11.30.15 How to build a capsule wardrobe

Hi everyone! I hope you are having a lovely Monday. I have been receiving lots of questions by email or through comments about how to put together a capsule wardrobe.
While I am no expert I thought I would share how I did it. There are many methods and my way may not work for everyone but if helps even one person, that would be great!
I went through three main steps to get my capsule to where it is now.

1. First, I decluttered and pared down my closet.
Have you ever looked at your closet full of clothes and felt you had nothing to wear? Have you ever bought new items and left the tags on for weeks? Do you reach for your same favorite clothing items over and over, while leaving the rest of your clothes untouched?
Me too.
If you said yes to any of those questions than it might be time for you to declutter. To do this I pulled every single clothing item I own together and placed it on my bed. From storage to other closets (I even found a few random bits in my car – oops.) Bring every single item you own out and put it together so you can really see what you have. For me, this included coats, shoes, accessories, athletic wear, pajamas, underwear, bras, socks, bathing suits- all of it!
2. Now, pick up each item you own and ask yourself, “Does this spark joy?”
This process may seem silly or strange but it will soon become obvious which items you love and which ones you are willing to let go of. For the items that do spark joy, hang them up in your closet. For the items that don’t, thank them for keeping you warm or making you feel beautiful at one time and then place them in the donate pile.
Please don’t keep the “maybe” or “someday” items. You don’t need them, and you don’t want them. Trust me.
Next, as you hang the items that spark joy in your closet try to notice what they have in common. Are they similar colors? Are they all patterns and prints? Are they all soft, comfortable cotton? Do you have any items at all that truly spark joy? This will hopefully start to give you a sense of what your style is. As I went along doing this I realized everything I loved was grey or blue. All of the items were comfortable and soft.
I found some old pictures of this process. I’ll insert them here so you can get a sense of what the process will look like.
I’m so glad that I have these pictures to look back on because I have given so many of these “spark joy” items away since these pictures were taken. If you look closely you can also spot a few house items that I have given away as well. And you know what? I don’t miss a single one. For me, the initial paring down process sparked a need to constantly be letting things go. Over time, it became more and more clear what I loved and what I did not.
3. Lastly, after you have sorted through and really pared down (only keeping what really sparks joy) it’s time to see what you’re missing.
I pared down so much that I was left with four or five tops and not enough work clothing. So I looked at: what I had, what I loved, and what I needed. I purchased three grey tops that are currently in my winter wardrobe (they were in my fall wardrobe as well) and one pair of dress pants (the maroon ones in my winter wardrobe).
I did not spend massive amounts of money on this last step. Each item I bought was less than $20 and I sent a lot of things to ThreadUp. I swapped my donate items for a Jack Wills’ T-shirt and a pair of Jack Wills’ jeans through ThreadUp. I sent in a lot of my items that didn’t spark joy and got back a few “high end” pieces that I love so much.
Something I have noticed about having a capsule wardrobe, one of the many benefits, is that you become more creative with your outfits. You start putting things together that you may not have before. It makes getting dressed more fun.
Below is the outfit, from my capsule, that I am wearing to work today. (Scroll over items to see where they are from)
I hope this helps!
Talk soon,
Bonnie Rae xx


5 responses to “11.30.15 How to build a capsule wardrobe”

  1. Creating my capsule wardrobe was very much a matter of introspection for me. The first thing that clicked was “Wow, I wear the same thing every Monday.” I realized that after I got caught up on the laundry on the weekend I would always reach for the same few things. I thought about why this is, and I realized that these items are what I feel most comfortable, most confident, and most polished in. And if my entire wardrobe consisted of items like this, it would no longer be a struggle for me to decide what to wear.

    Thank you so much Bonnie Rae, your blog is an inspiration. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How wonderful Jenny! Being able to pause and reflect the way you did is such a gift. Thank you for reading! 🙂


  2. […] You don’t have to go shopping to build your capsule, start with what you have. Go through your clothing and only keep the items that you reach for consistently. For more on how to build a capsule check out my previous post. […]


  3. […] it has taken me a lot longer to put together my fall/winter capsule wardrobe this year. I was waiting to see if the blues would pass, and while they still make an appearance […]


  4. […] capsule wardrobes feels second nature to me now. I have been making them since 2015 and I have a rhythm and system that works for […]


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