Capsule Wardrobe 6 Month Progress Report

If you are new to the Capsule Wardrobe concept – start here.

capsule-wardrobe-6-month-progress-reportA little over 6 months ago, I set out to Build a Capsule Wardrobe.  My plan was to assemble a new wardrobe by downsizing my already overflowing closet without buying anything new.  Here is my 6 month progress report on Building a Capsule Wardrobe through reduction.

So, how did I do?  Well, I reduced many clothes from my closet.  My plan to not buy anything new did not work out quite the way I expected.

How did my Closet get Out of Control?

I started to become aware that I was shopping for entertainment.  This was not just for clothes, my entertainment shopping extended to shoes, furniture, office supplies, make-up, and even cleaning products!  I realized as I would put new purchases away, that I already owned several of that same item (4 dresses in the exact shade of blue, 2 still with tags).  Hmm, I started to consider that maybe I do not need any more of those.

The real ah-ha moment came when we prepared for a 3,000 mile move. This was a closet purge on steroids!  I donated bags and bags of clothes and boxes of household items to charity.  I finally acknowledged my Shoe Addiction, and focused on building a Capsule Wardrobe through reduction.  I started with an arbitrary goal to get rid of 5 items per month.

What Worked?

Shopping trips became more focused and less frequent.  I had a current inventory of stuff that I had just moved, so there was no “mistake” buying something that I already owned.  We kept a running list of needs/wants, then only bought off the list on our planned shopping trips.  No impulse shopping, or browsing for entertainment, resulted in less time spent shopping.  We had exactly what we needed (plus a few planned splurges), less clutter around the house, and more money in the bank!  Continue reading

What is a Capsule Wardrobe and How do I Build One?

Capsule Wardrobe is the hot phrase in fashion right now.  I just completed a 3,000 mile move (and corresponding closet purge), so the Capsule Wardrobe is on my mind.  I need to understand what is a Capsule Wardrobe?  Will this work for me? How do I build one?

Capsule wardrobe is a term coined by Susie Faux, the owner of a London boutique called “Wardrobe” in the 1970s. According to Faux, a capsule wardrobe is a collection of a few essential items of clothing that don’t go out of fashion, such as skirts, trousers, and coats, which can then be augmented with seasonal pieces.

Capsule wardrobes apparently have been around for awhile.  It is claimed to be a practical way to manage what is in your closet, deciding what to purge, and what to add.


Without realizing, I pack for travel using the capsule wardrobe method on a very small scale.  One week’s travel will consist of 2-3 dresses (casual or work attire), jeans, black dress slacks or skirt, one swim suit, black yoga pants, and matching colorful/print shirts.  Shoes to wear during travel, pack another pair of shoes that match everything, and flip flops (to wear around the hotel room, spa services, hotel pool, etc).  For colder weather, add a coat and/or 1-2 cardigan sweaters for layering.

Now how do I apply this to my entire wardrobe?

My Style Sister, Lesley from Working Look, hosts some great videos and practical advice.  Her three principles of defining a Capsule Wardrobe are: Continue reading

Confessions of a Shoe Addict

Hi, my name is Jennifer and I am a shoe addict.  It has taken me a long time to admit it.  I thought everyone had a walk-in closet filled with shoes, plus the auxiliary 6 foot tall free standing shoe cabinet (apparently some people use that for their entire wardrobe).2015-11-02 13.45.46

This ridiculous notion of “too many shoes” was raised to me several times, and most notably 2 years ago when we sold a way too big house, and downsized to a smaller home located 10 miles away.  We reduced our yard and a couple rooms in the house, but my walk-in closet stayed the same size.  Without losing an inch of space for shoes (or clothes, purses, jewelry, and other accessories), I evaluated my shoe collection and decided on the 30 pairs that I no longer needed or wanted.  I did not count how many pairs I had at the time, but out of curiosity I did count the shoes to say good-bye to.

My elimination criteria was simple:

  1. Any shoes worn or beat-up?
  2. Any shoes pinch my toes, too tight, or uncomfortable?
  3. Any shoes stretched out and too big?

Was my criteria too strict or unreasonable?  30 pairs of shoes seemed like a huge sacrifice, until I looked at all the remaining pairs.  I still had a fabulous shoe collection!  What more could I possibly need? More shoes, of course.

Newest 4 pairs of shoes

Newest 4 pairs of shoes

Thanks to my meticulous accounting habits, I know that I purchased 3 pairs 12 months ago, 2 pairs 9 months ago, and the final 2 pair 7 months ago (aren’t the last 4 pairs super cute?!?).  I have even worn most of them at least once.  My crazy OCD includes storing the purchase receipt in the shoe box of every pair of shoes so I know exactly where purchased, cost, and when.  I budget for shoes & clothing, none of these purchases put me in debt.

Velvet heelsWe are preparing for another move, and it is time to once again evaluate and reduce my shoe collection.  This time it is different, same size closet, but located 3,000 miles away!  Shipping options are slow boat (cargo ship) or carry on the plane with us.  Now I have a problem. Continue reading