Simplify your wardrobe, simplify your life: How to cull your wardrobe the right way

A capsule wardrobe can save you time to spend on more important things in life and money to buy experiences instead of unnecessary things. 


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I didn’t expect that removing 90% of my old wardrobe-cull to be so life-changing. Getting dressed is simpler and it's an absolute no-brainer to put outfits together now. The clothes I buy are better quality, I make less dud purchases and I can pack an outfit to change into after yoga in 1-minute flat without stressing. To me, a capsule wardrobe is pure gold. 

I was inspired by something called the 80/20 rule; the idea that you wear 20% of your clothes, 80% of the time.  Here's how I did it:

Step 1 // Remove EVERYTHING from your wardrobe

Dump it all on the floor, then separate into three sections; a no, yes, and a maybe pile. Be brutal with the no pile, put in there anything you haven’t worn in months or years and anything shabby. The trick is to avoid sentimentality or overthinking. It will seem like a waste at first, but this is the most important lesson of the whole exercise; seeing your previous wasteful purchases will stop you from frivolous and unconscious shopping in the future.

Step 2 // Analyse what worked and what didn’t

Get a blank piece of paper and draw a line down the middle, label the first column ‘no pile’ and the second column ‘yes pile.’ Now, write all the commonalities of the no pile, note the brands, cuts and fabrics that tend not to work for you. I learnt that crochet things and colourful patterns never work in the long term. Do the same with the yes pile, what prints and fabrics work, for me it was neutral patterns and colours that last the test of time, as well as fabrics like linen, cotton and denim. The maybe pile can go in a box that, if it in a year’s time is forgotten, can be donated as well.

Step 3 // Figure out what you need

Recent purchase: an all-hemp wardrobe staple

Recent purchase: an all-hemp wardrobe staple

This is the most important part to avoid re-hoarding like a bowerbird. After putting the 20% yes pile back in your wardrobe, you'll probably feel lighter and less overwhelmed already, but there'll be a few blank spots in your wardrobe. Now it's time to figure out what you need to make tiny wardrobe functional. Here's how:

1. Write down your week-to-week lifestyle in percentages, For example, 60% work, 20% exercise, 19% casual bars/gigs, 1% work functions. Now you know what types of clothing you actually need and in what quantity, which means everything will get worn. 

2. Only buy good quality in future. You'll be able to afford to, since you're buying less. Things will last and you'll appreciate and look after what you do have, and you'll know what you actually need to buy if you're every out shopping again (which of course, should be a lot less).