My Confusing Capsule Wardrobe


As promised (did I do that?) I’m revealing my capsule wardrobe after the November Singles’ Day (basically China’s Black Friday minus the Wal-Mart brawls)

Disclaimer: so I suck at making collages apparently and my capsule is prettyyyyy sporadic.(there’s the random orange top that appeared since I’d just bought it fresh for Hong Kong Pride Parade or the kimono I use to cover my shoulders at school) My intentions with these posts aren’t to preach to you exactly what you should buy for your capsule and where you should get it…because that just plain doesn’t make sense! Even if on the off chance you’re a 20-something, itchy footed ESL teacher planning a world trip with just a backpack and duffel bag come June, my wardrobe needs are NOT and should NOT be the same as yours.

I’m simply here to sing the capsule wardrobe’s praises and document my experience into the world of fashion minimalism and shopping with intention. (whoa! that sounded cool!)

It’s been about 3 weeks since I’ve started my capsule, a rather wacky one being my first. Why is my capsule so confusing? Let me count the ways:

1. I’m starting Fall SUPER late. Tomorrow’s high is 80 degrees! WTFFFFF Southern China FTW What’s weird is that after sweating buckets in the summer humidity, these temps actually feel cool to me. I think I’d literally die if I went to Beijing’s high 40s. I’m so California it’s sad lol

2. I’m planning to downsize in luggage after China. 60L backpack and a duffel bag. Yup.

3. My budget is super tight considering my savings scheme for THE GREAT TRIP, so I had to work a lot with what I already had.

4. I’m making this my Fall/Winter capsule because 1) it’s hot,  2) I have a month vacation in February to run around SE Asian beaches (so capsule won’t be happening then) and 3) like I said, it’s already super late to start a Fall one. (I just made a list within a list, didn’t I?)


So, here it goes, my 40 piece capsule wardrobe:

About 99% of these images are from H& simply because I could find everything there and the images were crisp and clean. I own some of the exact actual items from H&M, or if not, I have something super similar from another store (likely Bershka, Pull & Bear or Stradivarius…marcas españolas woop woop!!)

shirts + tops  Bottoms + Dresses Jackets + Sweatersshoes

The rule that I so very, very, very loosely followed was that of the lovely capsule wardrobe fashionista, Caroline’s. She calls it The Rule of 3.  In my case it became a rule of 4 or even 2 where I saw necessary. Whoops? Nah. It’s MY capsule and I can gorge or deprive it as I see fit. I maaaaay be missing a coat for when the weather finally dips below 70s, but I’ll tackle that when I get there.

Caroline keeps her capsules around 9 pairs of shoes, 9 bottoms + dresses, 15 shirts + tops and a handful of jackets + sweaters. Her magic number is 37. Maybe yours is too. Mine was 40 🙂

Basically she heartens a wardrobe full of 1) Plain Options 2) Statement Options 3) In-Between Options. So a capsule consisting of 15 tops would look like 3 sweaters, 3 tee shirts, 3 button up shirts, 3 tank tops, and 3 vests. All broken up into basics, statements, and in-betweens. Genius! Read more here.


How am I liking it?

Muy mucho! (remember that?)

I’m a capsule wardrobe convert! Every morning I wake up excited to get dressed knowing I won’t be overwhelmed with ratty style deal choices. With the capsule essentials I selected, I know styling and mix and matching will be a cinch even with the 30 minutes I give myself before taking the minute stroll from my on-campus apartment to the classroom. (no rolled out of bed pajamas + uggs look for this 25 year old grown ass woman) It’s like having a closet full of those magnificent things we call “go-to” items. I love it!

Are you thinking about starting a capsule?


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