Why is it that no matter how much clothing you seem to have in your closet, there’s still nothing to wear? It might be time to retire the idea that more clothes is better. Instead, try fighting decision fatigue a starting a capsule wardrobe.

A capsule wardrobe is a carefully selected closet where each piece serves a purpose. It basically narrows down your wardrobe from 100 pieces you kind-of-love to a core 40 pieces you really love. If you want to save time and stop worrying about what to wear each morning, a capsule wardrobe is just what you need.

What Is A Capsule Wardrobe?

A capsule wardrobe simplifies your closet, shrinking your choices down to 40 (or fewer) pieces. But having less options in your closet doesn’t mean you’ll be wearing the same thing everyday. When choosing items for a capsule wardrobe, the goal is to be able to create dozens of outfits with the same pieces.

Versatility is key, so a consistent color palette and aesthetic are things to keep in mind when compiling your closet. A clothing piece shouldn’t only match well with one thing; it should be able to be paired with almost anything you own.

When you grab a shirt from your closet, it should look good with any pants you own. If you need a sweater to layer overtop, your narrowed selection should match perfectly fine with whatever you have on. The idea is to limit the number of pieces in your wardrobe and still be able to mix and match to create new looks each day.

How Do I Start A Capsule Wardrobe?

The first step in starting a capsule wardrobe is to deal with the clothes you already have. Take a look at each item in your closet and ask the following questions:

—When was the last time I wore this?
—Can I wear it with anything?
—Is it timeless?

Once you decide which pieces don’t make the cut, here’s a suggested checklist for a capsule wardrobe. This is a general, all-season list of 40 clothing items to help start the process.

For Women

  • 6 to 10 t-shirts
  • 6 pants/jeans
  • 5 sweaters
  • 4 blouses
  • 5 pairs of shoes
  • 3 jackets
  • 2 pairs of shorts
  • 2 sweatpants
  • 2 dresses
  • 1 hat

For Men

  • 6 to 10 t-shirts
  • 6 pants/jeans
  • 5 pairs of shoes
  • 4 hoodies/sweatshirts
  • 4 sweaters
  • 3 button downs
  • 3 jackets
  • 2 sweatpants
  • 1 tailored suit
  • 1 hat

You can rearrange the numbers per item to meet the needs of your daily lifestyle. For example, you can allot more blouses than t-shirts if you commonly need more dressy options. If you prefer dressing casual, opt for a fourth jacket in lieu of a tailored suit. You’ll get to know what you need (and reach for most often) once the number of pieces start dwindling down.

Consider making a capsule wardrobe per season to help you ease into this minimalist concept. You can create capsules that you rotate in and out of your closet, such as 40 pieces for spring and summer and 40 pieces for fall and winter.

And you don’t have to purge all of your clothes immediately. Start by selecting pieces for your capsule wardrobe, and then keep everything else in a separate area. Once you start the routine of only using your capsule items, you can begin donating or selling the other clothes you don’t need or wear anymore.

What Are The Perks Of A Capsule Wardrobe?

It’s Eco-Friendly

With a curated amount clothes you’ll be reaching for consistently, you won’t feel the need to buy new items from the fast fashion businesses. Their practices are very damaging to the environment and by avoiding them, your impact will be limited. If you aren’t throwing out clothes regularly, you’ll also help reduce the amount of waste you create.

Less Clutter

It will be much less overwhelming to look at your closet when it only holds the pieces you need. You won’t struggle to find a certain top, and nothing can really go missing because there’s less to keep track of.

Saves Time and Energy

The less time you spend trying to pick an outfit, the more time you’ll have to do other things in your routine. You’ll easily begin to know which combination of pieces are your favorites, while still being able to mix and match knowing everything will look good together.

You’ll Appreciate the Clothes You Have

Your clothes will spend more time being worn than sitting at the back of your closet untouched. You’ll want to make the most out of the high quality, versatile pieces you choose to invest in.

How Do I Maintain A Capsule Wardrobe?

For avid shoppers and fashionistas, it might be hard to resist buying a new piece for your closet when new trends come along. Here are some ways to make sure you maintain your capsule wardrobe as trends and seasons come and go.

Make Sure Items Fit Into Your Wardrobe

If you see a must-have clothing item at a store or online, take a minute and ask yourself the important questions before grabbing your credit card. Can I wear this with anything in my capsule wardrobe? Will I wear this on a regular basis? Do I love it? If you can’t say yes to any of these questions, skip it.

Stick to a One In, One Out Policy

When you do choose to buy another piece, remember the “one in, one out” policy. For every new piece you bring into your wardrobe, you get rid of an existing piece you already own. Following this policy gives you a chance to update your capsule collection when things get worn out, but it also ensures the number of items in your closet doesn’t exceed your prefered capsule number.

Consider A Rental Service

To ease your longing for keeping up with the latest trends, consider a rental service. Websites like Rent the Runway, Le Tote and Haverdash allow you to choose pieces online that are sent to you (or available for on-location pickup). You can wear the piece, exchange it for another and continue to wear new clothing pieces temporarily alongside your capsule wardrobe. This is a great option because the next time an old trend moves onto the next, you can swap it instead of having a preowned, hardly worn piece sitting in your closet.

While it might seem a bit intimidating to rid your closet of clothes, you’ll quickly find that it will make life easier! You won’t have unworn clothes taking up space, you’ll save a bunch of time getting ready and your wallet will certainly thank you too.