Capsule Wardrobe Questions and Answers

February 8, 2016

Since I started blogging about my capsule wardrobe, I’ve been asked lots of questions from readers about how it works. These are some of the more common capsule wardrobe questions I’ve been asked. So here is my capsule wardrobe Q & As.

What is a Capsule Wardrobe?

A capsule wardrobe is basically a small wardrobe (normally around 37 pieces) which has been well thought out so there is always something to wear. A capsule wardrobe normally lasts for a season (3 months) before you switch it up to suit the changing weather. The idea is a capsule wardrobe helps to reduce the amount of clutter in your wardrobe, by ensuring you love and wear everything you have. It can also save you time and stress in the morning as getting dressed is much simpler (you no longer have the ‘I have nothing to wear’ panic).

So do you only own 37 pieces of clothing?

No, I own more than 37 pieces, but I only have 37 pieces hanging in my wardrobe at a time. The rest is stored away until the next season. For example, I currently have all my summer clothes stored away as I wouldn’t be wearing them now, in a couple of months, I will switch these with my winter clothes, storing my cosy knitwear as I don’t need them during the summer. Storing aways out of season clothes stops them from cluttering up your wardrobe and allows you to see suitable clothes more clearly.

Do you buy 37 new pieces each season?

No, for me one of the reasons I created a capsule wardrobe was to help kerb my bad shopping habits. I used to buy new clothes all the time, often not even wearing them. With a capsule wardrobe, you don’t shop during the season, living with the clothes you already own. At the end of a capsule, you can purchase a couple of new pieces for your next wardrobe. For example, before creating my winter capsule wardrobe, I purchase a few new knit jumpers as I had noticed I lacked these in my autumn wardrobe. I aim to only buy around 5 pieces a season, but its up to you how much you buy. After your first couple of capsules, you’ll find yourself less interested in having lots of clothes and will be looking for quality.

Are you always doing laundry?

Eh, no more than before. I still do a weekly wash the same as I did before my capsule wardrobe. I’ve heard different opinions on a number of laundry capsules create, some people say you do it less and others say you do it more. I don’t think have fewer clothes affects the laundry in any shape or form, I still put on fresh underwear every day which needs to be washed along with the clothes I wear. I’m not suddenly wearing more or fewer clothes during the week. So no having a capsule wardrobe doesn’t affect how much laundry you need to do (sorry).

Do you ever feel restricted by a small wardrobe?

No, I haven’t ever felt creating a capsule wardrobe has restricted me. In fact, it’s the opposite, before I didn’t really know what was in my wardrobe and used to find getting dressed a bit stressful. Now I know exactly what’s in there, and can plan out my outfits easily (even while lying in bed). I think I tended to wear the same things all the time anyway so it hasn’t made too much difference. I also find looking at my minimal wardrobe very calming, everything is spaced out and my clothes can breathe now.

Do your clothes wear out faster?

I’ve only been doing capsule wardrobes for 6 months so can’t really comment on this. But so far I haven’t noticed any increase in wear. I’m much more interested in buying quality clothes now, so find they last pretty well. I also think because you spend a lot of time planning and creating your wardrobe you tend to look after your clothes a little better when you have a capsule wardrobe.

I love vintage clothes, can I create a capsule wardrobe?

I don’t see why not, capsule wardrobes aren’t just for people with a minimalist style. The idea is to create your perfect wardrobe so if that’s full of vintage dresses then that’s great.

My work wardrobe is very different to the rest of my wardrobe, can I create a capsule wardrobe?

I’m lucky that I can wear pretty much whatever I want to my office so I don’t need to have a separate work wardrobe. I do make sure I have a couple of smarter pieces for important meetings, conferences etc. If you do need a separate work wardrobe then I would essentially create 2 smaller capsule wardrobes one for work and one for everything else. You could maybe have 27 pieces which are suitable for work and 10 which work on the weekends. Remember the number 37 is just a guideline and if you feel you need more then go ahead and have more – it is your wardrobe after all.
I hope this has helped answer some of the questions you may have about capsule wardrobes. I’m always happy to help you out, just tweet (@tartanbrunette) or email ( me your questions and I’ll get back to you.
If you are feeling inspired to create a capsule wardrobe, check out my capsule wardrobe posts for more info. Also, make sure you read How to create a capsule wardrobe to help you get started.


4 responses to “Capsule Wardrobe Questions and Answers”

  1. This is such a great post. I'm in the middle of moving to a smaller place (oh London prices!!) and I really ought to do something like this to make the space work but also to get the most out of my wardrobe. It must make day to day life so much simpler! Some very useful tips to take on board. Thanks for sharing 🙂
    Louise x

  2. Iga Berry says:

    I am interested in concept of a capsule wardrobe myself. I might do a little experiment in spring if this would work for me. I am in two minds about it as I love how much freedom not worrying about 'what I am going to wear' gives yet organising it seems to be so time consuming.
    Connect with me:

  3. Isabel Clennell says:

    Hi, when you have a number of items, what counts?
    For example, does this count sunglasses, shoes, bags, etc
    Secondly, what about baselayers? In the winter I often have to wear 3 long sleeved tops under my jumper each day, so do these count within the allowance, because I’d probably exclude them (as I would with underwear and tights).

    • Jen says:

      I would count shoes but not accessories so bags, sunglasses, scarves etc would be separate. I think I would also exclude your baselayers since they sit more with underwear than your everyday clothes. But the beauty of a capsule wardrobe is it’s up to you what you include or exclude from your final count. Try not to focus too much on the total number and concentrate on creating a wardrobe that works for you and your lifestyle.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.