What is an MHM Capsule Wardrobe?

What comes to mind when you hear “capsule wardrobe”? If you’re thinking about closets made up of only 10 pieces of clothing all in the same color scheme, you’re not alone. That’s how capsule wardrobes are usually depicted now, but we’re never going to tell you to limit your wardrobe to 10 items. We love clothes way too much to do that. We’re partial to the definition from Caroline Rector of Un-Fancy, which is the “practice of editing your wardrobe down to your favorite clothes (clothes that fit your lifestyle + body right now), remixing them regularly, and shopping less often and more intentionally.”

The term “capsule wardrobe” was coined in the 1970s by London boutique owner Susie Faux. She said that a capsule wardrobe was a collection of a few essential clothing items that never go out of fashion and augmented by seasonal pieces. They became popular in 1985 when designer Donna Karan released a capsule collection of seven interchangeable pieces of workwear.

The goal of any capsule wardrobe is to have an outfit for every occasion without owning too many clothes. You might want to consider an MHM capsule wardrobe if:

  • You regularly spend too much time in the morning trying on outfit after outfit and hating everything you put on.
  • You want to make sure you have the right outfit for any event or occasion.
  • You want to love everything hanging in your closet.

How can you get an MHM capsule wardrobe? By following five simple steps:

  1. Define your personal style.
  2. Try on every piece of clothing you already own.
  3. Decide what to keep and what to get rid of.
  4. Identify the gaps in your wardrobe.
  5. Shop with confidence and intention.

We’ll give you a brief overview of each step now, but we’ll really unpack each step in future blog posts. A capsule wardrobe isn’t built in a day, so we’re not going to try to have you create one after a single blog post. If you want more information now, then listen to our episode on capsule wardrobes.

1. Define your personal style

An MHM capsule wardrobe is really focused on personal style and loving everything you own, so it’s hard to build one if you don’t know what your style is. There are a lot of ways, and probably tons of quizzes, to determine your personal style, but we prefer the three-word method. Choose three words that describe you and your style.

My three words are:

  1. Comfortable
  2. Simple
  3. Timeless

Jaclyn’s three words are:

  1. Classic
  2. Feminine
  3. Eclectic

Once you’ve defined your personal style, it’s time to move on to step 2.

2. Try on everything you own

This is probably the most monotonous and frustrating step in the whole process, but it’s an important one, so don’t skip it. Take everything out of your closet and dresser and try it on. If your closets are anything like ours, this step might seem overwhelming. I don’t recommend trying to do this all at once, so you don’t get frustrated and tired.

3. Decide what to keep

Now that you’ve tried on everything you own, it’s time to decide what to keep and what you’ll be getting rid of.

When you’re deciding what to keep, first get rid of everything that doesn’t fit. If you’re trying to lose weight and think you’ll fit into it again soon, feel free to box it up and put it in storage until you’re ready to wear it. Try not to keep “aspirational” pieces hanging in your closet because they might just make you feel bad about yourself if you look at it every day, and you’re beautiful just where you are now!

After that, look through everything you own and ask yourself if it fits your style. If it doesn’t fit your style, then ask yourself if you love it (this is a little bit like Marie Kondo’s “does it spark joy?” method). If it doesn’t fit your style and you don’t love it, get rid of it.

After you’ve decided what to keep and what to get rid of, you have many options for discarding your used clothes. You can donate them to places like the Salvation Army or your local women’s shelter, or you can sell them to consignment shops (which can help fund any future clothing purchases).

4. Identify the gaps

Now that you’ve narrowed down your wardrobe to just items you love and fit your personal style, start determining what pieces you’re missing. Remember, one of the goals of a capsule wardrobe is to have an outfit for every occasion.

Make a list of every occasion you would need outfits for –work, date nights, girls’ nights, weddings, whatever. Then, look through your items and see if you have options for each event. If you don’t, make a list of what outfits you need.

You might also want to consider making sure you have some essential items of clothing, like white jeans, a blazer, and a little black dress.

5. Shop with confidence and intention

Make a list of everything you’re missing and go shopping. (Confession: this is my favorite part of the whole process!) When you go shopping from now on, always ask yourself if the items you’re trying on will fit your personal style. You’ll be less likely to end up with buyer’s remorse and will continue to love everything in your closet.

From now on, you’ll be able to choose what you wear with confidence because you can take anything out of your closet and know you love it.