The capsule wardrobe: How to reduce your closet to 37 pieces

A minimalistic lifestyle is said to be the key to our mental freedom. Nothing holds us down more than clutter. Less stuff means more money to spend on experiences and more time to focus on relationships. One great way to trim the fat from our lives is to start with our wardrobes. Do we really need 20 plus pairs of jeans and more scarves than we can wear in a lifetime? Probably not. The capsule wardrobe is the solution. Keep reading to find out what it is and how to do it to take your wardrobe to the next level.


What is a capsule wardrobe?

Firstly, it’s fair to point out that this is not about going out to buy a whole new wardrobe. This is also not about having this specific wardrobe for the rest of our lives. The capsule consists of 37 items. This does not include underwear. The capsule changes along with the seasons, which means there is still room for some much needed retail therapy during the year. Instead of shopping several times per season, the capsule method allows us to shop for clothes just three to four times per year.

How to start your capsule wardrobe

It’s all about reducing. We need to look at what is currently in our wardrobe and start thinning it out. The trick to the capsule is matching items and quality. Having a wardrobe of so few items means we can go for really good quality. The way to make sure that all items match is to work with a color palette that matches. Sticking to white, black, and different shades of a neutral color will allow the wearer to mix and match the wardrobe into hundreds of different looks. Pick a cool grey palette or a warm beige palette and stick with it throughout the wardrobe. It will be quite a surprise to go through the closet and realize how much stuff we hardly ever wear. Pick the best of what you have and what will work well with the chosen color palette. Use a bright handbag, scarf or jewelry to bring some rich color to the look.

The ideal capsule should consist of the following items:


17 tops. These are spread over T-shirts, long sleeve shirts, sleeveless shirts, outerwear tops, jackets, and sweatshirts.


Ten bottom items consisting of jeans, formal pants, comfortable pants, shorts, and at least one skirt.


Ten pairs of shoes spread over sneakers, boots, heels, sandals, and pumps will do the trick.


The above is a tried and trusted guideline to work from, although each individual can figure out what works for them with regards to the ratio of items. Once the closet has been emptied, the shopping has been done, and the closet has been restocked with the 37 items, there should be no more shopping for at least 3 months. That’s right, only wear these 37 items for three months and change it up again with the change of season. Obviously we don’t expect anyone to throw away items between seasons, carry over most of the wardrobe and put the others in storage for next year’s season again.

This method gives us the opportunity to regularly assess our style and keep up with the latest seasonal trends without breaking the bank.