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How to Create Your Wardrobe Capsule Step 3 & Step 4


Before you throw the shoes you decided to get rid of at me, let me first say I am extremely proud of you for coming back for the next couple of steps. It’s super uncomfortable to figure out how our closets got to this point. And even more uncomfortable to try everything on and make those quick decisions. But you did it and here we are ready to move on with the next couple of steps! In case you missed it, you can read how we got to this point here! With that being said, notice I said these are steps and not rules. There’s a difference in that I’m only trying to guide you through this process. In order to determine what you want to keep in your capsule, we need to determine your lifestyle, which takes us to our next step.

Sneak peak at my partial wardrobe capsule.

  • Step 3-  Define your style
    A couple of years ago, I worked full time for the Federal government and needed a fair amount of business casual types of clothing. Now I work from home, I have the occasional date night, with every once in a great while a fancier function. I know a lot of people in the health and fitness industry who would fall into the “athleisure” category (workout to grocery store to client workout for example). I am also surrounded by those who need fancier clothing with the occasional dress down day. You may find that you’re actually a good mix of a couple of those categories and that’s ok too. I basically just want you to keep these situations mindful when you’re creating your capsule, so you don’t leave any important items out. For me, I actually did not count my workout clothing in my capsule because even though I workout 4 times a week, I have to shower right after. (This may be TMI, but seriously I’m approaching 40, so it’s completely unfair that acne can follow you into adulthood. Not cool.) Nor did I include my pajamas. Like I said, no set rules.
  • Step 4- Selection Day
    Aside from the fact that we’re trying to show that less is more, it’s also important that the items you keep in your capsule coordinate, or at least most do. This will help you maximize your outfit potential so you don’t feel like you really don’t have much to wear, now that you’ve reduced your clothing items. I also want you to look at your clothes with new eyes by wearing pieces in ways you never thought of before. Which for fashionably inept people like me, this can be a huge challenge. Enter my trusty friend, Pinterest. BEFORE you roll your eyes, I see you, there are actually wardrobe capsule pioneers who have taken the trouble and guess work out of coordinating and creating outfits from essentially as little as 9 pieces of clothing. I know, it sounds crazy, but trust me! And get this, some of these project runway genius’ even labeled their capsules by the categories I spoke of earlier or at least pretty darn close.  Let me show you what I did!First thing I did was I searched under “Wardrobe Capsule” in Pinterest and it broke it down into categories: work, over 50, Mom, Teacher… it was AMAZING! I then found the section that closely matched the style that I already had, and I found this picture.

    The inspiration picture I found from Lauren McBride Blog that matched closest to my style.


Then I pulled from the clothing that I had in my closet and this is what I was able to find.

Pieces of my clothing selected to match as close as I could to the inspiration pictures.

Did I have everything exactly how she had it, no, but I had enough to follow along with Lauren’s post and put them together as outfits.  (Thank goodness for selfie sticks that attach to camera tripods and timers on iPhones.) Hand on hip- check, knee pop- check…. Let’s go!

That’s 10 outfits people with only 3 pairs of pants! I was floored! Then I got to thinking, what if I add just two more pieces.

I made THREE more outfits! That’s thirteen outfits and I already knew I could have made more options out of what I had in front of me, but I literally ran out of time. Whomp, whomp. Darn parent responsibilities and kids chorus concerts!  (Shakes fashionable fist in air.) People that’s almost two weeks of clothing and I hadn’t even added the rest of the pieces planned for my capsule. Shut. The. Front. Door.  BUT… I already had some observations.

Remember how I said not to buy anything until we were done, well this is why. When I started making my capsule, I realized that in order for me to not get in the whole “leggings are/are not pants” debate, I either needed to find black pants that were not leggings, or a white shirt that was long enough to cover my hind parts. I also realized that it was probably a good time to retire my current white shirt anyway as she was looking pretty sad. See I wasn’t trying to be a big meany, there’s a method to my madness. We’re coming full circle to this intentional living and spending mindset.

You’ll also notice that I’m not including jewelry and I only included the scarf because it was included in my inspiration picture. Quoting from my most favorite movie, Steel Magnolias, “The only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize.”  I wear the same watch every day. I only wear my wedding rings and on occasion will throw on an added ring for some extra pizazz. Sometimes adding a sparkly necklace can turn a regular tank top into something dressy. Bottom line I don’t include jewelry and scarves into the capsule and leave that up to you.  As for shoes, if your shoe closet is separate from your clothes, we may need to pair it down too. For me, I have 10 pair and three of those are dress shoes: black, neutral, and cheetah because, well cheetah.

For this go around I only created my fall/winter capsule which includes 40 total clothing pieces.  My summer/spring and my “maybe” clothes I hid somewhere else. Yes, I kept my “maybe” clothes for a couple of reasons. Remember that stripped tee from earlier, it happened to be in my maybe pile and I decided that it would actually work with the inspiration picture better than the long sleeved striped sweatshirt. I also kept my maybe pile because if I ever felt like I was in a rut, before I was tempted to buy anything else, I would check the maybe pile for any helpful pieces. Now, at the end of the season, I’ll re-evaluate the maybe pieces. I’ll do this again in the summer/spring to create that capsule and my hope is to be able to keep both capsules in the same closet. For right now, I’m keeping them separated only so I can focus on one capsule at a time. I may even be able to use pieces from my fall/winter to coordinate with my spring/summer, i.e. tank tops and t-shits/tops that I’m currently using as layering pieces. As a side note, if you have your favorite pair of capris, you can still wear them with your long boots and no one is the wiser. Keep an eye out for inspiration photos or outfits you see on someone else and see if you can recreate the look.

Let’s Recap!

Step 1- Identify the problem

Step 2- The purge

(You can catch the first two steps here.)

Step 3- Define your style

Step 4- Selection Day

Next up, how to maintain your capsule wardrobe.

Keep this fun, be creative, and don’t be afraid to take a look at how other people have put together capsules. At the end of the three months take note of what worked, what didn’t, and see what you’re missing.

There’s one more step to finish off this topic of wardrobe capsules. As always, don’t be afraid to reach out if you have any questions!! Until then, good luck and keep up the great work you fashionistas in the making!



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