home in Weatherford, I hastily tossed several items that I looked for this spring and was so sad I had gotten rid of them! So… I appreciate your idea of waiting to dispose of anything until I have time to ‘think’!
Hello Miss Lenda!
Having made this mistake several times (I could list dresses & tops I wish I’d kept) I decided to try this method.
It has really helped me not regret a hasty decision later!
Shannon Farschon says
I have really loved scouring your blog/website and wrapping my head around a capsule wardrobe. You have really helped me hone in on my style. Not that I have really figured it out, yet! I love how you analyse each piece and then give it another category like”on – trial”. Or if a piece can be re-imagined. You have helped me look at Fit and not take it personal if something doesn’t fit me. The detail you have put in has really helped me look at what I have vs what I wear. I simply have too much clothing, yet still have some wholes that will need to fill in at some point. With the shut down of Covid, it has emphasized that I have way too much clothing. I am slowly putting some clothes on Poshmark to sell.
So I just wanted to thank you for your blog, I think alot of us have found it very helpful.
Thanks so much for the blog post.