Capsule (ish) wardrobe

Hiiiii 🙂 Things have been pretty stale on the ol’ fashion page, but I’m excited to share some of the things I’ve done to minimize my stuff and create my own version of a capsule(ish) wardrobe. This idea was 100% inspired by my buddy in all of this, Maria, and this awesome blog and post. I thought it would be a great opportunity to pare down the unnecessary pieces I’ve been holding onto, especially since I rotate through the same items so often. I think many of you can probably relate: even if you have a a variety of outfits to choose from, it’s easy to fall back on the same favorites. Why not minimize the stash down to the things that fit well and you truly love?

Some things about our version of the capsule wardrobe:

-Workout clothes and pajamas don’t count 😉

-Not sticking to a specific number, but rather a “less is more” mentality

-Focus on a large shopping trip to last the season, emphasizing awesome deals and sparse items throughout the season to accessorize or fill in the gaps

-It’s an experiment, but I feel like it’s been a successful one, because at least half of my clothes went off to sell or to Goodwill. I’ve become a huge fan of Thred Up; they send you a bag, you fill it with clothes, and you can make money, similar to Buffalo Exchange (but minus entertaining a little one while the stylish girl picking through my clothes asks a manager for a second opinion on the printed leggings). If you want to check it out, here’s the link. It’s an affiliate link and win-win; we each get $10 credit to our account.

Here is the awesome checklist that Maria put together and said it was cool to share with ya:

Capsule wardrobe checklist

I did a variation of this for my staple pieces -especially since she’s in Germany and needs more sweaters and jackets, I reduced those on my list- and added them all below.

*The ones I have are bold, and the spaces I’m working to fill in are not bold. I’ve also included some links below to the things I have and love. These are affiliate links, have no impact on purchase price, and I get a small kickback for clicks. Thank you sincerely for your support <3 If I didn’t link to the product, I couldn’t find the same one I have or find anything similar.

Wardrobe staples



Black and white tanks (for layering)

White button-up shirt

Two plaid shirts (have this one and love it, but would like another)

Neutral dressy blouse

Printed dressy blouse (mine is 3/4 sleeve but similar)

Printed tank (similar)

Casual, flowy tank (<— NOT the one I have -the Pilot would no longer be married to me if I got a $300 tank top- but it’s the only one I could find online that looks exactly like it)

Chambray button-up


Black skinny pants

Dark skinny jeans

Boyfriend jeans (thrifted these for $8.99!)

White jeans

Jewel-toned jeans (have a maroon pair, but not in love with them)


Neutral skirt

Jewel toned maxi skirt (in purple)

Neutral maxi skirt (I’ve been wearing my black and white striped maxi dress like a skirt with a tank on top)

Printed skirt

Shorts: (haven’t found a ton that I love; I usually just wear my dark wash)

Casual ripped denim shorts

Dark wash short shorts

Flowy printed shorts

Dressy high-waisted shorts


Sweaters and jackets:

Denim jacket

Leather moto jacket (I would love one, but don’t think I’ll get a ton of use for it out here)

Black blazer

Neutral cardigan (black)

Colored cardigan (older maroon one from Stitch Fix)

Light dressier sweater


LBD (flowy, pretty and super flattering. On super sale right now too)

Neutral day dress

Patterned day dress

Neutral Maxi dress

Patterned maxi dress

Simple romper


Nude heel

Black pump

Leopard flats

Neutral canvas shoes or chucks

Neutral wedge

Tall brown boots

Nude booties

Black booties


Neutral everyday bag

Neutral crossbody

Large crossbody (for travel)

Glam clutch

I’ve found that a list is going to keep me from impulse buys. There are some pieces that will help to round things out in my wardrobe, but for the most part, I feel like I have the staples set. It’s been nice to mix and match through things that I really love and fit me well, instead of holding on to things that I *liked* but didn’t seem to really use.

