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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at USFCA chapter.

Create the ultimate capsule closet with a few simple steps.

First off, you’re probably wonder what a capsule closet is. If you already know and just need the tips on getting started, feel free to skip down to the next paragraph. For you newbies whose lives are about to be changed for the better, let me explain: a capsule closet is an ultra simplistic closet. They vary on size depending on where you live or what your lifestyle is, but most have less than 50 pieces in them (and yes, this includes shoes, bags, and other accessories). Clearly, if your region is temperate you’ll need fewer clothing options than somewhere where it can be 90˚ one season and -10˚ another.

Now that you’ve got the jist it’s important to understand the purpose of a capsule otherwise within a few short months it could expand and pop off that cap that you set. Capsules simplify life, if you only have a certain number of items you don’t need to stress about creating entirely new looks. You are confident that everything you own goes together, looks good, and most importantly makes you feel good when you wear it. Having fewer things gives you more space, and is easy to transport. All my items fit in three suitcases (textbooks and school stuff takes up another). That means when I move or go on a trip, I can carry on one bag, check two for free (on most airlines) and just pay a small fee to check the last one. $50 plus an airline ticket is a pretty good deal if you ask me.

Ready to take the plunge and capsulate your closet? Let’s go.


Step One: Take out everything you own (yes, even that dress you wore that time that has been in the back of your closest for a year and a half). Put it on your bed, floor, anywhere. I give you permission to make your room messy enough to make your parents ground you.

Step Two: Make three piles: Clothes you love, clothes you like/are neutral about, and clothes you don’t like.  Push the clothes you don’t like as far away as possible. You are no longer allowed to touch that pile. That is the black hole. Anything that goes in there is being donated or sold.

Step Three: Go through clothes you like and love ad try them on. Are they ripped or stained? Yes? They go to the black hole. Do they fit well and make you feel like a million bucks? Nope? Put them in the black hole. Now you should have significantly fewer clothes left over.


Step Four: Count how many of each article of clothing you have. You should have 2-3 pairs of jeans, 2-3 pairs of leggings or other pants, 2-3 shoes for various occasions that you love (heels, flats, sandals) at least 3 shirts you could wear to an interview, 10 pairs of underwear, 5 bras, a blazer, a cardigan, a comfy sweater, a skirt that would be appropriate for work, 1-2 going out dresses or skirts (I prefer LBD because they can be dressed up or down), 2 pairs of pajamas, and workout clothes (this will vary depending on how active you are). Right there are less than 40 items.  Some capsules don’t include workout clothes in their limitations, I include my workout leggings as the leggings listed above but I don’t include my sneakers or cleats in my shoe count.

Step Five: Look at what you have left. How often do you wear each article? Does it go with the majority of the other items you saved? My closet has pretty neutral colors: black, grey, white, blue. Some people are more colorful, some stick to the all-black style. Once you figure out what you actually wear, it’s easier to figure out what new pieces will fit into your closet.


Step Six: Make any adjustments you may need to fit your lifestyle. I intern in an office, but I have worked in cafes and pizzerias before. Those all require different types of clothes. Right now, everything I own is simple enough to be dressed up for work or class, depending on accessories, and then also can be worn on a night out with different makeup.


Congrats! You should have or be on your way to an awesome, simple closet. Don’t worry if it takes a few tries- it took me about four before I had created the closet and then kept with it. The hardest part was not replacing pieces that I had previously sold or donating but once its done, I promise you’ll never want to look back. 

Traveler, sleeper, coffee drinker.
Her Campus USFCA contributors are all exemplery young women at the University of San Francisco in San Francisco, California! Founded in 2020, Her Campus USFCA has grown rapidly to represent our diverse campus community through the unique expression that Her Campus allows. Here readers will find communally contributed articles as well as anonymous articles written by our chapter. We hope that you enjoy these pieces!