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My Capsule Wardrobe Rules

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


Kayla is a mid-20s single girl living in the Midwest, USA. She is focused on paying off her consumer and student loans, while simplifying her life and closet. You can join her on her journey at ShoeaholicNoMore or follow her on Twitter.

My Capsule Wardrobe Rules - Shoeaholic No MoreShoeaholic No More - May 7, 2015

[…] Find out more about the rules for my first capsule wardrobe at Face and Fitness. […]

Abigail @ipickuppennies - May 7, 2015

I’d never heard of capsule wardrobes before. (Yeah, I’m just not cool/up-to-date.)

I guess I kind of do this. We’re in Arizona, so I have warmish weather (short-sleeve shirts and jeans), slightly cool weather (3 or 4 long sleeve shirts and jeans) and “I’m melting!” clothes (tank tops, sleeveless tops or shirts made of really, really light material — also linen pants).

I keep the stuff that’s not in season in a separate closet so that it’s easier to see what I *can* wear.

    Kayla - May 7, 2015

    Sounds like you kind of do it already then. πŸ™‚

Kate @ Money Propeller - May 8, 2015

Actually, I never heard about a capsule wardrobe before and I’m glad that you introduce it to me.

    Kayla - May 10, 2015

    Hi Kate! I’m glad to introduce the concept to you πŸ™‚ So far (I’m only 10 days in) I’ve found my capsule wardrobe to be a blessing. I don’t have to worry about what to wear in the mornings anymore and it makes getting ready much faster and easier.

Face & Fitness | My Summer 2015 Capsule Wardrobe - May 12, 2015

[…] I admit it. I’ve been teasing you with bits and pieces of information about my Summer 2015 capsule wardrobe. Although most years I probably won’t start my summer capsule quite this early, I decided to […]

Big Changes and What's Going On - Shoeaholic No MoreShoeaholic No More - May 15, 2015

[…] My Capsule Wardrobe Rules – Face and Fitness […]

Beth - May 18, 2015


What if you have a job at a bank — Do you have 2 capsule wardrobes? I started to go through my clothes to get rid of stuff but I am stuck on this dilemma. Maybe this was answered before but I didn’t see it – so sorry if this is a repeat.

    Kayla - May 19, 2015

    Hi Beth, good question. Although, my capsule is filled with things I can wear on weekends and at work as I do in fact work at a bank. We are required to wear slacks but in the summer I can get away with capris made of the same material. If you can’t sub them for regular slacks or additional skirts.

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