One Wardrobe, Many Capsules (Month 1)

November 23, 2014


Business and Special Occasion Capsule

Business and Special Occasion Capsule

Business and Special Occasion Shoes

Business and Special Occasion Shoes

My first step for The 80/20 Challenge, is to figure out how much I own, in my entire wardrobe.  Until today, the focus of Shopping Brake has been on my most used capsules, which are my shoes, fall/winter, and spring/summer wardrobes.  And while these capsules have included my gear and workout wear, they’re not my entire wardrobe.  I also have business/special occasion, beach/swim, and lounge/sleep capsules.  Today I’m going to take a look at these capsules and how they affect my wardrobe totals.

Business and Special Occasion Capsule

This capsule is stored in a separate closet from my working wardrobe.  And although I’ve posted the footwear before, what I haven’t mentioned is that this footwear is the only footwear I store in the original boxes, because they are worn so infrequently.

  • 3 Suits (2 Trouser Suits and 1 Skirt Suit)
  • Special Occasion Dress and Cardigan in the White Bag (for weddings)
  • 3 Dresses (1 Sheath and 2 Printed)
  • 2 Black Trousers (one straight leg and one cuffed wide leg)
  • 5 Shirts/Blouses
  • 1 Cardigan (not shown, it’s at the dry cleaners)
  • 1 Shell (on the same hanger as a blazer, an old habit of stacking my clothes on the same hanger, tsk tsk)
  • 4 Footwear (Black Sandal, Black Dressy Sandal, Nude Wedge, Black Short Boot)

Total is 21 items

Beach/Swim Capsule

Beach/Swim Capsule

Beach/Swim Capsule

This capsule is stored in a dresser drawer (except the shoes which are once again stored in their boxes).  Again the shoes have been shown before with my shoe wardrobe.

  • 1 Rash guard (shorts and top)
  • 3 Coverups
  • 3 Bathing Suits
  • 1 Resort Dress
  • 1 Sarong
  • 1 Flat Sandal
  • 1 Wedge Sandal

Total is 11 items

Lounge/Sleep Capsule Part I

Lounge/Sleep Capsule Part I


Lounge/Sleep Capsule Part II

Lounge/Sleep Capsule Part II

Lounge/Sleep Capsule

Part I of this capsule is worn for fall/winter, around the house, and consists of 3 layered items.  Part II is worn for spring/summer, around the house, AND year round to sleep in.

  • 3 Sweat Pants
  • 7 tops (6 are t-shirts, 1 is a thermal)
  • 3 Sweatshirts/Hoodies
  • 4 Shorts

Total is 17 items

Crunching the numbers

These three capsules consists of 49 items.  Excluding the shoes (6 of them), that’s an increase to my wardrobe total of 43 items.  This brings my wardrobe total from 138 items to 181 items.  Wow.  This means 36 items can sit unworn for most of the year.  Except my unworn total is higher than that.  All 21 items of the business/special occasion capsule sits unworn for most of the year, including the shoes for that capsule.  The same goes for the 11 items of the beach/swim capsule.  That’s 32 items in just two capsules!

This means out of the remaining 155 items (fall/winter, spring/summer, and lounge/sleep capsule) only 4 items should be sitting unworn if I am defining regular use as at least two times a month for the given season.  And I know many pieces are sitting for longer than that.  Take for example, the fact that I own 18 toppers (7 blazers and 11 sweaters/jumpers).  If I wear each of these only twice a month, that’s still 36 days, which is over 1 month.  And I know I do not wear all of these equally.  And while I don’t expect to do so, if some items are sitting for multiple months unworn, that may be an item that no longer is pulling it’s weight as part of my wardrobe.

And finally, something really sneaky happened while I was reviewing these less used capsules. I found some ‘forgotten items!”

The Forgotten Few

The Forgotten Few

The Forgotten Few

These four items were hidden at the bottom of my beach/swim items.  Since they were forgotten, I could just donate them.  But it’s a shame really, because I could have worn these pieces quite often during our fall days.  Instead, I’m adding them into my working wardrobe pronto!

  • 2 Vests/Waistcoats
  • 2 Turtlenecks

Total is 4 items

Have you ever “forgotten” you owned something?





  1. So eerie you just posted this! I’ve been debating sharing my ‘non counted’ capsules, too. For me it is lounge/layer, sleepwear, and exercise gear. I have so little business or formal wear, I just roll that in to the category it falls (dresses, shoes, whatever).
    I know for sure I have 12 flannel PJ sets, and maybe just as many shortie and summer versions. Ditto exercise gear. I had to buy special wear for triathlons, and I have running gear for both FL heat and Tahoe cold. Probably 1 1/2 to 2 dozen items. So roughly that’s up to 50 items. But . . . for me the closet counting is about items I wear as outfits. None of these go out of the house to see the world. It’s akin to counting my socks or undies I guess in my mind.

    1. I thought it was funny how closely I monitor my daily clothes and how frequently I ignore the rest of my wardrobe. But my budget includes all of my clothes, not just my daily worn one’s. And that’s why I decided to include all of my capsules now. It’s too easy for me to forget about these less worn (or less important to me) capsules yet they are all players for both my closet and drawer space as well as my money.

  2. Yes, I also count all of the ‘forgotten’ capsules when budgeting. So why not when counting? Good point. In that case, I have a 200 item wardrobe. But a life that does not require gear, and without the activities said gear is needed for, is not one I would prefer! Wouldn’t have it any other way. I draw the line at foundation items, though 😉

    1. I also draw the line at foundation items. And I agree about gear increasing a wardrobe size. I have gear for working out with weights, running and horseback riding. And it really doesn’t cross over. But gear activities are too fun to pass up!

  3. So it seems like you could squeeze those capsules a bit if you need to drop your numbers. For instance, do you really need a separate cover up for each bathing suit and a sarong? It seems like one cover up and one sarong would meet your needs. Ditto the business capsule. I’m not sure what you do but since it sounds like you don’t wear businesswear often, it seems like you could shrink it by a suit, a dress, a blouse and a pair of black trousers and still be covered, and not be “splitting your wears.”

    1. Great ideas for shrinking my less used capsules Renee! I also had an idea for the business capsule. There is no reason why I cannot sport my blouses from that capsule with my jeans and blazers during my everyday outfits. That would stretch their usefulness. Thanks for the suggestions and for stopping by!

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