My 4 month Packing Challenge (How to Create A Capsule Wardrobe)

Four months. Three seasons. One suitcase.

This was my challenge several months ago as I stared at my closet. I knew I wouldn’t have access to that closet for four months, so I needed to choose wisely. I was about to embark on a dual-hemisphere trip in which temperatures would vary significantly, as would my anticipated activities and lifestyle -- from hot days to cool nights and stormy conditions, and from professional and buttoned-up to beachy and outdoorsy.

Fortunately (after years of refining, purging, and careful purchasing), I operate with a capsule wardrobe that offers cohesion and simplicity -- and makes this type of packing far less daunting.

Maybe you’ve heard this term (it’s gotten quite a bit of buzz in the last few years, but there’s a lot of confusion around what it actually is and how to create it): A capsule wardrobe is a sleek, low-maintenance approach to creating subtle style variations by mixing and matching a tight, precisely chosen selection of pieces. It’s also a direct path to minimalism and streamlining your life.

All of which probably sounds pretty appealing. (Couldn’t we all use a little more low-fuss simplicity?)

The good news: A capsule wardrobe is available to everyone (both men and women), on any budget -- and you can start today. To make it as simple as possible, I’ve distilled it down to 4 key steps: Purge, Identify, Shop, Integrate. This is a process that recurs over and over (your capsule wardrobe is never complete, BUT it does not need to be updated nearly as often as a traditional wardrobe of individual outfits and one-off trends).

So besides being a Packer’s Paradise, what are the other perks of adopting a capsule wardrobe? I call them the 3 Cs:

  • CONFIDENCE: Increased confidence in daily selections

  • CLARITY: Clarity and speed when dressing

  • CONSISTENCY: Consistency in how you present to your audience

(Not to mention the money and time you’ll save with fewer shopping trips -- since you’re investing exclusively in quality items that you love and can actively use -- and spending less time battling “Nothing To Wear” Syndrome.)

I know when I do return to my closet shortly, I’ll eagerly begin another round of purging -- further refining my look and the sartorial tools I use to create it. But once you start the transition to a capsule, this process is more about subtle tweaks than an exhausting overhaul.

If you’re curious about what all the capsule wardrobe hype is about, are already sold on it, or still need some convincing, check out the videos (for men andwomen) that I’ve created to jumpstart your capsule wardrobe creation. I take you through each of the 4 steps, so you can start transforming your closet, your image, and the way you live today. 

Less really is more when it comes to the items in your closet. And decision fatigue is real -- even when it comes to seemingly simple tasks like getting dressed in the morning. Adopting a capsule wardrobe is about far more than looking good: it’s a dramatic life upgrade.

I want to hear your thoughts on a capsule wardrobe: What appeals? What seems most challenging? Share your triumphs, concerns, and questions in the comments below.



p.s. Already sold on the capsule concept and want to empower other people to transform their lives by upgrading their image? (Or do you know someone who does?) Check out Style School, my new online course, and launch your own smart, savvy, heart-centric career as an image consultant today. (Pass it on to your fashion-minded, entrepreneurial friends! It might be the support and insights they’ve been looking for.) Questions about the course? Just ask!