I’m Quitting Capsule Wardrobes!

As the title says, I am quitting capsule wardrobes!  This may come as a surprise to some of you.  It certainly did to me, once I realized this is what I wanted to do.

First off, I would like to say that I have nothing against capsule wardrobes.  I think that it is a great tool for teaching you how to live with less, to understand your core style, and to appreciate quality over quantity.  It is difficult to appreciate those things until you have carefully planned a smaller versatile wardrobe and lived with it for a while.

I think that if one starts this process, falls in love with it, and wants to continue, they should by all means do that.  However, I feel I have learned what I needed to learn from this experience and now I need to move on.

Let me explain150922-0982


  1.  Living by principles rather than rules.

I want to stop thinking so much about how to live my life and actually start living it!  I don’t know if that makes any sense, but that is what I have been feeling as of lately and it has made me come to the conclusion that I do not want to follow by the “rules” of a capsule wardrobe for the rest of my life.

Granted, I learned a lot going by the rules, but living by those rules merely helped me to see the principles behind them.  For example, limiting the amount of clothes to a specific number (the rule) helped me to see that I don’t need that many clothes to have a wardrobe I am happy with (the principle).

Other principles I have learned are quality vs quantity, avoiding trends that are not my true style, having versatile pieces that all go together, learning to part with clothes that are worn out or not my style anymore, and the list goes on and on.

These principles have become a part of me and will effect my wardrobe decisions the rest of my life, regardless of the exact amount of items that I have. In my opinion the actual amount doesn’t really matter as long as every item is something that I love and wear all the time, that’s the most important thing I’ve learned in this process.

2.  Freedom to create and add items as I wish to.

Ideally doing a capsule wardrobe you should create your wardrobe before or at the start of  that season, which means planning, purchasing and making items almost in one fell swoop, so you are prepared and not shopping the rest of the season.  And while that is great in the beginning to help teach self-control, I feel that I have learned how to control my spending and don’t need that rule.  I’d much rather have the freedom to make things and shop as I feel the need to.  If I find an amazing piece that I have been needing, I don’t want to feel guilty for getting it nor do I want to feel rushed into making or buying new pieces.

Of course, this doesn’t mean I am going to be going on shopping, thrifting, or sewing splurges.  I must always work on exercising self-control and evaluate whether something is a need or a want, and whether it is a part of my core style.  But these are things that I have come to appreciate and have become a part of who I am so I don’t see myself having a huge issue with this.

I’m sure I will still make some shopping and sewing mistakes, but then again, I know I would even if I was doing an actual capsule wardrobe.  The important thing is to learn from those mistakes.

3.  Goal of an “all seasons” minimal wardrobe 

I am really not that into creating different wardrobes for different seasons.  It just doesn’t make sense to me and it feels a bit stressful.  In my mind, there is really only two seasons: Hot and Cold. Therefore, there are really only a few types of clothing that I don’t wear all year long, my winter coat, boots, my bathing suit and shorts for examples.  Everything else, could be worn all year.  Even sweaters and cardigans I wear all year because I get cold indoors easily.

I’d much rather have a versatile wardrobe that is appropriate for all seasons, with a few seasonal items that get mixed in during those times of the year.  Storing away perfectly good clothes that I could and want to wear all year long just doesn’t make sense to me.

Sure there are some items that I may store away, like heavy thick sweaters, heavy coats, tall boots; the things that I won’t  wear at all for half or more of the year.  But most of the things I own are things that I could wear all year long.

I actually don’t own many clothes at all anymore. I honestly probably have around 50 capsule wardrobe worthy items, all of which could fit in my closet quite comfortably.  Granted there are still things I’d like to add to my wardrobe but even then it wouldn’t be so much to make my closet seem out of control.

I prefer to see all my clothes right there in front of me.  It makes sense to use my closet to store my clothes, that is what it is meant for.  Why hide clothes out of site where they are just taking up space when they could actually be used? Clothes are meant to be worn and if I could wear most of my clothes all year then that is what I would like to do.


Now, that I have explained my reasons for quitting capsule wardrobes, I want you to know that I am still committed to having a minimalist wardrobe.  These are the principles that I am going to live by in order to continue on this minimalist journey, that perhaps, you may be interested in adopting too:

  • Pick items that you absolutely love. Before adding anything new to  your wardrobe, ask yourself “Do I love this?”  If there is any hesitation, then don’t; you obviously don’t love it.  If you have an item that you don’t love but fills a need, then focus on replacing that item with one you do love.
  • Focus on versatile pieces that can be worn all year. When adding new garments, pay attention to the fabric, style and color.  Is it something that works well with my other pieces and can be worn all year long?  Keep strictly seasonal items to a minimum and to what is appropriate for where you live.
  • Focus on quality.  Try to focus on clothes that are higher quality, that will last a long time and avoid things that are lower quality and would need to be replaced often.
  • Stick to your style.  Avoid trendy pieces that you may tire of quickly and instead stick to pieces that reflect your core style and make you feel confident.
  • Replace and donate.  When something gets worn out, replace it.  Don’t hang onto doubles of everything.  If you find something isn’t your style anymore, donate it.  Don’t let perfectly good clothing take up space in your closet if it isn’t being worn.

Like I said before, I have nothing against capsule wardrobes.  In fact, if you are trying to pair down your closet and are struggling with it, I would recommend doing a capsule wardrobe for a while as a tool to help you pair down.

However, I no longer enjoy doing capsule wardrobes and what I really want is to focus on having a versatile minimalist wardrobe, with pieces that I could pretty much wear all year.

So what are your thoughts?  Do you like capsule wardrobes, or do you like this idea of an “all seasons” minimalist wardrobe?


4 thoughts on “I’m Quitting Capsule Wardrobes!

  1. Erin C says:

    Hi! I’m relatively new to capsules, and started following you and some other looking for inspiration. I’ve already been finding some of the things you mentioned to be true ( and other capsulers seem to as well). Currently I’m still in capsule mode in order to pare down an overwhelming wardrobe, but thiS is my end goal! Good luck!


  2. Stephanie says:

    I can totally see where you are coming from. I’ve only really done a capsule wardrobe once so I’m going to do more to learn more about my style and what I want my wardrobe to really look like but I hope that I can make it to where you are now! I really want a small, curated, fits my life wardrobe that I can enjoy for years to come.


    • samantha says:

      I think you can definitely get there! It’s really taken me about 4 years of downsizing slowly to finally get to the point that I am at right now. Doing the capsule wardrobe really helped me let go of some things I was hanging on to. It was the final thing I needed to prove to me that I could minimize more like I wanted to. It also is what really helped me define my style which helped me immensely. But it does take time. I had to take steps of downsizing to get to the point that I felt comfortable and ready to do something like a capsule, which was what I needed to take things to the next level. Take your time, have patience, and keep at it and I’m sure you will achieve the results you want.


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