I experimented with my first ‘minimalist wardrobe’ this winter and LOVED IT. Since then, I’ve seen the ‘capsule wardrobe’ concept showing up all over my newsfeed with everyone singing the benefits of a smaller wardrobe [less clutter, less anxiety, less saying ‘i have nothing to wear’!] I even saw an article where someone claimed they no longer wore yoga pants on the daily because getting dressed with a capsule wardrobe is EASIER! I will agree that after implementing a minimalist wardrobe, I wear yoga pants much less… but oh, I still love them.
how to create a minimalist wardrobe
- Set a rough goal for total pieces, but be flexible about how it breaks out by category. Mine is 35 items. For summer, it ended up at 16 tops, 4 dresses, 8 bottoms, and 7 pairs of shoes.
- Workout/pajamas/underwear/accessories & outerwear aren’t included.
- Purge clothes that don’t fit or you don’t enjoy.
- Put out-of-season clothes into storage. [I pushed my ‘winter’ wardrobe items to the side of my closet. I also pushed aside some dressy favorites because special occasions are rare these days.]
- Look for themes in the remaining clothes and shop intentionally to fill any gaps.
I am a little different than most people, in that I use only two capsules: winter & summer. The weather doesn’t fluctuate that drastically in Seattle & at the moment, my lifestyle is SUPER casual so I don’t need much.
what I learned after my first minimalist wardrobe
While I loved my winter minimalist wardrobe, it was far from perfect. I learned quite a bit about my style & preferences as I wore the clothes. I changed a couple of things for summer:
1) More bottoms. Specifically, more casual bottoms. At this stage in my life, I have to wash my jeans/pants after each wear because my kids cover me in spit up, play-doh, snot, food, etc during the course of the day (and since I do laundry once a week, this was a problem). In addition, there were dressier bottoms in my wardrobe that I rarely (if ever) wore such as the pencil skirt, khakis and cropped sateen pants. In summary… I went a little too minimalist on jeans and have since added reinforcements.
2) Stick to basics & neutral colors. There were actually multiple items in my winter capsule that I NEVER wore! Yes, even with just 35 pieces. I tried to determine WHY I didn’t select those pieces and usually it was because they didn’t coordinate well with everything else. My purple pants, for instance? They worked with just one top & I only wore that ensemble once. For summer I tried to make sure everything mixed & matched a little better.
3) Pick a color scheme. For this round, I mainly stuck to three colors: navy, mint/green & white. I hope this will make outfits even easier to assemble (and mix/match better, like I mentioned). I have a few black pieces too, but those should be neutral enough to fit right in. The red maxi dress is a bit of a wildcard, but it doesn’t really need to mix/match since it’s an outfit on its own.
4) Focus on the everyday. Don’t get caught up preparing for ‘what if’s.’ When I compiled my winter wardrobe I tried to make sure my bases were covered for… everything. I included too many dressy outfits… just in case. But, the 35 capsule pieces are not 100% of what I own (although I have purged significantly). So, for summer, in the event that a random occasion comes up, I can reach into the back of my closet and find something appropriate, rather than tying up valuable real estate in the ‘capsule’ with items that won’t be worn regularly.
5) Use a virtual closet app to get out of a styling rut. I use a FREE app called Pureple. I upload the photos from this post into the app. Then I can mix/match looks & save outfits for later. You can also ‘suggest outfit’ to have Pureple design a look. Sometimes it has good ideas!
my minimalist wardrobe [summer]
[my apologies for some very wrinkled pieces… but you’ll still get the idea]
TOPS: white lace shirt [similar] I white tee I seattle graphic tee I mint tee I navy tee I navy graphic tee [similar] I purple graphic tee [similar] I black tee I mint tank [similar] I white tank I navy tank I jean jacket [similar] I white blouse I chambray shirt I green shirt I mint light-weight sweater [similar]
DRESSES/BOTTOMS: white eyelet dress I navy eyelet dress I striped dress I red maxi dress [similar] I white shorts I green eyelet shorts I chambray shorts I navy bermudas I white cropped jeans I dark cropped jeans I bootcut jeans I skinny jeans
Have you tried a minimalist/capsule wardrobe? Let me know how it’s going!
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, you will pay the same price, but I receive a small commission.