Capsule Wardrobe – What & Why

I’ve mentioned in a recent post about my considering implementing a capsule wardrobe.  If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I made the plunge.  Two weeks into living the capsule life, and I am a big fan.  I’ve had a few people ask questions about what a capsule wardrobe is and how I did it, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to share my experience here.

What is a capsule wardrobe?

According to Wikipedia, a capsule wardrobe is “a minimal wardrobe composed of 30 to 40 high-quality, versatile items that will meet your needs for a given time amount of time.”  I’d say that the 30-40 number is flexible and that the level of quality of pieces isn’t a make or break deal.  The jist is a capsule wardrobe is a limited number of clothing items that you choose for a season, and in that season, every outfit that you wear is made up of the items in your capsule.

How many items can you have in a capsule wardrobe?

There’s no hard and fast rule on this.  The 30-40 item rule seems to be generally accepted.  It’s a good number that allows you to have everything you need, but also keep things minimal, which is the goal of the capsule wardrobe.

What items are and are not included in the capsule?

Again, this is a spirit of the law kind of thing.  To achieve your capsule wardrobe goals, you should, at the very least include tops, bottoms & shoes.  It does not include undergarments (underwear, bras, camisoles), pajamas, swimwear or work out clothes.

The jury is out on whether it includes accessories such as hats, scarves and jewelry and seasonal gear (i.e. winter coats & boots).  Use your discretion on whether or not you need to include yours.  I didn’t include accessories, mostly because I don’t wear very many of them and, therefore, don’t own a lot of them.  I didn’t have to think about seasonal gear because it’s summer.  I’m not sure what I’ll do in the winter.

For how long does this last?

Your capsule is for one season.  The idea being that you make your wardrobe work for the weather in which you live.  For Minnesota, I broke it up as follows: Winter is December, January & February; Spring is March, April & May; Summer is June; July & August; Autumn is September, October & November.

Does doing a capsule wardrobe mean giving up clothes shopping completely?

Once your capsule is set up, there is no shopping.  Some things I read suggested giving yourself the first week to find gaps in that timeframe and shop to fill them.  This may or may not be necessary.  I had done a little bit of shopping for summer clothes  shortly before I did my capsule, so this was an unnecessary step for me.

I will say this.  I won’t shop for summer clothes because I know that I don’t need them.  After establishing my summer capsule, I know that I have everything that I need for a summer wardrobe, so accumulating more clothes and spending more money are necessary at this time.

Do all of the pieces in your capsule wardrobe have to coordinate?

Mine don’t.  The reason that this is suggested by many capsule-ers is that it makes pieces more versatile.  You can mix and match a lot more when everything in your closet is of the same color palette.  When I went through my closet to decide what would go in my capsule and what wouldn’t, there was a rainbow of colors.  However, there were also enough neutral pieces that I had multiple options with each item.  It seemed silly to me to try to stick with a palette, which would require buying more clothes when I had enough clothes for the summer.

I can see where two months into a capsule, having coordinating pieces could be beneficial because the mixing and matching that it allows wouldn’t make you feel like you wear the same outfit all of the time.  I’ll let you know where I’m at with that in August.

What’s the appeal?

That’s a lot of don’t’s, can’t’s and no’s.  Why would anyone want to do this?

This is different for everyone.  For me, I was drawn to the idea because of it’s simplicity.  I don’t have a ton of clothes.  I don’t buy a lot of clothes and I purge my closet frequently, so my closet isn’t busting at the seams with clothes that I don’t like or don’t wear.  That being said, I was in a weird wardrobe spot this summer.

Last summer, my son was 8-10 months old and nursing.  As a result of nursing him, I had lost a significant amount of weight and had to buy an all-new wardrobe because barely any of my previous summer clothes fit.  (If you’re rolling your eyes and annoyed at me, just wait.  Keep reading.) I donated most of my old clothes because 1) I don’t keep things I don’t wear and 2) I thought there was no way that I would need those clothes again. After losing 25 pounds, i thought that I would never let myself gain the weight back. …Can you see where this story is going?… I stopped nursing in November of 2016 and some of the weight has come back.  Enough of it that the new clothes I bought last summer don’t really fit.  The idea of sifting through the drawers of clothes to try to find something that I didn’t feel like failure in was daunting.  I found myself showering in the morning and dreading having to go into my room and try to find an outfit.

