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Capsule wardrobe: How to declutter your life and closet

by Lilliana Vazquez /  / Updated  / Source: TODAY

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It's time to let you in on a secret style bloggers and fashion designers have known for years: A capsule wardrobe will help you cut clutter, save money and create more outfit options than ever.

So, what is a capsule wardrobe?

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Put simply, it's a way of minimizing your clothes into a small collection that easily mixes and matches. Instead of stuffing your closet with items you barely wear, make like Marie Kondo and strip down to a few key staples you love. While the idea is far from new, "Unfancy" blogger Caroline Rector popularized the craze and started a capsule movement.

Capsule wardrobe
Ahhh ... organization.Samantha Okazaki / TODAY

RELATED: The life-changing magic of tidying up: How this 1 tip changed everything

To try it out for yourself, here are a few ground rules to keep in mind:

  1. Limit your wardrobe: About 30-40 items is a good rule of thumb. Clothes, shoes and outerwear count. Pajamas, accessories, fitness apparel and special-occasion outfits do not.
  2. Shop for the season: The total list should last you around three months (the length of an average season) until you'll want or need to refresh.
  3. Keep it simple: The goal is to minimize. Store or donate what you don't need and try to avoid shopping ... that is, until you start planning for next season!

The simplicity will change your life. Don't believe us? Prepare to be amazed and scroll below for some helpful tips.

Go sightseeing or out for brunch

GIF: Capsule wardrobe sightseeing to brunch
Have a fun day planned while you're out of town? Minimize the packing by reusing a few key pieces.Samantha Okazaki / TODAY

This A-line navy skirt is a serious staple. You can channel your inner Parisian with a striped shirt over a chambray collar, or go gab with the girls by pairing a slouchy sweater with a denim jacket and trendy block heels. The world is your oyster!

Love this look? Share it on Pinterest.

Be ready for a work day or a date night

GIF: Capsule wardrobe work to date night
Who has time to stop home after work? By simply switching out the shirt underneath, this little black dress works double-duty ... just like you.Samantha Okazaki / TODAY

The same black shift dress can feel completely new when paired with different pieces. A polka-dot printed blouse underneath adds an air of office-appropriate playfulness. But switch those serious stilettos with some sexy booties, add a few accessories and you'll be ready for a night out on the town. (Red lipstick is highly recommended.)

Add this outfit inspiration to your own Pinterest board.

Run errands or hit up a music festival

GIF: Capsule wardrobe running errands to festival style
Accessories are the name of the game! Swap your sneakers for booties and trade in your vest for a sleek leather jacket, and you'll be ready to rock 'n' roll.Samantha Okazaki / TODAY

The biggest misconception about a capsule wardrobe is that the clothes need to be super simple (read: boring). The truth: absolutely not! Fashion-forward pieces, like a graphic T-shirt and boyfriend jeans, are way more versatile than you think. And that stunning faux leather jacket is less than $60 — ka-ching!

Share these cool and casual outfit ideas with your friends on Pinterest.

What to look for:

Try to find well-made, multi-purpose items that work well either layered or worn alone. And, of course, pick pieces you'll love to wear! Here are the 30 items from

For more outfit inspiration and stylish ideas, follow TODAY on Pinterest.


1. Prince & Fox Polka Dot Button Down, $8, Aéropostale

Polka dot blouse
Polka dot blouseAeorpostale

2. Striped long-sleeve, $35, J.Crew


3. Classic Chambray Shirt, $22, Old Navy

Chambray shirt
Chambray shirtOld Navy

4. Modern Crew Tee, $20, Gap

White t-shirt
White t-shirtGap

5. Floral Logo Crewneck Tee, $27, Gap

Graphic t-shirt
Graphic t-shirtGap

6. Soft V-neck Long Sleeve Sweater, $35, Gap

Knit sweater
Knit sweaterGap

7. Relaxed Textured Tunic Sweater, $25, Old Navy

Tunic sweater
Tunic sweaterOld Navy

8. AEO Ahh-Mazingly Soft Plaid Shirt, $45, American Eagle Outfitters

Boyfriend cardigan
Boyfriend cardiganAmerican Eagle Outfitters

9. Long Sleeves Boyfriend Cardigan, $6, Target


10. Stretch Classic Button-Down Shirt, $44, J.Crew Factory

White button-down shirt
White button-down shirtJ.Crew Factory


11. Trench coat, $55, Forever 21

Trench coat
Trench coatForever 21

12. Blazer, $35, Forever 21


13. AEO Super Soft Denim Jacket, $50, American Eagle Outfitters

Denim jacket
Denim jacketAmerican Eagle Outfitters

14. Biker Jacket, $50, Zara

Biker jacket
Biker jacketZara

15. American Rag Utility Vest, $69, Macy's



16. A-Line Dress, $120, J.Crew

Tweed dress
Tweed dressJ.Crew

17. Bar III Split-Neck Bodycon Dress, $79, Macy's

Shift dress
Shift dressMacy's


18. Chino shorts, $39, J.Crew


19. A-line skirt, $15, H&M


20. Mid-Rise Girlfriend Jeans, $30, Forever 21

JeansForever 21

21. White jeans, $50, American Eagle

American Eagle

22. Moto Dark Blue Leigh Jeans, $65, Topshop



23. Black pumps, $90, Aldo

Black pumps
Black pumpsAldo

24.BP. Trolley Bootie, $85, Nordstrom


25. Report Libbie Slingback Booties, $31, Macy's

Open toe bootie
Open toe bootieMacy's

26. May Patent Block Heel Sandals, $128, Ann Taylor

Block heels
Block heelsAnn Taylor

27. Slip-on Sneakers, $60, Macy's

Slip on sneakers
Slip on sneakersMacy's

28. Chelsea Boots, $35, H&M

Chelsea boots
Chelsea bootsH&M

29. Estyn Lace-up Leather Point Toe Flats, $60, Saks Off 5th

Lace-up flats
Lace-up flatsSaks Off 5th

30. G By Guess Lewy Gladiator Sandals, $49, Macy's

Lace up sandals
Lace up sandalsMacy's

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