Cat On The Moon is a style blog written by me, Cat, about the process of curating a capsule wardrobe and different ways to achieve a simple and thoughtful lifestyle. I try to keep in mind that simplicity is a journey and a life well lived is the goal.

How To Define Your Capsule Wardrobe

How To Define Your Capsule Wardrobe

Prepping for a capsule wardrobe has proven to be tough work thus far, but we're resilient people; We can handle anything. Right?

We've found our why, we ruthlessly purged our closet, we got inspired and made a visual guide to stay focused. Can we start shopping, yet?

Slow your roll, friend. Let's clearly define our capsule wardrobe. If you've made the decision to move forward with a capsule wardrobe, it's very likely you had issues before. Issues with your shopping habits and with your budgeting. Or lack thereof. You always feel stressed when you get dressed and nothing in your closet feels like you.

Don't worry, I'm not judging! This is a judge-free zone! I'm writing about this topic because I have issues, too! We're all shopaholic nut-cases with nothing to wear around here.

Or maybe you're not and you're one of those people who has a six pack of abs and decides she could maybe use two more... That's also acceptable. We won't judge you for that, either. Just give you jealous side-glances... I kid!

After we get our capsule wardrobe together, we're going to be taking a break from shopping (GASP!). So, let's try to do this right. I don't mean let's do this perfectly. We couldn't possibly do that. Mistakes will be made. But, this prepping will absolutely simplify the process of simplification. Simplicity inception!

The point is: We're striving for something greater. And simpler. And this is a noble cause, indeed. We're ultimately striving for happiness. A messy wardrobe can be a blockade to this goal. But so can stress-inducing lack of organization. So bear with me as we get through a little more grunt work. Okay? We're going to find a happy medium between preparation and execution.

Remember, I said simple. Not easy.

Let's dive in.

What is a capsule wardrobe anyway? 

That is a link to Un-Fancy's explanation of a capsule wardrobe. In case you wish to be lazy, here is what she says:

Simple definition? It’s a mini wardrobe made up of really versatile pieces that you totally LOVE to wear.

In Caroline's (author of Un-Fancy) first few capsule wardrobes, she had a clear set of rules for creating your selection. The first rendition is for those who need strict guidance:

Defining Your Capsule Wardrobe - The Rules

Rule 1.
Reduce your wardrobe down to 37 pieces including tops, bottoms, dresses, outerwear, and shoes. This excludes active-wear, sleep-wear, swimsuits, accessories, bags, underwear and clothes you wear to "paint your living room."

You will need to work in step number four if your reduction leaves you with less than that number of items you love - like me.

Those 37 items break down to 9 pairs of shoes, 9 bottoms, 15 tops, 2 dresses, and 2 jackets/coats. These can be mixed and matched, but the goal is to stick to 37.

Rule 2.
Wear only these pieces for 3 months - or a season.

Rule 3.
Do not shop for three months until...

Rule 4.
You spend the last two weeks of that season planning and shopping for the next capsule wardrobe. You will hopefully be able to reuse the majority of the previous seasons' items and eventually only really need to replace 4-8 each season (according to Caroline, but only time will tell for me!).

The whole concept of re-using your pieces really emphasizes the importance of quality in the items you choose. We all have different budgets to work with, but do what you can to choose investment pieces vs. fast fashion items that will quickly fall apart.

Keep in mind this is a learning process and a journey. I'll repeat myself - mistakes will be made. But it's all good. We'll keep on trucking season to season.

She also includes a 5th rule as more of a disclaimer. You can mix up these numbers and subtract or add as many pieces as you'd like, but it's important to remember that we're reducing the options in our wardrobes as a sort of "minimalist challenge." And...

Less is certainly more.

For those of you who scoff at rules, there is a less structured, newer version that she shared. These are considered more as guidelines and aren't as concrete with the numbers. For some of you, this may be a relief.

For others, you may go eek! at the thought of someone letting go of your hand. Caroline needed structure at first, too. So don't be ashamed if you're one of those. Never fear. I think I am one of those! Over time, we will become more confident with ourselves.

A Capsule Wardrobe Lifestyle - The Loose guidelines

Here is a link to Un0Fancy's updated guidelines.

Narrow your closet down to clothes that are useful. This means they are suitable for the season, they fit today, and they are appropriate for your lifestyle.

  • Pick your own number of pieces - maybe it's 37.
  • Include: tops, bottoms, dresses, shoes and outerwear.
  • Exclude: Active-wear, PJs, underwear, and "fancy" clothes.
  • Store or donate the rest.
  • Change it up every 3 months.
  • Take deliberate breaks from shopping.

Those guidelines are the same concept and it's something i hope to evolve into. However, considering I am getting my first ever capsule wardrobe together... I think I will be a wuss and stick with the structured rules!

So, choose your side. Structured rules or loose lifestyle? How will you begin your journey into a capsule wonderland? Tell me in the comments!

In my next post, I'll be sharing my shopping plan for my capsule wardrobe. Until then...


How To Plan For Your Capsule Wardrobe

How To Plan For Your Capsule Wardrobe

Something To Look Forward To

Something To Look Forward To