How to start a capsule wardrobe

I’m Anna.
Newly wed, pup mom to Ozzy, living off the coast of NC. Sharing capsule wardrobe tips, renter safe home projects, recipes & more! Here to share the alternatives for living simply and sustainably
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I began a capsule wardrobe back in May of this past year and it changed everything for me. If you haven’t already read my post WHY START A CAPSULE WARDROBE IN 2023, I share more of my backstory, how I discovered the capsule wardrobe concept, and how quickly I fell in love with it. But in this blog I want to share more of the practical steps on how to start a capsule wardrobe of your own, and helpful tips I found along the way.

First let’s start with what a capsule wardrobe is,

What Is A Capsule Wardrobe

A capsule wardrobe is a select number of clothing items that one chooses to wear, on rotation, for a period of time. This can be a variety of things, this can include your shoes, accessories, or even your underwear. This could be 12 items, 20 items, 30 items; you make it what you like. The idea is that you remove the potential for “decision fatigue” and simplify your wardrobe and life by only wearing things you love and feel good in. I challenged myself with a capsule of 30 items for 30 days. At the end of my first 30 days I was so inspired and felt like I had finally found my style and the things I loved wearing most.

Wondering if a capsule wardrobe could help inspire you? Read More Here

how to start a capsule wardrobe

How To Start

Start by auditing your closet. Pull the clothes from your closet and ask yourself these 4 questions:

  1. Would I buy this item again today in the store?
  2. Does this item fit me comfortably?
  3. Can I remember the last time I wore this?
  4. Will I wear this item more than 5-8 times this month

If you answered NO to any of these questions, I would not include that item in your capsule, and I would consider donating that piece to minimize clutter and make space in your wardrobe.

For the clothes you choose not to include in your collection- store them in a bin or in the back of your closet until you complete your time allowance and circle back to decide if you’d still like to keep those items.

Picking Pieces

When you are selecting pieces for your capsule I recommend picking things that:

A. Are versatile and can be worn several different ways

B. Are items that encompass your style and what you like wearing

C. Are in line with your lifestyle and work schedule

A general rule of thumb I followed when creating my “30 for 30 capsule” was 5 of each

  • 5 T-shirts/Tops
  • 5 Sweaters/Hoodies
  • 5 Pairs of Pants
  • and so on

I created an entire capsule wardrobe checklist and guide with suggestions on pieces to add to your collection and even included links to affordable, versatile items!- you can download my Free guide here


Don’t feel like you have to go out and buy a whole new closet full of clothes. However, if you are wanting something specific that you know you’ll get more wear out of, by all means. If you choose to do that I recommend buying second hand. If you are looking for a specific thing for your capsule wardrobe, head to the thrift store or Plato’s Closet. You can find great basics that could very well become your staples, for a great, affordable price.

Organize Your Collection

Now it’s time to organize your goods. Once you’ve picked out all of the items that you’re going to be wearing for the next 30 days you’re going to want to organize and straighten your closet so it’s easy to pick your outfits in the morning.

I used my “nice” hangers and had a special section in our closet of just my capsule wardrobe pieces. Then I cleared a drawer in my dresser for my sleepwear and workout clothes that I also included in my capsule.

Get Dressed

Finally you’re ready to get dressed! It’s simple really, if you picked pieces that are versatile enough and that you feel comfortable in. The golden rule of capsule wearing: “DON’T BE AFRAID TO OUTFIT REPEAT” You’re going to be wearing the same things so it’s inevitable but if you have things you love, you’ll be excited to wear them!

An example of a versatile outfit in a capsule:

White shirt, blue denim, a cream sweater, black denim, a maxi dress, and a cardigan

  • Outfit one: white shirt, cardigan, blue denim
  • Outfit two: cream sweater, blue denim
  • Outfit three: cream sweater over maxi dress
  • Outfit four: white shirt, black denim
  • Outfit five: Maxi dress, cardigan
  • Outfit six: cream sweater, black denim

And there you have it! A week of outfits with just those 6 items.


That’s all you really need to get your capsule wardrobe started! If you haven’t already, download my free capsule wardrobe guide for extra help. And of course I’m always here if you have more questions so don’t hesitate to leave a comment or reach out to me here or on social media!

Building A Capsule Wardrobe Free Checklist

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