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4 Reasons You Need a Wardrobe Capsule and 7 steps on How to Build One.

Welcome to Season 2 of The Bailey Boost. Thank you for supporting my podcast – every listen means the world to me. If you’re new here, let me re-introduce myself. I’m Bailey Georgiades (formerly Bailey Schneider.) I’m a Radio & TV Presenter, Voice Over Artist, MC, Blogger here at vanillablonde.co.za, a Mom of 2 little boys, aged 4.5 and 2 and as of last year April, a Podcast Host.

My podcast is all about boosting your life with tips you just have to know! Some tips you’ll already know and they’ll be good reminders for you, but others will be new and game changing! I’m really looking forward to sharing tips with you that will boost and elevate your life – everything from fashion and beauty, lifestyle, home and even parenting!

source: classyettrendy.com

I am really excited about this episode, that I’m turning into a blog post too, because it’s something that I am personally working on. It’s all about how to create a Wardrobe Capsule. I have poured over articles on how to make it realistic, read countless blogs and spent hours on Pinterest. I’ve put in the research for you, and created this episode/blog post as your one stop guide.

To listen to the 15 minute podcast click here: https://anchor.fm/thebaileyboost/episodes/4-Reasons-You-Need-a-Wardrobe-Capsule-and-7-Steps-on-How-to-Build-One-e1efh8g or search for The Bailey Boost on Spotify / Apple Podcasts /your preferred podcast listening platform.


Let’s start at the beginning.

What is a Wardrobe Capsule, or Capsule Wardrobe?

A wardrobe capsule is a collection of selected essential items that are timeless and don’t go out of fashion. They all work well together so you can mix and match a small selection of clothes into a variety of outfits.
A wardrobe capsule has the items that you LOVE to wear every day.  Many minimalists claim that a wardrobe capsule should have a determined amount of items going from 30 items to 50 for all year long, and it’s great to work towards a number. A wardrobe capsule should be built around your lifestyle with things that make you feel happy and that you love to wear on repeat. 

Did you know the average woman has over 100 pieces of clothing and only truly loves and wears 10 -20% of it? What a waste of money and precious cupboard space. I guess the saying is true: A cupboard full of clothes with nothing to wear.
Let’s change that!

The concept of a wardrobe capsule isn’t exactly new… it has been around since the 1970’s but it has recently become a more popular approach since minimalist living is on the rise and the economy isn’t what it used to be. Many stylists and fashion bloggers are all coming on board and I’m here for it.

How do you know if a wardrobe capsule is for you?

Well, consider this:

  • Do you ever say to yourself I have nothing to wear, even though your closet may be full of clothes?
  • Can you honestly agree that you wear 100% of the items that are in your wardrobe? 
  • Do you love every single item in your closet?
  • Would you like to live with less, but have more quality?

If you answered yes to any of these… give it a try,

Lets unpack it even further…

4 Reasons You Need a Wardrobe Capsule:

  1. Less Decision Fatigue. Have you heard of decision fatigue? Our brain is programmed only to make a certain number of decisions during the day. After that, it gets tired, and we struggle to make more decisions. Having a wardrobe capsule means that you have fewer clothes, they work well together, and you love them. So when you are getting ready in the morning, it is easier for you to choose what you’ll wear for the day, so it doesn’t contribute to your decision fatigue! 
  2. More Time. The average woman spends 10-20 minutes standing in front of her closet figuring out what to wear. Having a capsule means that because you already know which pieces work together and match well… you also know your style and what works well for you. You know exactly what you need to buy, plus you won’t waste time shopping mindlessly and that takes me to #3
  3. You’ll save money, even though you’re going to buy higher end quality pieces. When you have a wardrobe capsule, you do not have to go shopping often because your clothing pieces are interchangeable and versatile. You’ll buy better quality too because you’re going to wear them multiple times, essentially saving in the long run. Plus you’re not going to buy items on a whim either, since you are curating your style and have pieces that you will wear and won’t sit collecting dust.  
  4. More sustainability. You will mostly own timeless pieces that you will wear for years, won’t go out of style and when you invest in quality pieces that last longer, you’ll avoid fast fashion, which is a very wasteful industry. 

It in essence, makes life a lot simpler.

The goal behind building a wardrobe capsule is to create an effortless style for ourselves so that dressing up everyday becomes easy and stress free! Think of your capsule as your “go to” rack of things you love to wear everyday based on your lifestyle. Are you ready to start yours this year?

Now comes the nitty gritty, but fun part.

Here are 7 Steps to Build Your Wardrobe Capsule:

Step 1: Analyze your cupboard, your style and be realistic about your lifestyle.

Ask yourself these questions:

What is your primary activity? Are you a stay at home Mom or in a corporate job? Are you working out regularly?

Depending on what you are doing with your time, you won’t be needing the same clothes. 

  • What do I like to do in my free time?
  • What staples dominate my closet? Are you wearing them or do they just take up space in your closet and remain unworn for several months? For example: Do you have too many heels, but you really like to wear sneakers and only have one pair?

These basic questions will get you started so that you can become aware of everything that you have and better understand how to strategically shop from now on. It’s also a time to really identify your style too, if you haven’t already.

Once you’ve thought about this, pick all your favorite clothing pieces and analyze why you love them. This will help you understand what your style is, what colors you love, what cut suits you, and what materials are your favourites. 

Step 2: Track what you like to wear for 30 days

If you want to create a successful Wardrobe Capsule that will last… you cannot miss this step.

There are many ways to do this, either by manually tracking down what you wore every day in a notebook, taking a picture on your phone or turning the hangers around after you’ve worn something, and placing what you wore on a worn shelf – so you can see quickly what’s been untouched. Obviously this will be seasonal, but it will give you a good idea.

