How to Try a Capsule Wardrobe for 31 Days

I love fashion. No.

I love trends. Nope.

I love shopping. Not quite.

I love clothes. Well…almost.

I love having lots of clothes options. Ok. Yep. Thats it.

Or at least I thought I did.

While I love the thought of a closet FULL of clothes I love and are stylish that make awesome mom outfits that my husband finds attractive and I feel confident in and can go to every occasion….the reality is, well, not that. Instead I have 12 years of accumulated items from multiple states, seasons of the year, and motherhood that leave me staring blankly at my closet. The colors and patterns and textures blur into a “not a single thing to wear” stupor. Which of course is like the dumbest thing to say in a closet full of things but you know exactly what I mean. Not a single thing to wear that fits the aformentioned thought.

So I most likely grab the closest pair of jeans (who am I kidding in Texas- I only grab pants in the dead of winter- most likely it’s a skirt or dress…) and a t-shirt that are on the top of the pile because I just washed them. I most definitely fall into the 80/20 rule thing. Ya know the one about only wearing 20% of your clothes 80% of the time? yep. that one.


Here I am in the thick of this 360° Challenge and having gone through my entire house day by day for a whole month and am now standing squarely in the doorway of my closet.

The notion to do a capsule wardrobe month challenge for myself came waaaayyy back when I began this whole process and was reading and reading and reading- you remember that phase? The wardrobe is like the hot topic in minimalism and simple living. So naturally I HAD to read like 20 blogs and look at like a hundred pinterest pins and even buy a book (or two- shhh…) about curating your closet. I like the idea of clothes- it’s a fact. I even like looking at pins of clothes- if we are being honest.

I can’t lie that while I’m a bit intimidated to actually DO this capsule wardrobe I am also like equally excited to go through all my clothes and maybe find the joy and ease that everyone who has done it brags about. I am a mom. I want to be dressed in less than five minutes. But I am also woman who wants to look good.

I do not want to look like I got dressed in less than five minutes.

So there is my challenge.

After all the perusing and researching I decided I would first empty my closet and then KonMari it (there I go making things verbs again). I would only put back what I absolutely love and feel great in. From these items left in my closet I will choose a total of 33 items for my 31 day challenge. This includes tops, bottoms, shoes, and outerwear. Since I am not a huge accessory person I chose not to include this as I don’t fear I will spend or accumulate too many in this category.  I am also a church going gal so I put aside one extra skirt and a pair of heels so that I don’t have to get rid of much needed everyday mom attire for those two items I don’t wear too regularly.

Update: I am not setting anything aside! A pair of heels and skirt or dress will be part of the total! Upping the ante for this month challenge- it’s only 4 Sundays. If I tackle a seasonal capsule then I’ll increase my item count to keep this in consideration. Im sure a dress and/or skirt will be in the mix but I mostly likely won’t wear the same thing all 4 Sundays in the month so….. Yeah. thats just my decision and its my party so I can cry  have extra skirts if I want to.

closet cleanup empty drawers
empty drawers in my empty closet. wardrobe purge is underway.

So here I am staring at what’s left of my closet.

And now for the 33 item selection! Yikes. What’s left of my closet doesn’t feel at all like it will go together all mixy matchy. I wasn’t able to really make all my things go together so easy before so why will it be any different? Just less to pick from….hmmm.

I came across a great post over at Simple Not Plain about how to go about doing this. As I mentioned I did peruse a bunch of resources but I really liked how she laid out the steps in detail and the idea for a palette.  So I’ve borrowed some of those ideas here to get me going. Here is my breakdown:

Looking at whats left of my wardrobe now that I’ve purged to what I actually wear (not want to wear or aspire to wear) I can get a better picture of what I go to most. Figuring out

what types of clothes

you wear most of the time really does help. I might love the idea of a crisp white shirt, and every French capsule tells me I need one, but do I really? (these are also my feelings about a blazer and dress pants by the way) As a stay at home mom of three little kids my type of clothes is primarily casual and movement friendly- plus easy to wash. While I could maybe wear a white button down to church or out on a date or something- DO I REALLY WANT TO SACRIFICE VAUBLE WARDROBE REAL-ESTATE FOR IT? I think a nice white t-shirt or shirt with some other cool detail might fit better into my liftstyle. I also have to remember

This is not a forever capsule. This is a capsule for right now. Find what is just enough for right now.

The homework:

Decide personal style (classy, bohemian, preppy, feminine, western, etc.)

