Why You Only Need 37 Items in Your Closet
Introducing the capsule wardrobe from Unfancy
It might just be that we've been bit by the cleaning bug, but with the rise of Marie Kondo’s tidying technique and the whole minimalist trend, it seems that less is definitely more these days. Taking that idea to the next level is blogger Caroline Rector of Unfancy. She’s one of a few who have dared to whittle their wardrobe down to a mere 37 pieces to wear for a full season. No shopping or swapping allowed. (Lee Vosburgh of Style Bee has even gone as far as ten items. Whoa.) Intrigued? Scroll down to see how it works.
What Is a Capsule Wardrobe?
Rector defines it as “a mini wardrobe made up of 37 really versatile pieces that you totally love to wear.” The beauty of a capsule wardrobe is that it’s applicable to any style, yet the end goal is the same: to save you time getting dressed, money spent on clothes and energy thinking about what to wear. The final result is four solid capsule wardrobes, one for each season. All you have to do is pull them out of storage, swap out a few pieces and you’re good to go.
How Do You Get Started?
First things first: You need to clean out your closet. Take absolutely everything out and lay it on your bed. Rector makes it clear that you shouldn’t cheat--"taking everything out at once is the secret to style clarity." As you sift through your “Keep,” “Toss” and “Donate” piles and start putting all the pieces you love back into your closet, your style will practically scream at you.
What’s the Key to Paring Down?
The pieces you should include in your capsule: tops, bottoms, dresses, outerwear and shoes. The pieces you should not include in your capsule: workout clothes, jewelry, accessories, purses, swimsuits, pajamas, underwear and the jeans you wear when you paint your living room. You can keep all those.
What’s the Ideal Number?
Rector settled on 37 items because of how it broke down in each category: 9 shoes, 9 bottoms, 15 tops, 2 dresses and 2 jackets. However, there is no hard and fast rule. Rector’s capsule wardrobe changed for spring, when she opted for more transitional jackets and fewer tops (8 shirts, 8 bottoms, 7 jackets, 1 dress, 10 shoes). Summer may also include fewer jackets with more tops and breezy dresses. In other words, the number and the items may be different for everyone.
Why More Shoes?
Rector believes shoes are the easiest way to update a look. It’s also good to keep this number fairly high because you never know what situation you’re going to run into that requires specific footwear. For example, that upcoming bridal shower of yours calls for a heel, even if you’ll wear it only that one time.
Can You Have More Than One Capsule?
The point is to really streamline things based on the season, but if you work in a corporate environment that requires a totally different set of outfits than your weekend rotation, it’s OK to create a collection for that. But maybe consider a few smaller sets. For example, a 20-piece working wardrobe and a 15-piece weekend wardrobe.
What Happens at the End of the Season?
Your clothes go one of three places: Some are rolled over into your next capsule wardrobe; most are put into storage for next year and the worn-out items are donated. You’re then allowed to shop and add a few pieces in for the next season.
Up for the Challenge?
Think you can hack it? Check out the Unfancy wardrobe planner.