Starting your capsule wardrobe

May 2, 2015

Written By

Tabitha Dumas

**2022 UPDATE! I’ve since become a pro at the 27 Hangers Capsule Wardrobe concept and my current videos and blog posts reflect that system so I’d love to redirect your attention to THIS POST. Keep reading to hear the story of how it all started.**

I’ve been admiring capsule wardrobes on Pinterest and various fashion blogs for years but there was always something holding me back…until now! Presenting…

starting your capsule wardrobe!

My endeavor got a lot of attention on Facebook and Instagram so evidently I’m not the only one who’s looking to simplify and purge their wardrobe. It saves time, money AND frustration, not just when you’re shopping but EVERY day when you’re getting dressed and when you’re packing for a trip or transitioning between seasons.

Capsule wardrobes are especially helpful for creative types who get overwhelmed by too many options. 

Maybe you’re holding back for the same reasons I was.

Maybe you’re ready to give it a try but need a little nudge.

MAKE SURE TO CATCH my update to my capsule wardrobe by clicking here.

Grab your FREE Capsule Wardrobe Worksheet download!


Let’s dive in! 

What was holding me back:

1. Thinking that capsule wardrobes have to be made up of all neutrals.

It’s true–a lot of people who embrace capsule wardrobes are the “simple living” and “minimalism” types, who often also happen to like “colors” like gray, beige and white.

Even if many of your basic pieces are neutrals, it doesn’t mean you can’t mix in fun, happy, bright colors! 

Aside from a turquoise pair of linen pants, my bottoms are all denim, white, black or brown. Snooze fest!! But it allows me to have fun with my tops and accessories.


The "bottoms" of my capsule wardrobe. Need help starting your capsule wardrobe? Join me??

Black capris, black skirt, denim skinny jeans, brown shorts, green cargo capris, white jeans, white shorts, turquoise linen pants, printed pallazo pants.

Side note: many capsule wardrobes will have neutral bottoms and colorful tops OR colorful bottoms and neutral tops. If EVERYthing is colorful and/or patterned, your closet could end up looking like it belongs to a circus clown. {Although if you love color that much, I say go for it!}

2. Not wanting to get rid of a bunch of clothes I love.

My mother’s mother is over 90 and still buys new clothes practically every week. She always looks very put-together and fashionable. She loves clothes!! So does my mother and so do I. We like to dress for the occasion and we like wearing something new. So yes, I have a lot of clothes I like. And I didn’t want to part with them!

Good news. Starting a capsule wardrobe doesn’t mean you have to get rid of everything all at once.

I’ll explain the process I did in a moment but just know that you don’t have to ditch everything that doesn’t make the cut.

Side note: I’m already wondering if, after I’ve done this a while, I realize that the clothes in the capsule ARE the ones I love, and the other stuff is really easy to get rid of after all. Hmm.

3. Enjoying variety and lots of choices. 

As mentioned, I like picking out what to wear. We were serving lemonade recently at church as a reminder to SERVE others, so of course I wore my yellow ruffled tank and painted my nails yellow! I got many compliments–but the yellow tank didn’t make it into my capsule. I’m keeping it, anyway. At least for now.

Looking at my capsule hanging right next to me as I write, seeing the colors and the limited choices is very exciting. With fewer choices, I’m betting that I actually enjoy putting the pieces together in new ways and playing with accessories just as much as I use to enjoy all of my options. Maybe I’ll even enjoy it more!

If you’ve thought about starting a capsule wardrobe, here is…

how I did it:

I finally decided to dive in after reading this blog post called “Why I got rid of my wardrobe”.

This is part of Denaye’s capsule. These are outfits she put together with just 10 pieces! 

This is the capsule concept: every piece goes with every piece.


She referenced Un-fancy, which quickly sucked me in.

Caroline has a great post about How to build a capsule wardrobe that I poured over for the last couple of days. I also downloaded her FREE wardrobe planner worksheets and played with them this morning. Then I got to work. 

Snag MY worksheet download!



It really helps to have a color palette when you’re starting a capsule wardrobe. This typically includes three colors for basics (brown, white and denim, for example), your Signature Color (mine is turquoise) plus 2-3 accent colors (mine are green, blue and pink). That’s how you’ll know the pieces will work together. Plus when you buy shoes or accessories, it’s easier to determine whether they’ll work with what you already have. I’m actually starting to move away from black toward brown and I like the change. 

