Closets can easily become crammed full of every item of clothing you’ve purchased in the past decade. At Home Improvement Leads, we promote simplifying the choice you have to make every morning when you peer into a cluttered closet. One way to eliminate what professional organizers call “decision fatigue” is to create a capsule wardrobe.

The term “capsule wardrobe” originated in 1973 from fashion entrepreneur Susie Faux. She believed in curating a collection of essential clothing items that would never go out of style. By maintaining a closet full of items that mix and match well and feel comfortable and timeless, you’ll cut down on your decision time in the morning. Best of all, you’ll always have a strong sense of self in whatever outfit you choose.

Capsule wardrobe 1

Time to Say Goodbye

In order to make your own capsule wardrobe, you’ll need to take a critical look at each piece of clothing you own. Start purging those items you never wear, the pieces not in your current size and the things you put on and just don’t feel comfortable in. If there’s something you know you should toss out, but simply feel like you can’t part with, try it on one last time, snap a photo of it, and let it go! Pass it on to a friend or donate the item.

What Do You Need?

What will make up your capsule wardrobe? Style blogger Caroline Rector decided on 37 items total for her closet, with 9 bottoms, 15 tops, and 4 jackets or dresses (depending on the season.) She recommends using a “3 of each” rule in order to have a casual option, a statement option, and an in-between option.

Aura Image Consulting promotes making a time log of your lifestyle before deciding on what clothing you’ll need. See how much time you spend per week in professional, casual or nightlife clothing. “For every 20 hours of each activity, you should have one capsule. If it’s 10 hours or less, create a half a capsule.”

How many items make up your capsule wardrobe is up to you (though most people seem to agree on around 30 items per capsule). The most important aspect is that things “match up” and look intentionally put together.

Capsule wardrobe 2

Organize

You can organize your capsule items by season within your closet. Regardless of how exactly you categorize your items (perhaps with tops and bottoms in one place, outerwear in another, and so on) hanging all of your capsule clothing will keep it visually present. These sartorial cues will help you keep sight of the colors and style you’re focused on daily. It’s like opening the door to a perfectly painted mural of what you wish your life to be.

Of course, you’ll always have those off-the-wall articles of clothing that might come in handy one day. Maybe an old painting outfit, a fun costume or a re-wearable bridesmaid dress. These items will need to be re-homed into a somewhat downgraded location (like the very back of the closet or in a drawer) so they aren’t mixing with the carefully chosen capsule items.

Capsule wardrobe 3

Your Perfectly Curated Capsule

Imagine opening your closet to see only clothes that you actually want to wear and feel comfortable expressing yourself in. Your thoughtful looks will always read as uniquely and smartly “you.” From now on, when shopping for new garments, you’ll muse over each piece, “Will this be worth hanging in my gallery of perfectly selected clothes?” It will be as if you’re a living art piece!

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