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Capsule Wardrobes

Capsule Wardrobes, What Are They?

Capsule wardrobes, what are they you may be asking? The term capsule wardrobe was first used in American publications as early as the 1940s to denote a small collection of garments designed to be worn together which harmonized in color and line. It was revived by Susie Faux, a London fashion boutique owner, back in the 1970s. The term saw a resurgence in 1985 with Donna Karan and has recently became all the rage again between 2015-2017. A capsule wardrobe is a way to get multiple outfits with less than 50 pieces of clothing. Some examples will vary with how many tops, bottoms, and outer layers are chosen within each season. Some include shoes, belts, jewelry, and/or handbags, some do not. It really depends on what your google search lands on. 

Diving In...

Me being who I am, I set pen and paper to it to see what the buzz around capsule wardrobes was all about. For the sake of this example, I will use a 20pc capsule (see pic below) containing only clothing items. With 3 outer layers, 10 tops, 5 bottoms, and 2 dresses, I found a total combination of 208 outfit possibilities. Ok, I guess that would work if you were going abroad for 6 months. Yet there are 2 seasons within a 6 month period so you’d have to plan 1/2 the capsule for warm weather and the other half for cooler weather. When you start planning a capsule under these conditions, then the outfit possibilities start decreasing. I digress, any way you look at it, the cost per wear really wouldn’t be anything to write home about.

Closer Look...

Let’s take a closer look. Say you build a wardrobe based on the capsule model for 2 seasons of the year. You would have 40 clothing items hanging in your closet, 1 capsule per season. The outfit potential would be 416 outfits, right? Say on average you spent $25 per item (I know, I know, what are you going to buy at that price other than tops!) but bare with me. Your total cost would be $1,000. If you only wore 365 outfits (1 per day) that would be approximately $2.75, your cost per wear (CPW). The cpw isn’t too bad, right? But what if I told you, we could cut that cost per wear down considerably!! Would you be interested?

Introducing the Module Formula

Introducing a new formula, the Module Formula! This is the same formula I have been using for a few years now. With this formula, I buy clothes less often and because of this, I’m able to buy better quality pieces. So let’s get to it.

The formula is rather easy. You build one module with 1 outer layer, 3 tops, and 2 bottoms. These 6 pieces will give you 12 outfits. When you build a 2nd co-ordinating module of 6 more pieces, you now have increased your outfits to 72! Now here’s where the magic happens. Each co-ordinating module you build, the number of outfits continue to jump through the roof! Are you asking what I mean about co-ordinating modules? I walk you through the process, click here to get it.


I’m going to show the comparison and you can decide. Using the same scenario but instead of 1 capsule (20pcs), we will replace it with 2 modules for each season(12pcs) and for 2 seasons, that’s 4 modules with a total of only 24 pieces. 24 pieces at $25 per piece, that’s a total cost of $600 bringing your cpw down to $1.60 based on 365 outfits. Fantastic right? Not only do you have fewer pieces taking up less space in your closet, now you have an extra $400 to do something else. Why not use that money to purchase a really nice quality blazer that will last for years!?! 🙂

More To Consider

There are a few things more to consider. Building 4 modules with pieces mixing and matching together, do you know how many outfit possibilities you would have? 480 outfits and 16 fewer pieces hanging in your closet. 

Do you need more magic? Adding a 5th module, now you have over 900 outfits with only 30 pieces of clothing! AND every additional coordinating module you add, outfits are increased exponentially! Can you see why I say, It’s better to buy quality over quantity in the long run! It’s because your cpw decreases over time owing to the fact, better quality pieces last so much longer than say anything from fast fashion… So with all things considered, I ask you, which method would you prefer?

I hope I have explained this to the point where there is little to no doubt around capsule wardrobes. If you do have any questions, please, feel free to send them to me

OH, and be sure to tell me which option you prefer in the comments below!

Until next time, XOxoXO,


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