Living with Less: The Clothing Edition

Earlier this year I took part in a challenge to wear only 6 key pieces of clothing for 6 weeks – The Six Item Challenge.  You can read my first post about it here.  It was a tough but immensely rewarding exercise.  I learned about the high cost of the fast-fashion, realized I could indeed live with less clothing and I started to rediscover my love of fashion – even with so few pieces of clothing.

Before starting the challenge I did a bunch of research on how to look decent while only using a select few pieces of clothing.  The answer was to build a capsule wardrobe.  Since the challenge I’ve become a capsule wardrobe fan.  So, what’s a capsule wardrobe?  It is a carefully curated collection of clothing – usually quite small – that all work together so you can mix-and-match the pieces together to make  numerous outfits.  Take a look below…

A 10 Piece Capsule Wardrobe

So, for my demonstration capsule wardrobe, I selected 5 tops, 4 bottoms and one blazer.  By combining these pieces with some accessories most gals probably already have in their closet (belts, shoes, boots, scarves, jewelry and make-up) you can make some pretty amazing outfits.  Seriously.

Here’s some examples of outfit combinations:

Black White Red Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4Day 5Day 6Day 7

Day 8

Day 9

Day 10

Pretty cool eh?  And this is only the first 10 outfits.  If you start to read up on capsule wardrobes, most designers say if you add a jacket to a combination it makes for another outfit.  I’m dubious on that one but… if you do that with these pieces you easily have 40 outfits – then you can start mixing up your layers of clothing.  Take a look below…

The Possibilities

This really is a pretty smart way to look at (re)building your wardrobe if you are looking to revamp your closet.  It can be easy on the pocket book and kind to the environment if it helps you buy less clothing.  Heck, you can even buy vintage or second hand pieces and use the capsule wardrobe concept.  The point is, most of us have way too many clothes – you can’t see what’s in your closet or dresser because it’s jammed with stuff you never wear!  Why not donate the duds that are – um – duds and move on to a lighter and brighter way to look at clothing.  That’s what I’m doing!  Here’s the formula I used for selecting my demonstration pieces:

10 Piece Capsule Wardrobe Formula

5 Tops (1 basic tee for layering, 2 neutral, 2 patterned – I made sure to include one top that was long enough to wear with tights and work as a casual dress or belt and wear with the bottoms)

1 Neutral Blazer (I chose black because black rocks)

4 Bottoms (1 dark denim, 1 black, 1 accent colour, 1 patterned skirt)

About the pattern mixing… Okay, I know some of you may be thinking I was smokin’ something when I mixed the toile skirt and the plaid and striped shirts.  It sounds wacky but mixing the patterns does work.  You just need to accessorize it right.  Mixing the plaid and toile makes the outfit more outdoorsy so you need to accessorize that way.  Mixing the stripes with the toile makes the outfit more avante-garde.

Here ends the first lesson on building a capsule wardrobe.  I’ll let you know how I make out with mine and if you give it a whirl, please let me know how it worked for you.

Fashionably yours,
Anita Marie @OrganicExpert


  • Thanks for breaking this down and being so concrete about your actual capsule. I would love to try this out, but have had trouble finding enough detail to feel like I was ready to dive in and try to replicate!

    JessicaKariApril 12, 2015
    • Hi Jessica!

      Sorry for my crazy slow reply. Capsule wardrobes are awesome but it is a big change to make to how you wear and buy clothing. I’m prepping to do another series on capsule wardrobes so stay tuned. You should check out my Pinterest account and my capsule wardrobes for women board. My profile is AnitaMGriffin There are TONS of ideas there (over 1,500 pins) and lots of examples and tips for how to dive into the process.

      Again – sorry for not responding sooner.

      All the best,
      Anita Marie @OrganicExpert

      OrganicExpertMay 24, 2015

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