Do you tend to rotate through the same items too? Would you ever do a capsule (or capsule-ish) wardrobe? Anything funny/random in your closet and you’ll never let go? For me, it’s my signed Ryan Cabrera shirt haha. I used to be a big fan back in the day 😉




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  1. RachelG on August 8, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    LOVE RC!! I saw him perform at UConn when I was an undergrad…swoon worthy. 🙂

    • Fitnessista on August 8, 2014 at 6:55 pm

      SO GOOD. i’m waiting for his comeback haha

  2. Mary Ann on August 8, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    I love this idea and am going to keep it in mind when I do an upcoming closet re-haul. PS, I lol’ed at “cargo skinny jeans”…cargo pants and skinny jeans seem like complete opposites to me 🙂

  3. Tameeka on August 8, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    I love this and have just done similar in my own wardrobe. I am expecting baby #2 in january (australian summer – boo) – and thought why not do the capsule wardrobe thing now when most of my clothes wont be working for me anyway 🙂 hoping to continue with it afterwards as well 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your list


  4. Jill on August 8, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    The best thing I did in my closet lately was get real about my size — that is to say that I’m 5’0″ and I was hanging on to some things in my closet that were really cute, but not working for me at all because they aren’t cut for my size. So I have some dresses set aside to have hemmed up at the shoulders, gave a few pieces to my MUCH taller cousin, and donated the rest of the not-quite-right stuff. Also got rid of 5 pairs of shoes.

    A good closet clean-out is so cathartic! The capsule wardrobe sounds like a great idea as well. I should really give it a try.

  5. Leah on August 8, 2014 at 10:58 pm

    Thank you for this! I really need to go through my closet. This is good motivation.

  6. Mollie K on August 9, 2014 at 7:23 am

    Just ordered a bag from Thred Up using your link! Excited to see how this works. 🙂

    • Fitnessista on August 9, 2014 at 4:28 pm

      awesome, thank you! hope you enjoy it! i love how easy and convenient it is to do 🙂

  7. clare @ fitting it all in on August 9, 2014 at 7:40 am

    Oh goodness this is so inspiring! I definitely want to go through that checklist.
    I have WAYYY too much….

  8. Livi @ Eat, Pray, Work It Out on August 9, 2014 at 8:27 am

    I am in total need of a wardrobe clean out! I might have to try this!!

  9. Erin Motz on August 9, 2014 at 8:30 am

    Literally just did this over the past 2 days and have been wondering what to do with the bags of clothes I have! They’re filled with Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Joe’s jeans, True Religion– you get the point — and I felt so bad just getting rid of them. Signed up for Thred Up and am stoked! What an awesome find!

    • Fitnessista on August 9, 2014 at 4:28 pm

      so awesome! i hope you love it! much easier than buffalo, and i make about the same

  10. Ali on August 9, 2014 at 9:38 am

    Haha, I’d have to BUY more pieces of clothes just to fill up the list. I don’t have too much right now since I changed sizes recently. Question – you don’t have any sandals on the list? I assume this list is for fall (?) but you are in Cali now! 😀 I totally rotate through the same clothes over and over again. I always laugh that I always wear the same 5 outfits to work each week, but rotate the days I wear them in hopes that no one notices. Work clothes are so expensive and uncomfortable, so if I find a few things that I love and are on sale and comfortable, I pounce on them and stop looking.

    • Fitnessista on August 9, 2014 at 4:28 pm

      i don’t think sandals count haha. but, i have two pairs that i wear and love all the time. they’re definitely a necessity here!

  11. Carrie on August 9, 2014 at 10:31 am

    I may in the minority here, but I kind of feel like this is more wasteful than just keeping and wearing the clothes you had. Until you know whether or not you want to make a long term commitment to a capsulish wardrobe, wouldn’t it have been wise to just put some items you weren’t wearing in storage in case you change your mind about this? You’ll have to spend more money building your wardrobe back up in the future. Giving away to Goodwill or Thread UP (who pays pennies on the retail dollars you spent), seems wasteful to me actually. Maybe you just did a good cleaning of your closet and got rid of stuff you didn’t like, but if you truly got rid of half your closet and only kept what is listed above, then I think you probably got rid of some legit stuff you just paid good money for in the last two years. Maybe I’m speaking from envy here, but I wouldn’t be able to eliminate half my wardrobe based on an inspirational feeling I got from a blog post, change my mind in two months that capulish wardrobe is not for me and be able to replenish my wardrobe from scratch. Maybe you are getting comped enough stuff it’s not a big deal, but I pay hard earned money for my clothing, and just eliminating half of it seems like a drastic move. Again, maybe this was more a closet cleanse than anything else. I like the concept, but think I might have saved some stuff just in case…

