How Many Clothes Do I Need?
You guys, I think FALLLL might be here… finally! I’ve actually started wearing my (imperfect) capsule wardrobe, stay tuned for more info on that next week. But first I wanted to discuss a major stumbling block I had when putting together my fall capsule: how many clothes do I actually need?
How minimal can I go without losing my mind? How much is too much? Is there a magic number?
Naturally I consulted the internet looking for a simple answer… but I didn’t find one. I guess the answer is it depends on your lifestyle. But I really wanted a formula to guide me, so I came up with my own!
The #OnRepeat Formula
The magic question you need to ask yourself is: “How often am I willing to re-wear this?”. Start with the category of clothing you wear most frequently. I wear a lot of separates so I started with tops (maybe yours is dresses).
Wearing the same 7 tops every single week would make me feel bored, but wearing a top less often than twice a month would make me feel wasteful. So re-wearing a top every other week = 14 tops. Again, this will vary according to your personal preference.
Once I knew that I wanted 14 tops, I used that number to figure out my other categories (bottoms, dresses, outerwear, shoes & bags). I re-wear those more than tops so I decided on: 10 each for bottoms, outerwear, and shoes, 5 dresses & 3 bags.
Add it all together and my magic number is: 52 pieces.
So what to do with that magic number? Well now it’s time to conquer your closet and make sure you pare down each category to fit within that number.
Depending on how your brain likes to work, you could either:
- Pull everything out of your closet and only put back the number of items that you’re allowing yourself OR
- Make a spreadsheet (with columns for tops, bottoms, etc) and list your favorite pieces in each category
*If you’re starting from scratch or having trouble choosing what to keep & toss, I highly recommend reading through my whole lean closet series.
A Few Notes
- I’m not including special occasion clothing, extreme weather clothing, or lounge wear in my formula because I only own a few of each and those are things that I like to have on hand for when I need them a few times a year. Use your best judgement and don’t cheat the system to your advantage.
- Toss/donate/sell anything you don’t love. Put anything you aren’t ready to let go of into a box and re-evaluate those items after 3 months.
- Try to strictly stick to you magic number for the whole season (3 months-ish). At the end of the season re-evaluate and decide if that was too many or too few.
My Capsule Wardrobe In Action
52 pieces (or less) for the fall season. Sounds scary.
If your magic number freaks you out because it looks too small, don’t worry! Using the spreadsheet method I actually only came up with 30 pieces that made the cut, so I’m starting out with just those 30! Some of the items on my wishlist aren’t in stores yet, but since my capsule is far from max capacity I have room to add a few items throughout the season as I find them.
That’s probably cheating by UnFancy/Project 333 rules but I don’t really give a shit 🙂 I probably also
can’t afford to won’t end up at 52 items and that’s okay too. Click here for the complete breakdown of the wardrobe I put together to get me through fall 2016, as well as some thoughts about WHY I’m doing this!