Declutter Your Closet With A Capsule Summer Wardrobe

Is your closet ready for summer? Does it have, for your dressing pleasure, tops and bottoms and shoes and sandals beautifully displayed and easy to find? Or is your closet packed full and cluttered, giving you grief every time you open the door? If you were to take a full inventory of everything in your closet, it might surprise you:

  • Things you’ve completely forgotten about
  • Items you wonder why you bought them
  • Duplicates like 15 graphic tees
  • Your sister’s or BFF’s sweater you promised you didn’t have
  • Favorite jeans you thought your sister borrowed and kept

coordinate-your-wardrobe.jpgCoordinate your wardrobe size to your closet size as an imperative to avoid closet clutter

Overstuffed and cluttered closets can make it impossible to efficiently manage a wardrobe or even be sure of what is in the closet. One sure way to eliminate closet clutter is with a Tailored Living® custom closet organization system. Another is with seasonal capsule wardrobes, the idea of paring down your clothes to a limited number of items that mix and match to provide an impressive number of different outfits for each season. Especially with a small closet, seasonal wardrobes will make it easier to stay organized all year long, displaying only the current season wardrobe with the rest in storage until that season rolls around. Even with a big closet where space isn’t an issue, capsule wardrobes can provide valuable benefits:

  • You save time by having fewer clothes to manage and care for (laundry!)
  • You save money by only buying items that fit into your basic wardrobe (no impulse buying)
  • You’re assured your closet will never reach overload status again

How to create a summer capsule wardrobe

There is no magic number for a capsule wardrobe, collections range from 10 to 40 items, some including accessories in that count and some not. Your lifestyle will be a major determining factor. You could need a capsule to include work clothes as well as a casual wardrobe, requiring more items. Some pieces may cross over, like a structured white blazer that can go to the office or a ballgame, but you’ll have to make sure you have what you need for all facets of your life. Focusing on quality pieces that can be both casual and dressy will help to keep your capsule wardrobe downsized.

Step One: determine your style

Most of us have a favorite style, even if you’ve never given it a name. Consider your favorite outfits and see where your fashion sense falls:

  • Casual with jeans, shorts, and tees
  • Frilly, girly blouses, dresses, or skirts
  • Solid colors or lively patterns
  • Sporty (athletic wear)
  • Bohemian (boho or boho chic)
  • Preppy

This will help guide the selection of the elements in your capsule wardrobe, ensuring that every piece reflects your personal style, is something you love to wear, and makes you feel great wearing it.

blue-jeans.jpgThere are jeans and there are jeans … be true to your individual style sense in every piece of your capsule wardrobe

Step Two: Sorting and purging your closet

This is the step everyone hates, but it’s essential to eliminate clutter and excess and get down to your ideal capsule wardrobe. Collect all your clothes from every cabinet, closet, drawer, and even the laundry basket. For purposes of your capsule wardrobe, focus on pants, skirts, tops, dresses, outerwear, and shoes only. At this point, the aim is to get rid of everything you don’t like to wear, regardless of the season.

clothing-rack.jpgThe capsule wardrobe is a pared-down wardrobe to a reduced number of clothes that you love and that always makes you feel good wearing them

  • Consider every piece individually and, if you don’t love the idea of putting it on, set it aside. (The discard or donate pile.)
  • Try on each item you like and be ruthless about how it feels, looks, and fits. If it’s worn out from too much love, replace it. If it’s damaged, repair it or let it go.
  • At this stage separate outfall and winter garments that you love and store them (or move them to the back of the closet) for inclusion in your eventual cold-weather capsule wardrobe.

Step Three: Clothes for the lifestyle you live

Now you have isolated the summer and warm weather clothes you love, so the first pass at assembling a summer capsule wardrobe will be evaluating what you already have that works together to create multiple outfits. Get creative, pair things together that you normally wouldn’t, and have fun. Start a shopping list of what you need to fill out your capsule wardrobe, like white jeans to replace dark wash or a lightweight structured jacket in a core neutral. Take this list when you shop and only purchase what you need to fill your summer capsule wardrobe with items that coordinate and keep you looking chic.

  • Pick a color palette. Select core neutrals like gray, black, beige, or navy that will coordinate with the other colors in your capsule. Add items in favorite colors, prints, and solids, that work with your chosen neutrals. Use bright accent colors that contrast or coordinate to add excitement, as long as they pair up with several pieces.
  • Select your final pieces. Figure on three to six pieces each of pants, tops, dresses, and skirts. If you literally live in jeans and shorts, then swap out a dress or two for more jeans. One or two blazers can handle the cooler evenings, and a button-up shirt can be a light coverup over tees or tanks as well as a stand-alone top.
  • Shoes and accessories. A short boot, metallic flats, heeled dressy sandals, white tennis shoes, and two flat sandals can serve through summer, plus any special footwear like golf shoes. An everyday bag, larger tote, and clutch purse can coordinate with all your looks. Add belts and scarves to change the look of an outfit and be sure to get one go-everywhere straw hat.

sample-wardrobe.jpgA sample summer capsule wardrobe for casual wear

Step Four: The ideal closet for your summer capsule wardrobe

Now that you’ve gotten your wardrobe under control and fabulous, you need an equally fabulous and functional closet to put it in. Tailored Living can help with designing the ideal closet for your less-is-more summer capsule wardrobe in a reach-in closet, or a full fashion wardrobe in a walk-in closet. Our designers can maximize your closet, large or small, to perfectly manage your wardrobe and accessories with a custom closet storage system to match your style and budget. Closet clutter will be a thing of the past and you’ll never have another “I have nothing to wear!” morning.

closet-organization.jpgA place for everything in your closet lets you find what you need when you need it

Call 866-712-3404 today or go online to to find a designer near you and schedule a free, in-home, or virtual* consultation to talk closets. Here’s one more tip to help you maintain order and efficiency: every time you buy a new item, discard an old one. This will keep your capsule wardrobe to the proper size and prevent spending on something you don’t absolutely love!

*Virtual consultations may not be available at all locations.

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