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grey lace blouse, brown cable sweater and rose colored jack on white wood

Wardrobe Capsules also known as either “Clothing Capsules” or “Closet Capsules,” eliminate the “I have nothing to wear” syndrome so many of us struggle with as we stare at a closet full of clothes.

But what exactly are Closet Capsules? They are a way to group items together based on occasions or need. Rather than wade through all of your pants, skirts, shirts, and jackets, you can go straight to your “business capsule” and select an appropriate outfit.

Organizing Your Closet and Clothing By Occasion

To make the most of your wardrobe, pair seasonal items with your favorite staple pieces. Mix ’n matching items helps create versatility. Begin by reviewing your current wardrobe, donating or throwing away items you no longer want, and begin creating capsules. I recommend grouping your wardrobe into 3 sections:

  1. Around Town, Everyday (worship, pool, gym, errands)
  2. Professional, Business (networking, conferences, workplace, presentations)
  3. Special Occasion (wedding, funeral, date night, vacation)

Free Download: Wardrobe Capsule Planning Worksheets

As you build capsules, capture and record all the relevant details using my free, downloadable wardrobe capsule planning worksheets.

Did you know that carefully measuring yourself from head to toe and noting your proportions as well as your body shape, and face shape, when creating capsules will save you time and money when shopping? If you need help determining what to measure and how to measure as well as which tools are essential for maintaining your garments, consider investing in my Wardrobe Wisdom Workbook.

Start With The Basics

Make sure to keep only the items you like most. As you go through your current wardrobe ask yourself: Do I love it? Is it comfortable? Is it flattering? Does it fit? The foundation of every wardrobe should include a few basic pieces. If you’re a traditionalist, you may find these lists helpful:

  • Trousers (slacks, pants)
  • Jeans
  • Skirts
  • White or ivory button-down shirt
  • Sweaters in your best colors
  • Blazers and cardigans
  • Coats, vests
  • Dresses
  • T-shirts
  • Accessories: scarves, jewelry, shoes, boots, handbags, tote bags, umbrellas, sunnies…

An Everyday Capsule

This closet capsule is made up of items worn for casual, everyday wear. It holds the T-shirts and jeans you’d go grocery shopping in and the casual dress you’d wear for Saturday brunch with girlfriends.

Mix your best colored items with neutral tones to create a versatile everyday wardrobe from just a few items. A blazer or trench coat, paired with dark pants and some carefully selected accessories, can elevate a casual outfit. This list of basics might be a good place to start:

  • Jeans
  • Dark pants
  • Wide legged, cropped pants, skirts, skorts
  • Shirts
  • Casual dresses
  • Light sweaters for layering
  • Blazer, cardigan, or duster

A Business Capsule

Your closet capsule for business wear will include work attire, suits (if you wear them) and business casual outfits. How formal your business capsule is depends on your style, industry, and workplace. In your closet, group suits together so you can quickly select one. Then hang blouses and other items by color. Sweaters should be folded, not hung, neatly on shelves to maintain their shape.

Remember, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to look professional. Instead, invest in timeless, classic pieces that pair well together. Here’s a basic list of items to include in your business capsule:

  • Suits (if suits are appropriate in your industry)
  • Trousers (dress pants, slacks)
  • Button down shirts
  • Blouses
  • Sweaters
  • Dresses
  • Blazers
  • Trench coat, scarf, gloves
  • Umbrella, tote bag, sunglasses

A Workout Capsule

Dedicate a portion of your closet or a drawer in your dresser to hold all your workout clothes. What you choose to include is a personal decision based on your activities. Here are a few workout essentials to consider:

  • Yoga pants
  • Workout shorts
  • T-shirts
  • Tanks
  • Sweatshirts
  • Athletic jackets
  • Gym shoes and socks
  • Tote bag, water bottle, credit card + phone case

Special Occasion Closet Capsules

This closet capsule should include the clothing you reserve for special occasions like weddings, parties and going to the theater. How many items you include in your special occasion capsule will depend on how frequently you attend formal events. Use this list of items to start building your capsule:

  • 1 “LBD” aka a “little black dress” (it’s okay if it’s not black!)
  • 2 cocktail outfits (skirts, blouses, pant suits + sparkly tops)
  • 1 dressy coat, shawl, or wrap
  • 1 dressy “clutch” bag (something smaller and more special than your everyday handbag)
  • Jewelry that is more dramatic than what you’d wear in the daytime
  • 1 pair of dressy sandals, shoes, or evening slippers (velvet, metallic, something with some sparkle)

The specific number of items you include is entirely up to you. The pieces included in your capsules should suit your budget, lifestyle and personality. Have fun, coordinate and make the most of your current wardrobe.

As for shoes and accessories, some people prefer to designate items for a particular capsule while others like to be able to wear their favorite pieces with any outfit. Review your shoe and jewelry collection before you decide which options are your best.

If you’d like to learn more, watch this free YouTube video where I share tons of tips on how to create a curated closet.

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