Creating the perfect, non-restrictive capsule wardrobe

Ever since I heard about the concept of a capsule wardrobe, I have taken it as a challenge to achieve.

First I started with Project 333, which basically means living on 33  items of clothing (including accessories and shoes and outerwear) for 3 months. I loved the concept of this! As some of you may remember, earlier in the summer I decided to try not to buy anything ‘new’ (but I could buy consignment clothing) for a year, and I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to minimize.

The problem, however, is that I couldn’t figure out how to possibly make my closet that small. I got rid of hundreds of items (seriously) and still got nowhere close to 33 items. It’s like that number was hanging over my head and taunting me, because I felt like a capsule wardrobe failure for not being able to prune down my closet enough.

However, I still made progress! My closet became much smaller and more manageable and I knew I was moving in the right direction. 

Well, time went on and I started filling my closet with things from the consignment shops and I realized that I was buying things without a strategy and was justifying it because it wasn’t ‘new’. Well, I would bring things into my closet and couldn’t figure out what I could possibly let go of, so needless to say, my wardrobe began expanding again.

We moved to Seattle and my closet size decreased more than I thought possible, so minimizing my closet has (once again) become a high priority for me.

Creating a Capsule Wardrobe

And this is where Capsules by Cladwell came into the picture. (THANK GOODNESS.) This site/tool is awesome for helping women to create personalized capsule wardrobes for each season. Basically, you go through the tool and fill out a lot of information about yourself so that the tool can create an entire list of what your individual closet should contain for a specific season and stage of life. You then go through the list to ‘check off’ what you already have and what you still need, so by the end of the process you have a unique and specific shopping list to complete your wardrobe! It even tells you what colors you need in every piece based on preferences you fill out.

Creating a Capsule Wardrobe

The info the tool collects includes neutral colors you normally wear, accent colors you love, and activities you do regularly along with what outfits you would normally choose for those activities. For instance, I selected that I stay home with Clara every day, and I selected some comfy clothing pieces for that. Then I said that I have play dates a few times a week and selected slightly more put-together outfits for those. I said I work out occasionally, so that I could include workout items in my capsule wardrobe as well. I included church and outings with friends and date nights… basically everything that could be on my social calendar this season.

This is a portion of what Capsules said should be in my closet:

Capsules by Cladwell

What I also love about this tool is that it generates what should be in my closet, and then I can still add additional pieces that are already in my closet that might not be on the list, or even things that I know I want to buy. This is all about flexibility, not restrictions!

Capsules is terrific for the woman who wants to minimize her wardrobe but not to the point of frustration or feeling like you’re living without something you absolutely need. If you’re like me and get bogged down by the number of items you ‘should’ have instead of achieving the overall goal of simply living with less, this tool is for you!

I love that this site understands that not every woman needs the same amount of clothing options. It takes into account that some women work, some stay home with kids, some go on regular dates, some go to more parties, etc etc. Now, because I have a shopping list, I can buy clothing very intentionally.

I also loved that this process forced me to actually use Pinterest to figure out what colors I actually want to wear as neutrals and accents. Every little bit of self-awareness when it comes to my closet helps!

What I don’t love as much is that this app is not as ‘easy’ as simply setting aside massive amounts of clothes, although that is the first step in this process. I was forced to be self-aware (I know I know, tragic, right?) and go through every single item in my closet in much more detail than I generally enjoy doing. It definitely works and I have a minimalist closest that works for my lifestyle, but it was also time consuming and very detail-oriented. For example, yes, I may have a blouse, but is it in the right color?! So much to think about!

Overall, for $5 per month ($15 per season), this product is a no-brainer for me. I know what should be in my closet, what I have and what I still ‘need’ to buy, and also the items of clothing that really don’t fit my lifestyle needs and style right now. This list will definitely keep me from over-buying items that I don’t need and will assist me in making smarter and more intentional pieces in the future.

I really encourage you to sign up for Capsules if you’re attempting to redo your closet in a more minimal and/or intentional way. Or even if you’re stuck and just need a great starting point to begin your capsule wardrobe!

Do you feel like a capsule wardrobe flunkie? Is a capsule wardrobe appealing to you?


I was given the Capsules app for free in exchange for writing about my experience, but all opinions are my own and I wrote this post in hopes that you can benefit from using it!

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