I also liked the idea that if I limited my options, I would be more prone to wear the clothes that I wished I would wear, but rarely put on.  As I perused through capsule wardrobes on Pinterest (there are TONS), I was inspired by how many of them included a few dresses, tailored pants & jackets. I own all of those things, but consider them “special” and don’t wear them often.  I knew that if they were part of a much more limited wardrobe, I would wear them more out of necessity.

That being said, I am a stay at home mom.  Most of the capsule examples that I found on Pinterest were way too fancy for my day-to-day.  I made sure to include athleisure pieces because they are staples of my wardrobe.  However, I also included 3 cotton dresses that could easily be worn for my days running around with my kids, but that I don’t normally gravitate toward when given more options.  I’d like to start wearing those things that I like more, and my hope is that the capsule wardrobe helps me to do that.

What do you think so far?

I love it.  I no longer dread getting dressed in the morning.  I’ll go into more detail later about how I created my capsule and what’s included in it, but one of the best parts for me is that I truly love everything in my closet.  The only items that I have to choose from each day are the pieces that I love the most.  I open my closet doors in the morning and feel like I have so much good stuff from which to choose.

Will you do this forever?

I don’t know.  Right now, I’m just focused on sticking to my summer capsule.  The way things are going now, I’d imagine that I will do it again in the fall.  I think I will just take it season by season and as long it’s beneficial, I will keep doing it.

To see pictures of daily outfits, follow me on Instagram.  Stay tuned for details on the items that I included in my capsule and why.

Capsule Wardrobe - What is it? What are the rules? How do I do it? Is it worth it? -


Currently ::


These boots.  If you follow my winter capsule wardrobe on Instagram, you’ve seen these on my feet  They’re super cliche, but there’s a reason Hunter boots are an institution.

It is finally starting to warm up a little bit in the tundra, and I don’t want to think about where I’m stepping and whether or not I’m ruining my shoes or going to get wet socks, so my Hunters are my go-to footwear right now.


Of Mess and Moxie by Jen Hatmaker.  I’m actually re-reading it.  I received it as a gift from my Aunt for my birthday, and it’s such a fun, easy read, that I got through it in a couple days.

But, afterward, I realized that there were parts that were meaty that I wanted to dig my teeth into a little more, so I’m re-reading it.  This time, with a pen and highlighter in hand.  I’m enjoying the light-hearted humor and recipes, but I’m also taking the time to really think about deep issues that matter to me about which she writes.


This Whole Foods “copycat” Tropical Green Smoothie from Rabbit Food for my Bunny Teeth.  I wanted a green smoothie that tasted like one I would order from Panera or Starbucks, and this seemed like it might be that.  And it is!  Add to that the benefit of it being “normal” ingredients that I already had.


I’m re-watching Hawaii Five-O on Netflix.  I’ve watched the series twice, but it’s been a while.  It’s a little cheesy, and it’s a stereotypical cop show, but for me it’s so much more.  The show takes place and is filmed in Hawaii, which was my Grandpa’s favorite place on earth.  He went there frequently and I grew up hearing stories about this magical place.  I’ve only been there once, but I feel like I have a connection to that place, and watching Hawaii Five-O is one of my sentimental guilty pleasures.


Up First.  I’m a huge NPR News & Podcast nerd.  This has been established.  Up First is a podcast that is a daily news round-up.  It is 3-4 of the top stories of the day and it lasts about 12-15 minutes.

I subscribe to the podcast, so it’s on my phone when I leave the house at 5:15 to go to the gym.  I listen to the first half on the drive there and second half on the drive back.  Even if I don’t get a chance to read another news article for the rest of the day, I feel informed and in touch with the goings on in the world.


That I’ve gained ten pounds since the beginning of the year and that I really need to do something about it, but I don’t want to make the changes that it requires.  I love ice cream and bread and donuts and cookies too much.  And with all of the aforementioned vices, there is no such thing as moderation for me.  I want the benefits of healthy living and none of the work or sacrifices.  I’m sure that you can’t identify with this life conundrum.





