Way back in the 70’s the term ‘Capsule Wardrobe’ was coined. 40+ years later it still appeals, but is it practical for real people? Can you honestly imagine living with just two pairs of shoes? No, probably not.

But if your wardrobe’s cluttered and you still can’t find anything to wear – at least not easily – give the ‘capsule’ basics a try. It’s unlikely you’ll end up living forever with a wardrobe that would fit in a flight case at a moment’s notice, you might just find it easier to get dressed.

Empty your wardrobe. Take out everything, that’s everything, even the nasties lurking away in the back. Make a big pile, now you’re ready to begin.

Be ruthless. If you haven’t worn it for a year, you haven’t seen it for longer or you don’t even remember buying it, chances are you don’t need it. Send it to someone who does via your Charity Shop Bag.

Start sorting. Put trousers into one pile, skirts into another, shirts, t-shirts ….. you get the idea, if you’re enthusiastic micro-sort by colour. This is the time to start trying things on and only keeping clothes that really fit now, this minute. If it doesn’t fit it goes in the Charity Shop Bag.

Be basic. It’s a terrifying thought but here’s what your ‘capsule’ should contain; 1 pair of jeans, 2 skirts, 2 pairs of trousers, 1 sweater, 1 cardigan, 2 plain t-shirts, 1 dress, 1 LBD, 1 coat and 2 jackets. There’s shoe culling too, but you’re probably traumatised enough by now.

Create the capsule colour canvas. The blueprint ‘capsule wardrobe’ is based on neutral colours (navy, chocolate, camel, grey, black, white), so focus on selecting key items in this colour range. Just imagine how beautifully Japanese this is going to look when it’s hanging up.

Closet the final cut. If you’re short on space only hang dresses, coats, jackets, skirts and shirts. Trousers, t-shirts etc. can be put in drawers but don’t fold them, roll them – you make more room, you can see what you’ve got at a glance and you avoid fold creases.

Make a shopping list and stick to it. Be true to the capsule concept and think quality not quantity. Choose cashmere, wool, silk and cotton. Consider designers that focus on classic tailoring and exceptional finishes. Don’t think about trends, think about what suits you. Do think about accessories. Don’t deviate. The capsule wardrobe has no room for impulse buys or bargains you couldn’t resist.

Only buy in your size. Seems obvious but it’s not. Everyone’s guilty of the ‘diet buys’, just don’t do them. If you want to lose weight and you do it you deserve to go shopping all over again.

Try everything on and take your time. Don’t shop when you’re rushed or in places where you don’t feel comfortable. Move around and look at what you’re wearing from all angles, try different mirrors in the shop, think about the shoes you’ll wear. And again, it’s quality not quantity.

Own It. The confident capsule is yours and it’s a great discipline but it’s just the start.

Will you try capsule? If you do let me know how you get on (pics please) I’d especially like to see some before and after wardrobes.

THIS WEEK I FOUND ……… the ‘Closet’ App


Even if you’re not ready to go full ‘capsule’ yet, you could try the Closet App and add a bit of order to your wardrobe. Simple and effective it organises your looks, has a calendar so you remember what you wore and when and you can ask it for ideas too – all based on what you’ve already got. Plus, if you’re travelling ‘Closet’ is the perfect virtual packer.