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now that you have an amazing color palette

you have an understanding of fit, and quality

now it’s time to take that knowledge and put what you’ve learned into practice

understanding that overhauling your wardrobe takes time

the best way to evaluate your closet is to challenge yourself by wearing everything in it

evaluate all of the items against the parameters you’ve set

begin purging, and identifying the gaps

periodic fit sessions before a shopping trip or after doing laundry

are key to keeping your on track with your personal style journey

and reveal holes in your wardrobe

asking yourself with each wear, is this a quality item?

does it fit your body?

does it align with your color palette?

does it accentuate your personal style?

if you end the season without wearing specific items, evaluate why you haven’t worn them

do they fit into your capsule? no? then consider donating, or selling these items

when you start on your journey

you will be tempted to fill your closet with your capsule right away

be patient

if you just start purging too quickly or drastically

you will spend tons of money and not achieve the carefully thought out and evaluated capsule wardrobe you desire

do not throw away everything and start over

do not go on a shopping haul

start with a simple “wear your closet” challenge

the first one i found was in 2014, at the start of my journey, a 30-day challenge on

start at the front of your closet and work your way to the back

put together formulas according to capsule wardrobe principles and parameters

wear as many different outfits as you can without repeating items

if you find yourself avoiding the same item more than once because it doesn’t meet your principles or parameters

or you just don’t like the item

place it aside

in a laundry bag, basket, or a storage container and continue wearing your closet

slowly, your pile of put aside clothing will grow and grow

another method to clean out your closet

this one, while maintaining the size of your wardrobe, is known as one in – one out method

this is a widely known method, and essentially, the core is to ensure as you purchase one item, you are purging another

it is more difficult then you think

when you find an item you love and you have to purge something in order to buy it

this method will keep your wardrobe balanced and flex those evaluation muscles you’re building

and don’t stop at clothing

you should discard or donate tarnished jewelry as well

broken or missing/single pairs can be donated, discarded, or, depending on your style, worn as mix and match pieces

if something is truly sentimental, consider purchasing a keepsake box for those special items

purge those shoes also

damaged or ill-fitting shoes have no place in your capsule wardrobe

no fashion is worth the pain, and they can have short-term and long-term consequences

i love my heels too, and most of them are now walking around on someone else’s feet!

impractical or low quality accessories should also be evaluated

practicality is subjective, and should fit the formulas you’ve identified for your life

you may never have a need for an evening bag, but others may need multiple in different finishes, fabrics, and different capacities

you may have several briefcases and laptop bags, others may never own one

as your purge pile grows, start evaluating what options are available to you to responsibly discard them

purging should be done as responsibly as possible, please consider these alternatives to throwing away –

selling – there are several websites where you can place items on an open market for sale and they make the transactions incredibly easy; take pictures of the items that you find valuable and place them for sale. you can resell your clothing, accessories, and/or footwear on sites like poshmark, rebag, buffalo exchange, facebook marketplace, mercari, mosh posh, tradesy, thredup, and the realreal

donating – you can donate to friends, family, co-workers, or thrift shops, charities, religious institutions, and consignment shops. these locations vary by state, but there are many, and most focus on serving underserved communities. bottomless closet assists low-income women who are trying to find work with clothing for professional wardrobes. vietnam veterans of america takes and sells your unwanted clothing and the proceeds go toward local, state, and national programs that give veterans the support they need. housing works sells donated items and uses the proceeds to benefit people living with hiv/aids so that they have access to housing, healthcare, legal protections, and other life-saving services.

repurposing – using the items to fill pillows or make rags to dust or clean

before throwing anything away, please try the above methods

as you wear the items in your closet and purge items

you will also find that there are holes in your wardrobe

hopefully not too many

for instance, you may have 30 t-shirts, as i do, but realize you only wear three, because only three align with your color palette, fit well, are of high quality or easy maintenance, and are versatile enough to fit into more than one formula

you many want to add t-shirts to your shopping list

you will now also have a specific idea of the type of t-shirts you are looking for because you’ve evaluated the t-shirts you have and purged

as you find these holes, purchase items where and when you can

streamline and evaluate your wants and needs as you go

because you will be shopping with more discretion, you shouldn’t compromise on quality or fit, especially if it’s solely based on price

while building your capsule, you should window-shop and window-shop often

keeping your eye out for pieces that you want to add to your capsule in the present or the future

look for the items that will make a big impact based on the key items you already have

these are go-to items that find their way organically into your formulas because they just “work”

these are the items that should be the most cherished, the highest value, and prioritized in your maintenance practices

perhaps you don’t have enough color or print variations of those high impact items

are those on your shopping list?