100 Posts!!! ::

This is the 100th post for Maximizing Days! #allthecelebrationemojis

In honor of that milestone, here are a list of 100 tricks, tips, things I love, and stuff I’ve learned along the way.

Think of it like the Cliff’s Notes for

  1. My all-time, #1 piece of organizing advice for anyone who asks
  2. Being over-prepared can be disadvantageous
  3. The only thing that makes laundry bearable
  4. I would wear these every day if I could.  Right now, I only wear them almost ever day.
  5. How I got my husband to do the laundry
  6. The cleaning tool that gets used everyday in our house
  7. Cleaning a toilet is nasty – make it less nasty with this trick
  8. Seemingly eons ago, I packed a hospital bag for when my son was born
  9. For years, I wished for this every time that I saw it in the Pottery Barn catalogue. Now we have it and it hasn’t disappointed.
  10. Laying in bed when you remember something important?  Don’t get up!
  11. How to make Mondays slightly more bearable
  12. Another way to make Mondays – and all the days – go more smoothly
  13. Under-sink transformer
  14. Most of what I’ve learned about organizing I read here at least ten years ago
  15. No matter how grumpy I am, this sight brings a smile to my face.  Well, this and my kids (unless they were the source of the grumpiness)
  16. We celebrated my husband’s birthday here a year ago.  I want to go back…
  17. The best product for voluminous hair
  18. The second-best product for voluminous hair
  19. So, just what is a capsule wardrobe?
  20. The key to making purging work for you
  21. This makes me long for summer…..
  22. The BEST dresser
  23. How to maintain some order in those aforementioned cavernous drawers
  24. What I learned at the organizing seminar that I taught
  25. Without this, I would get ZERO done every day
  26. These aren’t part of my winter capsule wardrobe, but they’re on my feet 70% of the time
  27. I love my children, but I did not like pregnancy
  28. Next week is my daughter’s half birthday.  Hard to believe this was 6 months ago
  29. Comparison steals joy
  30. How my husband knows exactly what to get me for any and every gift-giving occasion
  31. Target stopped carrying these.  Tears.
  32. Speaking of Target, ours closed. ALL.THE.TEARS
  33. Breakfast.  Lunch.  Supper.  What my kids eat.
  34. Trying to keep my phone as an asset, not a time suck
  35. I didn’t change my son’s diaper on the changing pad until he was at least 6 months old.  Here’s why.
  37. This is when I knew that my husband and I were meant to be
  38. Christmas gifts, card mailing list, meal prep, and Christmas card albums
  39. The best shoes
  40. The other best shoes
  41. Our kid’s birthday tradition
  42. My favorite cleaning products
  43. When to buy containment
  44. This took me far too long to figure out
  45. Can you be organized & have a junk drawer? YES
  46. Toy packaging repurposed
  47. Baby Gear!
  48. Making dishes tolerable
  49. Save money on dry cleaning
  50. No grocery money left? Start here.
  51. Only touch your mail once
  52. I thought these were a waste of space.  Now I’ve learned that they are key to utilizing space.
  53. Become a capsule wardrobe-er
  54. Feeding your infant doesn’t mean you have to buy a new deep freezer
  55. What you need when you’re sick
  56. I should get a commission for how many times I’ve referred this to other people
  57. Why a ‘Monica Closet’ might be what’s missing in your quest to get organized
  58. The trick to an organized leftover container space
  59. The absolute best leftover containers there are
  60. Grocery List Trick
  61. We have one of these in every closet in our house
  62. Be a bright spot in someone’s day
  63. I’ll admit it.  I get up at 5AM.  Here’s why
  64. Every kitchen should have at least one of these
  65. Real-person Container Store success story
  66. Linen closet #1
  67. Linen closet #2
  68. How we’re able to eat frozen pizza all too frequently without feeling bad about it.  Throw some fruits & veggies in this bad boy, and call it a well-rounded meal.
  69. My favorite reads
  70. Sleep later with the time you will save using this
  71. Christmas shop all year long
  72. Contain the kid clothes clutter – what they don’t wear
  73. Contain the kid clothes clutter – what they do wear
  74. My difference-maker cosmetic
  75. Dreaded k-cups.  Love them.  Hate them.
  76. This might actually make you start cleaning.  Might.
  77. We call them Bucket Lists.  Even though it has nothing to do with death
  78. If you have a toddler, run, don’t walk to buy this bad boy
  79. Make dinner without harming your children.  It is possible.
  80. A functional toy room without a single label.  Also possible.
  81. You’re an adult.  Your house can look like it .
  82. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!
  83. Everything except the kitchen sink
  84. I’m so happy that I live in a world where there are Octobers
  85. Is that cheap flight worth it
  86. They’re for more than just magazines
  87. Have an hour?  Then read about how I menu plan here, here AND here.  Brevity has never been my strong suit.
  88. I don’t even do this anymore
  89. Why you shouldn’t fold your laundry on the dining room table.
  90. Bring on the boots!  A Minnesota Winter Capsule Wardrobe
  91. Why every.single.minute of my day is scheduled
  92. Deep vanity drawers are not ideal.  But that’s no excuse.
  93. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said a thousand times
  94. Don’t bother keeping these unless you can access them
  95. My go-to storage container
  96. THIS is how you keep your house neat
  97. Perfection cannot be your goal
  98. You’re never done
  99. Cheapest & best organizing tool
  100. What this really is all about




