Capsule Wardrobe

Ever heard of a “capsule wardrobe”? Me neither. But now I have one. You can read up on it on Caroline Rector’s blog UnFancy if you want the full deets, but to summarize:

A capsule wardrobe is a minimalistic wardrobe of versatile pieces of clothing that you love.

Since Mitch and I are running full speed towards Suitcase City, it became increasingly important for me to cut my wardrobe down to half the size. Ok, 1/4 the size. Ok, 1/8….Shush.

As a quick side note, this post is coming from Hailey instead of Mitch because Mitch is already the King of Minimalism. This Come Back Kid is a pro at dumping the excess. If you’re asking yourself, “What does she mean, ‘Come Back Kid’?” Then you either haven’t met Mitch or you don’t pay attention. Take a look at what very honestly might be the only shirt my boyfriend owns:img_8980

And some evidence gathered over the past two years:


Anyway, the point is that Mitch can easily cram his wardrobe into a carry-on. I, on the other hand, had work to do. Here’s the process I followed:

Creating My Capsule Wardrobe

Step ONE: Make a Plan

My goal for my minimalist wardrobe was to be able to pull any two pieces out of my closet (read: suitcase), throw them on, walk out the door (read: the minivan), and just live my life. I followed these self-imposed guidelines:

  • Is it black, white, neutral, or red (because red is my coluhh!)? Keep it.
  • Is it comfortable? Keep it.
  • Is it dingy/ratty/hole-y, or generally in bad condition? Toss it.
  • Have I worn it in the last 12 months? No? Toss it.
  • Am I holding onto it for emotional reasons or for the memory (like the tattered skirt I bought in Italy circa 2004)? Toss it.

This left me with a lot of stuff to toss. Thus…

Step TWO: Eliminate the Excess

Take a little look-see at what I was able to toss (below). This is only some of it. And this is also after my Great Closet Purge of 2015 when I became impulsively inspired by Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and donated 9 trash bags full of clothes to Goodwill. How could I possibly have had this much stuff?!


My only regret after tossing all of these clothes is that I didn’t know about #TheFreeClosetProject beforehand. Next time I’ll gladly shuffle my donations in that direction instead of Goodwill.

Step THREE: Buy Some Stuff (because it’s hard to be a minimalist)

I went on a wee little online shopping spree…but a strategic one! And I bought a handful of basics that fit my above criteria. I bought everything from Everlane (shoutout to my friend Jess for hooking me up!) which is a pretty perfect place to find stylish, quality, classic pieces for your capsule wardrobe.

Step FOUR: Fine Tune What’s Left

Meet my own lil’ capsule wardrobe:

*This maxi skirt doesn’t meet my criteria, but I wore it on Mitch and my 1st date, 1st anniversary, and 2nd anniversary, so I had to keep it around to wear for year three.


So there ya go. Fewer than 50 items in my year-long capsule wardrobe. To be fair, I didn’t include my workout clothes or my shoes in this post, but I’m still pretty stinkin’ proud of how much fat I trimmed to get to a manageable amount of clothes for Rogue Trip. This was a worthwhile exercise and I’d encourage anyone to take on the challenge, road trip or not (I’m lookin at you, Paula 6 Closets).

Oh, one final note: you may notice how wrinkly all of these items are (thanks for not commenting out loud). That’s because they had already been abused and jammed into a suitcase before I drug them out and snapped the photos. Mitch and I don’t plan to have an iron with us on Rogue Trip, but it will be important for us not to look like slob buckets everyday, so we’ll have to use another tactic for smoothing out the ol’ threads. The best way to eliminate wrinkles on the road:

Downy Wrinkle Releaser

This stuff is from the heavens. Here’s a little “before and after” to drive the point home:img_7042

That tidbit is free. Enjoy!