As I proceeded to work on my capsule wardrobe (more details here and here), I did some math. The basic gist of the capsule wardrobe is a certain number of items, all working together in the same vein of style, to be easily mixed for a season of time of year. There are various sources on the internet that do not align with the count of items - I've seen anywhere from 33 to 38 items per capsule. Let's say that I want to be conservative and go with 33 items in each capsule. And let's say that I had four different capsule wardrobes; one for each season.
4 seasons x 33 items per capsule = 132 total items
And this is just the conservative estimate of items that would be my closet! I looked at that number and immediately thought "There's no way I can have that much clothing." I don't have a ton of clothing already, and I wasn't interested in accumulating more of it for no real reason other than to fulfill an arbitrary quota.
The other issue I had with creating my capsule wardrobe was that, at least in Pennsylvania, it does not seem like we have four seasons of equal length. I do realize that having four seasons, three months each, is not possible in other parts of the world either. It just seems like we only get about a month or two of autumn (if there's not a hurricane) and a month or less of spring (especially when there is a Polar Vortex). Needless to say, the seasonal breakdown was just not practical for me. I'm always cold anyway, so my always-colder-than-everyone-else body temperature had to be taken into account, too.
Yet another issue I had was that I often wear layers. Those layers can be pared down for the summer, and put on more heavily in the winter. So I also had pieces that couldn't simply be put in a capsule for winter, and stashed away while I could still wear them during the spring or fall.
What I did was this: clothing that could be worn year round is in a separate category. Then, I divided the rest of the clothing into an October - March capsule, and an April - September capsule. This way, very heavy winter clothing (a wool skirt) would not be combined in a capsule with things such as sleeveless tops.
My final count of clothing items?
Year-Round: 22 pieces
April to September: 14 pieces
October to March: 12 pieces
Remember - this is not including things like accessories or loungewear, like pajamas, sweatshirts, or loungewear like tee-shirts and the like.
Total: 48 pieces
My advice with creating a capsule wardrobe? Do what works for you! Modify as needed, but stay true to the thesis of what a capsule wardrobe really is. I'll be posting more about what each piece in my capsule wardrobe is soon, and starting a new wardrobe series as well. If you're starting or already have a capsule wardrobe, I'd love to hear about what you're doing! Did you need to modify it? Change anything to better suit you? Let's hear all about it in the comments.
Love and light,