Currently ::


This dress.  I borrowed it from my sister-in-law for our godson’s baptism because I had no dress clothes that fit.  This dress is the definition of versatile.  I had no intentions of including a dress in my winter capsule wardrobe, but after wearing it once, I bought it.


What Did You Expect? by Paul David Tripp.  My husband and I watched one of his marriage seminars last year, and enjoyed it so much that I bought the book.  And I’m just now getting around to reading it.  A year later.  It’s safe to say that this will be my answer to this question for months to come.


Crock Pot Teriyaki Chicken Bowls from Six Sisters Stuff.  I was in need of a new crock pot recipe, and this one is excellent.  Simple and delicious.


If you follow me on Instagram, I’ve been talking a lot lately about my love for The Crown.  I’m obsessed.  And nearing the end of Season 2, which means I am going to have wait a looooong time to have my Crown fix satiated whenever Season 3 finally comes out.


Body Pump.  I started almost two months ago, not knowing anything about it except that people who had done it loved it, and I’ve joined that party.  If you’re looking for a group workout that is challenging, but not impossible, give Body Pump a shot.  And use less weights than you think you can handle.  Trust me on this.


That we are 2/3 of the way through January.


For me, January is a month to be endured and we are nearing it’s end.  Here’s hoping that we are also nearing the end of too many degrees below zero and too many consecutive days spent indoors for fear of our faces falling off from the cold.




Summer Momiform

I wrote about my go-to outfit this spring, which was part of the catalyst for becoming a capsule wardrobe-er.  I have committed to the capsule wardrobe lifestyle and post my daily outfits on Instagram.  Because I post what I wear everyday, highlighting my summer momiform seemed slightly redundant, but for those who don’t follow the daily attire on Instagram, I thought I would keep with this new-found tradition.

My summer lifestyle is what I like to call tri-polar.  There are days where I’m going to be super active with my kids either biking or going for walks, which require tennis shoes and athleisure apparel.  I work one day a week in an office, where the attire is business casual, but where it’s my one chance to dress like a real grown up.  Most of my days are somewhere in between where I’m playing with my kids, but also running errands and getting stuff done around the house.

When I created my summer capsule wardrobe, I was intentional about having pieces in there that fit all three of these lifestyles.

My spring momiform was an outfit that I would have worn for all three of these lifestyles, but the summer heat doesn’t allow that, so I have three summer momiforms.

Summer Momiform: Athletic, Casual & Office apparel from a 45 piece capsule wardrobe -

Do you find that you wear the same thing every day in the summer?  Or do you switch it up?  For those of you who have a capsule wardrobe, do you find that living the capsule life means wearing the same thing more often?

Fall is my favorite season for so many reasons.  I’ve already started to think about my fall capsule wardrobe and I’m ready for boots and scarves and pumpkin spice lattes.  But I will miss my chino shorts. If I had to pick one outfit to wear all summer for everything, it would be my casual outfit.  A comfy cotton tank, some JCrew chino shorts & my trusty Sanuk flip flops.  That’s summer comfort right there.