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/ 22 September 2014 / Leave a comment


Number of clothes for my capsule wardrobe


Nope, I'm not being a creep and asking you for your phone number. Today, as a step 2, we're going to figure out how many pieces you'll need in your capsule wardrobe.

*New here? Read about what is a capsule wardrobe and my reasons to start it here.
*Want to try it yourself? Start purging your wardrobe here, and read the first step here.

Back to step 2 - this is an exciting one! From when I started thinking about doing capsule wardrobe, I wanted to know what my number will be. Project333 has 33 items. Caroline of Unfancy has 37. How many would I end up with? Caroline, who's a definite blog crush, was my main inspiration for starting a capsule wardrobe. She divided her 37 piece capsule into: 9 shoes, 9 bottoms, 15 tops, 2 jackets and 2 dresses. (She also has a great rule of three, to add variety to her wardrobe) 37 pieces is her number, so I thought I'd use a vaguely mathematical way to figure out mine. I might wind up with a 37 anyway, or I might get something else. I already know I won't need 9 pairs of shoes and I also know I'll need plenty of sweaters. I'm trying to make this work for me, you should too! Make it work for you, not me, that is. I'm using my uniform templates to get a rough idea:

I started off with Caroline's number for bottoms. 9. In the table, I have two uniforms with trousers and one with skirts. 2/3 of my bottoms should be trousers.

You definitely need more tops than bottoms, so let's say 15. Which means, if you wear a different one every day, you don't have to do laundry for at least 2 weeks. Got to think about the environment, too.
From my uniform templates, I know I'll be wearing loose fit blouses, shirts and long sleeves. Perhaps I'll throw a couple short sleeves in for the warmer days. 2/3 long sleeves, 1/3 short sleeves. 10 and 5.

First I thought 4 sweaters would be enough, so I did the math {I did say this was a vaguely mathematical way to do it ;) } - 4 sweaters, every day, for 3 months. That's 22 separate wears for each one. That is a lot. And I'll probably get bored of them fast. Plus I have a couple of these jacket-y things, a blue denim - not warm enough to be a real jacket, or a casual linen blazer that I wear all the time. So my next number was 7. One for every day of the week. It reduces separate wears down to 13. A lucky number and one I can live with.

Jackets are the pieces that get the most wear. They are some of the pricier parts of the capsule wardrobe, and because I have to keep my budget in mind, I'm going with 4. That gives me 2 warm and 2 light jackets. I'm happy with that. I can start off wearing the lighter ones and as the season progresses I'll switch them for the two warmer.

Oh, here we come. Shoes. The apple of discord. Caroline of Unfancy uses 9 pairs. Like I mentioned, I'm actually not too much of a shoeaholic so I don't need as many pairs. 7 should be enough for me. It still gives me plenty of opportunities to have different styles. Booties, smart casual shoes, and trainers.

Here's a table summary:

What's my number? 42!

I like visuals, okay? That way I don't have to keep track of everything in my head. The numbers aren't yet set in stone, though they won't change radically. I've included a third column, noting the approximate ratio of statement to basic pieces. In my mind, anything that's not a statement is a basic so this includes in-betweeny pieces too :-) 1/3 or 1/4 of the count is a statement piece.

To get a number for yourself, you'll need to sit down and do a lot of thinking. Analyse your uniform templates. Sometimes, you can work out a number pretty easily from them, like a number for bottoms, but sometimes you just have to take an educated guess. You need to keep asking yourself: why do you need as many items as you need? And, what is the smallest number of "x" that I can live with for 3 months?

So, what's your number?

Next up: step 3: Define your style.

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Hi, I'm Kat! A colourful wardrobe advocate and a capsule wardrobe graduate. Need any help finding your personal style and curating your closet? Advice on how to make most of the clothes you have? Or how to pack for an upcoming trip? I'm your girl!


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