Not so long ago, the fashion world was buzzing about the concept of a capsule wardrobe—the kind of compact closet that only held a bare minimum of pieces that all perfectly matched each other with great ease and much time saved in the morning. Perhaps because the economic downturn was ramping up at the same time that a furious decade of fast-fashion shopping was taking its toll on the capacity of our closets, the capsule wardrobe appeared to be the solution to everyone’s fashion woes. Around that time in 2014, Caroline Rector, a Texan fashion lover who’d had enough of the chaos, began to whittle down her closet to a mere 37 pieces, documenting the process on her brilliant website,
Unfancy. Everyone paid attention to her method.
“I think mine is now somewhere around 50 pieces, but I actually don’t keep a numerical count anymore—instead I go with what feels right. That’s actually one of the biggest changes I’ve made to my capsule. After a year of living with a strict 37-piece wardrobe, I felt that it was time to let my ‘capsule diet’ melt into my real life. I let go of some of the structure, like going on strict shopping fasts and limiting my closet to a specific number of pieces. But I carry the heart of it with me—smaller closet, intentional purchases, less shopping, and more joy.”
“Keep a playful, open attitude, and treat it like a game. You’ll encounter a few frustrations along the way, but a capsule isn’t about suffering—it’s about trying something new and learning more about yourself.”
“At first, limiting your wardrobe to a specific number might help you. But after a while, it might not serve you anymore. Give yourself the freedom to evolve over time as you learn.”
“Instead of buying new clothes right away, give yourself some breathing room and live with your wardrobe as is for a week or a month or however long you like. Just see what it feels like to live with less clothing.”
“Let it be imperfect. I’ve been at this for two years now, and my wardrobe still isn’t perfect. I’ve realised it never will be, and embracing that truth has helped me find peace—in my wardrobe and in my life.”
“Want to test a capsule without really committing? Try a 10-day remix challenge. Pick 10 pieces out of your closet and wear only those pieces for the next 10 days. See how it goes!”
“I work from home, so I spend 70% to 80% of my time at home. But something in me decides that’s not cool enough—so sometimes I trick myself into thinking that I spend 40% of my time at home. Since I’m not being honest with myself, I end up with fantasy-life clothes instead of real-life clothes.” Ready to get your capsule collection together? Go through the gallery below to see the kind of classic pieces that will hold any girl’s closet together—and see more of Caroline’s wise wardrobe advice on her site.
Now you can stream-line your wardrobe for good.
Opening Image: Symphony of Silk
This post was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated by Elinor Block.
Wear this with everything you own.
The pretty red detailing at the bottom is why we’d invest in these trousers.
A classic that you can’t go wrong with.
Gucci isn’t just all about prints. This more conservative skirt is just what you need to give a work wardrobe some sophistication.
There’s nothing more versatile than a pair of black ankle boots.
Super gorgeous and worth investing in.
If you don’t own a pair of boyfriend jeans, try these easy-to-wear versions.
Tie it around your neck for an oversize choker look or round your head during the summer.
While this might be a normal white shirt at first glance, look closer and you’ll discover the tie detail that will accentuate any waist and flatter any body shape.
These will never be a bad idea.
Perfect for work, weddings, and brunches.
A great classic.
You’ll wear this over and over.
These are just high enough to be flattering, but the thicker heel means you won’t start falling over your feet.
Make sure you pair this blazer with the matching Stella McCartney Tamara Stretch-Crepe Track Pants (£400).
Less than £20? We would never have believed it.
We don’t know where we’d be without our classic black belt.