Capsule Wardrobe


Last month I did a major closet cleaning. Since we bought our house in October 2012, I’ve been thinking about how we need a wardrobe in the bedroom and closet updates, and etc. Only recently did it occur to me that rather than needing more space, I just needed to own less stuff. And so the purging began, as this rainbow of barren hangers can attest. All my favorite shirts with holes in them had to go, all of my old, ill-fitting bras had to go, all of the in-perfect-condition-but-never-gonna-wear-it-again clothes from before I started freelancing full-time had to go, and anything that I just didn’t feel comfortable in one way or another had to go, no matter how much I paid for it or how little I had worn it. It’s a waste of space, other people can use it more, and having less choices means I actually wear more of what I have.

Before, I’d look in my closet and be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of things crammed in there. Now, when I look in I only see clothes that I like, that fit well, that are in good condition, and that are seasonally appropriate. It makes it so much easier to get dressed, which makes me way less likely to wear the same Columbia hoodie 4x a week.

I don’t remember where I first heard the term “capsule wardrobe”, but it kept coming to mind as I was cleaning out. I did some Googling and after reading blog posts like this and this, I was convinced it was worth experimenting with (though I haven’t wheedled my wardrobe as far down as 33 items, at least not yet). I used to subscribe to Lucky Magazine, and one of the things I always liked best about it was the wardrobe mixing and matching articles they sometimes ran, or any time there was a how-to guide on packing for a vacation. There’s an aspirational element to it (living more fashionably but simply) as well as a bit of a puzzle (how many combinations can you make and actually wear in public?), which seems fun. And while I, like most human beings, like looking well put together, I’m not one for bold fashion statements. My patterned-tights wearing, lunch box carrying high school days are well behind me and now I’m looking for easy, with a dash of she-has-her-life-sorted and – very importantly right now – warm. And mostly just want to wear nautical stripes, to be honest.

Anyway, this is all to say that I cleaned my closet, adapted the capsule wardrobe way of shopping/dressing, and began creating my own Cher Horowitz inspired virtual dressing room in Photoshop. That’s my point, internet: Clueless. I’d ask if anyone remembers Cher’s Wardrobe computer program, but that’s just a dumb question because we all remember everything about Clueless because it is perfect.

So this is the slowly progressing, un-animated version of that which contains no designer labels whatsoever.


Here’s what that looks like in Photoshop:


It’s essentially a paper doll drawing of myself, and there are various folders in the layers menu to the right, which I can open to find different items, and turn layers on and off depending on what items I want to “wear”. Aside from being kinda fun and kinda ridiculous, it’s actually kinda useful too, being able to create “looks” without having to try anything on. I’ve drawn quite a few pieces so far, but am not nearly finished. I figured this blog could use an update though, and I might as well share my progress on this little for-fun side project as I make it. So here are a few combinations so far…


I did not own white ankle jeans prior to these drawings, but you can bet I do now. Also, I have a blazer now. A magnificent blazer that I will draw next…


One thought on “Capsule Wardrobe

  1. This is wonderful and such an awesome side project. I think every girl who saw Clueless immediately fell in love with her rotating closet racks and matching program. It seems like it would be awesome practice too. Clothes trip me up sometimes when I draw. Especially shoes with laces! Can’t wait to see more. :)

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