Three Rules for Organizing a Capsule Wardrobe

The following is a guest post from regular contributor, Morgan from Morganize with Me

Do you often find yourself just staring at your closet, feeling stuck in a rut with how to put together an outfit? I still have this challenge from time to time, but it’s happening less and less.

About a year ago I decided to move towards more of a “capsule” wardrobe concept. Really ever since I read Jen Hatmaker’s book Seven I’ve been on a continual purging focus, especially when it comes to my clothing. By moving to a relaxed Capsule Wardrobe concept I now have less clothing to choose from yet more outfit options. Win, win, right?!?


While organizing my Capsule Wardrobes I have focused on these three rules:

Only clothes that I love (and wear).

Tops and bottoms that GO together.

Overall less clothing, but more outfit options, with quality pieces.

Before I jump into the three organizing rules, I want to mention that there are many ways to organize a capsule wardrobe. You can do four seasonal (3 month) capsules, two (6 month) capsules, or any variety that works for your lifestyle, climate, and/or clothing needs. You can determine how many capsules and how many items. This is going to be largely dependent on your life. Just remember, less is more.

I personally have created two (flexible) 6 month capsule wardrobes, one for Spring/Summer and one for Fall/Winter which has been perfect for where I currently live and how I need to dress. So start by asking yourself what approach from a timeline perspective you should take when it comes to organizing a capsule wardrobe. Now onto the rules!

Rule #1: Have only clothes that you love (and wear).

I don’t dress up for the office, instead I need a variety of clothing, from teaching yoga to cleaning house to going to work functions with my hubby. And honestly, I’m less concerned with being fashionable and more concerned with being in clothing that I like to wear, fits well, and makes me feel “put together.”

So start by deciding which categories of clothing you need. You don’t need to consider your jewelry, accessories, workout clothes, pajamas, underwear etc. If you need to purge within these categories do so, but they shouldn’t be considered as part of your core capsule(s).

Then purge! Pull everything (every.single.thing) out. Have someone help you by telling you what looks good on you too. Your clothes need to fit well and they need to feel good when you wear them. Commit to only keeping the clothes you love and wear.


Rule #2: Have tops and bottoms that go together.

A common challenge with putting together an outfit is having the right top to go with the right bottom. For example: skinny pants need a pair of boots or flats, a flowing skirt requires a fitted top, and leggings look better with a looooong shirt.

So…..after completing Rule #1, see where you have “holes” when it comes creating outfits.

What pair of shoes do you need to add in order to complete outfits within your closet? What style of shirt do you need to purchase to finally create an “outfit” with a certain skirt? What pair of bottoms (pants/shorts) do you need to add to go with a specific top?

Plug the holes by completing more outfits and shop with intention. Keep a running list of specific clothing items that you need purchase to help you create more outfits and then stick to the list. Commit to having tops and bottoms that have coordinating partners, no singles allowed!


Rule #3: Have overall less clothing, but more outfit options, with quality pieces.

In reality, you and I probably only wear a percentage of our clothing on a regular basis. This percentage varies from person to person, but I’ve read it can be as low as 20%!

Let’s flip this around and get you closer to wearing 80% of your clothing. Commit to having less in your closet but more outfit options, rule #2. Then as you add more clothing to your closet consider investing in quality and more traditional pieces. Pieces that will provide you with versatility and allow you more outfit combinations. Commit to quality over quantity.


Are you inspired to weed out your closet? I dare you to be a little ruthless. Turn that percentage around! Start wearing more of what you have and love by creating an intentional Capsule Wardrobe(s). For even more tips on organizing a cohesive wardrobe, see my {M}organized Fashion series.


Morgan is the energetic and motivated, but also realistic girl, behind Morganize with Me. She is a list lover, fitness fan, and chaos controller! Her mission is to share tried and true techniques that she hopes will encourage her readers and clients as they focus on their health and homes. Join one of her Challenges and be sure to check out her Shop full of fabulous organizing printables!

Filed under: Closets, Guest Bloggers, Morgan, Simplicity


11 Responses to Three Rules for Organizing a Capsule Wardrobe

  1. 1
    OM says

    I’ve been interested in capsule wardrobes for a while. I’ll keep these rules on my mind when I finally take the step, because they make a lot of sense!

  2. 2
    Sabrina Quairoli says

    I have been doing this for about a year now and it really does make my decision making in the morning so much easier. I can now even lay out my entire week on Sunday and not have to plan at all. woohoo. Thanks for sharing.

  3. 3
    Pamela List says

    I have found that I might purge once and then something will click in my head and then I can purge some more. I think I may be a mood purger. lol

    • 3.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      I always find once I get going I get on a roll, I really get into tossing things out 🙂

    • 3.2
      Meredith from Penelope Loves Lists says

      I’m TOTALLY a mood purger. Maybe mostly when I’m anxious. All of a sudden, I’ll go on a de-cluttering or purging tear!

  4. 4
    LessThisMess says

    What a great concept! I’m going to try this with my wardrobe, thanks 🙂

  5. 5
    Daria says

    Awesome article! I also have two six month capsules-because I live in the south. One day I decided to try on everything I own and if I didn’t feel absolutely FABULOUS in it, out it went. I had far fewer clothes but that process helped me identify dozens of new outfit combinations! Less is totally more.

  6. 6
    Katia says

    I’ve never heard this name but actually I’ve been thinking recently about doing sth like that with my clothes. I have two wardrobes so it shouldn’t be difficult… One for the things that I wear. one for later 😉

  7. 7
    Meredith from Penelope Loves Lists says

    My closet isn’t crazy crowded, I’m fairly spare by nature. BUT, I do tend to keep things I shouldn’t because I’m always sure I’m going to lose the 3-5 lbs that would make that shirt or pants look great.

    At 42, that might be a pipe dream. Toss!

    • 7.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Yep toss it! I lost weight last year and I was so excited that I bought all new clothes anyway rather than wear the ones I had saved aside. Oops 🙂

  8. 8
    Nicole Q-Schmitz says

    Not sure if I could do a true capsule wardrobe (I wear too many things all year round), but I am thinking about doing another big clothing purge now!


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