    • Fitnessista on August 9, 2014 at 11:28 am

      totally understand where you’re coming from. i failed to mention above that if it was something i thought i might use later (or wasn’t sure), i kept it. i have duplicates of the things i really love (like extra maxi dresses and skirts), and wintery stuff is still stored (hoodies, jackets, sweaters). it was a really big, much-needed closet clean-out. i was holding onto things that didn’t fit me and well and i didn’t use, so it was time to clear them out. the list is going to help me find items to focus on and create classic outfits, since i’ve found that i have a hard time putting outfits together 😉 i usually just cheat and wear a dress or maxi dress.

  12. april on August 9, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    oh gosh, i really need to do this! i have so many items that i’m hanging onto, although i’ll probably never wear them again. my closet probably makes me look like i’m a hoarder… oops :/ haha

    on another note, i LOVE the marc jacobs bag that you linked!

    • Fitnessista on August 9, 2014 at 4:27 pm

      heh heh. that’s how mine was too!
      i have it in grey and it’s THE BEST. going on 3 years now?

  13. Iris R. on August 9, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    After I saw your pic on Instagram sorting through clothes, I fell down the capsule wardrobe rabbit hole. I’ve been building my own capsule wardrobe since then and I love it. I got rid of more than half of my clothes and have been adding a few things back. It’s kind of expensive to do all at once, but I want to get the shopping out of the way. ThredUp has been my friend! I got an American Apparel top, Zara tank, Everlance shirt and Madewell chambray for $32 total. It’s good to finally get things I’ve been thinking about buying for a couple years! Both and have been great guides in this process. Even with some gaps still, I love my closet now.

  14. mls on August 11, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    Hi, I know you mentioned putting away things you are not too sure about and keeping them. What about all the harem pants you just purchased? Didn’t you say you loved them? Did you toss ’em, put them away or keep them but don’t consider them to be part of the capsule wardrobe?

    • Fitnessista on August 11, 2014 at 6:36 pm

      those are definitely in the pajama category, even though i wear them as street clothes 😉 i do believe every capsule wardrobe needs some genie pants though

  15. Carolyn on August 11, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    After seeing you post about the capsule idea a couple of weeks ago I was inspired to research the piss out of it myself and set off to capsulize my closet. As a complete minimalist, I love how well this method fits my personality. I’m excited to see how my capsules become easier and my style more defined as I keep up with this method. Great share!

  16. Erin on August 11, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    I love that you keep your Ryan Cabrera shirt! I kept my Britney Spears Dream Within a Dream tour tee and *maybe* it comes out when I work out at home…;)

  17. Amanda Bee on August 12, 2014 at 8:38 am

    Great post! I really enjoy reading the “how-to” on Unfancy since it’s all really practical. You should check out the blog “Into Mind” if you’re feeling design-y, since it’s really helped me figure out my color preferences and personal style.

    I’ve done a capsule for summer since I didn’t have that many summer clothes to begin with, and I really enjoyed the simplicity and how fast I can get ready. For what it’s worth, I avoid following lists of “essentials” when I make my capsule. There are some things on that list that I wouldn’t wear often (like heels), and there are things I wear a lot that I need more versions of (ahem, skinnies and cardis). You might like harem pants and wear them all the time, so they’re a staple for you and should totally be in your capsule, while they wouldn’t get worn by someone like me. One of the nice parts of making my own capsule was that, at some point, I realized that a lot of “must haves” didn’t apply to me, and I felt free to make my own choices. Just a thought!

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