Spring Cleaning: Closet Purging & Creating a Capsule Wardrobe

Curious about all this "capsule wardrobe" talk you've been hearing? Trust me: it's been difficult creating a capsule wardrobe of my own, but I swear by these few tips + tricks!

First, let's purge what you've been working with for the past God knows how long!


Take everything out of your closet, lay it on your bed or a place where it is easily accessible and not difficult to see each piece. Use bags or boxes to separate your items. Label these containers with the following: To Keep, To Give Away, To Throw Out.


Does this still fit? Have I worn this in the past 6 months? Is this damaged, and if so, will I pay to repair it or will it be an easy repair I can do myself? Where would I wear this? Do I feel AMAZING when I wear it? Would I still buy this / connect with this piece today? Proceed to separate your items into the previously mentioned labeled containers!


It should be common sense: any item that you are unaware of its origins needs to be tossed. If you can't remember where you got it, why, or you haven't worn it for a long while, there's no need to be holding on to this item, unless it is of sentimental value and you have somewhere you can store it for safekeeping.


Since you finished purging, it's now important to take inventory of what you are keeping, to avoid buying similar items at the store when you're looking to design your capsule wardrobe. Go through your "To Keep" container and take notes that you can bring with you to the store!

Now, it's time to begin your capsule wardrobe adventure! We start with the following:


First, you must decipher your overall style. Are you a jeans & sweatshirt type of gal (think: Jennifer Aniston)? Classy and timeless (think: Jackie O)? Dark and fierce (think: Kat Von D)? Once you nail down your general style label, you can begin to think about the most common colors and prints you would be wearing within this style bracket.


Generally speaking, when females talk of a capsule wardrobe, they are implying the style of neutral colors and timeless pieces. Setting your intentions for your overall color palette needs to be in line with your overall style. Jennifer might wear light browns and olive greens, whereas Jackie O may tote pastels and Kat Von D, blacks and deep reds.

In addition to this overall color palette, you must decide your accent prints. I can see Jennifer choosing denims and stripes, Jackie O with florals and Kat Von D with lace and leather. Prints can contain different physical fabrications or patterned designs.


Once you've nailed down your style preferences, it's time to think about your wardrobe necessities. Start by picking some jackets - one or two novelty jackets, along with a nice protective rain jacket. Then, grab several shirts - a variety of types: tees, tanks, blouses, etc. Along with several bottoms: jeans, leggings, skirts, etc. Grab a few dresses. 4-7 shoes you can cycle through and apply to many different outfit types. Then select a few handbags that also go with a variety of looks. These all need to fit your main color palette.


In addition to necessities, you also have your "nice-to-know-ya" pieces (as I like to call them - it makes them sound friendly!). This is where you will incorporate your accent prints. Your denim jacket, your floral printed maxi dress, your leather liquid leggings. I like to think of my capsule wardrobe split up into these two types: my necessities make up 80%, while these are just 20%.

When shopping to stock your capsule wardrobe, you must think about:


How long will the item last? What's it made of? Where was it made? Who was it made by? What is the maker's reputation for quality vs. quantity? When designing a capsule wardrobe, the focus is on investing in pieces that may cost a bit more than you're used to paying, but will last a lifetime. It's not about buying what's "in fashion", it's about buying what is comfy, unique and practical.


As I mentioned earlier, it's really important that your capsule pieces can transform through different looks. Your favorite heeled boots must fit with most of your clothing pieces, and your go-to handbag (or two) must be another neutral color that transcends all outfit boundaries. Because a capsule wardrobe is all about downsizing, your items need to work together!


Where are you going to wear these items? What purpose do they serve? Because you aren't buying a plethora of items, it's vital that you do not simply buy an outfit because "it'll look cute for Friday night's award gala" or "Sunday morning's sermon" - your outfits must apply to many occasions and purposes. By mixing and matching just the right individual pieces, your capsule wardrobe should be able to please your every need.


Remind yourself: your capsule wardrobe is for you in this very moment - not for you 50 pounds less or more from now - right now! Go with the fit of the clothing, not the size on the tag. If it's the right fit for your body type, that's just the trick!


Some say that they live by the "one in, one out" motto - for every piece you buy, you must also give up a piece from your closet. When shopping to complete your capsule wardrobe, just keep this in mind. This will also help you scale down on your shopping trips (and your lack of $$) if you stick to this rule and hold yourself accountable.


If you feel as though a capsule wardrobe is limiting you or making you a generic copy of everyone else, think of it this way: it's just you becoming more YOU, with less stuff! Everyone is going to pick a different path for their capsule - it's not just the same thing in everyone's wardrobe!

I hope these tips were helpful as you begin your journey! Don't forget to comment below with all the deets about the color palette + patterns you chose when you finish! Good luck xoxo




Kathryn is the lead contributor + founder at FashionablyFrank.com. Obsessed with leading a life of balance, she started the blog in 2013. Since graduating from The Evergreen State College (Washington) in 2016, she is now a digital marketing specialist through her business, Fashionably Frank Marketing. She believes a cup of coffee is the answer to all of life's problems + that all women should strive to embrace a #girlboss mantra.