Your 52 Piece Year Round Capsule Wardrobe
After playing around with capsule wardrobes for a few years now, I think I’ve got a handle on what exactly I want out of my closet. No easy feat, I assure you.
I started out trying those seasonal capsule wardrobes. Then, I tried the 5 piece capsule wardrobe (can you say “Crazy!”). I tried the whole “I only own 40 pieces of clothing for the rest of my life” schtick too.
I finally settled on the idea of a year round capsule wardrobe, on my terms.
I don’t know about you, but the idea of only 30-40 items for an entire year makes me start sweating. It’s not a lot, once you start thinking about it. I loveeee my white t-shirt but I can’t say I’m going to love it after I’ve worn it three times this week and it’s got weeks old pit stains that won’t come out.
I like to have a little fun with trends or vintage pieces or just new styles I want to try out. I simply cannot commit to an entirely basic wardrobe. And there is no shame in that!
Your closet needs to work for you, not someone else.
So, I came up with a year round capsule that would allow me the best of both worlds.
I love my basics, but I didn’t want to restrict myself to just basics. So, I made room for trendy pieces.
Then, I figured out the minimum amount of each type of clothing I would need in a year, taking into account seasons. Finally, I took each item of clothing and added the option for a set number of trendy or extra clothing of that type.
For example, I allow myself 4 pairs of jeans in my closet for a year. But, I am allowed to buy or own one extra pair of jeans in a cut that may not be as versatile or will go out of style in a couple of years. My basic pairs could be skinny jeans and straight leg jeans, and my fun pair could be a pair of kick flare jeans.
Confusing? I hope not.
Don’t worry, though. I made an example that is pretty darn close to what I actually own in my year round capsule. Oh, and a handy dandy checklist for your new year round capsule wardrobe you’re sure to want.
52 pieces for a wholeeee year sounds a heck of a lot better to me. And, if you happen to get tired of any of your fun pieces, you can switch them out for a new one.
My recommendation: Invest in the basics, go cheap-ish on the fun pieces.
You don’t want the cheapest of the cheap for any of your clothing, because that’s not going to be a piece that looks good, holds up well, or is very good for the environment. So, you can shop at Target, but really check the quality on those clothes before you let them in.
You can see that most of my basic pieces in my capsule are neutral colors. This is purely personal preference, but I do find it makes it easier to mix and match. I let my trendy pieces have more color and act as statement pieces to complement my basics.
I still stuck to somewhat of a color palette, though. My colorful pieces range in the cream, pink, green, and other muted colors area. I like to try out prints or embroidery or a textured piece, because those are typically the kinds of things that go out of style or I tend to get tired of quickly.
I love graphic tees, but after a season or two I’m over it. That’s why I never include them in my basics, I just get a couple and mix them in when I’m feeling it and replace them when I need a new ironic statement.
Types of Clothing
I made a checklist of the types of clothing you should have in your capsule wardrobe, but I didn’t get super specific with it. I did that for a reason.
I reallyyyy don’t like lists that tell me I need to own 2 pairs of dark skinny jeans, one dress pant, two midi skirts, and one maxi dress to have the ultimate wardrobe. What if that doesn’t work for my life? In fact, it probably won’t!
That’s why I made this list purely with the types of clothing you should own. You should probably own 4 pairs of jeans, but the cut and color should be up to you. You probably need a few dresses too, but make them what you want! I prefer midi dresses, so that’s what I get.
I specifically put the tops by sleeve length, because that’s all you should focus on. If you want to get all short sleeve t-shirts, go for it! If you prefer blouses, only get short sleeve blouses.
And, if you just aren’t a jean person, maybe you substitute jeans for pants. Or switch out dresses for skirts. The checklist should get you to a pretty well-rounded wardrobe, but it’s important to make tweaks for your own life.
You can download a copy of the checklist below. I loveeee keeping a copy in my closet, because I periodically go through it and make sure I’m not missing anything or that I haven’t acquired too much of one item.
White blocks indicate basic items, and blue boxes indicate fun and trendy extras. Most of the time, this is what I stick to. Rarely, very rarely I make an exception for one special item or two that isn’t on the list. Life happens. Don’t get down if you go outside of your allotted amount. You are human.
It’s always a good idea to set a budget, too. One of the main benefits of a capsule wardrobe is saving money! That is, if you can resist temptation. Set a budget for those fun, extra items so you don’t go wild and constantly replace them. If you feel the need to switch out your trendy items throughout the year, I would strongly suggest you do it no more than once.
Boredom is inevitable, but patience is a virtue.
Want to get even more out of your capsule wardrobe?
Check out my One Week Wardrobe system, which makes sure I get the absolute most out of my closet, all year round.
P.S. If you want to know where any of the items in my example wardrobe are from, comment below and I’ll get you a link!