  • to figure this out you may need to look not only at your closet, but also at the things you pin most, or that catch your eye in magazines or online shopping. Don’t Shop Yet! Just pull together some outfits you love and look at them.
  • figure out what is common about those things. What is similar? cut? color? fabric?
  • what colors do you find most often in your house or closet? Or if you are like me and had years of hand me downs or cheap things while your husband was in school maybe your house and closet don’t reflect you yet. Look around and pick out the things that bring the most joy, even a dish towel or candle, what color are they?
  • decide on 2 neutrals or base colors. Pick an accent color or two. Pick 2 pops of color. Here is mine (i’ll do another post with more detail on palette and clothing selection from what I’ve learned but here are paint swatches of my colors):

2018-01-04 12.35.36_edited-1

So let’s do me:

  • I seem to like a bit of preppy/classic things like ponte pants and cable knit sweaters and riding boots, BUT- I found I really gravitate towards outfits that have one edgy or stand out aspect. An asymmetrical leather jacket, a velvet shirt dress, a raw hem, a zippered back or a pair of buckled moto boots.
  • The common things and the colors I love are kind of one in the same it seems. I love black… And stripes. I also have a lot of gray. Both in my house and in my wardrobe. While I love white canvases in the home- as for clothes I find that with kids I only wear it occasionally although I may like it. I will wear it in a good white t-shirt or sweater or in the stripes thing for now.
  • My colors are: Black, white, gray, bright blue, and blush pink. I also decided that denim and stripes were my thing. Plus cognac or brown leather. So while my pop of color is blue, the other blue is for denim. The brown leather is in my boots and my purse/backpack. I mostly have black and white stripes so that went right in with my base colors. These may vary slightly by season- but that’s ok.

With those details in mind I went to my closet to see what matched that rubric. I laid them all out in one place. Now it was time to pick pieces. This is where the capsule suggestions from others came into play. I chose to have 14 tops, 5 bottoms, 2 basic cut dresses (that could have things worn over them and double as skirts), 6 pairs of shoes and 6 pieces of outerwear. I laid those items aside and boxed up anything left of my wardrobe like summer stuff and stashed it away out of reach.

I found that I was missing or had really old versions of things I wanted and so I used after Christmas to make these purchases. I was also given two amazing pieces, some faux suede leggings and a zippered back top, both in black, from my mother in law for Christmas and they made it straight into the capsule. She’s amazing at hitting my style on the head. I also acquired a new denim shirt, a super soft pink sweater, and a velvet shirt dress I saw that went on sale and had been on my mind ever since I saw it and would make several cool outfits all the way through spring.

So here it is! Drumroll please…the final cut for my first ever capsule experiment. Now to see if what I think I “love” and wear a lot actually goes well together and will  carry me through!


My Capsule Wardrobe at a glance

Tops (14):

zipper back sweater top- gift

1 long sleeve top in b/w stripe

1 long sleeve top in pop color- pink

1 long sleeve top in accent color- gray

2 t-shirts in neutral colors- black and gray

1 t-shirt in pop color- blue

1 white print t-shirt

1 stripe v-neck t-shirt

2 sweaters in base colors- black and white

1 sweater in pop color- pink

1 button down flannel in stripe

1 chambray button down


dark blue skinny jeans

light blue skinny jeans

black ripped knee skinny stretchy jeans

black faux suede leggings

grey ankle skinny jeans


dark gray velvet shirt dress

black long sleeve body con


brown riding boots

gray booties

black wedge booties

nude pumps

black and white platform slip ons

tan nubuck booties


black and white wool peacoat

black puffer vest

black faux leather moto jacket

open front waterfall vest

gray sweatshirt blazer

black boyfriend style sweater cardigan

My other accessories and items not counted in capsule but thought I’d share. I’m pretty minimal here by nature:

Apple watch- 2 bands

2 scarfs- one frilly gray and one wool/cashmere blue

1 pair diamond earrings, 1 pair dangly feather earrings

1 Snow jacket for super cold days

1 leather backpack style purse

workout apparel- pretty much all black and white. a few tank tops and leggings and nike shoes.

lounge wear/pjs- a couple pairs pants and shirts plus my awesome slippers and pink robe.


At the end of my experiment I’ll evaluate and decide if I want to have a go at the seasonal capsules.  Although- I may need to tweak the number of items I’m forecasting. Cuz in Texas the weather changes like every fifteen minutes so seasons don’t really exist for very long. If it decides to be 90 in January for a week you are left with 3 t-shirts and one dress to wear. Or it decides to be 30 for a week (like it just did) and you freeze to death in your thin jackets. So a few more of each category might be good here. OK enough pondering on the possible future. I’ll just finish this January challenge for now.

And there you have it folks. The 33 items that I’ll be wearing for the remainder of this month. Click here for links to the items I chose (or similar for old pieces). Not that this stuff is all that stylish…but heck, why not? Maybe there are one or two you might be needing! Maybe you have some pieces you could recommend for another experiment? Or that might have been good in this one? You fashionistas out there could give me some pointers! Maybe I’ll venture out of the safety of my neutral solids one of these days.

*Update: What I learned from experimenting with a capsule wardrobe.







2 thoughts on “How to Try a Capsule Wardrobe for 31 Days

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