Minimalism Series: Creating a Capsule Collection

by Ari Takata-Vasquez


This is the third entry in our minimalism series, you can read the last entry “what is a capsule collection?”, here.

minimalist clothing style

Every piece in this outfit does double duty and is a staple part of my wardrobe

Last time, we talked about what a capsule collection and some of the benefits of creating a well-curated closet. Now we’ll talk about the process of creating a capsule collection you’ll love. While a lot of people think about closet organization and feel stressed, it doesn’t have to be that way! If you keep the right frame of mind, you’ll feel like your shopping in your own closet. It feels so good to put together new looks and outfits without even leaving your home.

There are basically three goals with creating a capsule collection, here’s the cliff notes version:

    1. don’t stress getting dressed
    2. love everything in your closet
    3. own fewer, better things

The idea is to build a closet that you can dress for almost any event with. You’ll want a mix of both casual and dressy items. Remember, this is about refining your style, not redefining it.

capsule wardrobe closet

My closet. Everything is simple and works together. 

1.Take everything out of your closet

So this might seem daunting but it can be fun, I promise! Just take everything out of your closet and lay it out. Seeing all the items you own is a part of the process.


2. Sort with abandon

Sort your closet into three different categories, items you love, things you definitely don’t/won’t wear, and the “meh” pile (things you like but they aren’t really your favorite but you can't seem to get rid of).


3. Hang up your ‘love’ items

These are your power pieces, you wear them weekly, you don’t question it, and they look good on you. As you hang up items try to sort them by outfits. Usually the easier way to do this is by hanging up the bottoms (jeans, skirts, slacks, etc.) and then matching the tops you’d wear with them or at least near by. You’ve started to build mini-uniforms for yourself so you don’t need to try and match them up later.


4. Re-evaluate your “meh” pile

Go through each of these items and ask yourself why you want to keep it. Usually it comes down to only three reasons:

1. “It doesn’t fit but I hope it might one day”

2. “It was expensive and I don’t want to feel like I wasted that money”

3. “It’s sentimental- it was given as a gift or reminds me of something”

Now, once you really admit to yourself why you’re keeping these things, it’ll be easier to decide to either love them or leave them. If the reason is #1, let it go. It’s not doing anyone any good, you look at that item and it probably doesn’t make you feel good. If it’s reason #2, sell or gift it. The money was lost when you bought something you didn’t like that much, get some of that cash back or gift it and make someone's day. If it’s #3, you can hold onto it until you’re ready to let it go, but remember that items could be bringing someone else joy. 

5. Donate/Gift/Sell your ditch pile

Now that you’ve come to terms with letting go of your items, let them live on. Either donate them to a charity you like, gift them to friends, or if you could use a little extra cash sell them to clothes recyclers like Buffalo Exchange or Threadup. 

And there you have it. Once you do this, you can look through your closet and feel like you’re ready to dress for anything. It feels so good to love everything in your closet. Even if you’re someone who’s got your closet pretty well managed, it’s always helpful to do this once or twice a year.