No. 1: I did shoes first because I have so few pairs. I may end up taking out the heels and swapping in more sandals, since that’s what I wear on most days. Nine pairs are ideal. 

Are you starting your capsule wardrobe! Here are my nine pairs of shoes for my capsule wardrobe.

After shoes, I basically pulled my favorite clothing items out of my closet and played with them until I had my 37 pieces.

No. 2: I got my nine bottoms.

Then I tried to do the two dresses and two jackets, but had too many options…

No. 3: …so I moved on to fifteen tops.
No. 4: I laid it all out so I could see how the pieces played with each other, then I removed and added a few things.
No. 5: THEN I could choose the jackets and dresses.

They’re at the bottom–black dress, gray dress, black cardigan, denim jacket.

Get help starting your capsule wardrobe! "My 28 pieces of clothing for my spring capsule." From Tabitha Dumas, Image and Influence Strategist.

9 bottoms, 15 tops, 2 dresses, 2 jackets

Once I had my 28 pieces of clothing, I hung them all on matching velvet hangers and relocated them away from the rest of my wardrobe.

It would also work well to do the shoes last.

A few notes

1. Capsules don’t include workout wear, pajamas, the clothes you do yard work in, bathing suits, formal wear, etc. I didn’t count camisoles, either. I recommend keeping your non-capsule clothes separate from your capsule pieces.

2. We live in the Phoenix valley so a “summer capsule” will really run from about May to October. Un-fancy recommends wearing your capsule for the entire season but I just don’t think I can go that long without wanting/needing a few new pieces. Plus once I figure out what works and what doesn’t, I know I’ll want to do some swapping. Which brings me to…

3. I’ve lost 15 or so pounds since last summer so even some of the pieces above won’t fit right and I’ll need to replace them.

For those two reasons, I know I’ll do a little shopping over the next six months. But I also know it will be much more strategic and purposeful. 

4. I have another facet to my life that is much more professional. As an entrepreneur and blogger who works from home, the capsule you see above will work for probably 90% of my life. I will be keeping my dresses, blazers and dressy skirts and tops, however, for special occasions and speaking gigs. Maybe I’ll create a whole capsule for those someday!

5. Capsule wardrobes are suppose to help you simplify and enjoy your wardrobe more. Don’t let it stress you out! Enjoy the process and make it work for you.

I’m committed to wearing ONLY items from my capsule for the entire month of May!

Here’s another version…”The 27-hanger Closet.”

This one is Shari Braendel’s version.

7 bottoms (1/2 neutral or basic, 1/2 fun)

14 tops (1/2 neutral or basic, 1/2 fun)

3 layering pieces (cardigans, jackets)

3 dresses–1 LBD (Little Brown, Black or Blue dress, depending on your Dominant Color Category), 1 special occasion dress, 1 casual dress

+ 1 hand bag, 3 pairs of shoes and 7 accessories.

This is one I came up with for a SOFT Dominant Color Category with coral as her Signature Color.

Starting your capsule wardrobe via

27 Hanger Closet

This is what wardrobe looks like using the 27 Hangers concept.

This represents pieces I already have or plan to buy.

Neutrals are denim, black and white (NO brown and NO gray).

My Signature Color is turquoise and my accent color is coral/orange with a little pink and purple mixed in.

starting your capsule wardrobe!

My 27 Hanger Closet!

Join the 27 Hangers Online Academy!

Read all about it here and when you purchase using my link, I’ll send you my FREE e-guide for incorporating your Signature Color into your 27 Hangers!

Are you thinking about starting a capsule wardrobe?? It’s more fun with friends! Join me! Leave a comment or come on over to my Facebook page so we can encourage and inspire each other!

Make sure you get my worksheets, too!


Need more ideas for organizing your wardrobe?

Follow’s board Closet:: Wardrobe organization on Pinterest.

If you enjoyed this post, please share!

Really great post about starting your capsule wardrobe!

My 28-piece capsule wardrobe- 15 tops, 9 bottoms, 2 dresses, 2 jackets from certified image consultant



  1. Stacey Toupin

    Thank you for your post, Tabitha. It has caused me to do some thinking about my wardrobe. Organization just makes things so much better and one less thing to think about. Love that! Thank you! -Stacey

    • Tabitha Dumas

      Don’t we all need one less thing to think about??? It’s a work in progress for me…I need to post an update on my capsule, it has evolved!! 🙂


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