for me, for the past two years, i had a the following item on my shopping list –

a long, wool, heavy/warm, fitted single breasted car coat in a color or print in my color palette

as soon as i found one, two years later, i purchased it

do you notice something?

that item on my shopping list is very specific, and yours should be as well

when you have refined your principles and parameters in our capsule wardrobe, your shopping lists will become more and more specific

you will no longer be looking for a “fall/winter coat”, you will be looking for a specific material, fit, color/print, and length

instead of “new jeans”, you will be looking for a medium wash, non-distressed, cuffed, girlfriend fit jean with stretch

please be patient with this process

even if you do everything right, you may get home, conduct a fit session, and hate the item

it happens, and it’s okay

feel zero shame in returning items that do not work

keep items clean and tagged if you haven’t worn them

returning or reselling something that does not fit your capsule parameters is common

even if you’ve done this forever, as i have

feel zero shame in returning something that you love, but does not fit into formulas in your capsule

items must fit your capsule and must be versatile

if you don’t return it, you will wear it so little, you may forget you have it at all, or regret purchasing the item altogether

return it!

as you build your wardrobe, consider weeding out companies with poor return policies

this is a big part of shopping with intention

capsule wardrobes are built with discernment, so you must be able to return items

you must have the freedom to return or resell items that never, or no longer, fit the principles and parameters of your capsule wardrobe

remember that your wardrobe is tied to your mood; it can reflect your mood or affect your mood

if you are in a poor mood, your clothing can reinforce or change those emotions positively or negatively

also, not a great idea to shop when you’re bummed

hesitate clicking purchase when you’re in a poor mood

search anytime, but please hesitate to hit buy if you are feeling impulsive, anxious, or stressed

you may be purchasing to positively affect your mood, but sometimes all you need is to windowshop

shopping smarter

shop with a list of needs to fill holes in your wardrobe

shop with a list of trends you have evaluated and discerned to fit into your capsules

shop with specific silhouettes, colors, and prints in mind

of course you will see random items you like

those items should be accessed based on your capsule parameters, starting with color palette, and ending in budget

if you purchase something you really love, but the fit or the quality is poor, do not hesitate to return it

it is great to take chances and stretch the boundaries of your capsule

but do not force anything to work

it’s okay if the scene’s hottest trend does not fit your capsule

it’s okay to admire those pieces on other women

don’t forget to compliment them either!

if you are getting bored with your wardrobe

it may be time to experiment with a new color, print, silhouette

that’s still okay as long as you are evaluating the items against your principles and parameters

and, as long as you can easily return them if they don’t work out

shopping will take a bit more effort and time but will result in a wardrobe full of items you love

you may also begin to notice a slow down in your impulse spending

organically, you’ll find that you won’t purchase anything without checking against your parameters first

when shopping online, you’ll pay more attention to reviews

looking for positive and negative comments on fit, accuracy of color, feel of fabric, and durability

if you purchase something because it’s on sale or you are simply shopping to feel good, that’s okay

don’t beat yourself up

take a moment, and have a fun fit session, try on all your impulse buy and with a critical eye

and using your principles and parameters, access and confirm whether you should keep the item or not

again, returning items is necessary activity in the world of capsule wardrobing

it will become second nature

splurging is also something that you shouldn’t feel guilty about

when a spluge item fits your parameters and principles, it’s a keeper

but please remember

splurge items should be key items, or specialty items, that will last for multiple years/seasons

especially if you have a limited budget, schedule your splurges, monthly, seasonally, or annually

and, if available, purchase second hand

if you need help to control your binges like i do

try this

unsubscribe from of retail e-mails


create an e-mail specifically for those so you can access and search when you are ready to shop

try take shopping fasts, perhaps with friends and family as accountability partners

start with a week, and extend to a month, or several months, if necessary…

think of yourself as a collector

building a collection of clothing, accessories, footwear, jewelry, and beauty items that fit a specific theme, feeling, and purpose

your closet will thank you!

happy shopping!