My Capsule Wardrobe Rules

By Kennedi Rose / May 6, 2015

I’ve officially decided to start my first capsule wardrobe and I also started a little sooner than I originally planned. I started on May 1st instead of June 1st.

Part of having a capsule wardrobe is about setting rules for fashion and shopping and sticking to them, but part of having a capsule wardrobe is making the idea work for you and your lifestyle too. So after doing some reasearch about how different people have set up their capsule wardrobe system, I decided to implement a few rules for my first capsule wardrobe. (Keep in mind, these rules may change over time for future capsules.)

What Counts and What Doesn’t

Caroline from Unfancy decided to count all of her clothes and shoes in her capsule wardrobe number except for undergarments, jewelry, handbags, accessories, a very select few extra-dressy outfits (cocktail attire), pajamas, and lounge/workout clothes. She also settled on a number for her wardrobe: 37.

Amy from Mom Advice decided not to count camisoles in her capsule wardrobe, and she also set her number a little lower at 33.

Here’s what I decided not to count in my first capsule wardrobe:

  • Undergarments
  • Yoga/lounge/workout clothes
  • Pajamas
  • Clothes for yard work, farm work, house painting, etc.
  • Layering tank tops
  • Logo shirts from my full-time job
  • Shoes

I decided to take it a bit easy on myself this first go around since I’ve never attempted a capsule wardrobe before and I wanted to make sure it was something I could stick to since I’m used to having my entire wardrobe to choose from. I also haven’t decided if I’ll count outerwear in my fall, winter, and spring capsules.

How Long Should You Wear a Capsule Wardrobe?

Most people decide to have 4 capsule wardrobes over the span of a year: winter, spring, summer, and fall. They usually run for 3 months each and start and end at the beginning of a month.

Since I live in Kansas and the weather is very volatile, I’m considering having 3-4 capsules depending on the weather each year. I also plan to give myself flexible start and end dates for each capsule since our weather can vary so much from year to year. For example, this year I started my summer capsule May 1. Last year I couldn’t have started it until about May 15 or I’d have frozen to death. Therefore, I plan to be a bit more flexible and have 3-4 capsules each year.

My tentative plan is to wear my current (summer) capsule from May 1 – August 31, my fall capsule from September 1 – November 30, my winter capsule from December 1 – February 28, and my spring capsule from March 1 – April 30. But some of these dates might change a bit as I go depending on the weather.

Other Rules and Challenges

I didn’t start creating my first capsule wardrobe with an exact number in my head, but I ended up with 37 items of clothing in my first 4 month capsule wardrobe (May 1 – August 31). I did decide to give myself an extra challenge of not shopping for a single item for my first capsule and I also plan to challenge myself to limit my shopping for future capsules to replacements only, at least for the first year’s worth of capsules.

Again, since this is my first time experimenting with a capsule wardrobe, I decided to allow myself to swap 1 item/month if needed. This would be something like swapping a pair of pants for a pair of capris partway through my spring capsule if the weather gets warm especially early. But as I said, this would be a swap so the number of items in my capsule won’t increase during the 3-4 month period.

Have you ever tried having a capsule wardrobe? What were your rules?

About the author

Kennedi Rose


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