Step 3: The Great Closet Clean out.

This is a really hard part and I’m not going to sugar coat it. It’s hard to let go of things. It’s hard to change your mindset from having a lot to having a little. You’re going to be going from a packed cupboard to a minimalistic one with space, and it’s going to feel unsettling and weird. Allow yourself those feelings and ask yourself, why do you hold onto what you have and why do you need as much as you do? It will help you uncover things about yourself, which is always vulnerable, but valuable. If it’s really uncomfortable, don’t suppress those feelings – sit with them, allow them and don’t judge yourself.


Let go of everything that doesn’t boost your confidence or doesn’t make you feel good, even if it was something you liked in the past. Our bodies evolve and change, and so do we so it’s OK to let go.

You can’t miss Step 2 of tracking what you wear in a month, because it helps you with this process. What did you wear in the 30 days, that you loved? What didn’t you wear at all? Make a pile of everything you like to wear and makes you feel happy and stylish (this pile will become your starting point for completing your capsule wardrobe)

Organize your clothes in all of these categories:

  • All year basics
  • Spring and summer
  • Autumn and Winter
  • Donate/sell pile

This will be personal, but you can either choose to have an annual wardrobe capsule or a seasonal one.
I prefer the seasonal one, because firstly, I don’t want my cupboard space to feel smaller and I like to compartmentalise my clothes. There’s no point having a winter coat sitting there in hot temperatures.

Step 4: Define your colour palette.

A colour palette is something optional, but very useful when building a wardrobe capsule because it is a reference guide for future shopping. After the experiment of 30 days you will find out what colours you like to rewear more often, and these can become part of your colour palette reference guide. The next time you shop for something you can have a guideline for looking for colours that blend in with what you love to wear and already have. 

Have fun with this… in those 30 days, were you quite colourful  – which colours ran through? Were there more reds/ or were there more blues? Are you quite neutral with pops of colour – what was that pop of colour? Are you more monochromatic? Have fun with this. There’s no wrong answer here – it fits in with your love and style.

Step 5: Map out the capsule.

What works well together? Any new combos you could create with the skirt you kept? What about those shirts? What are you lacking? This really allows you to be creative and have fun with it.

Step 6: Rewear before you have the urge to buy again

Every time I have an urge to shop I look at my closet and try to force myself to rewear something I haven’t worn in a while. I see my wardrobe as a shop 😉 If you find that you try to rewear something and you don’t feel confident or beautiful when you are wearing it; it’s OK to just get rid of it and donate it to someone who might appreciate and rewear it more than you. Our closets are never perfect, and sometimes we keep holding on to things because we are not used to letting go.

Step 7: Invest in quality over quantity,  your clothes shouldn’t cost as much as your cup of coffee, and here’s why:

If you want to become a more intentional shopper it’s important to educate yourself about the quality of fabrics on the clothes you buy as well as the effects of throwing away clothes. Did you know that we discard 92 million tons of clothes-related waste each year. By spending more on an item of quality and great use, you’ll actually save money because you won’t be needing to replace it often and you won’t be buying fast fashion.

Part of becoming an intentional shopper is not letting the sales get to you, and I know this is tough, because who doesn’t love a good sale? The next time you see something on sale ask yourself: “Do I really need this? Do I love the colour and does it go with what is already in my closet?” If the answer is no then pass on that impulse and save your money. That being said, I love looking for sales on quality items – but then it’s not impulse, it’s being searched for because it’s something needed.

Here is an example of a 32 piece Wardrobe Capsule for Spring/Summer:

3 Basic Tees, 2 Tank tops, 3 shirts, 2 sweaters and 1 cardigan, 2 skirts, 1 denim shorts and other shorts, 1 jumpsuit, 2 dresses, 2 pairs of jeans and one pair of pants, 2 light jackets, 3 pairs of shoes, 2 handbags, 1 hat, 1 pair of sunglasses, and everyday jewellery.

That’s it – those can be mixed and matched into 100s of outfits.

Thanks to now being able to be more visual here on the blog – I’m adding in a few examples, which I’ve taken from Pinterest and will credit where there isn’t already a credit in the image.

I wish I had photos of mine, but mine is still a work in progress. This has motivated me and I will do an updated blog post with personal images when mine is completed.

https://za.pinterest.com/pin/1477812369359702/

I liked this checklist, although you can even cut this down. Not everything is going to work with your style and what you like, but it’s a nice checklist to go through.

You can see the colour palette works so well and a few key items have made all these looks!

One thing I didn’t touch on in the Podcast is whether to count gym clothes, swimwear and pyjamas/underwear as part of your number. I haven’t added those into my capsule number, but if your lifestyle has you wearing a lot of active wear, then you definitely can curate your closet to be more around leggings, tank tops and other active wear.

Personally, I have cut down my active wear, swimsuits and pyjamas to also be minimalistic. E.g. I have 2 pairs of summer and 2 pairs of Winter PJs, but don’t add those my number.

Building a wardrobe capsule for yourself will make your life so much easier; I cannot recommend it enough and I’m still working on mine! With time, your capsule wardrobe will evolve and change. You will add and remove items as the seasons pass and your preferences shift, and that’s okay. But the benefits will remain, and that’s the best part of it! So start building your own unique capsule wardrobe today! What are you waiting for?

Is this something you’d love to do? Have you already created a Wardrobe Capsule? I’d love to hear your thoughts/tips, so please leave a comment below!

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1 Comment

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    […] These pieces are fantastic individually too and I love teaming the cardigan with skinny jeans and leggings, and wearing it closed or open. The pants look great with a denim shirt, jersey’s and polo necks, and also have pockets. You can create so many versatile looks with just 2 items. Great pieces to add to a wardrobe capsule. […]

    May 16, 2022 at 2:13 pm
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